Frequently Asked Questions

We know you might want to know more about how we make these treats and why we’re confident in their quality and safety.

Why were Waggin’ Train products voluntarily withdrawn in January, 2013?

All of us at Nestlé Purina and Waggin’ Train care very deeply about pets and pet owners, and the quality and safety of our products are our top priorities. We voluntarily withdrew all of our Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch dog treats on Jan. 9, 2013, after the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets (NYSDAM) advised us that they found trace amounts of antibiotic residue in a limited number of samples of our chicken jerky dog treats. FDA confirmed these trace amounts of antibiotic residue never posed a health or safety risk to pets. These antibiotics were approved for use in poultry in China and other major countries, including European Union member states, but were not among those approved in the U.S. for poultry. Antibiotics are commonly used globally, including in the United States, to keep flocks and herds healthy when raising animals fit for human consumption. Due to variances in regulatory requirements among countries, Purina decided to withdraw these products. The health of pets and the relationship of trust we have with pet owners are critically important to us.

How are you protecting against the antibiotics that led to the brand’s 2013 voluntary withdrawal?

Waggin’ Train now has greater control over our entire supply chain – from egg to treat. For our China sourced products, we test each lot of our Chicken Jerky Tenders dog treats for many things, including antibiotics to ensure we meet all U.S. requirements.

What antibiotics were found in chicken jerky treats in January, 2013?

According to New York State Department of Agriculture and markets (NYSDAM), the trace amounts of residual antibiotics included:

  • sulfaclozine
  • tilmicosin
  • trimethoprim
  • enrofloxacin
  • sulfamethoxazole
  • sulfaquinoxaline
  • These antibiotics are approved for use in poultry in China and other major countries, including European Union member states, but are not among those approved for poultry in the United States.
  • Antibiotics are commonly used globally, including in the United States, when raising animals fit for human consumption. 
  • The trace amounts of antibiotic residue (in the parts-per-billion range) did not pose a health or safety risk for pets. 
  • In fact, in its January 9, 2013, update, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Center for Veterinary Medicine (FDA/CVM) stated that “FDA/CVM is confident that the NYSDAM results do not raise health concerns.”
  • It’s important to note that there is no indication that the trace amounts of antibiotic residue are linked to FDA’s ongoing investigation of chicken jerky dog treat products.

Is irradiation safe?

Yes. Irradiation is a safe and effective process for both human and pet food. Waggin’ Train brand products that reflect the Radura symbol go through an irradiation process and level approved for pet food by the FDA. This is similar to the process used to stabilize spices, apples, tomatoes and meat for human food. Products coming from China must spend many weeks in transit. This extra precaution is taken to assure pet owners the treats they buy are safe.

Does Waggin’ Train test finished product samples of chicken jerky treats?

Yes. Waggin’ Train has a comprehensive food safety program for production of our dog treats. As part of that program Waggin’ Train dog treats are extensively tested, including for Salmonella, melamine, di-ethylene glycol, and antibiotics. Other routine testing includes analysis for heavy metals, mycotoxins and pesticides.

What does “100% Real” on the package mean?

“100% Real” communicates that Waggin’ Train treats are made with real, simple ingredients -– like real chicken and, for Jerky Duos, real U.S-sourced sweet potatoes.

Why do Smoky Jerky Snacks say “All Natural,” but Chicken Jerky Tenders and Jerky Duos don’t? And why don’t Jerky Duos say “No artificial colors”?

Because each treat variety is made differently, they make different packaging claims. For example, our Chicken Jerky Tenders are irradiated for freshness and quality, so we don’t use the “All Natural” language. And, the collagen casings used with our Jerky Duos contain a very small amount of added coloring, so we don’t make an “All Natural” or “No artificial colors” claim.

What new dog treats is Waggin’ Train introducing in 2014, and where are they made?

In 2014, Waggin’ Train is giving consumers a choice, with chicken jerky dog treats made in China and treats made in the U.S., all of which are quality-tested and safe to feed as directed:

  • New Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders are made with real white meat chicken in China, where we now source our chicken exclusively from a single, trusted chicken supplier, which is part of a U.S. based company. In China, the dark meat chicken is preferred for human food production, so the quality white meat chicken is available for our jerky dog treats.
  • New Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Duos and Waggin’ Train Smoky Jerky Snacks are made in the U.S. with chicken sourced exclusively in the U.S. from a single, trusted chicken supplier. products

What changes have you made with the new Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders made in China?

Waggin’ Train has worked hard to strengthen our already strict quality controls throughout the production process, from egg to finished treat. We’re confident that the following enhancements will ensure the quality and safety of every Waggin’ Train treat:

  1. CHICKEN SOURCED EXCLUSIVELY FROM ONE SINGLE, TRUSTED SUPPLIER: We now source all of our chicken from just one trusted supplier in China. This is important, because sourcing exclusively from a single chicken supplier means greater control over all aspects of the chicken supply, including how the chickens are fed, raised and processed. 
  2. STRICT QUALITY CONTROLS SUPERVISED BY OUR OWN QUALITY INSPECTORS: We’ve also strengthened our already strict quality controls throughout the production process.  For example, we now exclusively partner with one trusted manufacturer to make these treats, in facilities where we have our own quality inspectors on the premises throughout the entire production process.  Our treats are quality-checked at each step and quality-monitored under a comprehensive food safety program designed to prevent potential quality issues before they can occur. We’re confident we have the best quality program in the industry, and we know of no other chicken jerky manufacturer in China that has the controls we have.
  3. ENHANCED PRODUCT TESTING: Purina has further enhanced our product testing. We test each batch of our Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders for Salmonella, melamine, di-ethylene glycol and antibiotics. Additional routine testing includes assessing for heavy metals and mycotoxins. For example, our enhanced monitoring and surveillance program tests for more than 45 antibiotics and more than 100 pesticides to ensure we meet all U.S. requirements. View Product Testing Chart
  4. BACKED BY PURINA: All Waggin’ Train treats are backed by Purina — the name pet owners have trusted for quality pet care products for more than 85 years. We’ve added the Purina logo to every package as a sign of our confidence in the quality and safety of our treats. 

How are you ensuring quality and safety with the new Waggin’ Train treats made in the U.S.?

Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Duos and Smoky Jerky Snacks are new varieties made in the U.S. Our single, trusted U.S. manufacturer adheres to strict quality standards that meet or exceed all U.S. requirements.

  1. EXCLUSIVE CHICKEN SOURCING: We source all of our chicken from just one trusted ingredient supplier in the U.S. This is important, because sourcing exclusively from one supplier means greater control over all aspects of the chicken supply. 
  2. STRICT QUALITY CONTROLS: Our treats are quality-checked at each step and quality-monitored under a comprehensive food safety program designed to prevent potential quality issues before they can occur. We’re confident we have the best quality program in the industry.
  3. ENHANCED PRODUCT TESTING: Purina has further enhanced our product testing.  We test our Jerky Duos and Smoky Jerky Snacks for Salmonella, melamine and antibiotics. We have a rigorous evaluation and sampling program for all raw materials used in our products and have quality assurance specialists at each producing facility who are trained to sample and/or analyze incoming ingredients. View Product Testing Chart
  4. BACKED BY PURINA: All Waggin’ Train treats are backed by Purina—the name pet owners have trusted for quality pet care products for more than 85 years. We’ve added the Purina logo to every package as a sign of our confidence in the quality and safety of our treats. 

How are Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders made?

From start to finish, we’re confident we have the highest quality controls in the treats industry: 

  • First, Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders start with real white meat chicken raised for human food production from a single, trusted chicken supplier in China, that’s part of a U.S.-based company.  In China, the dark meat chicken is preferred for human food production, so we are able to source the quality white meat in the quantities we require to make our Chicken Jerky Tenders.   
  • Next, we maintain strict quality controls throughout the entire manufacturing process.   The sliced white meat chicken tenders are placed on drying racks and slow-cooked over many hours in large ovens.  During the drying process, the treats go through a heat treatment stage that’s important to ensuring quality.  The tenders are then cooled before passing through a metal detection stage and packed immediately into heat-sealed air-tight bags. 
  • Our treats are quality-checked at every step as part of a comprehensive food safety program.  This includes having our own quality inspectors on the premises throughout the entire manufacturing process.   Because we have the highest quality controls in the treats industry, you can be confident in the quality of our treats. 
  • Our strict product monitoring and surveillance program helps ensure the highest quality standards are met.  We have a rigorous evaluation and sampling program for all raw ingredients used in our products, and we have quality assurance specialists at the manufacturing facility who are trained to sample and analyze incoming ingredients.  We test our treats for Salmonella, melamine, and antibiotics, to make sure our treats meet all U.S. standards, and our own high quality standards.

Why is Waggin’ Train re-launching chicken jerky dog treats after voluntarily withdrawing them from the market?

We’ve heard from thousands of consumers who want Waggin’ Train chicken jerky dog treats for their dogs. We’ve worked very hard over the past year to strengthen our already strict quality control measures to ensure Waggin’ Train treats meet Purina’s high standards. As we said back in January 2013, we planned to re-introduce products once we determined the best way to address the regulatory inconsistencies between countries that led to the voluntary withdrawal.

If some of the Waggin’ Train treats are made in the U.S., why can’t they all be made in the U.S.?

In the U.S., white meat chicken is more popular with consumers, resulting in limited supplies to meet the needs of making our dog treats. In China, dark meat chicken is more popular with consumers than white meat chicken, and so the supply of quality, white meat chicken used in our products is more readily available for these dog treats.

What has the FDA said about chicken jerky dog treats?

Over the past several years, FDA has issued several communications about chicken jerky dog treats, including results of extensive testing on chicken jerky treats made in China. Their investigation is in response to reports by some pet owners who believe their pets became ill or died after consuming jerky dog treats. FDA has consistently stated, “To date, testing for contaminants in jerky pet treats has not revealed a cause for the illnesses.”

The FDA notice also includes a reminder that dog treats should be fed as treats, not as a pet’s sole source of nutrition. Waggin’ Train continues to work with FDA and supports the agency’s efforts to help ensure the quality and safety of U.S. pet products. Following is a link to the most recent FDA update on chicken jerky treats: http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm371450.htm

The FDA also states its extensive testing includes tests for salmonella, heavy and trace metals or elements, markers of irradiation level, pesticides, antibiotics (both approved and unapproved), molds and mycotoxins, rodenticides, nephrotoxins (such as aristolochic acid, maleic acid, paraquat, ethylene glycol, diethylene glycol, toxic hydrocarbons, melamine and related triazines), and other chemicals and poisonous compounds.

What does the AVMA say about chicken jerky dog treats?

The American Veterinary Medical Association website includes the following statement about chicken jerky dog treats: “It is up to you to decide whether or not you will feed your dog chicken jerky treats. If you choose to do so, we recommend that you feed them in small quantities and only on occasion. This is especially important for small-breed dogs.” The Oct. 22 FDA communication also included a “Dear Veterinarian” request for assistance from the veterinary community in gathering factual data to assist in their investigation. Purina welcomes the opportunity to work with the veterinary community to answer any questions about our products and how we work to ensure the quality and safety of all of our products.

Why are Waggin’ Train products made in China irradiated but those made in the U.S. are not?

All Waggin’ Train products go through many strict product quality steps based on a thorough food safety risk assessment. Products coming from China spend several weeks in transit. Irradiation is an extra step taken to ensure product quality.

What are the Nutrient Analysis, Calories and Ingredients of each new Waggin’ Train treat?

WAGGIN’ TRAIN CHICKEN JERKY TENDERS
Treats for adult dogs 5lbs and over

GUARANTEED ANALYSIS:
Crude Protein (Min) 65.0%
Crude Fat (Min) 1.0%
Crude Fiber (Max) 1.0%
Moisture (Max) 16.0%

INGREDIENTS: Chicken breast, vegetable glycerin.

CALORIE CONTENT (calculated):
2989 kcal/kg
45 kcal/piece

WAGGIN’ TRAIN SMOKY JERKY TREATS
made with real chicken & a hint of brown sugar
Treats for adult dogs 11 lbs & over

GUARANTEED ANALYSIS:
Crude Protein (Min) 32.0%
Crude Fat (Min) 16.0%
Crude Fiber (Max) 1.5%
Moisture (Max) 16.0%

INGREDIENTS: Chicken, brown sugar, salt, glycerin, natural smoke flavor, mixed-tocopherols (a preservative).

CALORIE CONTENT (calculated):
3599 kcal/kg
63 kcal/piece

WAGGIN’ TRAIN JERKY DUOS
made with real chicken and sweet potatoes
Treats for adult dogs 5 lbs & over

GUARANTEED ANALYSIS:
Crude Protein (Min) 17.0%
Crude Fat (Min) 8.0%
Crude Fiber (Max) 3.5%
Moisture (Max) 16.0%

INGREDIENTS: Chicken, sweet potatoes, brown sugar, salt, glycerin, natural smoke flavor, mixed-tocopherols (a preservative).

CALORIE CONTENT (calculated):
3298 kcal/kg
40 kcal/piece

What are the feeding guidelines for Waggin’ Train treats?

Waggin’ Train treats are just that – treats - and should be fed according to a dog’s weight, using the treating guidelines on each package. Keep in mind that treats are not a complete and balanced food, and should not be fed as a replacement for a balanced diet that includes dog food. Dogs also should get plenty of fresh, clean water every day. Below is the maximum recommended number of treats for a dog per day. This is based on a maximum of 10 percent of the daily calorie needs for an average dog.

  • Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders
    (not recommended for puppies or adult dogs under 5 pounds)
    • 5 to 10 pounds – ½ treat
    • 11 to 20 pounds – 1 treat
    • 21 to 40 pounds – 2 treats
    • Over 40 pounds – 3 treats
  • Waggin’ Train Jerky Duos
    (not recommended for puppies or adult dogs under 5 pounds)
    • 5 to 10 pounds – ½ treat over 2 days
    • 11 to 20 pounds – 1 treat
    • 21 to 40 pounds – 2 treats
    • Over 40 pounds – 3 treats
  • Waggin’ Train Smoky Jerky Snacks
    (not recommended for puppies or adult dogs under 11 pounds)
    • 11 to 25 pounds – ½ treat
    • 26 to 60 pounds – 1 treat
    • Over 60 pounds – 2 treats

Why does the front of the package for Chicken Jerky Tenders and Jerky Duos now say the treats should only be fed to Adult Dogs 5 lbs. & Over?

Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders and Jerky Duos are treats, and should be fed according to a dog’s weight, using the treating guidelines on each package. The packaging change makes the feeding instructions clearer and helps consumers make appropriate treating choices for their pets. The recommended caloric intake from treats is not to exceed 10 percent of a dog’s total daily caloric requirements. Feeding these treats to puppies and adult dogs weighing less than 5 pounds could result in exceeding that 10 percent recommendation.

Why does the front of the package for Smoky Jerky Snacks now say the treats should only be fed to Adult Dogs 11 lbs. & Over?

Waggin’ Train Smoky Jerky Snacks are treats, and should be fed according to a dog’s weight, using the treating guidelines on each package. The packaging change makes the feeding instructions clearer and helps consumers make appropriate treating choices for their pets. The recommended caloric intake from treats is not to exceed 10 percent of a dog’s total daily caloric requirements. Feeding these treats to puppies and adult dogs weighing less than 11 pounds could result in exceeding that 10 percent recommendation.

Can these treats be used in place of dog food from time to time?

No. Treats should not be fed in place of a complete and balanced diet. Always follow the treating guidelines on the package to ensure that dogs eat only the proper amount of treats each day.