Launching this June, Isle of Dogs’ new nourishTM line of health products includes Jerky Bites, sourced in New Zealand and made with humanely-raised meats and all-natural ingredients. Handcrafted in small batches, these simple recipes provide wholesome nutrition in deliciously meaty bite-sized pieces.
We are proud to say our jerky products are of the highest quality and meet the strict food safety standards required by New Zealand, however, many dog owners are wary of trying new jerky treats due to the recent scares that have been reported. Therefore, it’s important your staff know the difference between safe and unsafe jerky products so you can better educate your customers and help keep their pets healthy and happy.
First, what jerky is unsafe?
When jerky products were being identified as the cause of many health scares in 2007 and again in 2011, it was largely due to a contaminated protein source, namely chicken that had been sourced from China, but also included other China-sourced ingredients such as duck, sweet potato, and treats where chicken or duck jerky was wrapped around dried fruits, sweet potatoes or yams. Pet owners reported sickness in their pets after consuming these products and the incidents are still under investigation by the FDA.
So, how do you know what jerky is safe?
Above all, it’s prudent to know where dog food, dog treats and dog jerky are sourced and manufactured. Isle of Dogs sources all of the ingredients for our jerky, including the protein, from New Zealand and monitors ingredient quality and safety every step of the way.
Additionally, manufacturing in small batches keeps the quality high, while giving dogs a tasty, safe jerky treat. Owners should be cautioned--like with all treats--not to overfeed jerky, and for those who are worried about their dogs swallowing the treats whole, break up the pieces or supervise feeding.
What does this mean for the retailer?
For customers who are concerned or cautious about making a jerky purchase, direct them to the FDA’s jerky pet treats consumer updates page, which includes articles and up-to-date information explaining the source of the problem with the chicken and duck jerky, along with steps they’ve been taking to prevent further problems
Education is critical to allay customer worries. Make sure your sales staff is knowledgeable about the issues surrounding jerky safety and can speak to the quality standards set by the responsible producers, like Isle of Dogs, whose product you carry.