WASHINGTON -- Rewarding your dog with a treat is one of life's little joys but it can also be a fatal mistake.
There have been 600 dog deaths linked to pet jerky treats imported from China but no clue as to what exactly is causing the deaths.
WTOP Dr. Paws, veterinarian Dr. Katy Nelson, says to "watch for decreased appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, vomiting, diarrhea ... even collapse" in your dog.
Her advice is to read the label of all of your dog's foods and if there's any hint that any of it comes from China then chuck it out. But if you suspect your dog is reacting badly to his or her food then "save your bag, save the remaining treats, put them in something that you can even close like a little Ziploc - do a little CSI for the FDA," she says. And then call your vet.
Dr. Nelson thinks Americans should avoid store-bought doggie treats. "Anything in the jerky form, I absolutely would. And especially if it says anything on the back of the bag about being made in China," she says.
But you don't have to stop rewarding Fido altogether. Try making your own treats, Dr. Nelson suggests; that way you know where the ingredients are coming from.
Visit these websites for dog treat recipes: