FDA pushes for new regulations on pet food - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

FDA finds beef with jerky dog treats

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

The Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on pet food manufacturers after reports of hundreds of dogs that died from tainted jerky treats officials believe the treats may have come from China.

Now, the FDA is calling for more regulation of pet food.

"We always check to make sure there's no recalls and stuff like that, check and make sure it's actually quality food," says Jay Doane

Doane has owned his Greyhound dog, Alexis, less than a year.

And he's not taking any chances by feeding her just anything.

"Sometimes you can get a bad kind of food and all of a sudden your pet's in the hospital."

He's right.

In fact, veterinarians at Taylor Crossing Animal Hospital in Montgomery have seen it happen.

"The dogs would come in with acute history of vomiting and diarrhea and just laying around, not feeling well and drinking more water than normal, urinating a lot. And a common history would be feeding my pet certain treats," says Veterinarian Dr. Phil Mitchell.

Dr. Mitchell says he long suspected some jerky treats had questionable ingredients.

But could never prove it.

Now, the FDA is investigating consumer complaints about jerky treats causing illness and even death in more than 3,600 dogs and cats.

The concern prompted the administration to propose new rules requiring those selling pet food to comply with certain sanitation and food safety plans.

"I think it's reassuring to us as well as the pet owner to have somebody kinda looking over your shoulder or holding them accountable to what's going in these foods," says Mitchell.

"Your dog's part of your family. Your cat is part of your family. You do everything you can to take care of them," adds Doane.

Vets say if you suspect a treat has hurt your pet, save it.

Veterinarians have been asked to report suspicious cases to the FDA.

Dr. Mitchell says a safe bet right now is to stay away from treats that look like they're made of meat.

The FDA says the treats in question are jerky tenders or strips, made with chicken, duck, sweet potato and dried fruit.

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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