I don’t know about you, but we’re always on the hunt for high-quality, small-sized treats for daily training and practice. We’re perpetually working on leash reactivity, and so we try to always have some good reinforcement on hand to rebuild those neural pathways.
Don’t let her get too close to your mouth. There’s a reason why I’m not one of those people who lets her dogs lick their faces copiously, and it’s called coprophagia. Charming, right?
Pyrrha is an occasional poo snacker, but Eden can be downright compulsive. She can be called off if she’s caught in the act, but we are not out in the yard with them every second. Guion, the faithful spouse that he is, scoops poop every day, but we’re going to miss some. I aim to brush their teeth at least once a week, but I admit I can miss the regularly scheduled brushings.
There’s no brushing involved, and you add one capful of the additive to every 16 ounces of water (usually amounts to 2.5 caps in our giant water bowl). The formula has aloe and green tea in it, and the product it also made in the USA. We’ve been trying it for about two weeks now, and I daresay Eden in particular has sweeter breath. I haven’t noticed any difference in the girls’ plaque or tartar buildup, but I think the aroma coming from their mouths is noticeably less foul!
Our girls are always willing taste-testers, but they were especially excited to try these freeze-dried turkey hearts by Dr. Tim’s.
They went crazy for them!
The treats are single ingredient (we received the turkey hearts, which come in small discs), raw, freeze-dried meat that has been USDA inspected and sourced from Wisconsin. Really excellent. I know lots about the benefits of raw feeding, and although we don’t do it ourselves, I think about it a lot. These treats are a nice way to reap some small benefits of raw feeding — without the mess and squeamishness on my part.
We also took a handful of these treats on a walk to a park to work with Pyrrha on her reactivity toward other dogs. They make great training treats, because you can easily break them up, but they don’t disintegrate. Plus, Pyrrha is just WILD about them, so they serve as a really powerful reinforcer in our quest to classically condition her on walks.
Highly, highly recommend these treats! The price may seem a little steep, but the package is generously portioned, and the quality is significant. You get what you pay for here, which is a seriously high-quality snack. They are currently on sale at Chewy.com, so check them out.
Do you ever feed raw treats to your dogs? If so, what works best for you?
Disclosure: We were provided with a package of these treats from Chewy.com in exchange for our honest review.
Because I’m incorrigibly lazy about remembering to brush the dogs’ teeth, I’m always interested in new offerings in the dental chews category. So, when Chewy offered us the chance to try Merrick’s new Lil Brush Bones product, we jumped at the chance.
We received the bag for little dogs, but our girls don’t discriminate when it comes to treats!
This was Pyrrha’s reaction as soon as I unzipped the bag:
These chews, more than other dental chews, have a strong aroma (not bad, just noticeable).
As you can see from this blurry photo, they were both VERY eager to get the chew.
They loved the treats! (But they aren’t the most discriminating reviewers, I have to say; I’ve never seen them turn down anything even mildly edible.)
Brush Bones have a pleasingly short (and natural) list of ingredients:
I’ll admit it’s always a bit hard to gauge the effectiveness of dental chews based on a few-time usage, but I particularly like that these treats are gluten- and grain-free (most popular dental chews have a lot of gluten and starches in them). An 11-oz. bag sells for $12.99 at Chewy.com.
Do you supplement your brushing regimen with any kind of dental treats?
Disclosure: We received a bag of these chews from Chewy.com in exchange for our honest review.
We recently got to try these freeze-dried chicken treats from Halo Pets. I’ve heard about the company before (and of course, its famous co-owner, Ellen DeGeneres), but this was our first time trying one of Halo’s products. And I’m happy to report that we definitely liked it!
For one, it’s hard to beat this limited-ingredients list:
That’s it! Impressive. Obviously, you could just make some chicken at home, but I know convenience is always a factor.
The treats are somewhat delicately composed and crumbly, so they wouldn’t be ideal training treats (as I imagine they’d get ground to a fine powder if they were in a treat bag), but they’re ideal for on-the-fly training at home or just everyday snacks.
Another great feature of these treats, for those in multi-pet households, is that they’re formulated treats for dogs and cats. (Which makes sense, seeing as it’s just freeze-dried chicken.)
As you can see, Pyrrha (who got to be the lucky taste-tester this time) was willing to pull out all of the stops in order to snag one of these treats:
We are always on the hunt for soft, tiny training treats around here! As I mentioned earlier, we have “training stations” in many areas of our house, so having a stash of small, chewy treats is important to us. I also take a lot of soft treats with us in our bait bag on every walk, which we use to reward Eden for polite leash behavior and to continue our classical conditioning protocol with Pyrrha’s reactivity.
So, I was excited for the girls to try this offering from Chewy.com; they got to sample NutriSource Soft & Tender Chicken Dog Treats. A 6-oz. bag sells for $3.29, which is quite affordable, by way of high-quality training treats. (I’m used to shelling out $5 to $7 for a bag of well-made, healthy, soft training treats.) I have never bought a NutriSource product for our dogs before, so I was eager to check these treats out.
The tiny bones are soft and very easy to break in two. They’re also not too crumbly, so they will make for perfect training treats.
The dogs, as you can see, were very eager to try them! Chicken is the first ingredient, followed by pea flour and barley flour.
I also like that these treats are made in the United States. While that fact is not a necessary guarantee of quality, it’s a heck of a lot better than any pet product that comes from China.
What’s your go-to brand for training treats?
Disclosure: We were provided with a bag of these treats from Chewy.com in exchange for our honest review.
I’ve always been interested in raw food for the dogs. I don’t think we have the budget, courage, or freezer space to attempt it right now, but I have read a lot about its benefits, and I know many of you love raw feeding (for good reasons). So, although we aren’t feeding raw now, we are still committed to high-quality food and treats.
That said, I was interested for the dogs to try these treats from Wysong, a company that I was previously unfamiliar with. The treats are marketed as “raw meat” treats, and we tried the chicken variety. I think one of the most interesting aspects of these treats is that they are suitable for dogs, cats, and ferrets. I love that; I don’t think I’ve ever seen treats that were sold that way, and it surprises me that more pet products aren’t, as so many households have more than one type of animal. While we don’t have cats or ferrets in our household (which is good for the longevity of any such cats or ferrets), I can imagine this product would be appealing to people who had multiple types of pets in their home.
The treats come in these large, soft discs, which are easy to feed as a big single-serve treat or to break up into tiny bits. The girls, of course, love them! The chicken Dream Treats are currently selling for $10.39 per bag at Chewy.com.
If you have multiple types of pets in your household, do you have any treats you feed them that all the animals can eat?
Disclosure: Chewy.com provided us with a bag of these treats in exchange for our honest review.
I’ve found that the hardest part of brushing is just making myself do it! The dogs don’t exactly love it, but they do love the taste of canine toothpaste, so that acts as a reward in itself. I’ve made myself a weekly reminder on my Google Calendar to brush the dogs’ teeth, but I confess that it doesn’t always happen. I know I should be brushing them 2 or 3 times a week, but let’s make that a 2014 goal for myself. (I also know that I could switch them to a raw diet and greatly reduce the need for teeth cleaning; we’re still contemplating this…)
That said, in honor of Pet Dental Health month, we got the chance to review Greenies! Perhaps surprisingly, Pyrrha has never had Greenies before, so we were happy to try them.
The girls, as you can see, were very eager to try them!
I gave them each one chew as a reward for politely entering their crates (we’re still teaching Eden the command “go to your house,” which is a traditional command from Guion’s family for dogs to go to their beds). They got through them pretty quickly, but that’s standard for these shepherd gnawers.
In an independent 28-day feeding study, dogs receiving one GREENIES® Dental Chew per day averaged 60% less tartar accumulation, 33% less plaque accumulation, 80% healthier gums and 45% improvement in oral malodor (halitosis) compared to dogs who only received dry dog food.
I’m interested to see how these chews help the dog’s teeth, particularly in conjunction with our regular brushing.
Do you brush your dog’s teeth? Or do you give them Greenies or other dental chews? If so, what tips and tricks have you learned along the way?
Disclaimer: We were provided with a bag of Greenies from Chewy.com in exchange for our honest review.
Just in time for the holidays, Pyrrha got to try the Natural Balance holiday pack for dogs. A box full of meaty treats and food? That’s all she really wants for Christmas.
The holiday pack comes with the following goodies:
L.I.T (Limited Ingredient Treats) sweet potato & chicken formula dog treats
Ultra-premium chicken formula canned dog food
Premium turkey formula dog food roll
The ingredients for these products are also upstanding, and the first item on the ingredients list is always the main food item (e.g., turkey comes first for the turkey dog food roll).
Pyrrha will scarf down just about anything, but she was quite eager for these sweet potato treats. The fact that they’re marketed for “small breeds” doesn’t bother her a bit. In fact, I like the smaller-sized treats in general, because they help with portion control. Pyrrha, like many dogs, acts like she’s never been fed in her life when confronted with treats.
Our trainer, Deven, likes to use these Natural Balance food rolls in her training classes, because they are conveniently packaged, easy to distribute, and very soft and smelly for hard-working pups. I’m always happy to receive high-quality food supplements myself, just to give Pyrrha something a little special to spice up her daily meals.
The dog holiday pack is on sale for $5.99 at Chewy right now, which is a pretty great deal. I was surprised myself! A bag of high-quality treats alone would usually go for more than that. In short, we were pleased and impressed, and Pyrrha keeps begging for more!
Have you ever tried Natural Balance products? Or do you use them regularly?
Disclaimer: We received a Natural Balance holiday pack in exchange for our honest review.