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14

Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food Topper by Sojos.

 

Maui gets to try her first dog food topper!

We received the Sojos Mix-a-Meal freeze-dried raw lamb dog food topper for being part of the Chewy.com Influencer Program. I was pretty excited about this one because we (I mean Maui) have never tried a topper before. I kind of felt like a kid in a candy store (thinking that might not be a good analogy since I am talking about raw freeze-dried lamb).

Sojos makes a meal food topperMaui is always interested in the bags we get from Chewy. She was especially interested after one of her teeth poked a hole in this bag and she could smell what was inside!

 

Sojos Mix-a-Meal Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food Topper

The Sojos Mix-a-Meal dog food topper is a grain-free, freeze-dried raw meat to add your dogs’ kibble as a protein-rich, uber delicious topper (or mixer). Toppers are not meant to be the main meal but are meant to be added to what your dog regularly gets as a meal.

Maui received the freeze-dried lamb flavor but the Mix-a-Meals come in a variety of different recipes:

  • Lamb
  • Turkey
  • Beef
  • Chicken

 

Freeze-Dried Raw Meat

Talking about the ingredients is pretty darn simple with this product. The Mix-a-Meal freeze-dried lamb topper includes …. lamb. That’s it.

The other flavor toppers are just as easy. The chicken topper includes chicken; the turkey topper includes turkey, and the beef topper includes (are you ready for it) beef.

Each of these freeze-dried raw meat toppers only includes that one single ingredient. High-protein, super nutritious freeze-dried meat.

This is great for dogs with any sort of food sensitivities or allergies. Single ingredient, single protein foods make it effortless to be 100% sure of what your dog is eating.

 

Raw beef and chicken

Source of Ingredients

The Sojos website is a bit minimalistic compared to other pet product brands. Had to look in the FAQ section to find out about where ingredients are sourced.

Sojos sources about 80% of their ingredients from the United States. Some protein options, as well as the seasonality of ingredients, require they source some ingredients from elsewhere. As an example, they say the venison comes from New Zealand and goat from Australia.

Other Sojos products included vitamins and minerals. The company indicates most are sourced from the United States; some from other countries; but none are sourced from China.

 

 

The Look and Smell

I definitely would not recommend sticking your nose into the bag. I do this with every new treat and food Maui gets; I guess just because I’m curious. I definitely would not recommend taking a big whiff of this freeze-dried topper as it is not a very pleasant smell. Don’t know what I expected, as it literally is just freeze-dried meat.

The freeze-dried lamb pieces are comparable I would say to one or two pieces of Captain Crunch or one or two crunch berries. They are a little bit randomly shaped but consistently about that general size.

 

How Much to Feed Your Dog

These Sojos Mix-a-Meal freeze-dried toppers are meant to be a supplement to your dogs regular dry or canned food.

The bag offers no suggestion of how much to feed. I guess they leave it up to us to determine how much we want to add in. It will certainly depend on the size of your dog and how much they normally eat.

 

Calories and How to Feed

I do want to stress – you need to watch the calories! If you leave the amount of dry or wet dog food you feed the same and then add this on top, your dog will be getting a lot more calories than usual. This can add up quickly and your dog will become overweight.

Sojos dog food topper caloriesThe freeze-dried lamb recipe indicates there is 228 kcal/cup.

When you add a topper to your dogs’ food be sure to decrease the amount of regular dry or wet food your dog gets to compensate for the added calories of the dog food topper.

When I gave it to Maui I decreased her regular kibble by about ¼ cup and only added ½ a cup of the Sojos freeze-dried lamb topper to her food.

Depending on the size of your dog; how much they regularly eat; and how much of the topper you want to add, you will have to decide the most suitable ratio of food to topper for your pet.

 

What People Think

This is a new product for Sojos as none of the flavors of these Mix-a-Meal toppers have reviews on Chewy.com yet.

Pulling up other Sojos products on Chewy.com shows me that people really, really like the brand! Nearly all of the Sojos products listed have a 4 to a 5-star rating!

 

Sojos dog food topper selections

 

People seem to like the Sojos product line on Amazon as well!

Sojos reviews

Pros & Cons

I can only go based on my impression of the product and Maui’s reaction to the product, as there are no reviews of this specific product as of yet.

Pros

  • Great source of protein (not less than 50% for the lamb recipe)
  • No added, unnecessary ingredients
  • Can easily use these as treats, too!
  • Made in Minnesota

Cons

  • Maui Golden retriever with Sojos dog food topperNot completely transparent about the source of individual ingredients
  • Maui won’t stop bugging me for it when she sees the bag
  • Can only currently be found on Chewy.com (it’s a brand new product!)

 

What We Think

I’m sure you know that Maui absolutely loves it! She already knows the bag and will definitely be disappointed when it’s all gone.

I love that it’s a single ingredient, single protein topper. I do wish that Sojos was more upfront and transparent about the origins of all of their ingredients. I also find it a bit confusing that I cannot find this product anywhere except on Chewy.com; it is not even listed on the Sojos.com website. For these reasons, I give this product a 9/10.

Maui gives the Sojos Mix-a-Meal freeze-dried lamb raw dog food topper a definite two paws way up! She loves it so much she tried to steal the bag when we were doing photos!

Top it all,

Lynne and Maui

 

 

 

 

Give the Sojos dog food toppers a try and let Maui know what your pup thinks of it!

Share your experiences below in the comments!

 

 

10

I and Love and You Nice U.S.A. Made Jerky Dog Treats.

Wow, sorry we have been absent so much lately! Maui’s typist (i.e. me) has just had a lot on her mind lately and on top of that, computer problems and a summer cold. It feels like we are getting back in the groove and back to business now, though!

Maui has been anxious to get back to writing because during our absence she received her next items from Chewy.com for participating in their Influencer Program. Maui said it’s like Christmas and she must tell everyone about what she got!

We will start out by telling you about the delicious, chewy USA made dog jerky she received. She just can’t stop drooling about them (excuse me while I go get a towel)!

 

I and Love and You Nice Jerky Bites

The Nice Jerky Bites come in a variety pack! This one was totally a celebration for Maui! She thought it was just one bag of treats but to her surprise, after opening the outside bag three smaller bags spilled out! She didn’t know which one to sniff first!

This variety pack of super tender, chewy grain-free dog treats contains three delicious flavors of jerky:

  • Chicken & salmon
  • Beef & lamb
  • Chicken & duck

Have you ever had your favorite bag of snacks out and you feel like you could eat the whole thing? Yeah, that’s how Maui feels about these!

By the way, you can buy each jerky flavor recipe individually as well, instead of the variety pack!

 

Super Barktabulous Ingredients

Each flavor recipe of the Nice Jerky Bites has real meat as the first ingredient! No wait, they have real meat (or salmon) as the first two ingredients!

 

 

Actually, all of the I and Love and You dog foods, cat foods, and treats have real meat as the first ingredient!

 

Calories Per Treat

Have to do some work and math for this one. The image shown above tells us how many kcal/oz, not per treat. We gotta figure it out…

The three different recipes average out to about 108 kcal/oz.

Maui’s three bags average 22.5 treats/bag …. doing the math …

That’s about 19 calories per treat.

Thanks for the math refresher I and Love and You. Maui skirted the math task over to me since she couldn’t get the buttons with her paw.

 

 

Ingredients, Ingredients, Ingredients

I’m liking this company! They are upfront and honest about whatever you want to know (even their pets’ favorite music).

When it comes to sourcing ingredients for their products, they are upfront about where things come from.

All of their products are manufactured in the USA but some of the high-quality ingredients are sourced from other countries such as Canada, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand.

None of their high-quality ingredients such as proteins, fruits, and vegetables are sourced from China but they do indicate some of the added vitamins, amino acids, and minerals are sourced from China.

While these supplements are sourced from China, they are “formulated, sourced, and blended in the United States by a US company”. These ingredients are thoroughly tested and quality checked to ensure they are safe for our pets to eat.

 

Size and Shape

This USA dog jerky honestly looks good enough for us to eat!

 

When we opened the bags we were not met with an overwhelming ‘jerky’ smell like you get when you open a pack of human beef jerky. To be honest I don’t consider this a bad thing because I can’t stand the smell of beef jerky.

The Jerky Bites are thick, super tender, and deliciously chewy (Maui said so).

The pieces are rectangle or square in shape and range in size from about 1 to 1-½ inches.

Maui just flat out loved these, but I love the fact that they are real meat protein and can be very easily ripped or cut into smaller pieces.

 

More Variety Than a Variety Pack

You can purchase the three different flavors as a variety pack which contains one 4 ounce bag each of the chicken & salmon; chicken & duck, and beef & lamb flavor recipes.

You can also purchase each flavor recipe individually in a 4 ounce bag; as a 3 pack (3 4-oz bags); or as a 1 pound bag!

 

What People Think

Maui got lucky when we were doing the video for these. I was recording her first experience eating the treats so we could share with you … but I didn’t push the record button. Maui got to do it all over again, getting to eat a second round of these pawlicious jerky treats! I heard no arguments coming from her!

 

 

I and Love and You is a smaller, employee-owned company in Colorado. The reviews for the different flavored Nice Jerky Bites are not huge in number but they are huge in love! People (well, hopefully their dogs) love these jerky treats!

The average rating for each flavor recipe individually as well as the variety pack range from 4.7 – 4.9 stars out of 5!

 

 

 

Where to Find Nice Jerky Bites

You can find I and Love and You products at major online retailers, large brick-and-mortar retailers, and surprisingly a lot of smaller co-op and market type of retailers. You can easily look up local retailers on their website by clicking HERE.

Current prices for the variety pack are:

IandLoveandYou.com – $16.99

Chewy.com – $16.99 ($16.14 with Autoship)

Amazon.com – $31.99 (that’s crazy!)

Individual 4 ounce bag prices are:

IandLoveandYou.com – $5.99

Chewy.com -$4.08 – $5.99 ($3.08 – $5.69 with Autoship)

Amazon.com – $4.09 – $5.99

Jet.com – $4.08 – $6.19

Target – $4.39

Maui golden retriever with I and love and you nice jerky bites

Pros & Cons

Incorporating the pros and cons we found online along with ours:

PROS

  • Dogs LOVE them
  • Limited ingredient treat
  • Easy to break apart
  • Enjoyed getting the three different flavors in the variety pack
  • Great for dogs with few teeth

CONS

As can be expected, Maui had none!

  • A couple of reviewers said the easy open bags did not tear very easily
  • One reviewer on Chewy.com felt the price for the variety pack was too high (others felt the price was reasonable)

 

The End Result

These I and Love and You Nice Jerky Bites are definitely tail wag worthy! Not only does Maui love them but nearly everyone else who tried them LOVES them, too!

Going to deduct a fraction of a point for not listing the source of the glycerin on the bag, so these treats get 9.5/10 paws!

 

Drool on my frens, drool on!

Lynne and Maui

 

 

 

 

Have you tried these jerky dog treats?

Tell us what you think of them!

 

 

 

 

 

8

Ridiculously Easy Homemade Frozen Dog Treats Recipe!

 

I have been wanting to do a post about homemade frozen dog treats but somehow the summer has slipped away too quickly! It is already heading towards the middle of August and I haven’t posted my incredibly super-simple one ingredient (two if you include the water) frozen easy homemade dog treat recipe!

If you read my other posts about homemade dog treats (Homemade No Bake Dog Treats & Amazing Homemade Dog Training Treats), you know I like recipes that are easy and do not require a lot of ingredients. Call me lazy, I don’t know. I enjoy making made treats for Maui but it seems strange putting a ton of effort and multiple ingredients into a little treat that might not even be chewed more than twice before it is swallowed.

The goal of making treats for your dog is to obviously make them something they will enjoy. This doesn’t require five or 10 ingredients, special cookie cutters, or a whole afternoon. It means finding the things your dog likes and making treats out of them. This following recipe is about as simple as it can get and Maui absolutely loves them!

 

Creation of the Recipe

You can find a lot of really awesome frozen dog treat recipes on the Internet. I’ve looked at a lot of them. I was about to give some of them a go and realized a few things –

  • I didn’t want to spend money on cute little freezing trays.
  • A lot of the freezing trays create small frozen treats. Maui is a big dog which means she would likely chew these frozen treats. Who wants to chew a frozen treat? Brain freeze!
  • Many of the recipes call for yogurt which I didn’t have at the time so I opted for water as the liquid ingredient.
  • I wanted to create a frozen treat that Maui could lick instead of chew.
  • I wanted three ingredients maximum, with less being better.

 

Choosing the Liquid Ingredient

These frozen dog treats consist of two ingredients.

As I mentioned above, a lot of frozen dog treat recipes include yogurt. Yogurt is an awesome food for dogs and Maui actually gets a little bit every day but in creating this super simple summer dog treats I opted for water. I did this for three reasons …

  1. I didn’t have any yogurt at the time.
  2. Maui likes to lie down when she working on something she can’t just gulp down in a few chews. This means whatever I make for her will be lying right in front of her getting all over her mane (chest fur). I envisioned quite a mess on her fur and did not want to clean that up.
  3. Water is good for everyone.

You can certainly use yogurt, it’s an excellent source of calcium and nutrients. You can even use bone broth, which is a really great source of nutrients and even have some healing properties. You can read about the benefits of bone broth here.

 

The Second Ingredient

I wanted to use natural, fresh, wholesome fruits or vegetables as the second ingredient. All I did was think about what fruits and vegetables Maui enjoys the most and which of those I currently had in the refrigerator.

She loves carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and apples, amongst other fruits and vegetables. She of course also loves peanut butter.

We chose to o a broccoli, an apple, a peanut butter, and a carrot frozen treat! See what she thinks of them later in this post!

 

What to Make Them in

There are lots of super cute candy molds you can buy so you can make treats in the shape of paw prints, dog bones, or little hearts. I love them and almost purchased some until I remembered the fact that I wanted something big enough for Maui to lick and not just chew.

I shopped around on Amazon and found a mold that makes 2 ½ inch sqHim him him him him him him him him crap for me uare ice cubes. Now we’re talking!

If your dog likes to go after rolling balls I also found 2 ½ inch sphere ice molds! You could literally make an ice ball treat for your dog to lick on and chase around (certainly don’t throw it as I’m certain they would crack teeth, but rolling it around could be fun).

If you have a super big dog or a voracious chewer you could even use something like a plastic container from Cool Whip or ice cream and make a gargantuan frozen blended treat!

 

Making the Treat Cubes

The cube tray has four slots so we tried four different vegetables/fruits, one for each spot.

I have a Nutri Ninja Professional personal blender that I use for my own smoothies so I used this to create a slurry for these frozen treats. These little guys are not all that expensive and they work really well! I looked it up on Amazon and they are actually on sale right now, so it would be a good time to swoop in and grab one if you need it.

I loaded about half a cup of carrots and about 2/3 cup water into the blender cup, tightened on the blender lid and blended for about 30 to 60 seconds.

 

We then just poured the slurry into one spot of the freezing tray.

We repeated this process making a broccoli slurry, and apple slurry, and a peanut butter slurry. Each went into their own location in the freezing tray.

We filled these a little too full; they ended up overflowing into each other. I’d recommend not filling them right up to the top; leave about 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch.

 

 

Place that full freezing tray into the freezer until frozen (how many times can I say some form of the word freeze or frozen).

That’s it.

Pure and simple.

 

Final Result

We’ve had some pretty hot days recently here in Minnesota so I broke out these frozen treats so Maui could give them a try.

We soaked the tray in some warm water for a few minutes to melt them just a tad so they were easier to get out of the tray.

 

 

Maui quickly chose her favorite! Peanut butter! Since she was so focused on the peanut butter frozen treat, we put the other three back in the freezer for another day.

Maui chased that treat across the driveway until it was gone! She loved it!

She went back looking for the other three and seemed disappointed they were gone. Need to distribute the yum, though!

 

Give them a try and let us know what your pup thinks!

Share your story!

Lynne and Maui

 

 

12

Earthborn Holistic Dog Treats – Lamb Treats for Dogs!

Forrest

Have you ever debated between helping to save the planet and buying a bag of dog treats? Me neither. But if you ever have, Earthborn Holistic will certainly help solve that dilemma!

Not only does Earthborn Holistic make premium dog foods, cat foods, and dog treats, they have a program that turns UPC codes from their product packages into trees!

They also have the ReBORN program that donates money to pet charities AND they are huge into finding ways to help the environment and our earth.

Maui’s BFF at Chewy.com helped us choose the lamb recipe Earthborn Holistic dog treats for our participation in the Chewy influencer program. In exchange for Maui’s honest opinion of products, Chewy sends us a couple of bags of free treats per month. As you can imagine, Maui loves Chewy!

 

Earthborn Holistic EarthBites

Earthborn’s EarthBites lamb treats for dogs are soft, moist, and chewy premium treats your dog will totally drool for! They are made with high-quality lamb meal, wholesome fruits and vegetables and are packed full of omega fatty acids and vitamins!

EarthBites come in several different pawsome flavor recipes including –

  • Cheese
  • Chicken meal
  • Lamb meal
  • Peanut
  • Hip & joint (turkey protein with glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate)
  • Skin & coat (fish protein with balanced Omega -6 & Omega -3 fatty acids)

     Buy from Amazon button

EarthBites Lamb Meal Recipe

All of the EarthBites recipes are grain free and the lamb meal recipe is no exception.

The lamb recipe is packed full of protein-rich lamb meal as well as nutritious and delicious fruits and vegetables.

 

Lamb meal is right at the top of the ingredients which packs these treats with a good amount of protein  – a minimum of 15%!

These treats are also a good source of vitamin E, vitamin C, Omega-6 fatty acids, and Omega -3 fatty acids. All of which help keep your dog healthy in their skin and coat soft and shiny!

Earthborn lamb earthbites analysis

The Look and Size

A company called Earthborn Holistic makes me think of a business that is reliable and genuine but also down to earth with a solid straightforward approach. I think this comes through in the appearance of the EarthBites.

Earth Bites are just a simple cylindrically shaped dog treat. Kind of like if you were to cut a Slim Jim into 1-inch pieces.

Since the treats are soft and chewy, the shape makes them super easy to break or cut into smaller pieces which is great for smaller dogs or for use as training treats.

In a way, I find the shape comforting … knowing they didn’t spend extra time and money trying to make the treats cute. Instead, they spent their time and money making the treats nutritious and healthy.

 

Earthborn earthbites lamb sizes

 

What People Think

Maui couldn’t get enough of these Earthborn dog treats! When she REALLY wants something she is perfect at sitting at attention and she was sitting like an angel for these! Even if I would move an inch, she’d be up but her rear would hit the floor ASAP! I couldn’t even get her to let go of the bag when we were taking a picture for this post!

Earthborn isn’t a massive company like some other manufacturers so the number of reviews is smaller. The reviews they do have are excellent!

Earthborn earthbites reviews Amazon

People are saying great things on Chewy.com –

Earthborn earthbites reviews chewy.com

 

UPCs for Trees

Earthborn Holistic has an awesome program called UPCs for Trees.

Each Earthborn Holistic product has a UPC code on the package. When you mail in those UPC codes, they plant trees!

So far this program has planted 552,402 trees around the world, helping to reduce harmful greenhouse gases!

Here’s how it works –

It’s pretty spectacular that by doing a little thing like sending back UPCs, we can have a big impact on our earth!

 

Donating to Pet Charities

In partnership with TerraCycle, the Earthborn ReBorn Project helps raise money for pet charities; so far they’ve helped raise $32,802.

How it works: bring your empty Earthborn Holistic bags to a participating retailer and place them in the ReBORN collection bin. The bags are shipped to TerraCycle where they are weighed and recycled.

Each pound of Earthborn Holistic bags results in money being donated to that retailer’s pet charity of choice!

Find a participating retailer so that you can recycle your Earthborn Holistic bags!

earthbor reborn find a retailer

 

Where to Find EarthBites

There are multiple online and brick-and-mortar retailers that carry Earthborn Holistic products so you shouldn’t have any problem at all finding these treats.

Listed here are some online retailers that carry the Earthborn Holistic EarthBites lamb treats for dogs. The price doesn’t vary too much from retailer to retailer, ranging from $5.44 to $5.99 per 7.5 ounce bag.

Chewy.com – $5.99

Amazon.com – $5.99     buy from amazon

Jet.com – $5.99

Petguys.com have them on sale right now for $5.44

 

Pros & Cons

Polling my and Maui’s opinions of the Earthborn Holistic EarthBites lamb meal recipe, here are some pros and cons –

PROS

Maui absolutely devours them

The price is great

Earthborn Earthbites with golden retrieverMade with high-quality lamb meal and fruits and vegetables

Earthborn Holistic is extremely active in preserving and saving the environment

Decent size package for treats

CONS

Maui found no cons

The only con I have is that they smell like wet dog food, so not a big deal considering they ARE a dog food.

One reviewer on chewy.com indicated he felt they were too “medicinal” smelling (I did not find with our bag).

 

Final Score

These Earthborn Holistic lamb treats for dogs are big paws up for Maui! She honestly could not get enough of them and was glued to my side until I finally put the bag down on the countertop.

Maui gives them a paw way up!

 

Cheers to our Earth,

Lynne and Maui

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