Monday, May 20, 2013

Pet Product Review: Dynamo Dog Functional Treats from Cloud Star

You may or may not be aware that we here at Life With Desmond are huge fans of treats-maker Cloud Star. Their products are all-natural and made in the USA--I always feel good about giving them to Desmond and never worry about scary ingredients.

We're not too concerned with allergies, gluten, or wheat, but many of the Cloud Star lines do cater to those needs. And they're still delicious, as far as Desmond is concerned. 

We've probably tried every single flavor of the Soft & Chewy Buddy Biscuits (in both grain-free and regular). I don't think we've found one that Desmond scoffs at. The Soft & Chewy Wag More Bark Less line is another house favorite. We take those treats and crumble them over Desmond's food. Finally, the Chewy Tricky Trainers are, as you might guess, great for training treats. I actually break them in half and use them on walks. 

Our current open bags
So, yeah, we love Cloud Star. I was more than willing to try out their newest line, Dynamo Dog Functional Treats.

There are three varieties: Skin & Coat, Hip & Joint, and Tummy. We tried both the Tummy and the Skin & Coat

The review package
The goods
Desmond absolutely loves getting packages in the mail, so he was all about finding out what was inside this one, and he seemed pretty interested in the treats. 

(Sorry for the blurry pix. He moves a lot.)
I like the look of the treats, too, as well as the heft. Because these are functional treats, I'm all for their size. It makes me feel good to be able to give Desmond these huge (for us) treats without that guilt or concern about how fat I'm making my dog. 

Here they are. The Tummy treat is on the left; Skin & Coat on the right.
Some size perspective for ya
The Tummy treats are pumpkin and ginger flavored, and there doesn't appear to be any meat in them at all. The #1 ingredient is chickpea flour. There's also some maple syrup in there, which you can smell. Not bad! The Skin & Coat treats are, as you might expect, salmon flavored. Le sigh. 

Y'all know I hate the stench of seafood-flavored dog treats, food, and supplements. I wasn't expecting this one to be good, and of course it wasn't. But I will say that it's not the worst doggie seafood thing I've smelled. To this day, I will never forget the odor of that damn white fish dog food. Egad. So bad. But in the salmon treats, you can't smell the maple syrup (yes, it's in there, too) due to the salmon. I think that the other ingredients--which look super yummy--help keep the fish smell to a minimum though:

Salmon, chickpea flour, potato flour, tapioca starch, maple syrup, vegetable glycerine, carrots, apples, spinach, cherries, sweet potatoes, cranberries, natural flavor, salt, flaxseed, avocados, eggs, salmon oil, phosphoric acid, sorbic acid (as preservative), vitamin E supplement, citric acid, mixed tocopherols (as preservative), rosemary.

[sidebar] Before you guys start freaking out about the avocado in these treats, let me say three things: 1) unless you have a teeny tiny dog, most "dangerous" things will not kill your dog in low doses--and it's pretty far down the list of ingredients; I doubt there's all that much in each treat to begin with. 2) I am not a vet or a dog nutritionist, so don't take my word for it. I'm certainly not going to be liable if you get these treats and, heaven forbid, something should happen. Don't come knocking on my door, saying I told you it was cool to give your dog treats with avocados in them. 3) All that being said, there's some debate about whether or not avocados are toxic to dogs and which parts of avocados that would include. Here are just two articles that address it:
Ask a vet: If avocados are dangerous for dogs, what's up with avocado dog food? and Avocados: Poisonous to Companion Animals or Not? [end sidebar]

As for Desmond and the treats, well, let's just say he was really really Desmond about it. His finicky habits have been pretty bad in the last couple of months--and many folks are suggesting that is due to the medication he's now on and this will turn itself around at some point--and we can hardly get him to eat his favorite treats (both dog and human).

He used to basically eat anything we would allow him to eat, and the way I gauged his rating of a treat was by how excited he got or how much he drooled on the floor. Now he is indifferent, poor guy.

So, I don't really know what to say about the treats. The day I first offered them to him, he turned them both down. Both of them! He sniffed them and walked away. But I can't say that it's because he really didn't want the treats.

A couple of weeks ago, he started eating both flavors of treats with no problem. That's great, but it's frustrating from a product review standpoint. Plus, these are functional treats. They're supposed to do something. But because he wouldn't take them regularly, he wasn't getting the correct dosage of probiotics or fish oil. It's impossible to report on the results. I'm really very sad. He did, eventually, go through the entire bag of salmon treats, and now we have about a quarter of the bag of Tummy treats left. I guess it could be worse.

I hope that Desmond's ridiculousness doesn't deter you from trying the Dynamo Dog line, but if it does, I implore you to take our word for it that all of their other chewy treats are great--especially the Buddy Biscuits. Desmond will eat those anytime!

Just for kicks, here's a pic of Desmond remembering the joy that is his camping chair (which luckily didn't get destroyed in the hurricane). Joey took him to the house on Friday to meet a man from the County who was representing a landscaping recovery crew that's helping homeowners remove the sewage-affected soil/grass from their properties. As you can see from the background, the weeds are having a field day and the shrubs pretty much came back (I keep saying it's all the fertilizer!). The tree in the back may be a goner, though.

Disclaimer: Cloud Star sent us two bags of their new Dynamo Dog treats in exchange for our honest opinion of the products.
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