Petco will stop carrying dog and cat treats made in China at the retailer’s 1,300 store locations — including Unleashed by Petco stores and online at — by the end of 2014, the company said.

The Food and Drug Administration has periodically cautioned consumers about a possible link between reported illnesses in dogs and the consumption of jerky products made in China. However, the FDA has been unable to identify a direct link between the reported illnesses and the China-made treats, and it has not recommended a recall of jerky products.

“We’ve been following the FDA warnings and related customer concerns closely, and we’ve been actively reducing our China-made assortment and expanding our American-made offerings for several years now,” Petco CEO Jim Myers said. “We know the FDA hasn't yet identified a direct cause for the reported illnesses, but we decided the uncertainty of the situation outweighs the lack of actual proof.”

The FDA said there is an ongoing investigation and that it will notify the public if a recall is initiated. Meanwhile, the FDA continues to urge pet owners to use caution with regard to jerky pet treat products.

The one common factor that many of the reported cases share, the FDA said, is consumption of a chicken or duck jerky treat or jerky-wrapped treat, mostly imported from China. Pet owners should be aware that manufacturers do not need to list the country of origin for each ingredient used in their products, so packages that do not state on the label that they are made in another country may still contain ingredients sourced from China or other countries, according to the FDA’s website