Friday, February 25, 2011

For When You Don't Want Your Dog To Have An Actual Cheeseburger, Barnburger Dog Treat!

The Good: Mitzie seems to love it, Does not appear to be anything bad in it
The Bad: No apparent dental benefits
The Basics: A treat our dog Mitzie loves, the Barnburger is not bad for dogs, but is a little pricey for an individual treat that does not benefit the dog's dental health.

In the realm of dog treats, there seems to be an odd trend to make treats that mimic human food. Some of those treats make sense to be reimagined as a dog treat. So, as my wife returns from work laden with treats for our dog and cats (she works at a pet store now) I encounter things like the Roofle, which is a rawhide dog treat that looks and smells like a waffle. Our dog, Mitzie, was a bit more neutral to the Roofle than I thought she might be (she likes regular waffles just fine), so when my wife returned home with the Barnburger, I did not have high hopes for it. Mitzie, however, got quite excited for it.

The Barnburger is a mini cheeseburger for dogs. It's not a real cheeseburger, but it is molded to look like a little cheeseburger, complete with cheese patch. When my partner got the Barnburger out to taunt Mitzie with it, I looked at her, frowned and asked "what's the point?" After all, Mitzie loves getting actual cheeseburgers and she manages to get scraps out of us when we cook ground beef every week or two. My partner pointed out that, unencumbered by rolls or vegetables, the Barnburger was just what Mitzie wanted without the elements she did not like and without depleting our food stock.

The Barnburger is a two and three-quarter to three inch in diameter hamburger treat made for dogs. On one side is a two inch in diameter 1/8" thick orange blob that is intended to be cheese and the treat looks and feels like a cold cheeseburger. Fortunately, it does not fall apart when one takes it out of its wrapper. This looks and smells exactly like a little cheeseburger, which is why we figured Mitzie would love it and she did. In fact, as she scarfs down her second Barnburger in the last few days, it is hard to find much to write about these treats other than "our dog truly enjoys it!"

The Barnburger was selected by Mitzie from a choice of two wrapped treats my wife brought home. She raised her paw - to indicate she wanted this and the moment it was unwrapped - she sat up straight to beg for it and I was surprised by how fast she reacted to it. It was even more surprising how quickly she devoured the Barnburger. She consumes the Barnburgers in about a minute, which is something considering she is a sixteen year-old dog and she does nothing else particularly fast. The treat feels hard and it stays together when unwrapped, but it is soft enough that it does not crunch when Mitzie bites into it. As a result, it is strangely able to stay together, but it does not do much more than that.

As well, the Barnburger seems to have no real benefits for the dental health of the dog. Because it is softer, it is not ideal for scraping off the plaque on dog's teeth. As well, it is not extraordinary because our dog eats it so quickly that it barely has time in the dog's mouth. It does seem like a wonderful treat in that Mitzie feels quite special when she gets one and it might be a good tool for positive reinforcement for those who are training their dogs.

Barnburgers are available inexpensively enough at about $1.00/ea. at pet stores everywhere. However, given how the ingredients are primarily chicken, corn syrup and chicken meal, it is hard to imagine this is great for the dental health of dogs. The Barnburger is intended to be a treat, a food supplement, not a food product that dogs will live on. But as a dessert product for dogs, it is not terrible. It provides at least 24% of a dog's crude protein for the day as well as about 4% fiber. The Barnburger is made up of at least eight percent fat and no more than 30% moisture, but it does seem to be light on preservative. The Barnburger we picked up last week was being clearanced because it was set to expire. Each treat is individually-wrapped in a thin plastic wrapper that is easy for humans to get into.

There is no guide on this treat for what size dog it is intended for, but it seems to be appropriate for young dogs (not puppies, given the crude fat and protein counts) through old dogs who still have teeth intact.

For other dog treats, check out my reviews of:
Kong Peanut Butter Stuff'N
Peanut Butter Booda Bones
Simple Essentials Treats


For other pet product reviews, please visit my index page for a complete listing!

© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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