Dog Toy Giveaway

I bought a few dog toys recently and decided to share with you, and to host a giveaway.

Assortment of classic dog toys

Nothing complicated here, just follow @bark4treats on Twitter using the Rafflecopter form below and I’ll email the winner asking for their postal address.

Entrants must have a U.S. mailing address to win. One qualify entry will be selected at random at the end of the giveaway period and the winner will be contacted within 24 hours. If they don’t rely within 24 hours, another qualifying entry will be chosen.

Follow this link to enter!

Update: This giveaway is now over. Congratulations to Lisa R! Your package is on the way!

In Search Of The Elusive BarkBox Squeaker

When the last BarkBox came, both dogs tore into the toys that arrived, and Dexter became attached to the beige spike ball. BarkBox has a signature spike ball that they include as a ‘hidden toy’ in a lot of their stuffed toys.

So far I have seen two variations. The blue one is translucent and, while durable, seems to be made of thinner plastic than the beige one below. Both have squeakers and get both dogs instantly excited when I squeeze them (or step on one!).

Two variations of the BarkBox spiked ball

The interesting thing is that the balls aren’t available for purchase separately on, and there is no indication on the product page which ball is included in the toy!

From regular Target runs, I am familiar with the selection of Bark! toys, so I made a trip there this weekend to see if I could squeeze enough toys to predict what ball is inside. I purchased two: Beamin’ Benny, and Bouncing Babbette.

BarkBox toy from Target

BarkBox toy from Target

While no toys are indestructible, these two seems to have lasting power, so I will update this post when they open them and reveal the ball. Hopefully I can solve the mystery, once and for all, about what ball is inside BarkBox toys!

They have a great customer service line that you can text, its an 800-number and the agent I was texting was very helpful and provided links back to the BarkBox site so I could see if any of the toys they suggested had the ball, but I had to give up because there wasn’t enough description or text about what what was inside the toys.

While at Target, I found their Destroyers Club line. They have identified four types of dogs and tailored toys to engage your dog the most. The four types are:

– Thrasher
– Shredder
– De-Fluffer
– Squeaker Seeker

The categories are very descriptive, but here is the full description from the packaging.

Thrasher – Thrasher toys have Flippin’ Floppy Grips that are easy for your dog to whip and fling.
Shedder – Shedder toys feature Tear That Hair that your dog will love to rip and rend.
De-Fluffer – De-Fluffer toys are Double Fluffed with extra stuffing to satisfy your dog’s urge to dig right in!
Squeaker Seeker – Squeaker Seeker toys are jam-packed with Squeakers Galore hidden in surprising places for high-frequency fun.

BarkBox Destroyer Club toy packaging

No doubt this category of toys will leave a giant mess for you to clean up, but your dog will probably love it.

Dexter Jousts With A Dragon (and wins!)

We are paid subscribers to the monthly toy and treat boxes from BarkBox.

Each month they ship two toys, two bags of treats, one edible chew, and an activity.

This month was Knights of the Hound Table.

In addition to the cutout crown for your pup to pose in, there was a Mad Libs style adventure story, and -probably the most fun- an interactive ‘battle’ where you can choose your own adventure! It worked by starting your mission by texting QUEST to 79987.

From there you reply back to the texts and take on dragons, joust with knights, and save the day.

There are several missions so keep texting back.

Homemade treats: Peanut butter “donuts” with carob

November’s BarkBox included a fun recipe for Homemade dog treats. Titled Protein-Packed Peanut Butter Mini Donuts (recipe on BarkPost through the link) the treats are very easy to make, look great!, and certainly passed the (many) taste tests.

The recipe has just seven ingredients (flour, egg, baking soda, milk, peanut butter, carob powder and water). 

Mixed together, the dough is quite stiff. The recipe recommends using two spoons or a pastry bag to fill the mini donut pan. My Ziploc bag with the corner cut out wasnt strong enough and the dough popped through, so I reverted to using spoons.

I doubled the recipe, and in three amout of time the first pan of donuts took to bake, the remaining dough had risen so the second batch was fluffier than the first.

Rather than create a mess by drizzling the carob-water glaze on the donuts, I made the glaze thicker and dipped the donuts in. This gave me the classic donut look without glaze being all over them.

Happy baking!

AquaPaw, Soggy Doggy Towel & Fresh Wave Make For Easy Bath Time

Bathing dogs has never been fun. Two challenges are the mess that is created with water, and cleaning the entire dog. Using a combination of the AquaPaw and Soggy Doggy Towel makes for a super-easy bath time. Fresh Wave shampoo makes a wonderful all-natural ‘Made In The USA’ pet shampoo which leaves them with a shiny coat and subtle natural smell.

AquaPaw was started as a project on Kickstarter and they ave shipped their initial production run. I purchased mine full-price and just received it yesterday. I liked the idea of being in control of the water, and I think the massaging ‘fingers’ on the device make rinsing and lathering in dense fur very easy.

The unit comes shipped in this clamshell packaging that is heat-sealed in six place. I used scissors to clip away the sealed portions, and was able to easily open it.

For some background, the AquaPaw straps around the palm of your hand like a glove, and has a shower head type of opening embedded in the glove with a valve, so you can push the valve to start the shower of water – all with one hand.

The contents of the package include, the AquaPaw handheld unit, a shower head extension, a quick-connect coupler, and some plumbers tape.

I was impressed by the quality of the construction. Clearly, a lot of effort had gone into the design of the unit. The connections seemed sturdy, and – while the actual open/close valve is buried in the unit – it sounded and felt sturdy as I tested it before installation.

Installation was very easy and required only one tool, a set of pliers, to loosen and re-tighten the shower head. Everything else you need is included in the package. From start-to-finish, the installation took 5 minutes, if I’m being generous. The illustrated directions were easy to follow and I was successful the first attempt. The thread of the plumbing that my shower head attaches to is slightly askew from the threading on the AquaPaw so the quick-connect coupler comes out the top of the extension, rather than below it. It is more of an aesthetic thing for me, and is completely outside the control of the designers, but it is a subtle observation.

The instructions also show you how to connect it to a garden hose if you desire.

I don’t need a high-pressure stream of water, so it turned the water supply to about 50%, checked the temperature, and activated the shower lever. The extension has a slider to indicate if the water should go to the AquaPaw unit, or the shower head. Sliding the indicator to expose the blue end causes the water to go to the hand unit, while exposing the black end sends the water to the shower.

The extension is plastic and easy to use; it feels sturdy. It does lower the shower head a bit, but not by much.


Overall, this product is well-designed, well-constructed, and makes easy work of the worst parts of bathing a dog.

When the wash and rinse is done, the Soggy Doggy Towel takes over and using this innovative pocketed chenille towel makes quick work of drying your pooch. Even before Dexter was out of the tub today, I could see his coat was already drying. Ordinarily I would bring out the hair dryer and finish drying him that way, but I brought him outside in the sun, finished up with the towel, and he was quickly dried.

My favorite shampoo for dogs is Fresh Wave. It has a nice, natural scent, and is safe for their coat. It isn’t a gel, more of a thick liquid (like the consistency of cough syrup), and doesn’t get too sudsy. I didn’t need to use a lot of shampoo to get Dexter clean, and having a lower amount of lather made it easy to control around his face.


National Ride The Wind Day

Today is National Ride The Wind Day, a carefree day near the end of summer to kick back, let the breeze through your hair, and float above the clouds.

Dogs can celebrate this day in their own way, literally, by floating through the air, using their skills to help their fellow animalkind. 

National Geographic has this coverage of skydiving dogs in Africa. Partnered with a handler, they float down from a plane then begin pursuit of poachers, mostly of ivory.

Take a second today, kick back and enjoy the fresh air, pet a puppy, and read this inspirational article.


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Teeny Treats, New Toy, and Ready To Run!

This week a lot of great things happened. 

I was reading on Lapdog Creations of the ASPCA Virtual 5k and, in an effort to stay active, signed up. I’m looking forward to training early in the mornings. This summer ended up being rainy and miserable so I’m optimistic this fall will be nice.

Registration included a numbered bib, a finishers medal for me, and I opted for finishers medal for Dexter. 

The 5k doesn’t have to be done on a specific time or date, and because Dexter gets fairly winded after 1.5 miles, we’ll break up the walk into two sessions. Our team page is here, and our goal is to raise $100 for the work the ASPCA does for animals across the country. Look for pictures when the registration package arrives and when we complete the walk!
Today was grocery day and while at Wegmans shopping picked up some fun things: more Buddy Biscuits, some Bag Balm for Dexter’s foot, and a new toy: a blinking chewy toy.

Buddy Biscuits come in two sizes (regular and Teeny Treats). The Buddies come in two flavors Roasted Chicken, and Peanut Butter, Grilled Beef, and Bacon and Cheese. All of the flavors have limited ingredients, and are equally addictive!

Buddy Biscuits regular size and Tiny Treats

I use the Teeny Treats in a puzzle toy. They fit great and are a huge motivator!

Both dogs at home are chewers. We can’t seem to keep enough to in the house! This fun made by Nerf feels durable, about 7-inches long, and has flashing lights in each end. There package doesn’t give any indication that the batteries are replaceable, and there aren’t any places to access a battery- which is probably a good thing!

Lastly, Bag Balm is a petrolium jelly great got chafed skin, and minor scrapes. Will out on a walk, Dexter got excited and pulled on the leash which ended up in him scraping one of his pads on the asphalt, causing a scrape he was tendering. Bag Balm is useful for people hands and dog (and cat) paws. 

As I’m writing this, a Slow Cook Pork Carnitas rost is cooking away and the house is smelling great! The dogs are going crazy begging for some. Super easy and hard to wait for!