Dogswell Recalls Dog and Cat Jerky Treats


July 26, 2013 — Arthur Dogswell LLC has today announced it is voluntarily withdrawing certain Dogswell and Catswell brand duck or chicken jerky treats with a “Best Before” date of January 28th, 2015 (or any earlier date).
Dogswell Logo
The vast majority of these products were distributed via retail stores and mail order companies before March 1st, 2013.

These products may contain trace amounts of an antibiotic residue that has not been approved for use in the United States.

According to a letter posted by Dogswell, the affected jerky treats were made in China.

There is no evidence that products containing trace amounts of this antibiotic pose a health risk for pets or humans.

The company is taking this action after learning this week that the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) found trace amounts of the additive during a routine product sampling.

Antibiotics are commonly used, both in the USA and other markets, when raising animals fit for human consumption. And the antibiotic in question is accepted for use in poultry in other parts of the world.

What’s Being Recalled?

The withdrawn products include Chicken Breast and Duck Breast jerky marketed under the following brand names:

  • Breathies
  • Happy Heart
  • Happy Hips
  • Mellow Mut
  • Shape Up
  • Veggie Life
  • Vitality
  • Vitakitty

The affected products contain a “Best Before” (or earlier) date of January 28th, 2015. No other products are affected.

Additionally, Chicken Breast and Duck Breast jerky products with a “Best Before” date of January 29th, 2015 and later have been fully tested for these antibiotics and are not affected.

The “Best Before” date can be found stamped in black ink on the back of the package on the bottom right hand side.

Company Statement

According to company spokesperson, Brad Armistead…

“We encourage our customers to reach out to us with any questions about this withdrawal.

“It is important for consumers to know that all Dogswell and Catswell products remaining on the market are safe for dogs and cats to consume and enjoy as directed.

“Since January, the company has been using state-of-the-art testing procedures to ensure that our chicken and duck products do not contain these unapproved antibiotics.”

What to Do?

In the event a consumer is in possession of any of the affected products, he or she should contact Dogswell to arrange for a full refund by calling 1-888-559-8833 from 8 AM to 5 PM PT, Monday through Friday.

You can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to

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  • Belinda Skala Joyce

    I agree with everything you daid except I know this product killed my Wolfy. We were feeding them Wellness Core (which is USA made) but after learning all our dogs had high liver enzymes I panicked. The Vet said it was something the dogs consumed, not the cats, since there labs were normal. So we switched to Merrick.
    He died July 7th, then we saw the July 26th recall. Before going on vacation we bought 2 bags of the Happy Hips in JUNE. I remember it was BOGO 1/2 off. He ate almost a full bag that week.
    When I saw the recall I checked the pantry and still had 1/2 bag. It had the recalled Best Before Date of Jan 28, 2015. I was so upset because I was still giving my other dogs those treats even after Wolfy died. I was poisoning them and didn’t know it.
    We bought a dehydrator and make our own now. And I have quit feeding Merrick since Nestlé bought them. Feeding Stewarts now.

  • bob long

    Sorry for your loss, but you don’t know what killed your dog. 90 percent of all dog food sources the cheapest fillers in the universe, which is China. They are so cheap to get the best return on investment the by products are sought not from American slaughter houses but overseas, by the shipping container load. China has no regulation on what they use to keep animal stock alive and quickly fattened for slaughter. A new bacteria, immune from all known antibiotics has emerged from China for this very reason. America is not far behind them pushing GMO foods, force growing Chicken, Poultry, Beef, and Pig under horrible conditions. This is a World wide epidemic of humanity as inhumane as it ever was. You care about you German Shepherd’s death and suffering, and it’s horrible. It just points to companies like Nestle and Proctor and Gamble who care not for anything or anyone but the bottom line. The bags the food come in with advertising cost more than the product. There are zero laws to prevent any dog/cat food supplier from straight lying to the public. The only reason the FDA does anything is because there is a potential to poison more than just your pet.

  • Belinda Skala Joyce

    My German Shepherd Wolfy died unexpectedly July 7th 2013. We didn’t know why. Took all our dogs and cats to the vet afterwards for labs. All the dogs had high liver enzymes but the cats were fine. We thought it was the food. Then we saw this recall. All the dogs ate the treats but Wolfy was addicted to chicken jerky and bugged you all the time for a treat. We were on vacation and my adult son thought he was spoiling Wolfy by giving him extra treats. I have never been so devasted about losing a pet. He was my baby. This company killed him and I hope their owner and CEO suffer a more horrible death than my Wolfy.

  • Belinda Skala Joyce

    The same thing happened to my German Shepherd Wolfy. He died unexpectedly July 7th 2013. We didn’t know why. Took all our dogs and cats to the vet afterwards for labs. All the dogs had high liver enzymes but the cats were fine. We thought it was the food. Then we saw this recall. All the dogs ate the treats but Wolfy was addicted to chicken jerky and bugged you all the time for a treat. We were on vacation and my adult son thought he was spoiling Wolfy by giving him extra treats.

  • gregsmalley

    I’ve recently looked and have not found reports specific to Dogswell lamb & rice jerky causing problems. However, this Dogswell product was also manufactured in China and has since been discontinued. Once FDA concludes its “investigation” perhaps more product-specific info will be released:

  • Angie JF

    I just discovered this as I was searching for something that could have made my dog so sick this past weekend. The vet is treating him for giardia and/or samonella poisoning. I am so disheartened to learn that it could be something I fed him in good faith. I bought a brand new bag Friday evening. Saturday he threw up and developed uncontrollable bloody diarrhea. I feel so bad and hope he recovers. He is getting better. Never again.

  • Good things that they have put the effort of withdrawing their products. I hope no pet dogs are harmed before the withdrawal.

  • theBCnut

    I need to surround myself with people who know all these little tricks!

  • Pat C.


  • Beth Ann Dazet

    ummm…I just found out about this! I was giving my cat the happy hips jerky treats and several of these other brands regularly! I thought I was giving him something healthy and good! he would get sinus infections/eye infections and now has upper respiratory. I feel really upset and sad about this! what am I to do?

  • Dan Creviston

    My dog broke out in hives after eating this treat. I am still not positive if it is the treat that caused the break out, but it is the only thing that made sense. She had the “Happy Hips” (blue and white bag).

  • Lexy Brock

    My dogs both threw up tonight after eating 1 happy hips duck jerky each.
    Best before 08012015.
    They have had these before without issue.
    Hate to say it but I’m done with these treats just not worth the risk.

  • Kelly Williams

    Have there been any published reports of problems with the Dogswell LAMB AND RICE jerky w/glucosamine and chondroitin? Or have all negative issues pertained strictly to the chicken and duck jerky?

  • Tarinn Saffratta

    It sickens me to see the american flag on the happy hips dog treats i’m holding in my hand, I trusted and I should ashamed for trusting

  • Debbie H.

    My husband just bought some fo the Dogswell Happy Hips chicken treats for our dogs. He bought them at Target and I found them at Amazon at a better price. After I read the reviews and discovered these were made in China I decided not to buy the “value” bag from Amazon. One of the many wonderful things we have here in the USA is freedom of speech and choice. I made this decision because I don’t want to ingest anything “Made In China” so why would I want my dogs to ingest it. Once my husband bought some shirts, wore them to work before they were washed (this in not usual for either one of us not to wash new clothing items) and he made one huge mistake. He had never, ever left work but the shirts had broken him out so badly he felt like he was on fire. Guess where the shirts were made….lol If Dogswell cared more about selling safe products for dogs and cats than they did abou the big bucks; perhaps they would have their products made in the USA. Their profit margins are a lot more if they make them in China and charge Americna dollars.

  • bweeps

    Stormy just because it’s made in the USAv doesn’t mean it’s always safe. Innovas made in America but got recalled 3 times last year due to Salmonella contamination.

  • Crazy4cats

    That’s awful. I don’t think I will ever buy any type of jerky ever again for my pups.

  • Guest

    yesterday my healthy dog had seizures and the Vet is blaming the chicken jerky from Dogswell! They are wrong to say their treats are SAFE

  • Tyuhgfds

    They moeck around the cloeck and bloeck

  • Tyuhgfds

    Miekea is a goate in his whytew coaty

  • Tyuhgfds

    They mmmockk around the clockkk and bblock

  • Bea

    How about TopChews chicken jerky fillets? Anybody know if this a safe treat. I purchased this bag at Costco and the bag says made in USA and then on the bag it states real American chicken.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hey Stormy, thats great, but don’t forget that “Made in USA” doesn’t mean SOURCED in USA. Please check with the manufacturer to find out where their ingredients are sourced from. 🙂

  • Stormy

    I never give my dogs anything made in China.
    USA only!

  • Crazy4cats

    Very sad-
    I’m very sad to hear your story. I hope they get this issue figured out soon. Take care.

  • very sad

    My dog just died on Monday from Breathies chicken breast strips. This was the only new product that she ate. She has never been sick, not once and she was 11 yrs. old. I called Dogswell and they did let me know that these treats are very high in crude protein. While stated on the package, there is nothing on the front alerting the consumer. 60% crude protein, compared to milk bones 15%. Not sure if it was the high protein content or the fact that is comes from China, but my dog died before my vet could run any test on her. She vomited one night and the next morning she died, when the vet took her temperature it was so low that he couldn’t get a reading & while taking the thermometer out she had severe rectal bleeding. I would not take a chance with these treats, purchased at Whole Foods and the date on the package did not fall into the dates of the recall!!

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi john_boy07,

    I think that’s one of the great things about rotation feeding. You can splurge a bit sometimes if you’re also rotating in some more affordable foods too.

    I do think Orijen is a very high quality product. I used to use it, but can’t anymore since the formula change. My crew doesn’t do well on chickpeas on lentils.

  • john_boy07

    I contacted them quite some time ago because I noticed that the treats were outsourced. I also feed the Nutrisca so I definitely wanted to check. In their response, they told me that only their treats are sourced from China, while the ingredients of their food is not. To me this doesn’t make sense at all! The food has done great for my boxer and I continue to use it, although it’s not all the time since I do rotation and also feed Orijen as often as possible. Anyone familiar with Orijen knows that although Orijen is an amazing food, it gets quite expensive lol

  • shomelabs

    It’s made in the US, but the ingredients are imported

    from China.

  • richard read

    I now cook for my dog.
    She gets a leaf of kale, or a handful of arugula, ten or twelve baby carrots, four oz. of organic
    chicken breast or the same amount of lean chopped meat, simmered in water (removes the fat) a vitamin pill, tossed into the blender
    and she loves it, at twelve yrs. she as active
    (almost) as she was when she was a puppy.I
    began doing this after the melamine scare.
    Screw China!!!! I won’t buy any thing made there.

  • ssazma

    My dog suddenly died on July 18th, just one week prior to them “withdrawing” their product. I regularly bought Happy hips for my German Shepherd. I am just sickened that this could have been prevented.

  • Linda Lovelush

    Our government is screwing us over, bigtime. Little by little, one by one.

  • Linda Lovelush

    Yep and the USDA approved processed chicken being imported to the U.S. from China, saying it’s safe. Yet they’re recalling dog food because of tainted chicken products (or ingredients that go into the chicken) and China has regular outbreaks of bird flu. Where’s the logic?

  • Sugar

    You are right. There is a difference between made in America and sourced in America. The product can state ‘made in America’ but all or a portion can be sourced in China. Same goes for frozen vegetables, if they are mixed or if the fish is a finished product it can be misleading. So when a company says ‘made in America’ it is a good idea to ask them where the ingredients are from.
    Dogswell dog food contains ingredients from China as well. A lot of dog food companies also use vitamins ‘made in America’ but some of them are still sourced in China.

  • Disgustedwithadmin1

    I heard on the news a couple of days ago that 600 dogs have died recently from chicken jerky treats made in China. I would not buy any jerky treats or dog food made in China….months back there was the melamine scare in food from China, and now this. Something tells me this is intentional.

  • Disgustedwithadmin1

    So when you see made in America you can’t trust that it was truly made here – so not only is China taking all of our manufacturing jobs, but the FDA and our own government is allowing them to deceive American consumers. This is truly sad.

  • Disgustedwithadmin1

    If look at it this way – if they weren’t doing something questionable in the China plants, why wouldn’t they let US inspectors in to inspect?? I say BOYCOTT all made in China pet food and treats.

  • Garrison

    Not to be insensitive, but I find it strange that the poster seems to have no issue reading everyone else’s comments which are not in all caps.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Garrison,

    You probably didn’t see in one of Laurie’s original posts that she explained she has severe vision issues and she has to use all caps when she’s posting. Thanks for your patience! : )

  • Garrison

    Turn off your Caps Lock!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Crazy4cats

    Well, according to the article above, your package should be fine because the best buy date is after January 28, 2015. But, I’m a little leary of any jerky treats right now. Especially companies that source the meat from China. Sounds like you are not going to feel comfortable feeding them anyway. So you should probably just take them back if you can. Take care.

  • Cyndi

    I wouldn’t risk it, if I were you. I wouldn’t buy any jerky treats at all. Make your own if you have to feed them to your dog. I would take it back to the store you bought it and get your money back.

  • Cindy

    Ok…so I just (10/31/13) purchased a $15 bag of DOGSWELL – Vitlality Chicken Breast (jerky). The date of expiration 5/5/2015. The above notification was put out in July of this year….SO, did the company recall all of the packages off the shelf..or simply continue to let us purchase them? Toss…ot not to toss – that is the question.

  • Cyndi

    I apologized to a different comment of yours, for making the comment I did. I do sincerely apologize. If I had known your reason for typing in all caps, I certainly wouldn’t have said what I did.

  • Cyndi

    I apologize for my post below Laurie!

  • Cyndi

    I posted that comment a few weeks BEFORE she posted that, so get off MY case!

  • mtngirl

    I have found almost all jerky treats are made in China. I have found a few that were made in Mexico, Brazil, and Paraguay. I was told these were OK because US inspectors are allowed in those plants but not the ones in China. Don’t know if that is true or not. If someone knows if this is true or not, I’d be interested in knowing.

  • Linda Lovelush

    I did a little research and discovered that when a product says “made in America” it can simply mean it was *assembled* in America, but doesn’t necessarily contain all American-made ingredients. Nice, huh?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Um, sorry, but that was not her first post. Nobody said anything further after she explained, except to suggest to her what else she could try. You, on the other hand, have brought this up again 3 months later to blast people about something that they had no way of knowing. Not nice.

  • rob

    Same with you with you. I can’t stand people that are mien.That’s why i have animals.People suck!!!

  • rob

    If you would read Her first post she said she’s going blind, So get of Laurie’s case. People!! I

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Dogswell makes some stuff in the US but last I knew all their jerky treats were made in China.

  • Sheila Kotze

    There is NOTHING on the package that says anything about CHINA!. It says made in America and the tiny writing on the very bottom says distributed by Arthur Dogswell.. Olympic Blvd. Los Angeles.. ??????
    BTW I’m looking a the Happy Hips Duck Jerky Strips. Best by 08/07/15


    Thanks you C.A. A prayer for you Laurie. You are right, we may all be in your situation one day. The Lord will get you through this. Ad Dei Gloriam



  • J

    I would definitely throw it out. My puppy had a bag of each of the duck and chicken strips. He had horrible gastrointestinal upset for days. I didn’t know it was the treats, so when he felt better after days of eating only boiled rice and meat, I gave him another of the duck or chicken strips. Again he became horribly ill. The ‘best before’ dates on the bags was March 2015.

    Now he gets only frozen vegetables as treats.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I’ll be the first to say that I had a hard time following Laurie’s post, but I didn’t see where she wished sickness on anyone at all. Are you sure you read that right?

  • Lin


    not cool to wish sickness on other people when we do the same thing in the USA to every type of animal we consume.

    take a look at videos of cattle farms, or pig farms, in the USA sometime. If you want to talk cruelty to animals, there’s plenty of it here, so it’s ignorant and asinine to single out other cultures just because it’s culturally acceptable there to eat what we keep as pets here. Cows are sacred in India, that doesn’t keep some cattle farms in the US from keeping cows in horrific conditions. There are also accounts of cutting off pigs’ tails. Or snipping off the ends of chickens’ beaks so they don’t peck each other in their tiny, awful wire cages. We also brand and castrate some livestock without anesthesia. Just because we do these things to animals that aren’t cats or dogs doesn’t make us better than they are. Additionally, do you know how sick some of our cattle are? They’re diseased, and we eat them. By your logic, we should all be sick too for keeping our own livestock in terrible conditions and consuming them. Look up growth hormones, or the amount of antibiotics we pump into animals, or look at the recent video that went viral of a forklift moving horribly sad cattle on a meat farm. HERE IN OUR COUNTRY,

    As for whether or not an organism gets sick from eating whatever you’re feeding them– just because your dog is fine now, and because he loves eating them, doesn’t mean he’s unaffected. Look up bioaccumulates. It’s like DDT, it takes a period of time until it accumulates in the tissues to affect the animal consuming it.

    In the 1950s, there was trash, but not the same level of toxins we use and throw out now. The household cleaners we have now are completely different, with new chemical compounds that weren’t invented in the 1950s– and also, if dogs were dying from eating garbage in the 1950s, it could’ve been we just didn’t hear about it because nobody cared the feral dogs were getting off the streets, or they went and died in the woods, or you didn’t hear about it because we didn’t have the level of media and information sharing that we have now.

  • Sue K

    more chinese junk!


    I found my dog will even eat plain lettuce if you give him the crunchy spines, that part I remove from my salad anyways.


    ahha you must be the dogswell CEO with all the damage control you are doing.

  • Linda

    I have bought these jerkies from China, not realizing it until I get home and have reading glasses on because they put that so tiny on the bottom of package while their company from US is in big enough letters to read!!