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Zuke’s Gets Tiny

Zuke’s, the Durango, Colo., natural pet food and treat company, rolled out a new size of treats recently that are available at local pet stores. They’re called Zuke’s Tiny Naturals, and tiny they are, which makes them really great training treats.

At less than 1? calories per treat, these tempting morsels (not to be confused with Zuke’s Mini Naturals) are grain-free and soft, making them useful training lures and rewards for all breeds, though these teeny-tiny bits are particularly suited to toy and small breeds. Packaged in convenient re-sealable foil pouches, Tiny Naturals come in chicken, peanut butter, and duck flavors, with chicken, duck, and peanut butter respectively leading their ingredients list.

Because they are such low-calorie treats, dog owners and trainers can feel good about using them often, whether it’s one at a time or sprinkled atop kibble to celebrate a training session well done. Additionally, the treats contain healthy ingredients such as chickpeas, peas, and sweet potatoes as well as vitamins, minerals, and supplements, so they are packed with nutritional value instead of empty calories. No additives, preservatives, grain, wheat, corn, or soy.

Joe, the Bay Woof test dog mainstay with a hugely picky appetite, turned up his nose at the itsy-bitsy morsels, no surprise. But his barn-dog acquaintances—Cody, a terrier; Cooper, a poodle mix; Lakota, an Aussie pup; Brio, a poodle; and Bodie, a Dobie—had quite the opposite reaction and scarfed them right up and wanted more. Little Rufus, meanwhile, an office dog friend, didn’t care for the peanut butter recipe, but his pal did.

Zuke’s also sent along Puppy Naturals in three varieties—salmon and sweet potato, pork with bacon, and lamb and chickpea—to sample. These little yum-yums are also grain-free and protein-packed squishy morsels, but they are larger than the Tiny Naturals. Salmon, pork, and lamb headed up their respective ingredients list, which also included chickpeas, peas, and sweet potatoes, like the Tinys. The Puppy Naturals are about 3? calories per treat, still low-calorie enough to be used frequently without guilt. These treats also have DHA, EPA, and vitamins A and E and are supposedly gentle on puppies’ developing stomachs and good for their brains. They are suitable for adults, too.

The Puppy Naturals, no matter which recipe, were slightly stinky compared to the Tiny Naturals, which had little to no odor. Joe snubbed the Puppy Naturals, but the other stable dog regulars loved them, earning the Puppy Naturals an overall barn-dog seal of approval.

Because the treats are so small, the 5-ounce packages, which retail for about $4 a piece, seemed to last a long time. That just meant more mini snacks for the testers to nibble and extra chances to improve friendships.

Main article photo by: Photo courtesy of Zuke’s