Product Type: Pedigree dog food
Newest Review: ... containers to be honest. On the front of the pack we are told that they are Pedigree Schmackos 'With Beef' (other flavours are available... more
Lip Schmackingly Good for Your Furry Footed Friend
Member Name: StampedingTurtes
Advantages: Contain Omega 3 and nutrients, great for training, they make tails wag!
Disadvantages: "inorganic matter"????
My wee dog is a Sheltie named Bonnie and she is now approaching 14 years old. She's deaf, but still young at heart and a very happy wee thing. She has always had a slightly sensitive stomach - many dog treats make her sick (yellow foam anyone?) and Schmackos have been the only treat we will give her. It's a pain when dog loving friends come down and try to give her other treats as it always results in the dreaded yellow foam!
~~~ The Product ~~~
Schmackos come in the familiar Pedigree packaging. A yellow bag with a dog on the front and the word Schmackos emblazoned across the centre of the bag.
On opening the bag you are hit with a very strong, generically meaty smell. If you are hungry enough, they might smell appetising in that savoury kind of way. If you break one up to give pieces to your dag, the smell tends to stay on your fingers so you really must wash your hands afterwards.
I like that the bags are resealable as it allows me to keep the treats fresh and soft. If you don't seal the bag over, the treats can become hard... not that Bonnie really cares too much!
Schmackos are long, flat meat flavoured treats for dogs. They come in 3 different flavours - Beef, Chicken and Four Meat Variety Packs. To be honest Bonnie loves them so much that she has no flavour preference, however, I do know a friends dog who will only eat the chicken ones - proving that they must genuinely all taste different!
We usually buy the variety pack as it tends to be more readily available in the bigger bag (20 sticks) and lasts longer. The flavours in this bag are chicken, lamb, rabbit and turkey. You can tell the different flavours by the colour of the stick, the chicken ones are easy to spot as you can buy these on their own and therefore can become familiar with the golden colour. The other ones are a little trickier! We think the rabbit and lamb ones are the darker colours and this leaves the other light colour to be the turkey.
You can buy Schmackos in a variety of sizes from most supermarkets...
Beef or chicken - 10 sticks (86g) - £1.00
Beef or chicken - 20 Sticks (172g) - £1.50
Four Meat Variety - 20 sticks (172g) - £1.50
Tesco are running a promotion at the moment which allows you to buy four bags of Schmackos (172g) for £5. That's a saving of £1.00 so well worth it! It is also possible to buy Schmackos in bulk from Amazon for 12 172g bags for £17.60 which is not quite so much of a saving but perhaps is convenient.
~~~ Ingredients and Nutrition Information ~~~
Schmackos are made with real meat. The full list of ingredients is as follows for the variety pack:
Meat and Animal Derivatives (40% Meat, including: 17% Beef, 6% Chicken, 5% Lamb, 4% Duck, 10% Fresh Meat), Derivatives of Vegetable Origin, Cereals, Various Sugars, Minerals, Oils and Fats, Antioxidants, Preservatives
They are free from additives and artificial colours.
Schmackos provide 296Kcal per 100g. Obviously this is a lot or not very much depending upon the size of your dog and his activity level. Bonnie is a medium sized dog who is less active not that she is a bit older. We have always only used Schmackos as an occasional treat and we only ever give her about a quarter of a stick at a time. We usually break off a quarter and then this gets broken up again, she never gets it all at once. Just like feeding children too many sweeties, too many Schmackos can present a problem for a dog!
The treats contain Omega 3, calcium, minerals and vitamins. This is marketed as being healthy and obviously the vitamins etc are good for your dog, but in small portions!
They are fairly high in protein and "moisture" as well as containing vitamin A and E; iron and fat. They also contain something called crude fibres and "inorganic matter". Hmm sounds a little dubious! But, to be fair, they are occasional treats and they are one of the few items which don't upset my dog's stomach!
~~~ Uses ~~~
Schmackos are great for training your dog. They quickly learn that if they do as you ask, they get a treat and a pat on the head. Eventually, you don't need the treat and just a pat on the head will do. Much like Pavlov, you will have conditioned your dog to do some behaviour and have made him associate the pat on the head as equal to the food treat which you have removed (why could Pavlov not have done this instead of all that bell ringing and salivating?). They really are great as a conditioning aid to allow you to get good behaviour from your dog and also to teach your dog commands.
Now that Bonnie is older though, she is very well behaved and has learned a great many commands for which she asks no more than a pat on the head or a scratch of the chin. However, we bought her a treat puzzle ball about 10 years ago and a first it took her hours to work out how to get the treats out.
Now though, she's learned. We break up a wee bit of Schmacko into the ball and leave her to it. She has it emptied and eaten in less than five minutes. She loves this game and usually brings her ball right over and places it in your hands before leading you to the cupboard where the Schmackos are kept!
So although they are only a treat and should not be a staple of the diet, they are great for little puzzle games as well as training.
~~~ Conclusion ~~~
Okay so I will level with you, I have infact tasted these. Don't run away and vomit just yet! It was just a lick all in the name of research I tell you! You should have seen Bonnie's face - total horror! Probably the way yours looks just now. I have to admit, my surreptitious lick was before I realised that they contained "inorganic matter", but anyway... it tasted kind of... salty and bland. Disappointing! I was sure they would have a really strong taste because of the really strong smell.
On reflection however, the dog's sense of smell is the one it focuses on so I imagine dogs love these because of the smell as they don't have overly developed taste buds. I imagine the pleasure for a dog it the smell of one as it chomps it down.
Bonnie loves Schmackos and they have always been very kind to her stomach. You also feel that Pedigree is a company you can trust. I certainly will be continuing to purchase Schmackos for the furry footed member of my household!
Summary: Great as a treat, a reward or as part of a puzzle. Healthy if you exercise common sense!