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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Product Review: Top Paw Angler Fish Stuffy

Normally when I walk into Petsmart, I don't even notice the racks of Top Paw and Grreat Choice plush toys. I just find most cheap mass-market plush toys to be totally unappealing. Emoticons? Sports balls? Anthropomorphic food? My inner hipster shouts "No way!" But a few weeks ago I found a plush angler fish amongst the more typical starfish and seahorses.
Top Paw angler fish squeaky plush
Photo by Erin Koski

So at this point I should probably confess that I have a collection of stuffed sealife. No, not normal stuffed animals like otters and sea turtles. I have an octopus, a manta ray, a manatee, an ocean sunfish, and probably a few I can't recall just now. It's a very specific niche into which the Top Paw anglerfish fits perfectly.

Do I still think the vast majority of dog toys look incredibly stupid? You bet! Loofah dogs? Misshaped alligators and teddy bears? Hedgehogs in every shape, size, and color? Everything has been done to death, and the toy companies try to liven things up by giving their animal toys huge heads, or round bellies, or long necks. It's just not an aesthetic I find appealing.

At this point, most of our stuffies are either dinosaurs, stuff we got in subscription boxes, or toys my mother randomly give the dogs when I'm not looking. There's nothing better than arriving home to a shredded teddy bear and not being sure if we've destroyed a family heirloom. (But seriously my mother is awesome for spoiling her granddogs!)
unique offbeat anglerfish squeaky plush dog toy
Photo by Erin Koski

Pros: It's an anglerfish. How often do you see a plush anglerfish, let alone a plush squeaky dog toy anglerfish?

Cons: That little fishy lure didn't hold up very well, though to it's credit it's still attached and recognizable.

Bottom Line: I don't actually wish that companies would make more offbeat plush toys that appeal to my weird little foibles, because that would mean those toys were actually popular, and if they became popular I wouldn't like them nearly as much.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Treat Tuesday: QChefs Puffed Power Cracker and Puffed Fitness Cracker

QChefs was kind enough to give me samples of their new digestible chews at SuperZoo, and these are so unusual that I had to share them here. We got a Puffed Power Cracker and a Puffed Fitness Cracker. Power Crackers are made from cottage cheese, buckwheat, and coconut oil. Ours had a fairly light and air consistency, and I was surprised how long it took Sisci to chew it up. Fitness Crackers are made from rice and hard cheese, as well as coconut oil. Ours was very hard and took quite a bit of gnawing to demolish.
hard cheese edible dog chew

Good For: Up to 20 minutes of intense chewing for the little Fitness and Power crackers. Dog with protein allergies. Dogs that like to swallow their chews whole. Being more exciting than a Himalayan yak chew.

Not Good For: Dogs with rice, buckwheat, or dairy allergies. Being more exciting than a bully stick.

How Much We Like Them: I need to find a local shop that carries these because the dogs love them.
digestible edible long-lasting dog chew

Monday, August 22, 2016

Puzzle Toy Review: Toys 'R' Us Pets Treater Totter

The Toys'R'Us Treatter Totter is a simple, easy puzzle. Load up the middle with treats, and they will come pouring out as soon as your dog touches it. Better be careful setting it down too, it's really easy to accidentally spill it. The Toys Backwards-R Us dog toy brand is a Petsmart exclusive private label, and many of their toys are obvious rebrands. This one looks like it might be a failed Outward Hound puzzle toy.
Treatter Totter pet food puzzle
Photo by Erin Koski

Puzzle Toy Rating

Capacity: 2/5
I can maybe fit 1/4 cup of kibble in here if I'm really careful.

Loading Speed: 4/5
Twist off the yellow lid dump in the food, try really hard to keep it in there while you close the lid again.

Unloading Speed (standard dog): 1/5
Basically you touch it and all the treats immediately fall out.

Unloading Speed (superdog): 1/5
Might as well just throw the kibble in a bowl.
pet food puzzle toy
Photo by Erin Koski

Size: 1/5
Most dogs are going to knock this over immediately. It's best suited for really little guys that will nudge it very gently. The box says it's for all ages and sizes of dogs. I'd love to see their data.

Durability: 3/5
Small gentle dogs, guinea pigs, and bunnies aren't going to damage this toy. I seriously doubt it could take a large dog stepping on it, you know, like dogs do when they're using puzzle toys.

Noise: 2/5
It's hard, clattery plastic.

Locatability: 5/5
Since it takes 1 second to get all the food out the dogs lose interest immediately.

Washability: 2/5
You can open it up and stick a bottle brush in there, but this is really designed for dry treats. I seriously doubt cleaning crossed anyone's mind when they designed it.

Versatility: 4/5
Surprisingly, this toy actually works well for little pets like rabbits and guinea pigs. Rats could probably use it with supervision. 

Total: 25/50