Sunday, September 14, 2014

"My Dog Doesn't Like Everlasting Treats"

I am a big fan of Starmark dog toys, but sometimes it's hard to get my dogs on board. I know there are more natural, healthier things for them to gnaw, like raw bones, but I can't beat Everlasting Treats for their ability to remain ungross while spending weeks lost under the furniture. We do raw bones pretty frequently, but outdoors or in bare crates. I'm not about to give anyone the opportunity to gnaw a beef rib on the couch.

Everlasting Treat Ball with treat inserted upside down.
As far as raw bones versus Everlasting Treats go, the dogs are strongly in favor of the bones. They're all willing to gnaw an Everlasting Treat on its own, but put it in an Everlasting Treat Ball or Bento Ball and it suddenly ceases to be worth the effort. I tell them "Look, you and I both know that you would be happier spending the day blissfully gnawing this thing than just staring at the wall in your crate." But they refuse to touch them, sometimes for weeks. Putting smelly, exciting treats and peanut butter in the middle does not spur them to start chewing. I tried dribbling fish oil into an Everlasting Treat Ball once, which inspired Briz to gnaw for hours but also got smelly, impossible-to-clean fish oil all over the crate, bed, floor, and Uly.

When I watched Starmark's Everlasting Treat video recently, I noticed that they sometimes had the Everlasting Treats inserted into the toys upside down. The treats are dome-shaped, and normally go in the toy with the domed side facing out to provide a nice chewing surface. An upside down treat leaves very little to grip and also leaves a handy little bowl.
Upside down treat filled with peanut butter.

I filled that bowl with peanut butter and froze the whole thing. By the time Uly had slurped off all the frozen peanut butter, the treat had gotten to that slobbery, smelly state where it apparently become irresistible. He spent several hours working on this project, ate one of the Everlasting Treats and started working on the second when he had to take a nap to recover from all that effort. The Treat Ball is quite scratched up and no longer looks brand new, but that just means it is finally being used as intended.

Most of my local stores only carry chicken-flavored Everlasting Treats, which Brisbane can't have and Uly and Ru won't eat. Lemos carries liver flavored treats, and Petco carries the interlocking nut-and-bolt Everlasting Treats in chicken flavor, but nobody has non-chicken Everlocking Treats. I ordered this one from Amazon. These are easier for the dogs to get a grip on, and aren't as good a value as the original Everlasting Treats, but sometimes I buy them just for the cool factor. This time around I put one of the treat "nuts" inside the Bento Ball dome-side down, screwed the bolt through it, and then wound the second "nut" on the outside. Brisbane might find this setup worth chewing, but I made it even more exciting by squirting some canned cheese in the bowl and through the bottom before sticking it in the freezer.

I am beginning to wish I had gotten a large Treat Dispensing Jack instead of the medium, since the holes in the medium are small enough to make funnel-filling it ineffective. Brisbane and Uly don't like getting anything bigger than kibble out of it. I bet they'll enjoy getting the Cheeze-Wiz out. Not sure I'm going to enjoy washing it when they're done, though.

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