Category Archives: Product Reviews
We’ve all seen them…those dogs with calluses on their elbows from laying on hard surfaces. You’ve probably even thought to yourself why don’t the pet parents buy the poor dog a comfy, cushioned bed? They may very well have! I have a pillow bed downstairs, an orthopedic bed upstairs, and I’m allowed on all of the cushy furniture. Yet sometimes I still choose to lay on the hard floor. Don’t ask me why.
Recently mommy noticed I was starting to develop hardened skin on my front elbows. She tried encouraging me to lay on cushioned surfaces, but I wasn’t always cooperative. So mommy ran to the store and came back with a pretty green can. Turns out it was not a treat, but rather Bag Balm for my elbows. Mommy’s been rubbing it on my elbows and pads for a few days now, and things are getting softer. I usually hate having anything slathered on my pads, but this doesn’t bother me. It was around $10 so didn’t break the bank either and will last a long time. The best part is there’s no awful smell, and it actually stays on me well. Bag Balm gets the Suki Seal of Approval….though I still would have preferred a treat.
Winter is definitely here in the Midwest which means lots of snow, ice, and paw burning salt. While I always use a pet safe de-icing compound at home, I know the city and some of my neighbors don’t. I don’t want to confine Suki to the yard and take away her walks until spring nor do I want to subject both of us to trying to put boots on her unless absolutely necessary…Fou Fou Pet Pawstick to the rescue. I’ve used other paw protecting balms and sticks but they always ended up being mushy and messy after a few uses. The Fou Fou Pet Pawstick reminds me of chapstick consistency and stays true to its form after repeated uses. It’s so easy to apply…no sticking your fingers into goopy jars. You just swipe the stick across the pads and you’re ready to go! I’ve also noticed it doesn’t leave a smeary stain on floors like other products I tried. It’s great regardless of your dog’s size. This stick is by far my favorite paw protecting product. Suki must not mind it either because she doesn’t try to wipe or lick it off immediately like previous ones.
Recently, I was contacted by JAKKS Pacific, Inc about doing a free product review/giveaway. I knew JAKKS Pacific, Inc made children toys, but wasn’t aware they had a pet division. In addition to other brands, they recently partnered with KONG to make their new line of premium dog treats. Suki loves her KONG, so I was definitely intrigued.
Now you know I’m very picky about what Suki eats. This house does not allow treats from China, anything with byproducts or corn, and no junk food treats. So I did some research before agreeing to review the products. I checked the JAKKS Pacific, Inc website to learn more about their pet division: http://www.jakks.com/pets-brands.html. I also checked out their line of premium dog treats on Kong’s website http://www.kongcompany.com/products/for-dogs/treats/. Suki is not allowed any rawhide as I personally believe they’re not good for dogs, so those products were out. I proceeded to look into the non-rawhide products. Made in USA…check! No wheat, corn, or soy…check! No animal byproducts…check! Looks like we were good to try them. Now I want to add my disclaimer here:
- The treats were sent to me free of charge.
- JAKKS Pacific, Inc initiated contact with me.
- I was not paid one dime for my review.
- The product review is my honest opinion, no influence from the company.
Ok, now that’s out of the way, so on to the review.
JAKKS Pacific Inc sent 3 products for review/giveaway (click on each to be taken to Kong’s product page):
I decided to have Suki try the DrumStick Chew and Dental Chews. Since I value my followers, the Chewy Bites will be part of a giveaway.
Suki LOVED the Drumstick Chew & gave it a 4 paws up! She grabbed and ran to her kennel to eat it in privacy. Apparently, there was some concern I might take it. LOL. It took a little while to eat which is saying a lot, since she devours treats.
There were a couple downsides to it from my perspective. First, it smelled! I’m glad Suki took it to her kennel, so I didn’t have to smell it anymore. I know the smell is for her benefit, but I’m the one taking it out of the bag and getting the first whiff. Second, it was a little too rich for Suki and gave her one incident of soft poo afterwards. Not runny, just softer than usual. She loved the treat, so next time I’ll just give her half of it and save the rest for a few days later.
Suki devoured her dental chew each day. Again, she grabbed it and ran to her kennel. I’m starting to get a little offended she doesn’t trust me not to steal her treats. The chews come in 3 sizes to accommodate most dogs. They have a little flexibility to them, so I wasn’t worried about her chipping a tooth. Some other chews out there are way too hard.
I didn’t notice a strong odor of any kind, but they still smelled delicious to Suki. I brush her teeth every day, so I can’t speak to the Dental Chews effect on freshening breath. Suki’s breath is pretty good already. I love that these can be fed directly or placed in her KONG toy for added play time. Well done, JAKKS Pacific Inc and KONG!
I’m always on the look out for a long-lasting treat toy that will safely entertain Suki. I tend to work a lot on weekends, so don’t want her becoming bored quickly. That girl can devour a chew like nobody’s business, so giving her a plain chew didn’t work! She’s also very smart (too smart for her own good sometimes), so it needs to be challenging as well. I saw an ad for Ruffhides Refillable Chew Toy made by Pawabunga and was intrigued.
Pawabunga refers to the toy as a rubber wrap on their website. The toy surrounds the chew to prevent removal by the dog but has openings for the dog to be able to chew on it. It’s supposed to slow dogs down, make the chews last longer, and promote dental health. Sounds good. They are also refillable….sounds even better! These rubber wraps come in 3 colors (blue, pink, green) and 3 sizes: mini (up to 25lbs), classic (26 – 60 lbs), and super (60+lbs and aggressive chewers). They come filled with rawhide, Himalayan chew, or a Pizzle (braided bully stick) and are dishwasher safe (yes!). The Pawabunga website has a great product description page: http://www.pawabunga.com/ruffhides/
I chose a pink classic size one filled with the Himalayan chew for Suki…. mainly because it was the only pink one left in her size, and I really wanted pink. LOL. I was very excited when I took the toy out of the packaging to show Suki. She gave it one sniff and walked away. Talk about being disappointed! There is a very strong rubber smell to the toy initially, so I figured it just overpowered the smell of the Himalayan chew. After a couple days of airing it out, I tried again….same reaction. I took the chew out and gave it to her…devoured. It’s been a week now, so I tried again with another Himalayan. First let me say, refilling this toy with a Himalayan is a pain! I finally got the chew in the wrap and presented it to Suki. She gave me a look of “have you really not learned yet?” and walked away. I decided to try a bully stick instead…SUCCESS! She grabbed the toy and ran off for awhile. I think the rubber smell just overpowers the Himalayan chew too much for her particular taste. The stronger scent of the bully stick seems to work fine. She’s just a bully stick gal! I bought her chew refills at a local pet boutique, but Pawabunga also sells them on their website. Ruffhides Refillable Chew Toy may be just the answer for chew devouring dogs!
I give the Ruffhides toy 3 paws if a bully stick is in it. I think mommy has finally gotten the hint I don’t want a Himalayan, so we won’t go there (1 paw would be generous). I would give it my coveted 4 paws award if the silly wrap didn’t prevent me from devouring the bully stick in one fell swoop. Apparently, mommy finds this to be a positive aspect of the toy. She’s mistaken! It takes forever!
Suki’s Paw Rating (1 to 4 paws):
Mommy still loves Stella & Chewy’s Frozen Raw patties, but she wanted me to have another food option for variety. Of course it has to be safe for my kidneys and low in sodium, phosphorus, and protein. Mommy found K9 Naturals, and I’m a big fan! This food looks like little sausage links vs the Stella & Chewys patty. I like to inhale my food, but K9 Natural takes me a little longer to eat which is a good thing (according to mommy at least). I love the taste! I especially like that mommy can vary my food, and my tummy doesn’t get upset. A+!
Raw food has really helped with Suki’s kidney and weight issues. I’ve tried a few different brands, and my favorite for awhile now has been Stella & Chewys Frozen Raw patties. I do NOT like raw food that looks bloody and makes me want to puke which was a big issue with other brands. Due to the higher sodium count of rabbit and bison and Suki’s difficulty with chicken, she is limited to just a few flavors of Stella & Chewys though. I wanted her to have a variety, so she doesn’t get bored or develop a reactivity to a certain meat source with long term use. I started my search for a 2nd non-bloody option and found K9 Natural. K9 Natural isn’t a patty but looks more like short sausage links. So far Suki has tried the lamb and beef flavors and devours them! The only downside I’ve found so far is that I can’t “squish” her kidney pill into them like a Stella & Chewy patty. She’s figured out how to eat around the kidney pill a few times. Crafty little girl that Suki! I do like that K9 Natural is a little easier to feed.. Suki only gets 1/2 a Stella & Chewy patty each meal, so I have to thaw a whole one each time, cut it up, and store the extra half for next time. With K9 Natural, I just need to scoop the amount I need and thaw it. The links stay in their tight form, so no mess. K9 Natural is a complete diet, so you don’t need to add any supplements or enzymes.
The feeding guidelines on the bag seem right on par with what Suki is normally fed. Suki seems to be handling the food very well and has firm small poop on it. I’m still on the first bag, so I haven’t been able to determine yet which brand is more cost-effective/lasts longest. If you’re going to feed raw, I highly recommend K9 Natural and Stella & Chewys. Because raw food is more digestible than kibble, it’s not usually an issue to rotate food brands. I like being able to alternate between the two for variety. You can find more information about the K9 Natural company and their products on their website http://www.k9natural.com/.
Suki’s Paw Rating (1 to 4 paws)
Hate, hate, hate wearing dog boots! Nothing personal against Ruff Wear, but hate boots! Mommy even laughs at me when I try to walk. Bad mommy! At least I can kick these off easily. Mommy said I can’t give a zero rating, so 1 paw it is.
Chicago winters can be not only freezing cold, but also include a lot of snow, ice, salt, and other winter chemicals. I use a paw balm on Suki’s paws most of the time, but once the snow becomes really hard or we have ice, I want to protect her more. I bought the Ruff Wear Bark’n Boots Grip Trex to try out. I chose these in the store because they are reflective at night, very durable, and have a textured Vibram sole which provides Suki with traction….as long as they stay on! That brings me to the reason why I hate these boots…they never stay on! The boots don’t come up very far past the base of the paw, so not only do they not protect much of her leg, Suki can easily kick them off. It doesn’t matter how tight I put the velcro (short of cutting off her circulation), I’m always stopping multiple times during a walk to put a wayward boot back on. This is a big enough pain inside a warm house, but try doing it in the freezing cold on a snow covered paw.
After retracing my steps and searching for a lost boot in the snow for about twenty minutes one day, I decided to try the sock liners sold by Ruff Wear (for an additional price of course). I always wondered why Ruff Wear sells single boots on their website in addition to the set. Now I know it’s because these things come out so easily. The socks liners come up higher and supposedly help the boot stay on. So now I’m battling Suki to put on 4 socks and 4 boots. Neither of us is very happy during this process. The socks help the boots stay on a little better in light snow, but they still come out in heavier snow fall. Suki can still kick them off as well. I can’t go any smaller in size, or her paws would be squished. If these boots came up higher, I think they would probably stay on better. Now you can buy the new taller Polar Trex boots if you want to spend $90…I don’t! Plus they look like a royal pain in the you know what to put on!
I’ve ordered a set of Muttluks fleece lined boots, since they come up higher. Once I try them out for a few walks, I’ll post a review. Wish me luck!
Suki’s Paw Rating (1 to 4 paws)
I sniffed it a couple of times, but that was it. Prefer my other toys.
I thought this was such a cute toy, so I bought it for Suki as a Christmas present this year. I was so excited for her to unwrap it! I put a couple of treats in it, but she gave it a couple sniffs then walked away. I was crushed!
I left the toy out on the floor with treats inside to see if she was just overwhelmed with all the Christmas goodies. After a week, the toy was still in the same spot unplayed with…treats and all. Suki could care less about it! Now this is very shocking, since she’s torn other toys in her mission to obtain the yummy treat inside. I think part of the problem is the difficulty in getting the treats out. The openings are small and tight, so the treats don’t come out well. I’ve tried shaking it different ways, and the toy has still held the treats hostage. The package says the treats are dispensed randomly, but so far I haven’t seen a single treat pop out. I’m going to try and loosen the openings a bit to see if that helps and draws Suki’s interest. For now, I would say this toy isn’t worth spending your time or money on. If something changes, I’ll update my review.
Suki’s Paw Rating (1 to 4 paws)
These treats are my favorite! Their smell is so enticing! I make bath time difficult for mommy unless she gives me Skinny Minis during the process. I could eat these all day long!
I love these chewy treats! They’re gluten-free, low-calorie, and have added Vitamin A, C, and E. Each treat is only 3 1/2 calories and small in size, so they’re great for training sessions without adding a lot of calories. Suki gains weight easily, so a low-calories treat is a must!
I also use these in treat dispensing toys for play time or as a distraction when I’m leaving the house. Their size is perfect for all of Suki’s toys except the Nina Ottosson Pyramid (smallest hole ever seen in a toy). The chewy texture takes her a little longer to eat whereas she basically inhales crunchy treats. I like that Skinny Minis use organic fruits and vegetables for ingredients versus fattening ingredients found in most treats. Suki loves them, and I feel good about giving her a healthy treat. They come in 3 flavors, and Suki recommends all 3!
Suki’s Paw Rating (1 to 4 paws)
This toys is hard to get treats out of! My treats always fall to the back of the monster, and I can’t get them out. I still like trying though!
Suki plays with it as a treat-dispensing toy. I like it, but the treats tend to fall into the back of the toy. The mouth doesn’t open much, so it’s hard for Suki to reach the treats at that point. I usually have to pick up the toy and shake the treats forward in order for her to continue playing with it. She does like the toy, but gets frustrated with it.
It’s a very durable rubber though! No visible marks on it, even after repeatedly being in Suki’s mouth. The rubber is also non-toxic and doesn’t have that awful rubber smell. If your dog likes to fetch, then this toy would be a great addition to the toy basket! It bounces funny when hits the floor which excites Suki. For treat dispensing, it may be a little frustrating.
Suki’s Paw Rating (1 to 4 paws)
I like playing with this toy, but I tore up my first one. It rolls in all different directions, so I’m entertained until I get all of the treats out. Sometimes it rolls under the coffee table out of my reach, and I have to wait for mommy to retrieve it for me. That makes me sad!
Suki really enjoys this toy! The unique shape keeps it rolling in different, unexpected directions, which seems to absolutely delight her. It also provides a good mental challenge for her.
The treat opening is large enough to fit most size treats. I wish the overall size of the ball was a little bigger because it rolls under the coffee table and gets stuck out of Suki’s reach. She is NOT amused by that. This would be a great toy for fast eaters too! Suki inhales her food, so I used to put her kibble in this to slow her down. She eats raw food now, so no longer a option.
If your dog is a heavy chewer, this might not be the best toy for him/her. Suki broke off pieces around the treat hole on her first one. I had to throw it away due to the sharp edges. It hasn’t happened to the second one, so I don’t know if I just had a bad one the first time, or if it’s not durable. I’ll update my review if it happens with the second one too. Overall, I recommend the Atomic Ball for most dogs.