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Product Review: SweetSpots

So, it turns out that July is National Ice Cream Month, and we had the chance to include the dogs in a little celebration at Champion of My Heart. The folks at Nature’s Variety asked us to try SweetSpots (a frozen dessert-like treat for dogs). We gave it a shot, and here is our report, including a video taste test (about 3 minutes).

Oh, and as a preamble … yes, I’m wearing jeans and a sweater in July. It has been cold and rainy here (at our altitude) all week. Brrrr.

Many thanks to Tom for playing along and shooting the video for me.


My Thoughts

Even though each serving only has 95 calories and about 2% fat, I’d probably split one serving/cup between Lilly and Ginko. We use so many food rewards and food-stuffed toys throughout the day that I have to be careful about their total food consumption.

Also, don’t make my mistake, if you have a real chow hound in the house  … I let Ginko eat out of the cardboard cup. When I stepped away to check the video quality, the cup disappeared, and we fear he ate it. Cripes!

He loves sweet potatoes!

SweetSpots Ingredient Details

  • All natural
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • 98% Lactose free
  • Contains live active yogurt cultures
  • Low fat
  • 4 servings per box

It comes in two flavors:

Sweet Potato and Molasses: Buttermilk, Sweet Potatoes, Molasses, Whey Protein, Egg Yolks, Fruit Pectin, Live Yogurt Cultures

Peanut Butter and Honey: Buttermilk, Peanut Butter, Molasses, Whey Protein, Honey, Egg Yolks, Fruit Pectin, Live Yogurt Cultures

Ice Cream Socials, July 17 or July 18

To broaden awareness of SweetSpots, the brand promo team is working with local retailers across the country to host doggie ice cream socials, with free samples for our canine friends and coupons for you.

They’re calling it the World’s Largest Ice Cream Social. (I think that’s a bit of hyperbole.) Still, it could be fun!

It’s about more than FREE snacks, though.

At each event, for every FREE cup of SweetSpots consumed, Nature’s Variety will make a donation to a local pet charity.

So, we’d classify it as a combination of:

  • Doing something fun
  • Getting something free
  • Raising money for a pet charity

You bet they want to raise awareness and sell product. Of course they do, but this is pretty clever … no?

Everyone else will need to click through and find a store in your area, but as a service to my Colorado friends, here are the locations hosting socials:

Colorado

Saturday, 07.17.10
11:00 AM – 02:00 PM
***
Mouthfuls
4224 Tennyson St.
Denver, Colorado 80212
720.855.7505
***
Unleashed
459 McCaslin
Louisville, Colorado 80027
303.554.9343
***

If Lilly didn’t have such an aversion to gatherings of dogs we do not know, we would totally attend. Alas, you’ll have to party without us.

***

FTC Disclosure: Jill Gainer, a brand director for Nature’s Variety, emailed me a couple weeks ago and asked if I’d be one of about 25 dog bloggers to try and review SweetSpots. I agreed, so she sent me a coupon so that I could get ONE FREE sample of the product from a local retailer.

Other than the free product, I was NOT paid or compensated in any way to post this review.

Just so you know, Tom picked up our free sample from Paws ‘N’ Play in Olde Town Arvada because it was the closest spot for us (a mere 22 miles, each way).

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

MarthaAndMe - July 12, 2010

My dogs would definitely eat the bowl, no questions! We’ve tried another frozen dog treat in the past, but it just seemed to me we didn’t need another treat around.

Living Large in Our Little House - July 12, 2010

Eating the bowl is something my Molly would have done also! Thanks for bringing this little treat to light, mine love sweet potatoes too!

SeeDogThink - July 10, 2010

I agree. I believe my dogs recognize “thank you” as a praise word or marker as well. I also use “good choice” as well.
I am convinced that I can sometimes see my scaredy dog beam with pride after I praise her, especially when her “brother” is still monkeying around and not doing what he was asked.

SeeDogThink - July 10, 2010

not really related, but my favourite part of the video was when you said THANK YOU to Lilly for sitting. 🙂
I say this to my dogs all the time and had people comment on how silly it is, so seeing you do it made my day.

    Roxanne Hawn - July 10, 2010

    Ha! Well, did you notice I said “please” as well? At least I think I did … I often do.

    We have all kinds of “praise” words, and THANK YOU is among them. I know people think it’s silly or weird, but I like using a gratitude word as praise once in awhile. The way I see it … I don’t COMMAND Lilly to do anything. I ASK her for behaviors, and when she feels up to being my teammate in that effort, then she deserves my thanks.

    I think I’ve written about it before. I’d have to dig around and find the post, but I also use things like GOOD DECISION for times when I know she had a choice in what do to in a scenario (say another dog getting in her face). And, when she makes a good choice, I mark that too.

Sam - July 10, 2010

No, you are right – I haven’t seen Nature’s Variety in any grocery stores. While I normally do go to petstores for pet supplies, the supermarkets here do carry some of the higher-end brands of treats (Zuke’s comes to mind – can’t tell you how happy I was when I saw them on a shopping trip!).

Amy@GoPetFriendly - July 9, 2010

He ate the bowl!! That’s hilarious, and something our dogs would have done.

    Roxanne Hawn - July 10, 2010

    Well, based on some CSI done on the last couple of days, it looks like they might have shredded the bowl and each eaten some of it. I was just worried one of them would get a blockage, but it looks like the tore it up in smaller pieces that passed OK. Knuckleheads!

Sam - July 9, 2010

Ginko’s face seriously cracked me up. He reminds me SO much of Marge.

I’ll definitely look out for this stuff – I was going to pick up some cold doggie treats when I was in the supermarket, but decided against it because I’d never heard of it before. I like high-quality brands.

    Roxanne Hawn - July 10, 2010

    Yes, Ginko and Marge have many shared facial and other features. Maybe that’s why I love Marge so much.

    I’m pretty sure you can ONLY get SweetSpots at fairly high-end dog stores, not at the grocery. Could be wrong, but I think so.

Edie Jarolim - July 9, 2010

Love the video — you guys are having so much fun! I’d try this product in a minute if I could (with a diabetic dog even the sweet potatoes are iffy and fuggedabout molasses). There are a lot of ice cream-like products out there that are filled with crap. This one clearly has a lot of nutritional value.

    Roxanne Hawn - July 9, 2010

    I hadn’t thought of that angle for you. Yes, best NOT to sample food products unless you know for sure what’s in it.

    Our trainer swears you can make something very similar using rice milk and other blended ingredients your dog likes. I’ve never tried it, but I did save up a bunch of single serving applesauce cups … just in case I decide to try.

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