So this stuff is basically rawhide-less rawhide. Our little monsters have only had real rawhide a couple times in their lives. Alfred was always a tad more partial to it than Sadie, but neither dog went crazy for rawhide like they do certain other treats.
Seems like they tried to simulate the appearance and texture of actual rawhide with an unusual amalgam of flours, starches, beef gelatin, and vegetable glycerin. While the product looks and feels vaguely like rawhide while dry, once your dog starts eating it, bits of Trader Joe's Holiday Bow-Wow Brunch break off fairly easily for the dog to chew and then swallow, unlike rawhide which tends to stretch out like a piece of slobbery chewed gum. Also it doesn't smell nasty like the real thing, which is nice.
The package says it's "egg, cheese & bacon flavored." Nothing screams "Christmas" like bacon, egg, and cheese, right? Well, our dogs go nuts for any and all of those ingredients, so not surprisingly, they were quite interested when I opened the pack of treats. There's a smell somewhat reminiscent of bacon, egg, and cheese that wafts from the non-resealable bag once it's opened. It's not a smell that would make a human start to salivate—that is, there's still something dog treat-esque about the scent. But hey, our dogs went nuts, and that's what counts, right?
Alfred immediately began devouring his Holiday Bow-Wow Brunch upon snatching it out of my hand. Sadie ran into another corner of the room and just kind of stared at hers for a while, not sure what to do with the unusual texture. Eventually she began licking hers like a candy cane before nibbling little pieces off. Once she got used to the texture, she wound up loving it and finished her treat just seconds after her brother.
I've decided that since Alfred and Sadie have four paws each that they should score treats on a scale of zero to four paw prints each, for a total of 0-8 possible paw prints, based solely on each of their reactions to the treat. Since everything else on this blog has been scored on a scale of 0-10, Sonia and I will give out one or two extra paw prints based on the presentation, practicality, and overall value of the product.
In the end, this is definitely a four paw print affair from each of our mutts for Trader Joe's Holiday Bow-Wow Brunch. We'll throw out one extra paw print for the festive Christmas theme and clever marketing. About $4 for five candy cane-shaped dog treats.
Bottom line: 9 out of 10.