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PetSmart Joins Chinese Pet Treat Ban


NEW YORK (AP) — PetSmart is the latest major pet food retailer to say it will stop selling dog and cat treats made in China because of ongoing fears that they are making pets sick.

The company plans to have the treats off all of its store shelves by March 2015.

“This is something we’ve been working toward for some time, and feel it’s the right thing to do for pets and our customers,” said PetSmart spokeswoman Erin Gray.

Investigators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration haven’t been able to prove that treats made in China are making pets ill. But since 2007, it has received more than 4,800 complaints of pet illnesses and more than 1,000 reports of dog deaths after eating Chinese-made chicken, duck or sweet potato jerky treats.

In an update of its investigation last week, the FDA said it found that antiviral drug amantadine in some samples of imported chicken jerky treats sold a year or more ago, but doesn’t think it caused the illnesses. The FDA said it will continue to investigate.

Rival Petco announced on Tuesday that it would remove all Chinese-made treats from its 1,300 stores by the end of this year after shoppers pushed them to do so. The San Diego company said it has been cutting the number of those treats it sells over the past three years.

PetSmart Inc., which is based in Phoenix, owns more than 1,300 stores in North America.

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  • TBonePickens

    Petco gets some credit. Petsmart gets no credit for bandwagon following it’s direct competitor. At least make it seem like you care, instead of just mirroring the competition.

  • 32 MuddyPaws

    Make your own and all these fears and concerns disappear overnight. Here are two of my favorites (because they’re easy, don’t mess up the entire kitchen during prep, and store/freeze very well).

    Sweet Potato/Yam Dog Treats
    - Preheat oven to 250° F.
    - Scrub the sweet potato or yam. No need to peel.
    - Cut it into thin slices (the thinner the slice the shorter the cooking time) and place on a cookie sheet in a single layer.
    - Bake in oven at 250° F for about 3 hours for slightly chewy treats or bake slightly longer to get them crunchy.
    Note: timing will vary according to the thickness of your slices; just keep an eye on them. (If you have a dehydrator, you can certainly use that vs. the oven.)

    Chicken Jerky Treats
    - Preheat oven to 200° F
    - Lightly spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
    - Rinse off chicken breast and remove any fat.
    - Slice the chicken with the grain. This will make the jerky more chewy. The slices should be very thin, about 1/8″ to 1/4″ thickness.
    - Place the strips on the baking sheet.
    - Bake for approximately 2 hours
    - Remove from oven, set on wire rack until completely cool.
    - Cut strips into bite sized pieces.

    They will store in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks (use an airtight container or zipper bag); they also freeze very well for approx. 8 months.