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Showing posts with label pet treats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pet treats. Show all posts

Monday, July 25, 2022

Trader Joe's Grain Free Cheeseburger Flavor Dog Treats


Man, that logo looks familiar. Where have I seen that before? Oh yeah, it's pretty similar to a well-known burger joint for people. Has Trader Joe's captured the famous flavor of an In-N-Out Burger in a tiny, crunchy dog treat?

In a word: NO. I sampled the biscuits myself, and I can tell you straight up, they taste nothing like a real hamburger. Despite the fact that there is some real beef and cheese in the biscuits, the dominant flavor here is not unlike dry, bitter falafel, probably by virtue of chickpeas being the main ingredient. If you ask me, they're not particularly appetizing even if there is a faint whisper of actual meat and dairy in there...


But then again, I'm not a dog. Our canines LOVED these. They're crispy and crunchy with a texture not unlike classic Milk-Bone treats. They're easy to break apart into smaller bite-size chunks in case you have smaller mutts like we do. Alfred and Sadie go NUTS when this box gets shaken. They come running with the quickness and begin hastily doing tricks before they're even asked to.

Next time you get fast food takeout or fire up some burgers on the grill, you don't have to leave Rover out of the fun. $2.99 for the box. Would buy again.


Four paw prints a piece from Sadie and Alfred for Trader Joe's Grain Free Cheeseburger Flavor Dog Treats...plus we'll throw in an extra half a paw print for nice presentation.

Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Trader Joe's Deli Style Corned Beef Flavor Dog Treats


Well this product is seasonally-appropriate, at least. Along with potatoes, Irish bangers, Irish soda bread, and of course Lucky Charms cereal, corned beef is a classic St. Patrick's Day meal. And since we've never seen any actual corned beef products for people from Trader Joe's, it looks like these dog treats are on deck for a review.

Even the packaging is green, white, and orange. How festive. And although there are no shamrocks or overt mentions of the patron saint of Ireland, we know what Trader Joe's was going for. The spiel on the back of the bag even suggests making a reuben sandwich for dogs using these corned beef treats.


Let's check out the ingredients. They include beef, potato, paprika, and celery powder. Heck with ingredients like that, I'd consider eating them. With grocery prices these days, I may have to...

But my dogs would have something to say about that, because they love these treats. There's a good bit of protein and fat, and of course no grains. If you stick your nose in the bag, it really does smell like real corned beef. As far as dog snacks go, these are pretty top-notch, quality-wise. And they're top-notch taste-wise, too, if I go by my mutts' reaction when I break this bag out of the pet pantry.


No dog deli near you? No problem. These are authentic deli style dog treats. Alfred and Sadie both agree. Four paw prints a piece.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Monday, February 7, 2022

Trader Joe's Grain Free Mint Flavor Dog Treats with Beet Powder


Nothing says Valentine's season like beet powder and mint. I mean sure, there's always candy and chocolate, but those things aren't good for dogs. What are ya gonna do?

Fortunately, Trader Joe's has treats with the beet powder and mint flavors dogs crave. Some of you probably realize I'm being facetious. Do dogs crave those things? I doubt it.

But they sure tolerate them, especially when they're all wrapped up in a crunchy, red, heart-shaped, chickpea-based dog cookie. They're perfect for gifting your beloved canines on Valentine's Day. We wouldn't want to leave Alfred and Sadie out of the festivities, now would we?


There's a nice pepperminty fragrance when you open the not-resealable cellophane baggie inside the box. The treats are a faint pinkish color, thanks to the beet powder, so there's no need to poison your pooch with Red 40 or anything like that.

The mint might be less for flavor and more to freshen your best friend's breath. And it did, at least a little bit. The Greenies we give our dogs once a day seem to keep their breath at least tolerable, but giving them a minty fresh breath boost once in a while is never a bad thing.


These snap in half easily and make pretty good bite-size treats for our small dogs after doing so. Both of the little fuzzballs chomped them up quickly enough and came around asking for seconds moments later, so they like them reasonably well, but I think they'll always prefer the softer, moister treats like the Better Than Leftovers in the end.

$2.99 for the box. Three and a half paw prints a piece for Trader Joe's Grain Free Mint Flavor Dog Treats with Beet Powder from Alfred and Sadie.

Bottom line: 7 out of 10.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Maple Bacon Flavored Stuffies Dog Treats

If your dogs are like ours, they feel left out during fall while humans gorge themselves on pumpkin and maple flavored stuff, while they generally only have normal dog treats available. Well, thankfully now they're in luck. Trader Joe's has stuffed not just pumpkin, not just maple, but also bacon flavor into these unique autumnal snacks for man's best friend.

I tried a bite. Seriously. They're surprisingly flavorful for dog biscuits. You can actually taste maple flavor. I didn't notice pumpkin or pumpkin spice really. There may have been a subtle trace of cinnamon, but that's about it. There's no bacon flavor per se in my opinion, but there is an unusually smoky element. I'm guessing it's supposed to be like smoked bacon or something. "Iiiit's BACOOOON!" added our dog Alfred, or so I imagine he's thinking behind those big brown eyes now popped wide open, staring at the bag begging for just one more treat...

Years ago, we saw quite a few very large, extraordinarily hard dog cookies from Trader Joe's. We had to snap them in halves or even quarters just to make them manageable for our little monsters.


These treats are much smaller and softer, so they're a little more optimized for small dogs. We still generally break them in two, but it's very easy to do so, and I'm confident even a whole piece wouldn't kill them. If you have a big dog, just give him a couple at a time, and I'm sure Rover will be perfectly happy.

Also, some of our older pet treat reviews had quite a few comments stating that Trader Joe's treats made their pets sick—that they'd vomit or have bowel issues after consumption. Our doggies have fairly sensitive systems, but they've never had any issues with TJ's treats. Granted, we only give them one or two at a time, and I think that's key: moderation, even for canines. But if your pups have ever had issues, by all means, drop a comment down below for the benefit of future readers.


Our dogs both loved these. They'd push each other out of the way just to grab the next treat, with Alfred just a little more enthusiastic than Sadie. So four paw prints from Alfie and three and a half from Sadie.

Sonia and I will each add half a paw print because there's a resealable bag, fun artwork on the packaging, and $3.79 for 14 oz. is a decent value. I think this seasonal product might be done for the year. You might get lucky if your individual store has some overstock, but you'll probably have to wait until fall '22 to get your paws on more Trader Joe's Pumpkin Maple Bacon Flavored Stuffies Dog Treats.

Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Trader Joe's Better Than Leftovers! Dog Treats

Ah, the Easter season. Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and everything's coming back to life. What a lovely time of year. 

There will be church services, big family meals, and Easter egg hunts. Speaking of Easter egg hunts, I heard about this couple...that actually does Easter egg hunts...for their dogs. I mean, wow. That's a little...eccentric, to put it kindly. What kind of social deviants do Easter egg hunts for pets?

Speaking of pets, ours absolutely LOVED these treats. Yes, you may argue, you've watched a couple previous videos and in pretty much every one, the dogs indiscriminately inhale the treats with little regard to the subtleties of the food's taste or texture, providing virtually no clues as to the quality or value of the product. In essence, it appears that Alfred and Sadie love all the Trader Joe's brand dog treats we've given them. 

While this may be true, you'll have to trust us, as their mommy and daddy owners, we can tell they liked these treats just a little bit more than the average doggie snack. Furthermore, there are five different flavors here, the treats are nice and soft, and they're a convenient, tiny bite-size for our small pups.


The flavors included are: roast beef, gravy, cheese, sweet potato, and apple pie. At a quick glance, there appear to only be two different colors of treats. I think we decided the lighter orange color was either sweet potato or apple pie. If you smell the treats, you can tell that there are, in fact, five distinct fragrances. I refrained from eating one (this time) to find out how they actually tasted, but the look on our dogs' faces said it all.

$4.19 for the resealable bag. I, personally, think this is the best dog treat we've seen from Trader Joe's to date. Four and a half paw prints a piece from Sadie and Alfred.

Nate's Notes: Sonia and I may or may not be the above-mentioned couple that does Easter egg hunts for their dogs. You'll just have to watch the video to find out.


Bottom line: 9 out of 10.

Happy Easter!

Monday, June 1, 2020

Trader Joe's Mint-A-Breath Bones

For the past few years, our dogs have been obsessed with Greenies brand dental treats. If you're a dog owner, you might want to check them out if you haven't already. They really do help clean the dogs' teeth. There's a noticeable reduction in yellow stains on our pooches' chompers since they've been eating Greenies.

And they LOVE the taste and texture. They beg for them everyday. Alfred knows which drawer we keep them in, and he'll camp out next to it multiple times a day, staring at it, asking us to give him one of his favorite snacks. He barks nice and loud if we ignore him.

Both dogs gobble those things up like nothing else. They'll choose Greenies over Milk Bones, Snausages, Canine Carry Outs, or any Trader Joe's brand treat we've given them so far, and we're very pleased with their effect on our pups' breath and dental health.

Enter: Trader Joe's Mint-A-Breath Bones. How do they compare? 

First impressions: they're much harder than Greenies, which isn't particularly convenient when we want to break them in half for our very small dogs. But it's a plus in that one of these bones keeps Alfred busy for the better part of a half hour, whereas its Greenie counterpart is gone in minutes, if not seconds.


Greenies come in two different sizes. We usually go for the smaller size, but if the larger one is all that's available, we'll grab that one, and we simply break each toothbrush-shaped treat in half. These Mint-A-Breath Bones are comparable to the larger of the two Greenies sizes.

The treats were apparently too hard for Sadie, and she didn't even make a dent in hers. She's the smaller of our two dogs, and she's never really been into chew toys or super hard snacks. She's always had more stains on her teeth and worse breath than her brother, though, too. She seemed interested in the smell of the bone, but she gave up trying to eat it rather quickly.


That's the Greenie on the left, Mint-A-Bone on the right in the pic above. Ingredients-wise, the Trader Joe's version is rice-based, while the original is made with wheat. There's significantly more protein and fat in Greenies than the TJ's version, and also more calories by volume. 

I just read that the Mint-A-Breath Bones aren't recommended for dogs under 30 pounds. Whoops. I guess we'll break out a sharp kitchen knife next time and saw one in half for both our dogs. In light of that, I think we'll stick to Greenies for now. Here's a quick video with our animal friends' reactions to the bones:



Four paw prints from Alfred. Two paw prints from Sadie.

Bottom line: 6 out of 10.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Trader Joe's Advent Calendar For Dogs


Do furry animals that sniff each other's butts, chase their own tails, and sleep at least 19 hours a day really need a countdown calendar to the wildly speculative birthdate of the central figure of a human religion? Probably not. But their owners definitely do—particularly ones that failed to procreate human offspring and fantasize about their canine "kids" being their actual children and spoil them with all manner of toys, clothing, and now decorative day-by-day treat-filled chronologies of the Yuletide season.

Like TJ's other advent calendars, the art work here is whimsical and cute. And like human advent calendars, there are 25 little perforated windows to open from December 1st until Christmas Day. Most of the doors have writing on the outside—blurbs from some very strange dog's Christmas list, including things like "my very own pet orca" and "a play date with Kwazi." Kwazi is apparently a gray parrot. Don't ask me.


Unfortunately, there's only one kind of treat within—the previously-reviewed salmon and sweet potato dog treats. I was hoping they'd throw our pooches a proverbial bone and mix it up a bit from day to day. Half the fun of an advent calendar is the surprise of what's behind the door. But I suppose the dogs don't know that. At least the treats are in different shapes and sizes—that is, some days have two treats, some have square treats, some are star-shaped, and Christmas Day has a big bone-shaped treat, but they're all the same flavor.

However, half the fun of a canine advent calendar is the thrill the pups' owners get when opening the door each day. I wish there were at least different bible verses or funny jokes behind the doors. They could have done something delightfully blasphemous like changing the passage about the three wise men into a story about a pug, an akita, and a Chinese crested from the east that came to admire a magical puppy in Bethlehem. Even if they had put the items from the dog's holiday wish list on the inside of the doors rather than the outside, at least there would have been some greater element of surprise.


Alfred and Sadie like the treats pretty well. They're not super picky when it comes to between-meal snacks—dog food, yes. They'll turn their noses up at anything that's not Fresh Pet these days.

There's little competition in the world of advent calendars for canis lupus familiaris, so these things apparently sell out very quickly from most Trader Joe's stores. There are cat calendars, too. 

At $5.99 for 25+ treats, it's not a bad value. When we reviewed the salmon treats before, Sadie seemed a little more eager to eat them than Alfie. This time around, Alfred didn't hesitate at all. In fact, he tried to break open the calendar for more. So...we'll say four paw prints a piece from Alf and Sadiebug.

Bottom line: 8 out of 10.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Trader Joe's Salmon & Sweet Potato Dog Treats

Our dogs are picky eaters. We're well aware that pets are supposed to be fed a steady diet of one type of food, but our mutts get tired of the same thing over and over, just like people do. As evident as it is with their main breakfast and dinner type foods, it's even more so with treats, so we try to mix it up for them, since they're much easier to control when they're actually interested in whatever "cookie" Sonia's holding in her hand.

At $3.99, these weren't the cheapest option we've seen at TJ's, but with only two ingredients—Atlantic salmon and sweet potato—we figured they were worth a try. We know from experience our dogs love salmon—even the salmon we're not thrilled with ourselves.

Also, the bag is full of mind-blowingly helpful tips like, "Please provide fresh drinking water for your dog at all times." Gosh! Thanks, Trader Joe's. Insert macabre, sarcastic remark about pets dying of thirst. Hopefully we'll be able to hang on to Alfred and Sadie a little longer by putting that wisdom into practice.

Four out of five paw prints from Sadie. Three out of five paw prints from Alfred.



Bottom line: 7 out of 10.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Trader Joe's Chicken & Sweet Potato Sausage Bites with Cranberries Jerky Dog Treats

Happy December, everyone! Alfred and Sadie have stepped in to give us another dog treat review. Is this even a holiday item? We're treating it as if it is. There are cranberries in there, after all. And what's more holiday-ish than a cranberry?

These things smelled like the Wild King Salmon Jerky, much to the dogs' delight. How TJ's can make chicken and sweet potato smell like salmon, I'm not sure. Sonia thought they smelled like bacon. Maybe some kind of goofy rancid bacon, but hey—dogs love stuff that smells kinda funky.

The video features antlered pets (Sadie better watch out she doesn't wind up in that Venison Burger!) ...as well as Sonia's take on the dog treats. They're still a little big and firm for our small dogs, but maybe not as bad as some of the treats we've seen in the past. Our dogs loved the taste.



Bottom line: 8 out of 10.



Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Trader Joe's Gingerbread Flavor Dog Treats

It's another dog treat review! As has been the case with all of our mostly-pointless pet treat reviews, the dogs inhale the treats with reckless abandon despite the fact that they're clearly optimized for larger dogs. However, in this case, the cute gingerbread man shapes lend themselves to easy bite-size snacks for small dogs by simply decapitating and/or amputating limbs from the hapless cookie men. Be sure to click on the video, because this one features beautiful Christmas decorations, animals wearing hats, and my lovely wife eating dog food! Enjoy!



Bottom line: 8.5 out of 10.



Friday, September 25, 2015

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Flavored Dog Treats

Happy Friday, everyone! Here's a bonus review for anyone who has dogs. (It's really just an excuse to throw that hot keyword "pumpkin" out there a few more times before the human pumpkin foods roll in.) I mean, sure, Russ has found a few "harvest" items lately, but they're nothing like the "p-word" in terms of search engine love. So here we go, PUMPKIN!

Like other Trader Joe's brand pet treats, Alfred and Sadie loved these. They're too big for small dogs and they're super hard, but our hounds couldn't care less. Also, they don't taste much like pumpkin at all. Do the dogs know that? Do they care? Probably not. Just watch the video. Sorry for the run-and-gun-style shooting, shoddy editing, and poor sound quality. But hey, there are cute puppies and pretty fall pumpkin treat things. Plus, I eat dog food! Again!

For those of you pining for human pumpkin food, hang on, get ready, and stay tuned. There's a pumpkin storm coming that will utterly blow your mind!



If you're interested in the nutrition info for this product, just click here.

Bottom line: 7.5 out of 10 paw prints.



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Trader Joe's Dog Food...For People

You ever look at Fluffy or Rex, happily chomping away at whatever's in their bowl for the 3000th time, and wonder how a creature can so happily eat the same thing over and over again? Or, even better, think it'd be so great to just be able to buy a 20-lb sack of chow for like $10 like you do for the dog, and just have that be your food for a month? You think, hey, it works for them, something like that should be able to work for me. Then you remember, yes, there was once upon a time that you could do that, but college has forever ruined you on ramen noodles, so you just can't do that again.

Me? I think about that stuff often. I sure know my bank account appreciates the sentiment. Then it laughs because it hurts too much to cry.

Fortunately, we're in luck! Similar to what happened around this time last year, the WGATJ quartet has been hand-selected by Big Joe to try out a brand new product, Trader Joe's Dog Food...For People. This one actually has a significant chance to hit the market - although testing very well with us, those nitro-foam-erated salmon muffins apparently increased one's chance of spontaneous human combustion to a level that the FDA just wasn't comfortable with. Stupid regulations...

Much like the cats cookies for people, Trader Joe's Dog Food...For People is an animal-esque product clearly meant for human consumption. Don't get them confused - though Fido probably won't mind, actual dog food tastes too much like a nasty Triscuit for most people to enjoy, which Russ learned firsthand thanks to his seventh-grade science teacher. The concept itself is so straightforward yet so brilliant - it's just a sack of food pellets designed for human consumption, brimming with all sorts of nutrients and hey, some flavor, too, that makes a good, sustainable food source that's worthy of everyday eating.



Wait, you say. How can someone be happy eating the same thing every day? Doesn't that get old?
At least ramen has different colored salt packages, right? As usual, Big Joe's a step ahead. From what we've been told, there are a few varieties in the works. The one we got to sample was chicken, quinoa, apples, and Brussel sprouts, with a maple-y finish. Granted, it didn't really look like any of that, because it was just dark brown and tan crunchy pellets...but it's all there. Every bit. And to help change things up every so often, there's little "additional flavor" packets on the side to mix in - like hot sauce, bacon grease, cheddar - it's all in powdered form, but if you can overcome that, it's incredibly satiating. If that's not enough variety, there's vegan as well as seasonal varieties in the works (Thanksgiving: turkey, cranberries, sweet potatoes, gravy, pecan pie, and TUMS, for example). Just like real pet food, it comes in a 20 pound bag, so it lasts a while. Savor it in.

But...this is where it gets little weird. Might be a deal breaker for some, but trust us, it helps, we're experts. Historians have recently discovered that our primitive ancestors may have eaten on all fours before the invention of the table. They saw the animals around them doing it, so they simply copied what they saw wolves and bears doing and ate off the floor of their caves. Eating in this posture may have increased the metabolism and aided digestion. Similar to the popular "caveman diet," TJ's has latched on to this idea and thus formulated this product to be consumed like a dog or a primitive human. Nathan was kind enough to make an instructional video to demonstrate the suggested eating technique for the Trader Joe's Dog Food...For People. It's strictly educational, of course.


In all, this is a legitimate game-changer. I (Russ) have eaten nothing except this for about three or four days straight, and not only have been happy and felt great, but I've noticed some pleasant, well, not "side effects" but perhaps "unexpected bonuses." First, I'm sleeping better, in nearly any position. My senses of smell and hearing have greatly improved, and my "fur coat" (for lack of better term) has been become fuller and stronger, which was wonderful for dealing with the last of the wintry throes. I'm also feeling a lot happier, especially when seeing fire hydrants, although my wife and boss say I seem more distrac-SQUIRREL!!!!...Um, where was I?

A twenty pound bag costs only $11.99 and lasts for a few weeks, depending on how many cups I eat a day. The side panel says for an active male about my size I should eat three or four servings daily, which seems right. Really, just this, some water, and whatever scraps my toddler sneaks me are all I need. That and a little scratch behind my ears from time to time, and for that mailman to stop coming around. If there's one chow that can make my tail wag, this would be it.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Dog Food...For People: 

10 out of 10 Golden Retrievers



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Flavor Natural Dog Treats

Everybody's favorite furry four-legged foodies are back! Alfred and Sadie just tried these peanut butter flavored treats and they're big fans. But at this point in their food reviewing career, they're not super picky.

We're pretty sure their final verdict would have been a perfect score, but Sonia and I had to dock a couple of pawprints since the cookie sizes are HUGE for little dogs. The box claims they're for "big & small" dogs, but I'm gonna go ahead and say that if your dogs are as small as ours, you'll probably wanna break up those cookies for Fido, unless he has a REALLY big mouth. They're shaped like bones, fire hydrants, shoes, squirrels, couches, and cars, because dogs LOVE biscuits shaped like things they enjoy chasing, chewing up, or peeing on.

But I'll stop rambling there...because I ramble some more in the video. Click here to read the dog treat ingredients list. Also check out Alfie and Sadie's review of TJ's Chicken Recipe Jerky Sticks.



Bottom line: 8 out of 10 Pawprints.