Flavored tobiko (fish roe) found at a local Japanese grocery store.
Product: The Honest Kitchen Quickies
Quantity: 2 oz tin
Price: $9.99 via THK site (here, and a special Valentine’s edition here; Valentine’s edition available in a case of 6 for $45, online special only)
Ingredient: Dehydrated haddock
Though I’m cynical enough to write off Valentine’s Day as a commercial holiday, I do think there’s merit to celebrating companionship in all its forms, not just in romantic, coupled, traditional terms. Indeed, there is much to be said for the enrichment that pets bring to human lives, and vice versa. One of the primary ways I express love and friendship is through food. Whether meticulously prepared in my kitchen or carefully selected in a store, food serves multiple, significant functions. Food not only nourishes our bodies, but also strengthens interpersonal bonds.
This is something that the folks at The Honest Kitchen obviously understand, judging from the rather amorous names to their products. Their treats, in particular, revel unabashedly in the pleasures of little displays of affection — Nuzzles, Pecks, Smooches, etc.
So then what are Quickies all about?
Quickies demand a more concentrated, intense technique. There’s a degree of spontaneity and furtiveness that you don’t get with other, more noticeable displays of affection. It’s not something you gloat publicly about. That’s not the point. Rather, it’s something that you keep private, tucked away, a secret to be shared only between you and the most deserving of intimates.
Translated in edible form, The Honest Kitchen got it exactly right: one tiny, pea-sized niblet of densely flavored, fishy goodness. Their Quickies training treats are made from a single ingredient, dehydrated haddock, and pressed into a heart shape. They have the texture of Smarties candies. I bet they provide a similarly potent burst of flavor.
While I want to indulge the Bows, I have to regard these Quickies as a more special treat to be doled out as a super jackpot. At 1.1 kcal per treat, they’re not excessive by any means. But the shape and the texture make for a special feeding experience.
What I love the most about the Quickies is the packaging. I actually squealed when I opened up the box and saw the tiny canister inside. The tube has a convenient, pop-open tin lid, and fits comfortably into the front pocket of my pants.
Coolest thing about this packaging is that you can shake the canister and train your pets to respond by basic Pavlovian conditioning. As a fairly tasty, high value treat, it shouldn’t be hard to integrate this into your training regimen with just a few repetitions.
The Bows love these treats. No question there. And I am completely enamored by the special Valentine’s Day packaging, which conjures up all kinds of nostalgic remembrances from childhood. I kind of want to order these by the case (the Valentine’s Quickies are available in quantities of 6 for $45) and deliver them to all the dogs in my neighborhood… Maybe the cats too, since I think they’re appropriate across species. Now, if only I knew all their names.
The only drawback about these treats is the price. Ten bucks seems like quite a lot for this little container… but let’s do the math here. 2 ounces is approximately 57 grams. At 1.1 kcal per treat, measured out at 333 kcal per 100 grams, we can say there’s about 190 kcal in this tiny little tin, or about ~170 treats.
Well, that sounds like quite a lot, actually! No, I didn’t do a proper count. And a couple weeks later, we’re still working on our first canister… but be warned that they can go pretty quickly.
So they’re not the most economical treats out there. That said, high quality, fish-based edibles tend to be more expensive in general, and are pretty few and far between. Quickies are worth trying at least once, because the packaging is worth saving. It’ll probably take us a month to finish our canister, and when they’re through, I’ll be holding onto the tube for a while yet.
After all, the Bows are coming to associate the rattle of that canister with the promise of a tasty tidbit.
Final Grade: A-
BONUS GIVEAWAY: We are giving away one 2 oz. canister of Quickies to a randomly chosen commenter who responds to the following question: Do you have a pet crush? That is, is there a cute pet you’ve noticed (any species) in your neighborhood, your group of friends, or even on social media? (It’s fine if your answer is no.) Just leave a comment by Thursday, February 13th, 11:59pm Pacific Standard Time for a chance at your own canister of Quickies.
Note: Winner must reside within the US or Canada. The Honest Kitchen provided us with two canisters of Quickies treats — one for review, and one for a giveaway. Opinions expressed in this post come from M.C. and the House of Two Bows.
Friends and readers are probably aware that The Honest Kitchen products comprise a regular part of the Bows diet. After tracking the Bows’ daily meals in October, I was so delighted with the mosaic I created, I posted the picture to the company’s Facebook page. They noticed and cared enough to share in our foodie-ness by sending The House of Two Bows some neat gifts, including a box of their newest treat.
Product: Beams (Talls)
Quantity: one box, 7 oz. (approx. 11 sticks?)
Price: retail $12.99 on the Honest Kitchen store
Ingredient: wild-caught Atlantic Catfish skins
Fish-based products have always gone over well at the House of Two Bows, and this treat was no exception. Beams TALLS live up to their name — the box itself stands over 12″ tall to accommodate the size of these strips, which ranged from 10 ~ 12″ apiece in our box.
Each Beam is simply made of dried catfish skin, some with little curlicues of flesh still attached. They’re way too tough to cut down with ease (maybe with a good pair of meat shears, which I don’t have). So if this seems like too much for your pet, you’d be better off with a box of Beams Smalls, which are about 7″ apiece and come in four ounce packages.
The Bows would be happy to get these in SUPERTall if they could. They found it very satisfying to pull at the flesh, like a bit of fish floss.
I prefer to offer more “natural” treats as edible dental chews, and Beams definitely serve that function. With nice ridges and a hard, firm texture, they do take a bit of work to consume.
Bowpi likes to grip the stick and chomp from the side, giving her molars some much-needed action.
I’m pleasantly surprised by the low calorie count per treat, in spite of their size. These catfish skins are quite a bit thicker than the salmon skins treats we usually keep on hand. Each chomping session lasts about seven minutes. Bowdu can rush through a piece in 5 minutes, and Bowpi works with gusto, but usually takes about twice as long. Obviously your experience will vary, depending on the strength of the chewer.
The Honest Kitchen sent along this complimentary box with no expectations for a review, but I can’t help saying good things about them. It’s a simple, clean, and healthy treat. Stinky, yes — there’s no mistaking that these came from FISH! But not oily and greasy like some dried animal treats can be.
Overall, I consider it a good value for what you get. I’ve yet to see these stocked in my local pet food stores, but we’re ready for another box as soon as we find them!
FINAL GRADE: A
GIVEAWAY: The generous folks at The Honest Kitchen are providing three prizes for a House of Two Bows giveaway! Just leave a comment stating which one of the following you would choose if you win first pick:
Comments will be collected until 11:59 PST next Monday, December 10th. After that, three random winners will be selected. First prize will win what was stated as their preferred choice. Second and third prize will get the remaining two prizes in order of what is listed above. Please be sure to include a valid e-mail address (not publicly visible) with your comment so that you can be contacted about your prize.
The Honest Kitchen prizes can only be sent to addresses in the US. But fear not… there will be other giveaways this month that will be open to all. Check back later!