Staff Favorites: Store-Bought Snacks for Dogs
The Honest Kitchen Beams
Winner: The Honest Kitchen Beams
Judges: Champ and Walker Pittman, dogs of Ann Taylor Pittman, Cooking Light Executive Food Editor
The Verdict: “Before I even handed them to the dogs, they were dancing around all excited because they could smell them, and dogs are all about smell. The ‘fragrance’ wasn’t overwhelming but decidedly fishy. Yes, my dogs loved these, but I loved them for three main reasons: 1) there’s only one ingredient (dehydrated catfish skins) 2) the skins are dried in such a way that they’re like rawhide treats, in that it took the dogs a few minutes to eat them—they chewed on them for about 5 minutes. I like that these treats kept the dogs occupied for a while.”
Milk Bone Advanced Care Brushing Chews
Judge: Goose Wilson, German Shorthaired Pointer of Sheri Wilson, Cooking Light Art Director
The Verdict: "Goose spends most of his day foraging in the backyard (he and the squirrels have daily stand-offs over the hazelnuts). He also is fond of sticks, dirt… anything that can be found in the yard is fair game for chewing. All of that is to say, his teeth could use more love—especially since teeth cleaning at the vet is so expensive and requires anesthesia. I tried giving him brushing chews in the past, but they gave him bad breath and a bad tummy so I was a bit hesitant to try another product. After five days of giving him these bones, I have seen absolutely no side effects and he LOVES them! They are pretty pricey compared to the snacks I usually give him, but if they will save us the cost of a teeth cleaning at the vet later, it will be totally worth it.”
Blue Buffalo Kitchen Cravings Chicken Sausages
Judge: Freckles Rhoades, dog of Liz Rhoades, Cooking Light Production Director
The Verdict: “Freckles loves these. I leave a treat out for her in the mornings when I let her out. She can smell it on my hands when I let her back in, and she literally pushes the front door open and runs to get the treat.”
Natural Balance Dental Chews
Winner: Natural Balance Dental Chews
Judge: Minna Barreira, schnoodle of Katie Barreira, Cooking Light Test Kitchen Director
The Verdict: “These treats make Minna sing! The only bad thing about it is that her enthusiasm made it hard for me to take her picture.” “They smell so good and I like them so very much, it's just cruel to have one out of the package and not in my mouth,” Minna told Katie.
Wellness Trufood CocoChia Bakes
Winner: Wellness Trufood CocoChia Bakes
Judges: Jackson and Tallula Delaune, Photo Editor Amy Delaune's West Highland Terriers
The Verdict: "In true form, Tallula took to both treats quickly. Meanwhile Jackson was a little skeptical, but he eventually tried them and liked them." (We asked Amy for her tips on getting a good shot of your pet: "To get them to look at me, I held up a treat as I snapped the picture. I was looking down with my iPhone in one hand and a treat in the other. It's the best way to have a dog look at you in order to get a good shot. I don't think they mind much because when I do a "photo shoot" with them, it always involves lots of treats," she says.)
Full Moon Chicken Jerky
Winner: Full Moon Chicken Jerky
Judge: Rocky Brasseale, lovable mix of Mallory Brasseale, editor of CookingLight.com
The Verdict: Rocky loved the Full Moon chicken jerky! "Normally, he gobbles down treats in seconds but because of this jerky's chewiness, he was really able to savor his treat and make it last (a few extra seconds at least). I love that it's made in the USA and doesn't contain artificial ingredients."
Alpo Wholesome Biscuits with Real Chicken Flavor
Judge: Penny Lower, a papillon/sheltie mix, dog of Lindsey Lower, Cooking Light Photo Stylist
The Verdict: “Our usual picky eater gobbled these up! We liked the size for her—sometimes she eats smaller treats too fast.”
Wellness CORE Superfood Protein Bars
Judge: Hudson Summerville, mini Aussie belonging to Cooking Light Office Manager, Alice Summerville.
The Verdict: "The first time he tasted the kale treat, he spit it out and had the look of “what, you expect me to eat that!?”, but since he doesn’t get many special treats, he went back to it and gobbled it down. He fell in love with them and gets excited every time you ask him if he wants a treat. He actually likes the kale better than the sweet potato, but doesn’t refuse either."