Toxic Dog Treats Linked to Over 900 Sick Pets

Watch out, Nestle Purina! A very angry mob of pet owners is headed to your door — and don’t be surprised if they come with torches and pitchforks. The word on the street is that you are selling tainted dog treats that nearly a thousand pet owners claim have either made their dog seriously ill or killed them outright. I am one of those pet owners.

Just before I went to Europe on a business trip, I bought a bag of Waggin’ Train doggie treats for my family to give to our dog while I was away. Little did I suspect that this thoughtful gesture would nearly kill my sweet dog.

A week into my trip, I get a text from my husband: “Kona is very sick. She has copious amounts of blood coming out both ends! Do you have the number for our vet?” My first thought was that she ate something sharp that punctured her intestines or stomach. Otherwise, why would there be so much blood? The vet, however, said no, this looks more likely to be a parasite or an intestinal infection, maybe acquired from her not-so-charming habit of eating cat poop. She spent two sad days at the vet with an IV drip being rehydrated and given a wallop of antibiotics. When she finally came home, she was better, but not herself for nearly another week. Furthermore, I have been noticing that a month later, she is often panting moderately when she is just inside the house lounging.

As it turns out, Kona was going into kidney failure. This kidney failure, I am now sure, was due to her consumption of the Waggin’ Train chicken jerky. If it hadn’t been for internet news coverage I stumbled upon last night, I would have entirely missed the connection, and the cause of her illness would have remained a mystery. But owner after owner described their dogs’ illness just as my husband did: copious amounts of blood coming out both ends after eating Waggin’ Train chicken jerky.

A Facebook page has even popped up called  Animal Parents Against Pet Treats and Food Made in China where hundreds of pet owners are sharing their stories and calling for a recall of Waggin’ Train. Other brands that have received similar complaints are Canyon Creek Ranch (also produced by Nestle Purina) and Milo’s Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats, made by Del Monte Corp.

With all of this evidence, you would think Nestle Purina would bend over backwards to protect their reputation, but oddly this has not been the case. Instead, they are denying the connection and sending out letters such as this to inquiries from vets and pet owners:

Dear Dr. Haynes,

Thank you for contacting us regarding Waggin’ Train treats. We apologize for the delay in responding.

You are correct – there is not now, and never has been, a recall of Waggin’ Train products. In 2007, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a notice regarding dog illnesses, but was unable to determine a definitive cause of the illnesses or a direct link to chicken jerky products. To date, extensive testing performed by the FDA has not uncovered a contaminant or specific ingredient as the cause of any illness, including in Waggin’ Train treats.

It is widely accepted that any association between dog illnesses and chicken jerky is likely the result of dogs (primarily small dogs) consuming treats in excess of normal or recommended levels. Chicken jerky products should not be substituted for a balanced diet and are intended to be used occasionally, in small quantities. Consumers should read and follow the feeding guidelines found on Waggin’ Train packages.

We have a comprehensive food safety program in place to ensure the safety of our products. We only use high-quality ingredients in our products, and the production facilities are designed and operated to meet U.S. Department of Agriculture standards. We have a dedicated team of quality control experts on the ground in China – in the plants when Waggin’ Train products are being produced. They monitor various steps of the manufacturing process for safety and quality of the product.

The safety and efficacy of our products is our top priority, and consumers can and should continue to feed Waggin’ Train treats with total confidence.


Waggin’ Train

Seriously, this is Nestle Purina’s response?  Rather than initiate a recall just to be on the safe side, they are blaming “irresponsible pet owners” and “over consumption” by small dogs as the problem. First, my dog is not small (she is 60 pounds) and secondly, we feed her two square meals a day.  She is otherwise young and healthy with no known pre-existing conditions.

So, Nestle Purina, you no longer have my business and I just filed a report with the FDA. (See more info regarding chicken jerky treats on the FDA website here.)

We pet owners are fire and brimstone mad not just because you, Nestle Purina, a trusted American brand, are reportedly producing doggie treats in China that are tainted, but that you actually KNOW about the potential harm being done and you are doing nothing to address the problem! So, Nestle Purina, do not be surprised if the next time you open your door, you are greeted by torches and pitchforks — and one very big class action lawsuit.

Petition: Ban All Poisonous Chicken Jerky Treats Imported from China
Dogs Might Be Harmed by Chicken Jerky


Elaine W
Elaine W15 hours ago

Better to make your own at home.

5 years ago

what reputation? it completely fits .. Nestle systematically violates the International Code for the Marketing of Breastfeeding Substitutes (resulting in millions of avoidable infant deaths) and as a result, Nescafe has been the target of a boycott for decades - and their response to all accusations is exactly in the line of their letter regarding the safety of the dogs' treats! I avoid all Nestle products like the plague ..

Jai Hip Green Pet
Jai Aroneseno5 years ago

You can get awesome treats, all yhuman grade, many single ingredient, others limited ingredients from !!!! All USA sourced! I eat all treats I sell, after all they are human food made for pets and Thus healthier than most Human treats and snacks and def. healthier and safer than any other pet treat out there! We're also a social business! Please visit our website and read about us! All and only USA made Green Pet Products! In business for a cause, not just because! Thanks!!

Dianne Lane
Dianne Lane5 years ago

Don't these people know how important our pets are to us? I can answer that... NO ALL THEY THINK OF IS DOLLAR SIGNS!!!!!!

Vicky Pitchford
Vicky P5 years ago

aww, what kind of sick person would want to hurt a dog

Marie W.
Marie W5 years ago

Make your own dogtreats.

John D.
Past Member 5 years ago

Hi again Meg. It seems odd that they'd irradiate against foot and mouth for all treats as some are made of chicken and other fowl and some of the others which have alleged cow or sheep flavour are made, again, of chicken. They seem to be overreacting if this is what they order to be done.

Sorry, can't do much posting, still travelling.

Meg Graham
Meg G5 years ago

Hi John,
If you look further down the post you will see where I got the level from. Yes, the RSPCA say the majority of food is not irradiated but apparently all Asian dog treats that comes into Australia is.
It seems my government does not feel heat treating of solid dog meat style treats is sufficient.
This is is quite understandable of them considering foot and mouth is hard to kill and can be carried in dead meat.
Cheers Meg

John Duqesa
Past Member 5 years ago

Hi again Meg

Very briefly. I asked on my original post where I cited the RSPCA how do you know that the dose of irradiation is 500 times the safe human dose. Furthermore, it still states that the majority of dog food is not irradiated!

Nonetheless, I can empathise with your anxiety. If one of my cats were to fall ill (or worse, die) I'd be inconsolable for weeks. It took me months to get over the disappearance of my beautiful cat Pussy last year. My cats get expensive imported Whiskas, Carrefour own-brand and Royal Canin (there is no domestic production of cat food in Morocco). Their food costs more than mine does in a month - my friends think I'm mad, but I love them and they love me. They get treats too, but these I bring back from the UK with me as they are not available in Morocco.

Meg Graham
Meg G5 years ago

Continued 2 - Hi John D,
I would suggest that Purina consult a psychologist on some better wording with a bit more compassion and understanding. I know that if I was sure it was the treat and I received said letter I would be as angry as Cherise.

By the way the Ibuprofen case and the melamine case have nothing in common. The man from the uk was mentally ill and only looking to feed his ibuprofen addiction and the melamine case was for profit making. Neither of this two things are related. I wasn't aware at the time of posting that comment that melamine had also contaminated pet food in the US, I was only aware of the baby formula. I apologise as I didn't make my point clear, what I was and am trying to indicate is that people have lost trust and their thinking is why can't it happen again.

Well I think that is me done on this subject :-) and I think we will be able to agree on some facts but not on others.

For most people this issue is an emotive one as their pets health and well being are at stack and they will hold onto their beliefs, as I will on irradiation. Until it is proven to me in black and white irradiating dog food and treats is at a safe level and does not cause long term illness or it is labelled so I have a choice I will avoid and voice my concerns regarding Asian produced dog food.

Cheers Meg