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Pet Food Contamination Scare

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Photo: Video by IdahoOnYourSide.com

Pet Food Contamination Scare

By Nicole Pineda. CREATED Oct 23, 2013

Since 2007, more than 3600 illnesses and more  than 580 deaths have been linked to contaminated jerky treats. While federal investigatos are looking for contaminated ingredients, nothing obvious is presenting itself.

In the meantime, pet owners are being warned to stay away from pet jerky made in China. And owners should always read labels on pet food and snacks.  It's not just about avoiding illness.

"Treats aren't essential to their diet but they're definately fun to give and pets like to receive them so either make your own treats, or if you get treats from the market make sure you know what the products are in them. Read the labels, make sure you're getting treats made in the U.S," said Kathleen Zann, a veterinarian for All Valley Animal Care Center in Meridian.

"Really what you're doing is giving peace of mind to yourself by feeding a us made product," said Darin Eisenbarth, president of Zamzow's.

"Usually we'll buy local if we do. Like locally, all organic. Those are the ones that we prefer anyways. Like to support our local community, " said dog owner Jesse Dealy.

Eisenbarth says, all of the dog treats at Zamzows are made in America. It was a choice they made a few years ago during the last pet treat scare. And it's a decision they say they have never regretted. Though it cost a little more, sales actually increased.

Vets say you can also offer your dogs carrots or green beans for a natural alternative treat.

If your dog or cat loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive thirst, experts say to contact your veterinarian immediately; especially if you believe it may be in connection to a recent treat. The FDA is asking for blood and urine samples of potentially infected animals, so they can get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible.