Pros: Inexpensive, Easy to find, Resealable bag, Dog loves them
Cons: Junk food, Strong chemical smell, Parent/adult doesn't trust them
How much can you trust the taste of a dog that eats cat poop and cicadas? When dogs drag their humans all over the landscape just to snatch a freshly left gift from a furry feline vending machine is there any room for commenting on how discerning their taste buds are? I don’t think so – that’s when we have to be the parents and make the decisions.
At this moment my questionably smart blond lab (who is often claimed to be smarter than a kindergartner) is drooling at my feet. She’s bringing gifts hoping to exchange them for at least one of the dog treats in the Rival Bacon & Cheese Flavor bag next to me. She’s singing subtle little tunes hoping to woo me. She’ll eventually get one but the adult/parent in me is having a problem with the bag’s contents.
We’re obviously not that picky, she gets an almost daily Beggin’ Strip, either bacon flavor and bacon and cheese flavor. Both quickly turn on the doggy drool machine. The ingredients are quite similar to those of the Rival Bacon & Cheese Flavor dog treats – but, the smell of Rival’s treats leaves me very nervous.
It doesn’t smell rancid, it barely smells of bacon although the 10th and 12th items on the ingredient lists are bacon and dried bacon fat. Bacon and dried bacon fat also show in the same location on the Beggin Strips. The ingredients are both very similar, which is why I’m confused about the strong chemical smell that comes with the Rival treats.
Each list leads off with ground wheat, corn gluten meal, wheat flour and ground yellow corn so you know this is junk food. Our slightly older than adolescent Labrador is greedy and eager, she is non-discriminating, and at the moment impatient regarding these treats. These bacon-resembling strips are soft and chewy although they tend to go down in a gulp. I stuff them into a femur bone to make her puzzle them out (this is when they become brain food). It is the distraction treat that she gets before either of us leaves the house for more than a few hours.
The packaging is cute. “Treat-time tips” from Rufus, 5, a Weimaraner from Short Hills, NJ, suggests sitting and shaking for one of these treats. Feeding guidelines remind that these are to be provided as a treat or snack. A full list of ingredients includes identification of the above and a lengthy list of chemicals including preservatives BHT and BHA. The six-ounce bag is resealable.
Will I buy these again – no. Will she finish them – yes; I don’t suspect they’ll hurt her for the six ounces doled out over the next few weeks at the rate of one a day. Does she like them? Yes, but as noted, she’s not all that trustworthy. Do I like them? Well, in all honesty I haven’t tasted these but I let my nose investigate them and alarms went off in the sensory part of my brain that responds to smells. Do I recommend them? Not really. Your dog will probably like Rival's Bacon & Cheese Flavor like a child likes candy (or I like licorice), but they smell wrong.