Have you noticed "alternative chews" popping up in pet stores? When we kept noticing alternative dupes of some of our favorite chewies on store shelves, we became curious to know just how good the dupes really were. To find out, we enlisted two little taste testers and then grabbed three different alternative chews plus each of their real counterparts. Below, are the results of the taste test...
Take a guess...in the photo above, can you tell which chewie is the alternative version and which is the real deal?
(The alternative chewie is on the left!)
So, here's what we grabbed: an alternative and real yak cheese stick, an alternative and real pig ear and an alternative and real cow hoof. Aren't the details of the alternatives pretty impressive? The fake cheese chew has the real ridges on its sides; the fake pig ear features realistic curves and the fake cow hoof nailed the coloring (note the faded tip).
Both Pierogi and Gilly have tried and love each of the real treats, but all of the alternative versions were new to us. To perform the taste test, we ran through each set of treats individually with Pierogi and Gilly. Mike simultaneously held both an alternative and real chew in his hands and then we encouraged our furry testers to choose whichever chew he fancied.
This alternative pig ear is made out of vegetables, which means that it's lower in fat compared to the real thing, and a better alternative for dogs with meat related allergies.
Pierogi gave each a fair sniff, but ultimately grabbed the real ear.
Initially, Gill grabbed both ears...
But, it was the real pig ear that prevailed.
Taste test winner: REAL pig ear
YAK CHEESE CHEW
Next up, Pierogi and Gilly sampled cheese chews. This alternative cheese chew is a monster of a chew! It's even thicker than real cheese chews and won't break if dropped. The alternative is still cheese flavored, but unlike the real thing, it can be rinsed and scrubbed clean if it happens to get buried in the backyard or stashed under the bed with dust bunnies ;)
Pierogi ran off with the real stick...
And so did Gilly!
Taste test winner: REAL cheese chew
Lastly, we put hoofies to the test. The alternative version here, is labeled as a "power chew" and described as cleaner, safer, and we'll add -- less smelly than real hooves. The alternative can also be cleaned as needed with a little soap and water.
Once again, Pierogi barely stuttered. He went right for the real hoof.
Gilly had a little trouble deciding (he often acts like a little kid in a candy store :), but he, too, went for the real hoof.
Taste test winner: REAL cow hoof
So, what's the takeaway? That Pierogi and Gilly preferred the real chews in every instance? Maybe. After they had individually made their "taste selections" for each of the treats, we set out all of the samples and let them run off with whatever they wanted. Pierogi grabbed the real pig ear, but Gilly made a beeline for the alternative pig ear. The alternative pig ear went quickly, but later in the day, they were also willing to try the other alternatives and seemed just as interested and engaged in them.
If you're curious, here's where you can find each of the alternative chews: Veggie Ear, Yak Cheese Alternative, Hoof Alternative.
Woof! (Hey, there!) Pierogi, Gilly and Sarah here. Thanks for stopping by our dog blog. We're a little dog-obsessed around here and Pierogi & Co. is all about inspiring you to enjoy the dog days. Because life's more fun with your best (furry) friend by your side. So grab a bone and follow along as we stop to sniff the flowers...