Wednesday, May 16, 2012

SmartBones Review & Giveaway

My goodness, you guys. It seems like I've got giveaways growing on trees around here lately. But I'm gonna go ahead and assume you don't mind. Right? Right. OK then!

(image used with permission)

SmartBones are an alternative to rawhide as an edible chew for Fido--made from veggies and protein-- and I've been interested from the first moment I heard about them, but the stores we frequent don't sell them, and I was being cheap (surprise, surprise) about paying for shipping, so I didn't want to order them online.

Needless to say, when I was asked to review them, I jumped at the chance.

We have a huge need for something like this in our house, because Desmond loves to chew, and I love when Desmond chews because it keeps him occupied and quiet for a while. But he's not the kind of guy who will chew for a bit and save the rest for later. Oh, no. Dude will just go to town on whatever it is he's chewing until it exists no more. That makes rawhide chews an especially poor option for Des, but we do still give them to him from time to time, out of desperation for peace and quiet. Generally, we get these items as gifts from well-meaning friends and family.

Can we give Desmond a stuffed KONG to munch on? Sure we can, but that takes preparation & time--if not straight-up forethought and pre-meditation, which I think we can safely say our household sometimes lacks.

So having something like a SmartBone hanging around would be a wonderful thing.

But does Desmond agree? Let's take a look.

sniff, sniff, sniff. "Another package for me, I presume."
"Is this a challenge, Mom?"

"Fine. If you won't bring them to me, I will bring myself to them."

After some brief torturing, which is really one of my very favorite activities, I set the bones down for some proper doggie inspection.

Hey, look in the back--it's the giant, useless Unbreakoball again!

I watched Desmond sniff for a while and decided he seemed more interested in the chicken flavored bone, so that's the one we tested out first.

Yes, I tortured him just a little more first. Don't judge me. And, yes, that is an antler on the right there (but that's another story).
"Excuse me, but I'd like to have some alone time with this package."
"Why does this smell better than it tastes?"

As entertaining as this was, I felt bad and helped him get the bone out.

"Ohhhh, it comes out..."

"But, damn, this part smells so good."

"There's gotta be more to it. Just give me one minute..."

"Why is this not working?"
Oh, Desmond.

I gave him even more help, and then we were headed in the right direction.

Sometimes Desmond has a hard time deciphering which things are edible and which things are not. He definitely thought the SmartBone was a fetch toy at one point (which you'll see in a moment), and I had to kind of coerce him into eating it, although that doesn't reflect as much on SmartBones as it does on Desmond being a little...slow... Joey often has to "start" chews for him, by either breaking them apart or bending out a piece or something.

Yes, Desmond, you do get by on your good looks alone.

It was at this point that he started moving the bone around the room, just for kicks.

Then we played tug for a moment...

Then he finally settled down with the SmartBone for a nice chew.

Until I interrupted him to take yet another picture.

Once he got going on the bone, he ate it all in one sitting, of course. What's not so great is that this sitting didn't last very long. Rawhide chews, even ones that are significantly smaller than the SmartBones, take him longer to consume--which means more peace and quiet for me. That makes me sad. Typically, I can occupy Desmond with a rawhide chew for almost 20 minutes, but the SmartBone was toast in under 10 minutes. Cue disappointed sound effect. Not that the sound effect is disappointed. I am. But I think you catch my drift.

Does that mean I wouldn't use SmartBones again? No, but it does mean I can't count on them for as long a period of time to keep Desmond's attention. For sure, I would rather not give Desmond rawhide ever, so having this as an alternative is nice. But it's not the perfect solution. If SmartBones came out with an extra-long-lasting chew, I'd be all over that.

My other gripe is, of course, related to how cheap I am. Rawhide costs a lot less than SmartBones do, so it irks me to have to spend a lot of money on a package of three bones. Granted, the money it would cost to remove an intestinal blockage from Desmond due to rawhide would undoubtedly cost way more than this cheap-o over here would like to spend.

Regardless of your feelings on rawhide, I suggest everyone try these out because they smell much better than rawhide and they don't make the kind of mess a rawhide chew makes. Plus there's that whole safer-for-your-dog thing! SmartBones come in three flavors (chicken, peanut butter, and dental) and various sizes.

Want to win some for your pooch? Well, TWO of you can! That's right--TWO people will be randomly chosen to receive one bag of SmartBones each, in a size that's appropriate for their dog. Hit the Rafflecopter to enter (below these last gratuitous pix of Desmond and his SmartBone)! U.S. residents 18 & over only. As always, if you have any technical difficulties or questions, please email me and I'll do my best to help you out.

From before he figured out what to do with it
When he thought it was a fetch toy
Another day, when I gave him the PB SmartBone and it rolled out of his reach within mere moments of me putting it down. There was some whining...
...and then a somewhat-annoyed glare.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer (which I totally forgot to put on my last giveaway--oopsy): I was provided with two free SmartBones in exchange for my honest review. The giveaway is unaffected by my opinion of the product.
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