Saturday, April 7, 2012

YumZies Grain-free Treats Review

UPDATE 4/8: Can y'all believe I forgot to give you our Mr. Chewy promo code for 10% off??? I'm such a jerk, right? Ugh. Anyway, here it is: DESM8618. Don't forget that this promo code gets you 10% off your first order and Mr. Chewy sends $10 over to Bideawee to help them help doggies and kitties. Can't beat that! And here's some super awesome news, since the existence of the Life With Desmond Mr. Chewy promo code, a total of $350 has gone to Bideawee!! That's pawsome!

Our latest product review comes courtesy of Mr. Chewy and is of a product that's not very easy to find: a soft, natural, grain-free, gluten-free training treat. These are made by Nootie, the company better known for its line of shampoos.

Many grain-free doggie offerings are hard like biscuits or are basically jerky--not that Desmond has anything against biscuits and jerky, but he definitely loves treats that are soft and smelly. Desmond's momma prefers those treats, too, because they're the best for training this crazy dog to not be so crazy. And also to do cool tricks. 

The YumZies we tried are barbecue chicken flavor, which is different from anything Des has had before. I requested the mini version of the treat--again, for training purposes. The mini treats are actually not all that mini (more on that soon), so I wonder what the size of the regular treats are, but they sure do smell good (I did not expect them to, because of the flavor. I think all BBQ flavored people snacks smell funky.) and Desmond is a big fan. Know who else is a big fan? Me. Because they don't make my dog's butt stinky. Woo!

The ingredients of the treats make me smile as well. There's no wheat, corn, soy, artificial preservatives, or artificial flavors. Instead, there's chicken, fish oil, and ginger and pea powder. The treats stay chewy--according to information provided by Mr. Chewy--thanks to glycerin and lecithin.

Let's take a closer look, shall we?

"Another delivery for me, I presume."

How cute is the little dog on the package?

"Yeah. Great. You're showing me the bag. When are you gonna open it?"

"Stick my face in the bag? Don't mind if I do!"

After I let Des into the bag, I made him work on some Leave-Its. This close inspection of a treat was too much for him to handle, and he wound up eating this one right after the pic was snapped.

He did better here, but still wouldn't take his eyes off the treat.

The reward. (And, yes, those are still my same dog-destroyed blinds hanging on the window back there. One of these days, I'll get new ones.)

A super Leave-It we sort of copied from Married with Dogs, which you may have seen me mention on our Facebook page.

OK, so here's the thing about the size of the treats: They're pretty big for mini treats, even for my not-teeny dog. We do a lot of food rewarding around here for good behavior, and I frequently use treats for helping Desmond keep his focus on me instead of the world on our walks. Because of this, I want to use the smallest possible piece of food I can that Desmond will tolerate/pay attention to (this is also why I don't buy crappy treats). That means I break up every treat, no matter how small it starts out.

These mini YumZies treats had to be broken up into quarters, more or less, which I don't mind at all, but I found that they were actually a little difficult to break. Meaning, I needed to use two hands to do it and wouldn't be able to break one up with my non-leash-holding hand on a walk. That being the case, I have not tossed any of these into my treats pouch for that purpose. YumZies serve a better purpose for us as prepared clicker training treats. I'll take some out and break them up ahead of a training session. That works just fine for me.

So, as you can see, a whole piece is more or less dime sized (can you believe I didn't have any dimes the day I took this picture?). And, yes, the treats are marbled, although I'm not savvy enough to know why. They are also, as you can see, somewhat crumbly when you start messing with them. This doesn't really bother me, because I just toss the crumbles onto his dinner/breakfast, but some folks may not be down with the crumbles.
If you're looking for a bottom line, here it is: Yes, I would buy these treats. I'm very curious about the other flavors, which are cheese, hickory bacon, and peanut butter. I'm pretty sure Desmond would enjoy them all.

Disclaimers and notes: Mr. Chewy sent me these treats for free in exchange for my honest review. Mr. Chewy is cool like that. Also, I personally contacted Nootie via email after asking the Mr. Chewy rep a specific question about the treats that he couldn't answer. The person I spoke to at Nootie obliged and was very transparent. I felt comfortable giving these treats to Desmond in light of our conversation.
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