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Dog owners claim treats are making pups violently sick — and could have killed one pet

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A pet food maker with a history of recalling contaminated products is being accused of sickening a whole lot of pets — and the recent death of a beloved Pekingese, The Post has learned.

DreamBone’s line of chews, that are made by $3 billion conglomerate Spectrum Brands Holdings, has come under fire from pet owners on message boards and from food and safety watchdogs.

One grieving owner, Liz Brannen, blames DreamBone Twists for causing her Pekingese, Boogie, to suffer an agonizing death on Dec. 11.

Boogie began vomiting and having bloody diarrhea shortly after eating the treat. Inside 24 hours she was gone, the tearful owner told The Post. 

“She was screaming at the tip and in such pain, but she was perfectly normal the day before,” Brannen said. “It really bothers me that an organization would sell something that may kill dogs.” 

The Bellville, Texas, resident quickly learned that she’s not the one heartbroken pet owner with a beef against DreamBone chews, that are sold by major retailers including Walmart, Goal and Chewy.

Boogie ate a DreamBone chew on Dec. 10 and have become violently sick afterwards, which her owner Liz Bannen claims resulted within the dog’s death the following day. Liz Brannen

Complaints about DreamBone span nearly a decade, but they began to spike over the past several months on Safelyhq.com, a site that tracks consumer health and questions of safety.

This yr alone, there have been 70 DreamBone complaints on the location, nearly twice as many as in 2021, with most pouring in since October.

“The recent surge in reports mentioning DreamBone dog treats is particularly concerning to us,” Safetyhq’s founder Patrick Quade told The Post. “It is a large outlier in our data, by way of the variety of reports and the severity of harm caused.”

The Food and Drug Administration can be fielding reports from concerned pet owners, the agency told The Post.

“The FDA has received several dozen complaints related to DreamBone,” a spokesperson said in a press release. “We’re continuing to look into these complaints, but we will’t reply to each individual case.” 

Last yr, the agency sent a warning letter to Midwestern Pet Foods after the corporate’s product was linked to 130 dog deaths and a whole lot of sick dogs. And in 2020, the agency recalled pet food from one other brand made by Midwestern Pet Foods, called Sportmix, after a minimum of 28 dogs died from products with high levels of toxic mold. Spectrum Brands just isn’t affiliated with Midwestern Pet Foods.

DreamBone is mentioned in a whole lot of posts on web pages, including Amazon, blogs and social media platforms like Reddit from distraught customers whose dogs allegedly became sick or died after being given the treat.

Boggie and Liz Brannen.Boogie and her owner Liz Brannen.Liz Brannen

The Middletown, Wis.-based company owns such disparate brands as Cutter bug repellent, Remington grooming products and Black + Decker appliances, but nearly all of its product recalls are inside its pet care division.

Publicly held Spectrum Brands didn’t reply to quite a few emails and calls to senior executives. 

Spectrum Brands recalled rawhide dog chew products in 2017 after it discovered that a supplier in Brazil had been using an “ammonium compound” chemical that’s “approved for cleansing food processing equipment” in its rawhide products, in line with the corporate’s website.

Spectrum acknowledged that dogs may experience “gastric irritation, including diarrhea and vomiting” after eating the raw hides – including such brands as Digest-eeze and Healthy Hide – and might have treatment by a veterinarian “depending on the severity.”

The corporate acquired the troubled DreamBone brand in 2017 from Recent Jersey-based Petmatrix. The chews are manufactured abroad in Vietnam, Mexico and China and are marketed as “rawhide free” and “highly digestible.” 

A package of DreamBone Twists.The package that Liz Brannen bought for her dog.Liz Brannen

A yr before the acquisition, Petmatrix was slapped with a proposed class-action lawsuit from a dog owner whose pooch needed surgery after he ate a DreamBone. The criticism alleged that its ingredients were “indigestible” and included a “great amount” of Soribtol, which is “widely characterised and classified, including by the FDA, as an indigestible sugar alcohol, and is used as a laxative.”

After the plaintiff’s dog, Maxie, had been given a DreamBone he began vomiting and had “bloody discharge from his rectum,” in line with the criticism. Maxie underwent surgery to remove “a big piece of a dog chew, which matched the outline of the DreamBone,” the criticism states. 

The veterinarian said “Maxie would have died,” if not for the surgery, in line with the lawsuit, which was eventually settled, court filings show.

Other pet owners have also considered initiating legal proceedings, including Stacy Carlyle of Atlanta, whose Bijon-Shih Tzu mix, Bella, died in September 2020.

“The vet found pieces of DreamBone in her digestive tract,” Carlyle told The Post. “It wouldn’t dissolve.”

Spectrum offered to settle, “giving me and [another dog owner who was part of the proposed litigation] about $5,000 a bit” Carlyle said. But she rebuffed the offer and as an alternative took her story to a local news station to warn other pet owners.

The backside of a DreamBone package.DreamBone is manufactured in Vietnam, Mexico and China.Liz Brannen

Spectrum Brands issued a press release on the time to the news station: “The health and safety of all dogs who enjoy our DreamBone products is our highest priority. We imagine there is no such thing as a merit to those allegations and we stand behind the standard and safety of our DreamBone products.”

Logan Rothstein, who believes his 8-year-old Chihuahua, Hercules, died in 2019 due to DreamBone, has waged a three-year campaign – reaching out the to FDA, retailers and the media – to lift awareness concerning the variety of complaints against DreamBone.

“I don’t think Spectrum makes a consistently bad product,” Rothstein said. But he believes since the product is made overseas that it likely has “little or no quality control.” 

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