Dog-lovers, take note! Petco started 2015 on the right (if expensive) foot by announcing on Monday that it had removed all remaining Chinese-made dog and cat treats from its site and its stores around the country. We had initially reported on this in May of 2014, when the US Food and Drug Administration had announced that the rawhide and jerky treats had sickened thousands of pets and killed 1,000 dogs in the US since 2007.

Petco is the first national pet retailer to remove the products completely from its 1,300 stores nationwide. PetSmart Inc. has followed suit, saying on Monday that it will have the products off shelves from all of its stores by March 2015.

By May 2014, the FDA had received more than 4,800 complaints of pet illnesses from chicken, duck or sweet potato jerky jerky and rawhide treats made in China. As of October 2014, more than 5,600 dog illnesses have been reported as a result of these products. Among the symptoms reported from these not-so-goodies (and these can manifest after hours or days) are:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased activity
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucus)
  • Increased water consumption
  • Increased urination
  • Pancreatitis, gastrointestinal bleeding, and kidney failure in serious cases

You can watch the CBS report about the recall here.

Petco says their treats are now made in the US or countries such as the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and South America. They have said that switching providers will cost them millions, but of course they had to take this course. And we do applaud them for taking the necessary steps to ensure these products are no longer available at any of their stores or on their site.

But in case you’re not shopping at a Petco store, make sure to look at the label of any jerky or rawhide treat you’re buying for your pooch or cat! If it says “Made in China,” you might want to take a look at what else is available… at least for now!

Stay safe, dog-lovers. On behalf of all our four-legged friends, we thank you!