LAS VEGAS - You may want to think twice before giving your dog a jerky treat. 8 on Your Side has details on a warning by the Food and Drug Administration to pet owners.
The FDA says it suspects 3,600 dogs nationwide may have been poisoned by jerky treats that were made in China and sold in the United States.
The FDA sent a letter to veterinarians to look out for jerky treat poisoning and ask the FDA for help in identifying potential victims.
FDA officials say they are investigating why these treats are poisoning pets. The agency called the outbreak one of the most elusive and mysterious it has ever encountered. The FDA reports 580 animal deaths that may be related to consumption of these treats.
Pet nutritionist Anthony Bennie says until this pet treat mystery is solved, pet owners need to be proactive in protecting their pets by reading labels of every treat they give their animals.
"If an ingredient has a name that's like, you know, this long, and you've never heard of it before, it is either a preservative or a filler that's put into the products to extend it," he said. "It's chemistry as opposed to natural food."
Bennie says the shorter the ingredient list, the better it is for the pet. He recommends avoiding anything with glycerine or propylene glycol in it. He also encourages pet owners to buy treats made in the United States.
Many of these treats are still on store shelves. The FDA hasn't removed them from the market because of inconclusive evidence regarding the danger they present. The FDA is still testing the treats and looking for answers.
If you think your pet has been poisoned by a jerky treat, contact the Food and Drug Administration or call 8 on Your Side at 702-650-1907.