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What should I know before feeding dog treats?

Article ID: 621
Last updated: 22 Dec, 2015
Revision: 7
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A number of Australian dogs have suffered from kidney problems after being fed particular pet treats.

The toxin which causes the illness has not been identified and a number of treats from a number of manufacturers could be involved. Researchers have said that it’s difficult to pinpoint the particular treats involved because dog owners often feed several different treat brands to their dogs.

Cases have been associated with some chicken jerky treats, pig’s ears and other porcine products in addition to some chew-type products, mostly but not exclusively of Asian origin.

If you want to feed treats, veterinary researchers advise to use:

  • a small portion of commercial dog food; or
  • an appropriate and safe morsel of human food; or
  • home-made treats prepared under veterinary advice

If you are using commercial treats, then it would be wise to limit these to occasional use, for example, a small treat once or twice a week.

If you are feeding commercial treats and notice your dog showing the following signs/symptoms then you should see your vet as soon as possible:

  • lethargy
  • inappetance
  • increased thirst
  • urinating more frequently

According to research, the illness is normally treatable with most dogs making a recovery if treats are removed from diets completely. But very occasionally more serious illness and death can occur.

The cases seen are mostly in small dogs.

We suggest that you talk to your veterinarian for more information.

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Also listed in
folder Companion animals -> Dogs
folder Companion animals -> Caring for a new pet
folder Companion animals -> Dogs -> Puppies
folder Companion animals -> Dogs -> Basic care and dog health
folder Companion animals -> Dogs -> Feeding
folder Companion animals -> Caring for a new pet -> Your new dog
folder Companion animals -> Pet Food

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