Treat with a reason: Dynamo Dog Functional Treats from Cloud Star

Not all treats are created equal. The goal for most treats is that they taste good to your pup, and contain ingredients you find appropriate for your dog. But that doesn’t mean you can go shoving whatever tastes good in your dog’s mouth, any more than you should do that for yourself, right? However, what if the treat served a purpose, other than empty calories? Cloud Star’s line of Dynamo Dog Functional Treats accomplish exactly this. They’re a treat with a reason!

Glad that the treats weren’t just empty calories, we (well, Izzie and Maddie) decided to take the Dynamo Dog Functional Treat product line for a spin, so to speak.

What’s “functional” about them?

First of all, let me say that for each variety of the Dynamo Dog Functional Treat line, the treats are free of grain, gluten, wheat, corn, soy, artificial colors, artificial flavors, and byproducts, plus are made in the USA. Being a dog mom that watches what her dogs are allowed to eat, I give this a big appreciative thumbs up.

Izzie and Maddie tried all three “functions” of the functional treats:

  • Tummy – for daily support of digestive health – with pumpkin, ginger, and added probiotics
  • Skin & Coat – for daily support of healthy skin and shiny coat – with salmon and added Vitamin E
  • Hip & Joint – for daily support of healthy joint function – with bacon & cheese, or with chicken, plus added Glucosamine HCL and Chondroitin Sulfate

 Treat with a reason: Dynamo Dog Functional Treats from Cloud Star

Because the treats are nutraceutical in nature, each bag clearly provides feeding instructions for your dog based on their weight. My girls were glad to learn the recommended “dosing” was daily, athough the recommended “dosage” was half of one treat each. The soft treats easily split in half (or even smaller) for the purpose of sharing with two eager dogs.

Our Experience

When we moved last month, Maddie was having a bit of tummy trouble. I knew from prior experience that pumpkin and ginger were good ingredients to calm a dog’s stomach. So I was pleased to try her on the Tummy treats. With added probiotics, pumpkin, and ginger, I knew those ingredients would be beneficial to her condition, and they were. 

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Holiday stress? Yep, dogs get it, too

 Holiday stress? Yep, dogs get it, tooAs much as you might love the holiday season, it can be stressful. So much to fit in to your schedule, so much you feel like you  “have” to do. And while dogs don’t have those same types of stressors, you being stressed, plus the changes in the house and additional visitors can lead to holiday stress for your dog!

For my dogs, the addition of holiday decor that they aren’t supposed to touch, chew, fondle, or otherwise maim, can be a stress. And added visitors are always stressful, as my dog Izzie (pictured) can be a bit territorial.

This year, because we are moving to a new house, none of the Christmas decorations are being unboxed, but in the place of that stress is the stress of a move and the house being overrun by boxes.

Izzie in particular hate hate HATES the sound of the packing tape dispenser gun – which legitimately has to be used repeatedly to put together and seal every moving box.

So when I received an inquiry from the good folks at Pet Naturals of Vermont to try their line of Calming chews for dogs, it couldn’t have come at a better time!

I received some samples of the calming chews in the mail a few weeks ago and decided Izzie would be my test subject.

So, first of all, what’s in Calming chews? [Read more…]

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Chia seeds: not just for chia pets anymore!

Is it just me, or when you think of chia seeds do you first think of chia pets? Just me? In truth, it’s certainly a shame to waste this wonder food on a stoneware planter. The benefits of chia seeds as a supplement for humans have been increasing in popularity, but I haven’t seen treats for my dogs that include this superfood…until now.

Lincoln Bark, an exciting natural pet brand out of Chicago, has introduced two new lines of treats for your dog featuring chia seeds!

So, why are chia seeds a wonder food?

 Chia seeds: not just for chia pets anymore!

As you can see, that is a LOT of nutrients packed in those little seeds. Surely your dog would benefit from a treat so healthy. But then the million dollar question becomes: “if it is healthy, will my dog like it?”

Putting healthy treats to the test

Once again, Maddie and Izzie decided to take one for the team and taste test some treats. Lincoln Bark sent us a full sized pouch of the Treat Smart™ treats in the roasted peanut recipe (we also received samples of all the other flavors – chicken liver, wild salmon, and duck and pea). We also got to try the Sweet Little Butterpup™ treats in the pumpkin peanut butter recipe (also available in wild salmon, chicken liver, and oatmeal).

I’ve gotten increasingly picky (even if the dogs haven’t) over what I let them try in terms of treats. Aside from being “powered by chia,” the Lincoln Bark treats are produced from 100% natural human-grade ingredients sourced and baked in the US. The treats also contain no wheat, corn, artificial ingredients, or additives.

 Chia seeds: not just for chia pets anymore!Maddie loves all healthy things, so I had no doubt she would enjoy the Lincoln Bark treats and she did. The above picture is prior to any treats being opened – her least favorite time to take a picture.

 Chia seeds: not just for chia pets anymore!I was a bit surprised by Izzie’s reaction. Of course she loves most treats, but she can tell if you try to trick her into eating something too healthy for her, and she will turn up her nose. But Izzie loved the Treat Smart treats and kept trying to sneak a bit more. I had to explain to her that the feeding guidelines for the Treat Smart treats said that she got one of the soft treats per seven pounds of her body weight. Since she ate about 5 treats, and weighs less than 18 pounds, math clearly isn’t her strong suit. The Sweet Little Butterpup treats didn’t have feeding guidelines, but obviously moderation in accordance with your dog’s eating habits and activity level is always a good idea.

I liked the texture of the soft Treat Smart treats, as they’d be easy to break into smaller pieces for a very small dog (if needed), and they didn’t make crumbs. They seemed super fresh! The Sweet Little Butterpup treats have a harder texture, like a crunchy cookie, but were still a good size for smaller dogs. They had an awesome smell to them, like an oatmeal cookie. Maddie and Izzie gobbled them up, so there wasn’t any time for crumbs.

Both the Treat Smart and Sweet Little Butterpup treats are available via the Lincoln Bark website.

This post has a Disclosure Level of 2. was provided with the products mentioned above at no charge. As always, all opinions are our own.

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Dogs, we need to talk about your dog breath… was given a sample of Minties Bones treats for dogs from VetIQ to try with our girls, in exchange for our honest review.

Minties Dogs, we need to talk about your dog breath...As a discerning dog parent, my dogs have had professional vet-performed teeth cleanings, and I even brush their teeth. But you know what? They still have stink dog breath. While not amazingly bad, when they sit on your lap and pant in your face, their dog breath often makes you turn the other way. I’m pretty sure my husband (or any human, for that matter) would have similar breath if he only relied on professional cleanings, occasional brushing, and licked places on his body like our dogs do. Just guessing.

At any rate, I think we’ve all seen treats that claim to help our dog’s teeth and breath. But have you seen what’s in those? Your dog might be better off just chewing its toothbrush.

That is why I was excited to learn about Minties treats for dogs. Minties have a great texture, a pleasant natural peppermint smell, and don’t contain the “icky” ingredients (wheat, corn, soy, artificial flavors, sugar, salt, gluten, etc.) I avoid giving my dogs. What IS in them? Five natural breath fresheners: peppermint, parsley, fennel, dill, and chlorophyll. Plus, everything is sourced and made in the U.S., and the bones are offered in four sizes (from Tiny to Large) to be best suited to your dog.

But the best part of Minties? My dogs loved them. Not just the “oh, ok, we’ll eat this treat you’re giving us” response I sometimes get, but my dogs stood on their hind legs by the counter where I had the package after our first taste test. Minties will definitely be going into our rotation of specialty treats we buy for our pups.

 Dogs, we need to talk about your dog breath...

Bam, science

I’m not a scientist, but because I had a natural curiosity, I conducted a sniff test study on how long the Minties would freshen both my dogs’ breath. A sniff test you say? Yep, I got all up in the faces of my dogs and smelled their dog breath. Before the Minties treats, not so good, folks, not so good. Directly after the treat? Their breath had a mild peppermint smell. Lovely! Thirty minutes later? Still a mild peppermint smell. Two whole hours later? Still a pleasant mild mint smell! Even later in the day? Well, I started to feel self-conscious about being a person who smells their dogs’ breath and stopped. But I’m telling you, the pepperminty pleasantness in their breath lasted a good long while!

I do want to note that while veterinarian recommended Minties will help clean your pup’s teeth, plus remove plaque and tartar, please consult your veterinarian about care of your specific dog’s teeth, including cleanings and regular maintenance.

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Ice Pups – poultry ice cubes for dogs, not cocktails

frozen ice pups Ice Pups   poultry ice cubes for dogs, not cocktailsWhen your dog is a hot drooling mess, an icy treat is both appreciated and can help cool them off fast. So, when we had our own little heat wave in the Seattle area recently, I decided to try Ice Pups from The Honest Kitchen. I had a packet given to me by the company at a recent conference.

What’s in Ice Pups?

Ice pups is a powdered mix of dehydrated chicken, turkey, whey, dandelion, asparagus, watercress, honey and parsley. Sounds yummy, right? But probably best left to the pups, and not for cocktails.

How do you make Ice Pups?

Making these treats is so easy. And you have many options. I chose to take the little packet of powder, dissolve it in eight ounces of warm water and pour the liquid into an ice cube tray. I used this cute little silicone ice cube tray I bought at Target. Can’t decide if the shape is supposed to be berry clusters or brains.

You could also make a larger cube that your dog could lick. Or the website suggests you could serve it as a cold liquid, or even make a doggie sorbet! And if I knew how to make sorbet, I might consider doing so – don’t judge me!

Their dual purpose

An added bonus to this little packet of Ice Pups? Turn over the pouch and there are instructions for using the same powder to make a warm broth. What an awesome idea for those cold winter months.

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