Having a loving dog is like therapy Today I’m going to tell you about my story and how my dog helped lift my spirits so that I could get back to writing. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll learn the benefits of being […]
Author: Zannie Foledo
Dog Food Made in China?
There has been a lot of press and information circulating around pet food ingredients that are sourced from China, particularly chicken. Thousands of dog owners have reported strange illnesses and even deaths after their dogs have consumed products that have ingredients that come from China. Although reports have shown that even after inspecting suspected sources, the FDA cannot definitively pin point that China is the cause. Many large retailers have announced that they will no longer carry dog treats that are made this way, which directly address the concerns of their customers. Yay!
This is why we decided to write this post about Natural and healthy treats for your dogs. It’s a trend in the right direction, as you can never lose with natural and healthy ingredients. So here we go…
Let’s review 5 of the most popular natural and healthy dog treats for your pet
Let’s face it. We want natural and healthy treats to give our pups, but we don’t all have the “Betty Crocker-ness” in us to do them from scratch or the time to shop around and figure out which are the best. So we thought we’d put together a list of five for you to take a look at.
Fruitables Dog Treats – 4 PAWS Rating!
The most common concern when it comes to dog food and treats is: where is it made? Fruitables Pet Foods snacks are sourced and made in the USA. On their website they state that they are 100% natural, selected organic ingredients, nothing artificial, healthy and calorie smart! They are free of grains, corn and soy, and contain no artificial colors, artificial ingredients, or preservatives. Hence, they are 100% natural and delicious as well. The size of the snack is great too! They are small enough to use as a training aid, and not too large as to add unwanted calories to your dog’s diet. They also come in a variety of flavors: We are reviewing the crunchy treats and they are available in crispy bacon apple, pumpkin blueberry, pumpkin apple, pumpkin banana, sweet potato apple, and pumpkin cranberry. Sounds so delicious I could eat them myself!
- Organic ingredients, healthy, natural
- Dogs love them
- Great size for training
- Lots of flavors to choose from
- Low in calories
- Dog’s favorite treat
- Some dogs didn’t like the taste
- One owner thought they were too hard
Fruitables makes a variety of textures as well. There are Greek Yogurt Crunchers, Chewy, Jerky, and Chewy Skinny Minis. Overall these treats were rated very well and well received by pups and owners alike!
Where to buy
Merrick Power Bites – 4 PAWS Rating!
To be honest, I am very impressed by Merrick’s chefs and recipe creators. All of the flavors and different kinds of treats they offer sound amazing, even for us humans! The flavors like real beef and real chicken makes it sound tempting, so you know you’ll want to pick up some of these for your dog.
- All-Natural Quality Ingredients
- Made in the USA
- Grain Free + Gluten Free
- No Corn, Soy, or Wheat
- Great Tasting
- Taste. The most common review point on Merrick Power Bites is the taste. Most dogs absolutely love these! Now let’s not assume the fact that your Fido does not have discriminating taste buds, but the reality is that there is no guarantee that your dog will love it (manufacturer’s product guarantee aside, we’re talking figuratively here) Love, love, love! Hopefully your pup will be in the jolly majority after feeding him these treats!
- Smell. Another popular review comment is the smell. Or should we say, the tempting aroma of these tasty morsels! Most people say they smell great, smell yummy, don’t smell like other dog treats. Makes me wonder if most dog treats’ scent comes from the filler ingredients, but let’s leave that for another post, shall we?
- Ingredients. Made in the USA, no corn, no soy, no wheat. And heavens, none of the ingredients come from China which again has been a topic of concern for many dog owners.
- There really weren’t any. Of course all dogs have their own particular tastes and not every dog will love everything, but I didn’t see any to share with you.
Buckle up kids, here are all of Merrick’s flavors for Power Bites – there are 7!
- Big Bites Real Beef
- Big Bites Real Chicken
- Power Bites Chicken
- Power Bites Real Rabbit + Sweet Potato
- Power Bites Real Salmon
- Power Bites Texas Beef
- Power Bites Turducken
Where to buy:
Zuke’s Mini Naturals – 3 PAWS Rating!
Training is a natural part of the dog/owner relationship, and a tasty reward is a very good incentive for the pet to continue doing well. Zuke’s Mini Naturals are the perfect small size treat for training, so you can keep each and every activity fun and nutritional at the same time! Zuke’s are made in the USA and use the best ingredients like protein-rich meat, wholefood berries, savory herbs and No corn, No soy and No wheat. Feeding your dog the best ingredients is crucial to keep your pup healthy and active for many years to come!
- Less than 3 calories per treat
- Soft and the small size is convenient
- Yummy, dogs love them
- Great for training and putting in your pocket
- Great choice in flavors
- Love that they are made in the USA, contain no wheat, soy or corn
- Healthy treat for your pet
- Have to keep the bag closed tight because they dry out fast
- Size was too big for their puppy but too small to try to break it up
Zuke’s Naturals come in a variety of flavors and textures. There are mini, tiny, and puppy naturals. Also Crunchy naturals comes in yogurt and honey, peanut butter and berries, and berry flavor. They even have selections with beef from New Zealand! We gave Zuke’s a 3 PAW rating because a common complaint was that they dry out if you don’t close the bag tightly. I keep my treats in a separate jar so I don’t have that problem. Please visit our price/product page for side by side comparisons!
Where to buy:
Blue Wilderness Trail Treats Biscuits – 4 PAWS Rating!
This company, simply called “Blue” has a great motto. Love them like family, feed them like family. We love our dogs and treat them like they are a part of our family, so it makes sense that the food and treats we give them are made of healthy and wholesome ingredients, so they can live a long and happy life with us. Inspired by the diet of Wolves, Blue Wilderness is a protein rich, grain free food that contains more of the delicious meats that dogs love. Their food and treats are categorized by your dog’s life stage, Puppy, Adult or Senior products are choices that make sense for every doggy family. The treats are made with no preservatives, no artificial ingredients, colors or flavors. They use high quality protein sources and also contain Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids.
- Made in the USA
- Ingredients sourced in the USA
- No wheat, soy or corn ingredients
- Dogs LOVE these snacks
- They use real meat products in the snacks, not fake
- Can make it myself for less
- Pieces are too small, sometimes come crumbled in the bag
It seems everyone is looking for that perfect solution in one product and that cannot be the case for the majority of the time. These treats (and dog food) are made from real food, made in the USA, don’t have any additives or artificial anything. It is a high quality product. However, everything comes at a price. High quality demands a higher price, conversely, a low price will deliver a less than quality product so it all depends on what you want and what your budget will allow. Overall we found Blue Wilderness to be an excellent company with healthy, wholesome treats your dog will love, and you will love giving them to him!
Where to buy:
Hills Ideal Balance Baked Naturals – 3 PAWS Rating
From the makers of Science Diet and Prescription Diet come dog treats that are healthy, good tasting and nutritious for your pet! Made from all natural ingredients, real meat and real vegetables, Hill’s Ideal Balance Baked Naturals sounds yummy enough for us to snack on with their tempting ingredients like Chicken and Carrots, Beef and Sweet potatoes, and Duck & Pumpkin treats. Let’s take a look at some of the features and benefits of these wonderful doggie snacks.
Hill’s brand is the parent company of Ideal Balance Baked Naturals and their slogan is “Clinically proven nutrition that can transform your pet’s life.” That’s a powerful statement and you gotta love a company that feels as passionate about your pets as you do. For the duck flavor, they use REAL duck as the #1 ingredient. That’s great! I like knowing that there is protein and not a lot of fillers. Also, there is no wheat, soy or corn in the ingredients and never any added artificial preservatives, color or flavor. If humans ate this way we’d eradicate cancer…but that story is for another day.
- Low salt treats for dogs. Love it that salt is listed on the ingredients list
- Nice and soft, great for older dogs and easy to break up and give with medications
- Dogs love the flavors. Since meat is the main ingredient, dogs eagerly eat them up
- No grains, corn or soy is a feature that many customers are happy about
- Doesn’t upset dog’s tummy
- Taste great, dogs love them
- One common negative comment I found was that randomly the treats are stale when the bag is first opened. I think this is a shipping defect and can easily be resolved by returning the product and ask for a replacement. The number of negative reviews was negligible compared to the positive.
All in all I think these treats are yummy and dogs love them. Majority of the comments I’ve found were positive and indicated they would buy the treats again.Hill’s is the parent company and are the creators of Science Diet, so it seems they are keenly focused on proper nutrition for your dog. Their food is designed with the age of your pet and also addresses health issues such as joint issues, weight issues, kidney, digestive problems as well as skin and food sensitivities. Overall I think Hills is a great brand and recommend you try their treats for your pup!
Where to buy:
There is a lot of information out there and a lot of companies that provide nutritious treats for our furry little friends. When we take the time to do a little research on the kinds of foods we are feeding our pets, we contribute to their longevity just as we do for the rest of our loved ones. Healthy and nutritious food is available, you just have to do some research into the food and treats to find one that best suits your dog.
The Basics of Dog Training It’s essential for Dog parents like you to know certain basic factors that determine your relationship with your Dog and can go a long way in training him effectively. Before you begin training your Dog, it is absolutely essential that […]
As a small dog owner, I’m always looking for the best harness for my small dogs. My Chihuahua Pebbles has a small neck but her chest is comparatively large (or the girth as it’s called when measuring) So we usually have a hard time finding something that will fit her neck as well as her chest. Read with us as we show you the most popular features to look for when choosing the best harness for your small dog.
What to look for when choosing a harness
Knowing what to look for when choosing a harness is very important, especially if you are making your purchase online or if you don’t have your dog with you at the store. The worst thing is to buy your harness and take it home to try on and it doesn’t fit right, is difficult to put on, or even worse when your dog is so uncomfortable with his new harness that he runs away every time he sees you getting ready to put it on!
Let’s take a look at some of these important factors.
Dog Harness Size chart
The size chart is very important because one companies’ sizing is not going to be the same as another. To get the proper size, you’ll need a flexible measuring tape and a cooperative dog. Lol. You won’t want to use the kind of measuring tape a carpenter or plumber might use as those retractable metal tapes will not be as accurate and your dog may be uncomfortable and be uncooperative when trying to measure. If you don’t have a flexible measuring tape, use a string or ribbon to measure then use a ruler to see what the length is.
Usually you’ll want to measure the neck and the girth of the dog’s chest. Measuring at the nape of the neck is good practice, because that is where the harness will more than likely sit when you put the harness on. Then you should measure the chest at the widest point. There’s nothing more irritating than when the harness is too tight or too loose. Too tight and your dog will be uncomfortable and it will more than likely hamper his breathing. Too loose and you won’t be able to control the dog during your walks as the harness could move around and not do its job properly.
Using these two measurements you should be able to determine the size from the size chart. Of course, this is not an exact science so be prepared to test out your new harness but also to have to exchange it for another size if you or your dog are not comfortable. See our section on returning or exchanging your harness.
Ahhh! There’s nothing that feels nicer than breathable fabric against your skin on a brisk walk! At least that’s what my dog would say if she could talk. When choosing the right harness for your dog, the fabric composition should be taken into consideration depending on your personal preferences. In reading the reviews of several different harnesses, one of the most common positive comments was about how breathable the fabric was. Its wearability, comfort, ease in washing and easy to care for were all important features in the selection of the harness. The benefits of a comfortable product are many. The dog will be comfortable wearing it, the owner will have an easier time taking his dog out for a walk, and he will have no problems washing the harness should it need washing or additional care.
Easy to Put On
So you grab the leash, your fur baby sees what’s about to happen and gets super excited about going outside for his daily walk! He is jumping and squirming with delight in eagerness for this highly anticipated adventure. While he’s jumping and wiggling and wagging his tail you fumble with the new harness because it has multiple straps and buckles and you can’t figure out which way his head should go in and he’s stepping into the wrong hole so you have to take it off and start all over again and you get it on but don’t know which buckle plugs in to where and don’t forget the loop should go on top so you can clip the leash onto it…Argh! Disaster before you even get out the door!
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a harness that is super simple to put on, you know which way is up and how to buckle him in? In two shakes your harness is on, your leash is secure and you are on your merry way for your afternoon walk! A harness that is easy to put on is an integral part of a joyful walk with your pooch!
Soft and Comfortable
A soft and comfortable harness is another very common comment in all of the reviews I’ve read. Why this is important is that your dog needs to be comfortable while he goes on his walk. Have you ever worn an article of clothing that was so uncomfortable that you couldn’t concentrate? Like a bra that is so tight that the straps cut into your shoulders or a pair of pants whose waistband is so loose that you have to constantly pull it up. That’s how your dog feels when his harness is not comfortable. On the contrary, have you ever worn something that was so comfortable it was like not wearing it at all? If your dog’s harness is soft and comfortable, he can concentrate on more important things like all of the different smells he could smell, or barking at the dog behind the fence, or getting a nice pat on the head from the neighbor lady that brings him snacks, or doing his daily business because quite frankly you can’t go back home until he does it!
A soft and comfortable harness means an enjoyable walk and a very happy puppy!
Returning or Exchanging Your Harness
All things being equal in a perfect world, every purchase you make is exactly to your specifications and meets your expectations leaving you the happiest customer on the planet! However, let’s come back to earth and talk about returns and exchanges.
Because all dogs are not the same size and shape, let’s get real. Your harness may not fit perfectly the first time. That being said, you should always check out the returns and exchange policies for your dog harness purchase. Customer reviews are a pretty good gauge of how well the company responds to customer complaints and problems with their products. I’ve found that the Comfort Fit Harness from Metric USA has some very good reviews and remarks about exchanges and returns.
Responding quickly to a complaint or request is very important. In today’s world of online ordering, anonymity and transparency, an immediate response to a request is key, and demonstrates the company’s dedication to the satisfaction of its customers. If you want to try out the product but are unsure of the materials or sizing, be sure to read the return and exchange policy of the company
To Sum it Up
We’ve talked about the features and benefits of dog harnesses and how to select the best one for your pet. We hope our tips have been insightful in helping you select the right harness for you and your furry friend!