Hey guys! I have been super lucky recently to be able to try quite a few new treats with the dogs. The great thing about treats, and treat brands is that you can never have enough. I love being able to see what can be created from essentially the same ingredients - animal meat, and from that, also being able to see the differences in one type of product. Does one brand make their pieces larger, crunchier, meatier? All these little things can change how a product performs, and how Diego might enjoy it, and that is why I am always trying new brands and new products.
Today's review is going to be on the Veal Ribs by Tu Meke Friend. Tu Meke Friend is a new company that originates in New Zealand and has come about for the sheer purpose of wanting to share a bit of New Zealand with the world. New Zealand is a very special country, and is one which is heavily associated with the outdoors, a casual demeanour and farming. Within Tu Meke Friend they are wanting to emulate all this, and be able to share those values with your four legged pooch (or cat). That is why you will find all their products to be from ethically sourced, local meat with no added grains. I personally love the ethos around this company, and their clean, white branding really appeals to me. Today we are reviewing their Veal Ribs which are part of their treat line, but they also do wet dog food as well if that is something that is up your alley!
Want to know something that I only just learned when writing this blog post? Veal is a calf, which in general is the male calves born in dairy breeds. No wonder we have a lot of Veal in New Zealand. This whole time, and don't ask me why cause I really don't know, I thought Veal was deer. I was even going to mention that I thought it was strange they had images of cows on the packaging.
Veal ribs are, as the name and my random tangent above suggests, the ribs from a calf. Sounds a little bit morbid when you put it like that, but honestly the dogs love them and the treats are some of my favourite to give as they are in no way disgusting to handle. The Tu Meke Friend ribs are 100% beef with no preservatives, additives or processing aids. The calves themselves are sourced from a free-range farm in the lower South Island which is awesome and I love that they mention this on their packaging.
I have tried quite a few brands of veal ribs with Diego, and honestly he has loved every version of the ribs. It's funny though, all those different brands ribs kind of looked the same, where they were long and skinny. This made them a more annoying treat to take out on hikes or adventures as they were not compact and easy to travel with. The Tu Meke Friend ribs are shorter, and wider, and although they have some skinnier pieces, on a whole they are a wider treat. I personally much prefer this. It makes them a lot easier to transport, they don't snap at the bottom of your bag if you are taking them on a hike, and it gives Diego something more to chew on. I found that even though they are half the length of the other ribs I have tried, they last longer for the dogs to chew. I tried to get a photo comparison of the size difference between Tu Meke Friend ribs on the left and another brand on the right. The other brand on the right, these are the last couple I had in a bag and were the shortest pieces from the bag. It doesn't come up in photo as clearly as it does in real life, but you can definitely see a difference between the two products.
If you have read any of my treat reviews before you would know that I am not generally big on treats that cannot be used for training or for putting into boredom buster toys. I don't usually find a use for random, one-off treats, especially since Diego is prone to getting overweight quickly. Since these treats are shorter than general ribs I have found them the perfect size to add into Diego's Kong with a bit of kibble and peanut butter. You do have to kind of jam it in, but this works perfect to slow down how fast the kibble comes out, and also give him a bit of a challenge on trying to get the rib out as well. They also work well in the Kong Genius Mike and Genius Leo toys if you have either of them toys as they are thick enough to hold in place within the nooks of those toys. In my Genius Leo review I do talk about adding a rib out the top, but the Tu Meke Friend ribs would be perfect to add into the side slots due to their size.
I've also had the bag of treats just sitting on my work desk for during the day. With having three dogs, two less trained than one of them, (Ten points if you can guess which dog is the better trained one.) I find that sometimes I just need a treat to distract them. Chico loves to do the rounds of the house to try and steal people's food from their rooms or the kitchen so when I see him scoping, I will call him back into the lounge and give him a rib to munch on. This keeps him occupied for a little bit, and makes him forget that he was scoping the house five minutes prior. After this he generally goes and lays down. I love the ribs for this, as since they take him a bit to chew and require him to lay down to chew them, he doesn't immediately go back to the kitchen to scope for food. I used to try do it with other treats and he would take a treat, turn around and head back to the kitchen.
Another use for having the treats on my desk is that when I am taking calls, the last thing I want is Diego and Ollie wrestling in the background. I often just put Ollie in a crate, give him a rib and leave him there for a few hours while I do calls. Another option though, is to give both Diego and Ollie a rib to chew on, and after they have chewed on the ribs, they do what Chico does and they head off to sleep somewhere. It is the best way to stop their constant need to play wrestle with each other.
All in all, these are by far my favourite version of Veal Ribs that I have ever tried with the dogs. Everything about their size, texture and ingredients makes me enjoy them more than previous versions I have tried. I highly recommend, if your dog likes ribs, to try these ones out. I don't think you will be disappointed at all. I also appreciate that the bag size is decent. You get quite a few ribs for your moneys worth! All three of my dogs adore these, and once I am running low on treats again, I will definitely be looking at stocking up on these. If you have tried them, I would love to hear your thoughts as well!