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Zuke Replacement recommendations?
  • In light of Zukes being bought by Nestle/Purina I thought it might be helpful to start a thread about what people think of replacing them with, if at all?

    I'm planning to switch over to Cloud Star. I've given both Zuke's and Cloud Star to Panko but I guess it will now be exclusively Cloud Star. I'm certainly willing to keep an eye on Zukes in the future to see what happens but for now, no thank you.
    Panko!
  • INU RYUUINU RYUU
    Posts: 1507
    It is a bit expensive and might be hard to find dependent on your location but I prefer Ziiwipeak treats.


    http://www.ziwipeak.com/ziwipeak-good-dog-treats-dog-reward/
    犬竜
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    Their Mini Naturals were the most economical training treats to me. I liked them very much.

    I realize I hadn't bought any in a long time though, because we started dehydrating our own chicken hearts instead. It's a little time intensive, but once you pop them into the dehydrator, the machine just does the rest of the work. About $5 of chicken hearts could last the Bows the whole month.

    Then again, I don't do a lot of intensive training with them, so I don't really have an urgent need to buy training treats in large quantities.

    I also pick up sample pouches of kibble whenever I can, especially flavors that the Bows are not used to, and those serve the same function.

    The Honest Kitchen has a new thing called Quickies which are pebble-sized, like the Mini Naturals, fishy, not messy. They sort of have the consistency of Smarties. Great size, nice packaging, but pricey.

    Lots of people seem to be opting for Cloud Star as the next best thing -- a real boon for them!
    image
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • ArcticArctic
    Posts: 513
    I think it's going to be Cloud Star for Sansa and me! I also really like the Mini Naturals. I'm pretty bummed about the whole situation. I've also bought and used their Z-Filets, but in any case, I'd rather support a smaller company that is independent over a large conglomerate.
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1106
    Here's the cloud star info for their mini naturals alternative. Kouda was a big fan of the salmon flavor
    http://www.cloudstar.com/prodcat/chewy-tricky-trainers.asp

    Also their "gingerbread man" shaped treats are fun.
    http://www.cloudstar.com/prodcat/Grain_Free_Soft_and_Chewy_Buddy_Biscuits.asp

    I've only tried their chewy treats, since Kouda isn't a fan of biscuit types.
    Post edited by zandrame at 2014-01-29 14:36:13
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    I use the soft Buddy Bisquits and Ziwipeak as well. I bought up a 2-3 year supply of zukes (old formula), but honestly little cut I pieces of string cheese and got dog (microwaved) are good too. Bravo also makes a nice training size treat, but they are not semi moist.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @lindsayt. Haha. I wish I could do the same!!! But my husband would call me a hoarder :(

    I will definitely try out Cloud Star as Zandrame posted. Price-wise they're a little bit more expensive than Zukes, but I guess it can't be avoided at this point!
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    From the dental chew bones thread...

    Bootz said:

    So...I just got into an argument with my husband about Zukes. Long story short. He believes the formula wont change, thinks i'm just in over my head etc etc etc. I'm all about principles and do not want to support Nestle who's associated with all these bad dog products, EVEN IF ZUKES does not change (which we all believe it will). Does anybody happen to have any links to companies that were bought out by Nestle which the formulas have changed since?



    So this is how Zuke's is addressing the concern via the Press Release on their site, FB, etc.:
    
    "... Zuke’s treats are made – and will continue to be made – in the USA using only high-quality, natural ingredients."

    "• Zuke’s will continue to be run as an independent company, by the same people in Durango that you have always trusted.

    • Every treat and chew will be made in the same facilities in the USA.

    • Our top-quality, natural, wholesome ingredients will be sourced from the same suppliers.

    Every recipe will remain the same, or be improved, but will never be compromised.

    • Zuke’s treats will continue to be sold exclusively in the same pet specialty, online and natural grocery retailers where you find Zuke’s."

    It all sounds great, but the thing is, there's nothing that legally requires them to announce any changes to the recipe, manufacturing sites, or sources of ingredients should they decide to do so, anyway! There's nothing that requires the company to commit to the "same facilities" or "same suppliers" forever, and honestly, even small companies need to switch up suppliers, manufacturers sometimes. It's part of the nature of business.

    The problem, to me, is that corporate priorities will always be measured against a different standard than an "independent company" that calls its own shots, manages its own PR, distribution, etc. Any pet food manufacturer can very well claim that the recipe has remains unchanged, while sourcing ingredients from a new supplier. Mike Sagman at Dogfoodadvisor.com sort of addresses this point in this link. Ultimately, consumers are sort of at the whim of whether they trust the company to be transparent or not, or if they have their best interests in mind. And I feel like the fact that Zuke's is willing to "partner" with Purina, a company that they HAVE to realize that many pet owners vehemently dislike (unless they're already living in a marketing bubble?!)... well, that in itself is a major breach of trust.

    I could go on... but I gotta run for now. Another good case history could be investigating what happened to EVO/Innova after Procter and Gamble purchased them (2010). Or possibly what has happened since Del Monte bought Natural Balance, though that's still a fairly recent acquisition (2013).
    image
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1106
    • Every recipe will remain the same, or be improved...
    contradiction right there. What Purina considers an "improvement" is debatable.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @curlytails I looked up the EVO/Innova after its been acquired by P&G...There are many owners who claimed their pets have suddenly developed allergies or reactions to the kibble which they have fed their pets for years. Even though EVO/Innova "claims" to not have changed the formula.

    Sigh. There should be a law to help protect us consumers, and demand these companies to announce changes to their recipes.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    I am worried about the sourcing
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • ArcticArctic
    Posts: 513
    zandrame said:

    • Every recipe will remain the same, or be improved...
    contradiction right there. What Purina considers an "improvement" is debatable.


    Of course it will improve! It'll improve their profit margin!
  • @inuryu - Ziwipeak looks interesting. Never heard of them. Looks like you can get them on Amazon fairly easy and if you're a PRIME Member, free shipping. I may have to try some out. Thanks!
    Panko!
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    I stopped by one of my local pet stores on the way back from the park, and I think I have my personal alternative:

    Fruitables! Their fruit-based treats are a hit with the Bows, and relatively cheap because they're meat-free. They do both cookies and semi-moist forms. I just now found out that they do have new meat flavors -- pork, chicken, and bison.

    Anyway, I picked up a pouch of bacon jerky, which could be a substitute for the Z-Filets. I wish I knew more about VetScience, the company that makes Fruitables. I guess it's worth watching to see how they expand with more meat-based products.

    Another possibility stocked by my local pet store:
    Pet Greens, in semi-moist Li'L Treats and Jerky style (from Bell Rock Growers, an organic wheat grass farm company).
    image
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
    Post edited by curlytails at 2014-01-29 18:38:14
  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482
    I also stopped by Ginger's Eatz & Treats pet store on my way home from work and really was impressed by Cloud Star's Dynamo treats. They come in grain-free and are soft like Zuke's links and chewy (square) treats are:

    http://www.cloudstar.com/prodcat/Dynamo_Dog_Skin_and_Coat.asp

    The soft treats are Kira's favorite so that will be my new go-to. Not only is it Skin & Coat, it's also salmon formula! There are a few other formulas besides that. I just prefer salmon.

    I also plan on starting to use Bil-Jacs Little Jacs to replace the mini naturals that we used for training. They do have wheat flour in them so they are not grain-free. But Kira isn't allergic to flour so just having it in her treats is fine for me.
    Cynthia, Proudly owned by Kira
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  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1106
    The fruitables smell awesome in my opinion. Especially the mango! :) Kouda was never a big fan of them though, guess he prefers MEAT!

    We tried the ziwipeak, but the texture is a bit crumbly and greasy. Our go-to jerky type treat is Real Meat, we get the large bags on Amazon and tear them into smaller pieces
    http://www.realmeatpet.com/treats.htm

    We also get the freeze dried single source treats from Orijen, which are a hit, but pricey. (We save these for high value).

    Other freeze dried brands we've liked are Etta's
    http://www.ettasays.com/home.php?cat=4
    and Whole Life
    http://www.wholelifepet.com/whole_life_pet_products.php
  • ArcticArctic
    Posts: 513
    @zandrame, coincidentally enough I picked up a bag of Real Meat brand venison jerky and it's been a big hit. I may go with that from now on instead of the Z-Filets from Zuke's.

    The Orijen freeze dried treats are also a huge hit at my house, but they are pricey! I also save them for high value.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    I like whole life dog treats.

    ziwipeak is good stuff too I use as treats..

    Saya likes fruitables bella likes them, but not in high distraction settings.
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    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)

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