The next time you shop for dog treats, check the packaging to see where they were made. Even if the packaging is in English, it may come from thousands of miles away. In fact, a substantial number of dog treats are made in China and then shipped to the United States, Canada and other countries for resale at pet stores. So, are dog treats made in China safe, or should you choose a different product for your canine companion?
Maybe... or Maybe Not
Some dog treats made in China are perfectly safe, but others pose a serious risk of illnesses or even death. As an owner, you have to ask yourself if you're willing to take that risk (hint: you shouldn't). Treats made in China are much more likely to cause health issues than those made in the United States. Your dog might be perfectly fine after consuming a made-in-China treat, or he could succumb to toxicity, seizures, cancer or other serious medical problems.
China: The Wild West of Pet Food
The problem with dog treats made in China is the country's lack of government regulations for the industry. As explained by Forbes, China has laws regulating the production of human food but not pet food. Pet food companies are free to produce pet food and dog treats without the scrutiny of government bodies looking over their shoulder.
Unfortunately, this often results in low-quality pet food and dog treats being produced in China, some of which may contain toxic ingredients. Some of these treats are sold locally, though most are shipped overseas where they end up on the shelves of your local pet store.
The Growing Problem of Made-in-China Dog Treats
From 2007 to 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received more than 5,200 complaints about illnesses and deaths caused by jerky treats, most of which are imported from China. The FDA further explains that roughly 60% of these cases involves digestive issues, whereas 30% involve kidney or urinary issues.
The FDA is constantly working to improve the safety of pet food and dog treats, and this means pulling potentially harmful products from the shelves. But the FDA simply doesn't have the resources to check and analyze every pet food product imported from China.
For these reasons and others, it's recommended that you avoid buying dog treats made in China and instead choose treats that are made here in the United States.
This article was brought to you by Dog Treat House. We offer premium private label pet treats, dog treats, dog jerky, and more, for independent retailers, boutiques, and online e-commerce sellers.