Friday, September 19, 2014

Product Review: Aussie Naturals Squeaky Bacon

The Aussie Naturals Squeaky Bacon is a stuffed toy made from leather. It contains a squeak and is bacon-scented.
Photo by Erin Koski

The Squeaky Bacon arrived in our March BarkBox, and was promptly ignored by everyone until Ulysses arrived in May. I like the Aussie Naturals company, their products are made with a focus on the natural and sustainable. Leather, jute, coconut fiber, wool, cotton, and natural gum rubber are their primary materials, and they aim to produce quality products with a minimal carbon footprint.

I like the concept, but I can't help but notice that the Aussie Naturals website has changed recently. AussieNaturals.us is a very professional-looking web store with a wonderful backstory about the original company, ABO Gear, and how they branched out into the pet market. The new site, AussieNaturals.org, is done primarily in Comic Sans, with an abbreviated "about us" page and an overall rough and unpolished look.

Photo by Erin Koski
The company and their website aside, the Squeaky Bacon is pretty amusing. Brisbane and Ru ignore it entirely. Uly will occasionally toss it around. Nobody here has gnawed on it yet, but a friend got the same toy in the March BarkBox and reported that her Jack Russell Terrier mix ate it. As this was the only toy that particular dog had ever felt the need to devour, it appears to have some sort of strange attraction.

Pros: Biodegradable, non-toxic, environmentally-friendly toy made without plastics or petroleum products. Sturdier than fabric squeakies, and the leather provides a novel chewing texture for most dogs.

Cons: Small size make it unattractive for dogs that love great big mouthfuls of squeak. Some dogs consider it a snack. Manufactured in India by a company that is based in Georgia, nowhere is Australia involved except in the name.

Bottom Line: It seems to be a good company making quality products. I wish they were manufactured in the USA as I have some concerns about quality control and the potential for toxic materials in the leather. Not something I would have purchased on my own, but the Squeaky Bacon is certainly a welcome addition to the toybox.

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