Monthly Archives: March 2018

Does Your Dog Have A Lot of Toys? Here Are Some Great Dog Toy Storage Containers to Help You out!

I was sitting in the living room the other day looking at all of Maui’s toys scattered around the floor. Some days it seems she takes every single one of them out. Maybe she’s checking to make sure they are all still there or perhaps trying to find just the right one to entice someone to play. Whatever the case, she sure has a lot of toys! Trying to get across the carpet without nailing a squeaker can be a challenge some days.

Maui usually picks up all of her toys at the end of each day, but in cases like that day they got picked up sooner rather than later. It’s a great training exercise for her commands ‘get’ and ‘put’. I tell Maui to get a toy and then to put it in her toy box. She gets a little treat and I get a clean floor. It’s a win-win situation.

Thinking about those toys that day, it struck me … am I ever grateful for her dog toy storage bin! Finding the right dog toy storage container can be a challenge sometimes, especially if you have a dog with large toys. Here’s a list I put together of different large dog toy boxes if you are searching for a dog toy storage bin for your pampered pooch.

What to Look for

I remember when shopping for dog toy storage containers, finding the right one was a bigger challenge than I expected. Maui is a golden retriever so she is a bigger dog. Bigger dogs generally mean bigger toys, so we needed a large dog toy box for all of her goodies.

One of Maui’s favorite toys is an angry bird (it used to be my daughter’s) that’s about 12 inches in diameter! A couple more 18 inch long stuffed puppies along with all of the other random toys means we need quite a bit of storage space.

I tried a random plastic storage bin I had in the garage, but it was too tall. Maui just wasn’t able to get down into the container to check out the toys that had made their way down to the bottom. Here started the shopping adventure looking for a large enough storage bin to hold all of Maui’s toys but one that was also short enough (but not too short) for her to easily reach all of the toys in the bin.

Stylish Dog Toy Storage Boxes

Winifred and Lily dog toy storage bin

Winifred & Lily

Maui’s toy box is right in plain view in our living room so I wanted to shop for something cute and kind of stylish. You can find a lot of storage containers that fit this criteria, but for me many were not big enough and they were too tall.

I did find some super cute dog toy storage containers by Winifred & Lily. These dog toy storage bins come in several different attractive looks and measure 16“ long x 11.5“ wide x 6“ tall. I was really tempted by several of these storage bins because I really loved how they look but was ultimately looking for something even a little bigger because of the size of some of Maui’s toys.

Woodlore Cedar Products Pet Cedar Toy Box, Large

Woodlore Cedar Toy Box

This Woodlore Cedar Products Pet Cedar Large Toy Box is super cute. The box measures 16.5 inches square and is 10 inches tall. It is made out of cedar wood so it has a great smell. I just found this one when I was looking back at my Amazon search results from when I was toy box shopping. If I had found this one back when I was looking to purchase, it very well may have been my choice.

Not so Stylish but Functional

Honey Can Do plastic storage bin

Honey Can Do bin

Found these great, colorful, plastic Honey Can Do bins that measure 16.25″ x 11.75″ x 5″ deep. Exactly what I was looking for if it was just a little bit bigger. Not quite as stylish as the storage containers mentioned above, but these come in 8 different colors to choose from and are plastic, so super easy to wash and keep clean and super durable.

Childcraft plastic storage bin with lid


Another colorful bin is this Childcraft storage box which also comes with a lid. The storage box measures 16 “ long x 11“ wide x 6“ tall which isn’t too bad of a size. Might be nice to have a lid if you ever want to pack up the toys and put them away when company comes over, or something of that sort. This bin comes in 4 primary colors.

Both of these plastic storage container options could be cute if you took a marker and decorated it with your dog’s name and some pawprints, dog bones, or puppies to make it more personalized.

Final Decision

Who knew, with all the different storage bins, containers, and boxes available that it would be so difficult to find a stylish, large enough, easy to clean dog toy storage bin for my Maui.

What did I end up opting for?

It seems to be a trait of mine that I opt more for function over style, and this ended up to be one of those times.

I ended up getting a good ol’ Sterilite plastic storage bin. The one I purchased measures about 25“ long x 16“ wide x 6“ tall. This bin is large enough to hold all of her toys, even the bigger ones yet short enough for Maui to easily reach the toys that are on the bottom of the storage bin.

Sterilite plastic storage bin

While I did a lot of shopping online while searching for the just the right sized dog toy storage container for Maui’s toys, I ended up purchasing the Sterilite container from a local Walmart store. Up here in Minnesota you can also find these types of storage bins at stores like Target, Fleet Farm, Menards, Home Depot, etc.

In the End

In the end it didn’t really matter to me that the dog toy storage box was stylish but more so that it could hold everything it needed to hold. While something cute and stylish may look better in your living room, when shopping for a toy storage bin for your dog be sure to think about your dog’s size and how easy or difficult it will be for them to get the toys out of the container.

When shopping online be sure to check for the measurements of a container before you purchase to be sure you’re getting something appropriate for your furry family member.

With love,

Lynne and Maui

Treat Recall – Milo’s Dog Treats

Milo's dog treat recallHere we are again with another dog treat recall. A voluntary recall has been issued on limited lots of some Milo’s Kitchen dog treats.

I honestly have to say that until I started monitoring treat recalls a little more closely for this blog, I didn’t realize how often they happened. I’m glad to now be more aware and I am even happier to be able to pass this information on to you.

Here’s what you need to know about the Milo’s dog treats recall.

Who, What, Why

J.M. Smucker Company was notified by the FDA of three dog illnesses caused by consumption of specific lots of two Milo’s dog treat varieties. Immediately upon notification, a voluntarily recall was issued to include a limited number of production lots of the affected treats.

The voluntary recall has been issued as the affected lots of treats may contain elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone.

The varieties of Milo’s dog treats affected by this recall are Milo’s Kitchen Steak Grillers / Steak Grillers Recipe with Angus Steak and Milo’s Kitchen Grilled Burger Bites with Sweet Potato and Bacon. Specific lot numbers and dates are listed here:

Milo's Dog Treats Recall

No other lot numbers of Milo’s Kitchen Steak Grillers are Milo’s Kitchen Grilled Burger Bites are affected by this recall nor are any other varieties of Milo’s dog treats.

About Elevated Beef Thyroid Hormone

Beagle drinking waterA dog that is eating something containing elevated beef thyroid hormone could exhibit symptoms such as:

  • increased urination
  • increased thirst
  • increased heart rate
  • restlessness
  • weight loss

These symptoms would likely go away when the dog is no longer eating food containing the elevated levels of thyroid hormone.

If a dog consumes high levels of beef thyroid hormone for an extended amount of time, the symptoms could become more severe and include:

  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • rapid breathing
  • labored breathing

What should I do?

Dog with veterinarianIf you have purchased any of the specific lots of Milo’s dog treats listed above, stop feeding them to your dog immediately! If your dog has eaten these lots of treats and is exhibiting any of these symptoms, it is recommended that you contact your dog’s veterinarian.

To receive a refund or replacement for the recalled product contact the J.M. Smucker Company Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9 AM and 5 PM EST at 888-569-6767 or by completing this form (click here for form).

To see the original recall posted by the FDA click HERE.

Stay safe and stay aware,

Lynne and Maui



Dog Treat Dispensing Ball | Starmark Treat Dispensing Dog Toy

So I know the name of this blog is The Best Dog Stuff and have focused mainly on writing about treats.  But there is a lot more great dog stuff out there besides treats (although Maui might disagree with me on that one). And anyway, treats necessarily don’t need to be just food right! When we treat ourselves, it can be anything we do nice for ourselves … something fun, something extra and special. Well today I am going to talk about something extra fun for dogs!

If you are anything like me, you have several different treats around for your pup. A nice way to give those treats and keep them occupied for a while is to put the treats into a dog treat dispensing ball. There’s a few great brands out there but the one I want to tell you about today is the Starmark Treat Dispensing Chew ball.

About the Chew ball

This treat dispensing chew ball is soft yet extremely durable. I’ve seen some other treat dispensing toys out there and some are a very hard rubber. For some reason my goldens have never really get into the hard toys too much. My golden has a very soft jaw (meaning she does not usually grab on really hard), so she tends to enjoy this softer treat dispensing chew ball.

Even though this ball is incredibly durable, nothing is indestructible. There may likely be some very focused, hard chewers for which a harder treat dispensing toy might be a better choice.

Why a Treat Dispensing Toy?

Treat dispensing toys can be used for a few different reasons.

To slow down eating:

Some dogs tend to be voracious eaters. My first golden could down her meals in about 10 seconds. Some people like to load the treat ball with a portion or all of their dog’s meal kibble and let them work at it to get there food. This slows down the eating process tremendously.

Slowing down the eating process is much healthier for your dog. Eating too fast can cause bloat (when the dog stomach fills with air, food, or fluid and puts pressure on other organs). Even worse, it could cause gastric dilation-volvulus which is a condition when the stomach twists or distorts, which could be fatal.

To keep them busy:

Putting a few of your dog’s favorite treat inside the chew ball can keep them busy and prevent destructive boredom behaviors. Having to figure out how to get the treats out of the ball keeps your dog’s mind busy; it works on their problem-solving skills.

My first golden Lulu had this treat ball completely figured out but Maui has a much gentler mouth and it takes her longer to get those treats out. If you fill it up with your dog’s dinner kibble, not only will it slow down the eating process but will likely keep them busy for a long time!

Whatever you do fill them with, be sure that the kibble or treats are not too small. If they are too small they will fall right out when your dog rolls the ball.

Other Benefits

Other things that are great about this treat dispensing dog toy is it:

  • is free of latex and vinyl, both of which can cause serious allergic reactions.
  • is dishwasher safe.
  • can hold nearly any hard or soft dog treat or jerky (just break them in small enough pieces to get through the whole).
  • The size of the opening in the ball can be adjusted easily using a scissor.
  • comes in three diameters –
    • medium is 2.75 inches and recommended for dogs under 15 pounds
    • medium/large is 3.5 inches and recommended for dogs under 40 pounds
    • large is 4 inches and recommended for dogs over 40 pounds

Specialized Interlocking Treats

The treat dispensing to ball can also be used with Starmark interlocking treats to give your dog an even more challenging chewing experience.

Treat Fun

Depending on how well your dog has the ball figured out and the size of the treat put into the chew ball, this treat dispensing dog toy can certainly keep your pup busy for a while. It’s not going to keep them busy for as long as something like a bully stick but it will definitely get their mind working trying to figure out how to get those treats out. Gotta keep the mind active!

It is easy to re-load and it is dishwasher safe (Nice alternative to handwashing a dog slobbered treat ball).

So if you’re looking for a durable yet soft treat dispensing toy for your dog we recommend giving this one a try! Let us know if you do! We love to hear what you think of it.

Lynne and Maui


Redbarn, Chewy Louie, Good Lovin’ and Dentley’s Dog Chew Recall

Redbarn Pet Products initially issued a voluntary recall of a single type of treats. This recall is now being expanded to include additional treats.

Although no injuries, illnesses, or complaints have yet been received, Redbarn Pet Products, LLC has expanded its voluntary dog chew recall to include multiple brands of their dog chews.

Why the Recall

Redbarn Pet Products is erring on the side of caution and expanding their voluntary recall to include all treats made from raw materials provided by a single supplier.

The initial recall issued February 7, 2018 included a single lot of product after a retail sample collected by the Colorado Department of Agriculture tested positive for Salmonella.

The recall now includes all lots of treats manufactured with raw material provided by the same supplier, as they all have potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.  This decision was made by Redbarn Pet Products after an additional lot of raw material from the supplier came back positive for Salmonella when tested by the FDA.

What Is Included in the Recall

This single supplier’s raw materials were used to produce Chewy Louie, Redbarn, Good Lovin’, and Dentley’s brand products with best-by dates ending with the letters BC.

Included here is a list of products affected by the recall (list obtained from

Item # REDBARN Best By Code Ending UPC
205001 Redbarn 5″ Bully Stick BC 785184205006
207001 Redbarn 7″ Bully Stick BC 785184207000
207016 Redbarn 7″ Bully Stick 6pk BC 785184207161
209001 Redbarn 9″ Bully Stick BC 785184209004
230001 Redbarn 30″ Bully Stick BC 785184230015
236001 Redbarn 36″ Bully Stick BC 785184236017
245002 Redbarn Steer Stick 6pk BC 785184245026
245010 Redbarn 5″ Steer Stick 10pk BC 785184245101
247000 Redbarn 7″ Steer Stick BC 785184247006
251005 Redbarn 7″ Bully Stick 3pk BC 785184251058
290091 Redbarn 9″ Bully 1lb Bag BC 785184290095
C207001 Redbarn 7″ Bully BC 785184207017
C207016 Redbarn 7″ Bully Stick 6pk BC 785184207062
C236001 Redbarn 36″ Bully Stick BC 785184236116
Item# CHEWEY LOUIE Best By Code Ending UPC
807101 Chewy Louie 7″ Bully Stick BC 785184807019
Item# GOOS LOVIN’ Best By Code Ending UPC
2729250 Good Lovin’ 10pk Steer BC 800443272732
2729381 Good Lovin’ 6pk Bully Stick BC 800443272862
2729410 Good Lovin’ 7″ Bully Stick BC 800443272893
2729461 Good Lovin’ 5″ Bully Stick BC 800443272947
2729532 Good Lovin’ XL Bully BC 800443273012
207004 Prime Cuts 7″ Bully Stick BC 800443104798
207005 Time for Joy Holiday 7″ Bully BC 800443287781
207013  Prime Cuts 7″ Bully 3pk BC 800443120446
Item# DENTLEY’S Best By Code Ending UPC
920068 Dentley’s 7” Bully Stick BC 737257479852

Where They Were Sold

The affected lots of these treats were distributed nationwide March 2017 through February 2018 in grocery retail and pet specialty stores. To see examples of product packaging and artwork visit the Redbarn Pet Products website at Redbarn Pet Products.

What to Do

If you purchased an affected lot of these treats discontinue using them immediately. They can be returned to the place of purchase for a full refund.

If you have any questions or concerns you can contact Redbarn by phone at 1-800-775-3849 or by email at

To see the expanded recall notice issued March 7 click HERE.


Salmonella is a very common bacteria that is found in the intestines of animals. When food is not handled properly it can become contaminated with Salmonella. If you handle contaminated food you can then spread that bacteria by touching other things with your contaminated hands.

Salmonella can make your dog and you sick.


3D Salmonella up Close

If your dog has eaten some of the recalled dog chews you should monitor them for:

  • lethargy
  • diarrhea or bloody diarrhea
  • fever
  • vomiting
  • decreased appetite
  • abdominal pain

If your dog has eaten the potentially contaminated chews and is exhibiting any of these symptoms be sure to call your veterinarian! Some animals eating the contaminated treats won’t exhibit symptoms but could still infect other animals or humans, so keep an eye on your dog’s furry and human friends as well.

If you have any of the affected lots of chews in your home you should also monitor yourself and others for:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea or bloody diarrhea
  • abdominal pain
  • fever

Severe human Salmonella infections can cause:

  • arterial infections
  • endocarditis
  • arthritis
  • muscle pain
  • eye irritation
  • urinary tract symptoms

If you have been in contact with these treats and are exhibiting any of these symptoms be sure to call your doctor!

About Redbarn Pet Products

Redbarn Pet Products is a family owned business located in California. Their website indicates they take the safety of their products, pets, and customers as a number one concern. They have a large quality assurance team and the conduct over 400 safety tests on their products every week. A product is declared safe to ship only after it has tested negative for bacteria and pathogens.

President Jeff Sutherland stated “In expanding this voluntary recall, in conjunction with the FDA, we are standing by our core values of quality and integrity. After further investigation, we have decided to recall all products that were produced from raw materials sourced from this supplier to ensure we fully captured all potentially affected product and keep our customers safe.”


9 of the BEST Dog Training Treats for 2018 – Treats Your Dog will Wiggle for!


My golden retriever Maui is a service dog so we go through plenty of treats as we review commands and are out in public. To accommodate for those extra treats, I cut back on the amount of regular dog food she gets at mealtime. The weather has been excruciatingly cold this winter in Minnesota so I pretty much try to stay indoors which severely limits Maui’s physical activity. Despite cutting back on mealtime food, I recently noticed Maui has put on a few unwanted extra pounds. To get her more active, I have started taking her to a mall once in a while to do a few laps or for a jog around the gym when I am done working out.

I also decided to take a look at calorie content in the treats she has been getting. But I didn’t just research her treats; I looked around at others as well. I wanted to take a look at what wholesome, natural, USA made treats are out there and compare ingredients and calorie content.

Here are 9 of the best dog training treats for you!


Chicken Liver Freeze-Dried Dog Treats

This Stewart Pro-Treat is 100% chicken liver; absolutely nothing else has been added. The raw chicken liver is freeze-dried and chopped into reward sized treats. These single ingredient treats are great for dogs on limited ingredient diets or with allergies. I’ve used this product and I would say you could get your dog to do just about anything for these treats! Calorie content per treat is not listed on the container Based on the calorie content in 1 oz. of chicken liver and that the container indicates about 350 treats/container I figure each treat to have approximately 1.1 kcal. Your dog will love these liver treats and you will feel great giving them to him.


Zuke’s Mini Naturals

These tender little morsels come in six different flavors for your pup. They come in chicken, peanut butter & oats, salmon, duck, pork, and rabbit. Each weighing in at only 2.3 (or slightly less) kcal per treat. Mini Naturals are single protein treats, so you can feel comfortable with them if your dog is on a limited ingredient diet or has specific allergies. They are also made with wholesome, natural ingredients and are corn, wheat, and soy free so you don’t have to worry about what’s in them!


PureBites Lamb Freeze-Dried Dog Treats

These 100% natural single ingredient treats are made solely of lamb liver. The protein is sourced from New Zealand but freeze-dried in the U.S. These freeze-dried liver treats come in nicely sized bits for easy feeding and post a low 2.9 kcal per treat. Made only from lamb liver, you can be sure your dog will go bonkers for these!


Freeze-Dried Raw Carnivore Crunch

Carnivore Crunch by Stella & Chewy’s comes in four taste varieties, chicken, beef, duck, and turkey. The chicken, beef, and turkey varieties are single protein treats, so you can feel confident they are good for dogs on limited ingredient diets or with allergies. The duck recipe also includes turkey. Each recipe is made of 98% cage-free poultry or grass-fed beef along with nutrient-rich organs and bones.  These treats are gluten and grain free; include no added hormones or antibiotics; and no artificial ingredients. Each treat has only 3 kcal so you don’t have to worry about overfeeding when you pamper your pup with a few of these.


Blue Dog Bakery Perfect Trainers

You and your dog will love these soft and chewy little morsels that come in a single flavor of grilled chicken and cheese. Blue Dog Bakery prides itself on making healthy all-natural treats that contain no animal byproducts; artificial flavors or colors; or preservatives, so you can be assured your dog is getting no unnecessary ingredients or chemicals. Each treat contains only 3 kcal.


Blue Bits

Blue Bits by Blue Buffalo come in soft and crunchy varieties. Your dog will love these soft bits that come in flavors of beef, chicken, salmon, and turkey and the crunchy treats that are available in banana & peanut butter and blueberry & yogurt. These soft treats are 3.5 kcal each while the crunchy treats are 3 Kcal each. As with the Wild Bits, these treats include no chicken/poultry by-product meal; no corn, whey, or soy; and no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. They DO include DHA to support cognitive development and omega-3 & 6 fatty acids to promote your dogs’ healthy skin and coat.


Fruitables Skinny Minis

These soft and chewy treats will tantalize your dog’s taste buds as they come in five intriguingly unique flavors including apple bacon; pumpkin and berry; grilled bison; watermelon; and rotisserie chicken. You can smile knowing that each recipe is free of wheat, corn, soy, gluten, and artificial flavors and colors. Each treat is 3.5 cal.


Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wild Bits

Another treat you can feel great about because they are made by Blue Buffalo. These Wild Bits are soft little treats made for your dog from deboned chicken, salmon, or duck. These morsels are 100% grain free and are 4 kcal per treat. As with the Blue Bits, they are free of chicken/poultry by-product meal, corn, whey, soy, as well as artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors. These treats also have the bonus of DHA and Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. For a more thorough review of the chicken flavor click HERE.


Nutro Crunchy Treats

Nutro’s crunchy treats are sure to please you and your dog because they come in a variety of flavors including banana, peanut butter, apple, mixed berry; and chicken & carrot. All are packed with natural ingredients, no artificial preservatives or flavors are added. I’ve used nearly all flavors of these treats and can safely say that Maui loves them all! You can literally see whole blueberries in some of the mixed berry treats! These treats are 5 kcal each, so a smidgen higher than some others. Click HERE to see a more thorough review of the Nutro crunchy apple treats.

Lynne and Maui