Several weeks ago,The Honest Kitchen sent us samples of their pure haddock dog treats, Quickies, to review. So, I need to start off this blog post by apologizing for how long it took for me to write this post! (Astute blog readers will notice the blog looks a bit different. That’s because WP 4.0 broke it, and my backup didn’t contain the layout files… let’s just say the last month has been a bit of a challenge.)
Back to the treats!
I’m a THK diehard, but I have to be honest – I never had any desire to purchase Quickies. Why? Because so many companies make single ingredient dog treats. And Quickies are kind of pricey. What could possibly make them better than all of those other treats?
My Verdict: Quickies Dog Treats are Awesome!
I was blown away. Seriously. These are the best dog treats I’ve tried this year. (And I go through approximately 5 pounds of treats a week at Spring Forth Dog Academy, so let’s just say I have my hands on a lot of treats.)
They remind me of candy for dogs, except they’re super healthy because they contain only one ingredient. They’re compressed into little heart shapes, making them almost the size and consistency of a piece of kibble.
This means you can use them in the Treat and Train (aka Manners Minder) remote dog treat dispenser! There are very few grain-free, low-ingredient treats that are compatible with this device, so this is a big deal for me. Continue reading →
If you’re not familiar with The Honest Kitchen, they are one of the most innovative pet food companies. All of their products are human-grade. Not just made with human-grade ingredients, but actually human-grade - you could eat this if you wanted to. (I’ve heard their employees do just that!) Their products are also GMO-free, and no ingredients are sourced from China.
Their dog and cat food is dehydrated, so all you have to do is add water. This makes it really convenient for traveling and flying. When we flew to a couple of agility events last year, I put Strata’s food for an entire week in a ziplock baggie at the bottom of my purse. I don’t recommend trying that with a week’s worth of canned food!
At Nationals, I purchased a Dogpacer treadmill. I started training all three of my boys to walk on it, no problem. But when it came time to get them trotting, I learned something new: Spark and Strata can’t walk and chew at the same time.
Every time I gave them a treat for trotting on the treadmill, they would stop. And drift away. And then panic and scramble to not fall off the treadmill. Not good!
Finch, the talented little pip-squeak that he is, can trot and eat at the same time, but only because he doesn’t chew his treats much. So although he didn’t slow down on the treadmill, he could sometimes start coughing and hacking because he had a piece of kibble stuck somewhere in his throat.
Clearly, I needed a better technique!
Peanut butter worked, but was a total pain in the neck to clean off the treadmill belt. PetSafe Lickety Stiks weren’t high-value enough, and the ingredient list gave me the heebie-jeebies.
Then I remembered a different, bigger lickable dog treat one of my trainer friends used in a workshop I taught a few months ago. A quick Google search had me on my way to treadmill success!
Not all dogs enjoy playing with toys. But with a bit of ingenuity, many of these dogs can learn to find the joy in playing with a toy with you. A great intermediary step is teaching your dog to retrieve a food toy – an object with food in it. When they bring the object to you, they earn a treat that comes from the toy.
Because I work with a lot of dogs who start agility training as adults and haven’t had lots of practice playing tug or other interactive games with their owners, my students and I have tested out many different food toys. Here are our favorites.
The Viewtainer is my personal favorite food toy. It’s inexpensive, lightweight, and very easy to throw accurately. Since it’s clear, your dog can see the food inside which helps keep their interest. It’s also very easy to clean!
The JW Pet Holee Roller is one of the greatest dog toys on the planet, second only to the original Kong toy as far as I’m concerned. Yet, every time I mention it on Facebook, someone inevitably asks, “What the heck is a Holee Roller?”
The Holee Roller is made out of soft rubber, and it’s very flexible and stretchy. You can play tug with it, you can tie a leash to it and drag it around for your dog to chase, you can stuff another toy inside of it to drive your dog crazy trying to get it out, but most importantly, you can set it on the ground and it’s easy for your dog to see at a distance.