Thursday, February 24, 2011

It Appears To Truly Taste Like Peanut Butter: Kong Stuff'N Peanut Butter Paste Works!

The Good: Dogs seem to like it, Easy to use, Appears nutritious for dogs
The Bad: Not wild about aerosols, There is a bigger size which is a better overall value.
The Basics: A wonderful flavor, there is a more economical package of Peanut Butter Kong Stuff'N, a spray paste for dogs which my dog loves.

As my dog, Mitzie, enters the final stages of her life, my wife and I have been doing everything we can think of to make her happy and comfortable. Mitzie moved with my wife from Michigan to New York only three months ago and the geriatric canine has been, quite sadly, fading fast almost ever since (Note: Rather amazing to read that note and realize that Mitzie rallied and had almost two full, good years after!). Mitzie has been my wife's most steadfast companion for years and so as we consider the real probability that Mitzie will not be around much longer, we've been spoiling her. A few weeks back, we bought Mitzie a Kong Dog Toy (reviewed here!) and with it, we found some Puppy Kong Stuff'N on clearance that inspired us to give Mitzie a real treat. Some dogs will play with the Kong toy without Stuff'N. Mitzie will not. The regular 8 oz. container of Stuff'N lasted only a few weeks and after that, Mitzie walked around, looking mournful at her Kong toy.

So, when my partner returned home with Peanut Butter flavored Stuff'N treat spray, I figured Mitzie would leap on her Kong toy as she had before. I was wrong. Apparently, Peanut Butter (real and as a flavor for treats) is a HUGE treat for Mitzie and she began going at the Kong toy like she had never done before. The Peanut Butter Stuff'N paste reinvigorated Mitzie and for as long as it held out, she was once more playful, excited and interested in her Kong toy.

Stuff'N is best analogized as spray cheese for dog, save that it is meat - or, in this case, peanut butter - flavor. The principle holds, though; this is an 8 oz. aerosol can filled with a paste that is sprayed out a nozzle either into the Kong toy or onto poor Mitzie's nose (my wife finds this hilarious and Mitzie's tongue goes wild cleaning herself up) or another surface one is fine with having a dog lick up. The dog consumes the Stuff'N and seems all the happier for it. In the Kong toy, Stuff'N becomes a dexterity challenge for the dog with the Stuff'N paste as a reward that they enjoy for figuring out exactly where in the toy it is and being able to manipulate it enough to lick it out.

Peanut Butter Kong Stuff'N is a surprisingly popular flavor - the pet store my partner now works at frequently runs out of it - that is easily distinguishable from the other flavors of Kong Stuff'N by the blue cap and the light blue banner denoting the peanut butter flavor on the can. Like other Stuff'N products, Peanut Butter Stuff'N is presented in a dispenser that is, including the cap, shaped just like a spray cheese can. The 8 oz. spray can has a cap which is easy to flick off as it has a tab that can allow access with only a thumb. Removing the cap reveals the nozzle which is also shaped like a spray cheese nozzle. It is a one inch long piece of plastic which is essentially a tube with little tines at the end. Pressing the nozzle starts the Peanut Butter Stuff'N spraying out of the can.

Perhaps the most obvious way to use Peanut Butter Stuff'N is in the Kong dog toy, which is where it is intended to be used. The Kong toy has two holes, one of which is the exact size as the nozzle. Pressing the nozzle into the small hole and shifting it causes the Peanut Butter Stuff'N to fill the toy. Stuff'N expands (not quite as extremely as other aerosol-compressed products like shaving gel) slightly and if one uses the recommended teaspoon of Stuff'N as it comes out of the can, it ought to expand over a few seconds to be about a teaspoon and a half of Peanut Butter Stuff'N. Strangely, the idea of one teaspoon being a serving is nullified some by the Kong toy itself; a single teaspoon is tiny in the cavity in the Kong toy. We tend to spoil Mitzie and instead fill her Medium Kong Toy up about a third full (by the time we give it to her, it is about half full).

As for the taste, the best test I could think of for this was to offer Mitzie actual peanut butter and Peanut Butter Stuff'N. In ten tests where she was offered actual peanut butter and Peanut Butter Stuff'N side by side, she picked the Peanut Butter Stuff'N half of the times. In fact, for our old girl, it appear whichever was closer was the one she would go for. I interpret this as meaning that the Peanut Butter Stuff'N tastes identical to or close enough to actual peanut butter that a dog will not be able to tell the difference. Mitzie went after the Peanut Butter Stuff'N with the same vigor with which she approached actual peanut butter.

Quite appropriately, then, Peanut Butter Kong Stuff'N looks like peanut butter when it comes out of the can and puppies and older dogs will lick it off any surface it is spread on (that I've found so far!). It has the same color and consistency as normal creamy peanut butter. The product is not kept refrigerated and still it lasts for years (ours does not expire until mid-2011, but it did not last anywhere near that long).

For those worried about the nutrition of this treat, Peanut Butter Kong Stuff'N has fourteen calories for dogs in a single serving, ten of which are from fat. The real issues as I understand it for most dogs is the protein and fat content. A single serving of Puppy Stuff'N has at least 2% of a dog's RDA of crude protein and 20% RDA of crude fat. My partner was happy to move Mitzie to the Peanut Butter Stuff'N from the Puppy Stuff'N after Mitzie gained a little weight after the move. Oddly, there is no fundamental difference in the fat content between the two products and I have not yet discovered any "low fat" Stuff'N option. On the plus side, Peanut Butter Stuff'N says on the can that it contains no trans fatty acids.

Generally, though, Peanut Butter Stuff'N is nutritious and fun for dogs and there is nothing truly bad in it. The primary ingredients are whey, soybean oil and water.

Despite the claim that there are forty-five servings in the 8 oz. can, which was regular priced $7.00 at Target, we were only able to fill Mitzie's Kong Medium Dog toy a dozen times before we ran out. Given the relative expense of the product, the larger 18 oz. Value Size is a better value both for the treat and the environmental impact of the product. It seems to me there has to be a more environmentally beneficial way to dispense this product (as a child of the '80s, I was astounded to discover that anything still came in non-ozone friendly aerosols!). Regardless, simple unit pricing dictates that for those who can find and use the 18 oz. Value Size, it would be a better investment than this 8 oz. size.

Still, the way Mitzie attacks her Peanut Butter Stuff'N over any other Stuff'N option makes it an easy recommend, both as a treat and against other flavors of Stuff'N.

For other dog treat reviews, please check out:
Peanut Butter Booda Bones
Exclusively Dog Carob Flavor Sandwich Creme Dog Treats
Redbarn Peanut Butter filled bone


For other pet product reviews, please click here to visit my index page!

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

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