Gear Review: Merrick Backcounty Treats

A few months ago, I came home from work to find a package on the front porch. I excitedly tore into it and discovered that it wasn’t for me, it was for Sprocket!

He’d received Wild Prairie Real Chicken Jerky,  Wild Prairie Real Chicken Sausage Cuts, and Great Plains Real Steak Patties. The lucky dog was drooling immediately after I opened the first bag.

While all of the treats were enjoyed by Sprocket I think his favorite were the chicken jerky strips. I can’t say that I blame him, they smelled like meat and the ingredient list is impressive (“mixed tocopherols” are often found in human nutritional supplements; Vitamin E is a tocopherol). They’re grain-free which I appreciate since his food (also Merrick Backcountry) is as well.

Lest I give all the credit to the jerky, the sausage cuts and the steak patties were hits as well! I think I’d say the steak patties were his second favorite but the sausage cuts get him running to the kitchen for a treat all the same.

I don’t give SP treats very often but when I do, I try to choose things that fit in with his grain free diet and these Merrick treats fit the bill! While I putting together this review I found out that there is also a Wild Catch Salmon Jerky variety that I bet Sprocket is dying to try.

Merrick Backcountry treats were provided to 3Up Adventures by Merrick Pet Care. All opinions are my interpretation of Sprocket’s thoughts.

#Wild4Backcountry: Dog Tested, Mom Approved

If you’ve spent much time around this blog or perhaps had the good fortune to hang out with Sprocket and I in person, you know that he and I are a team. My dog is not just a canine to me but is really a member of my family. Sprocket can be counted on to join me on roadtrips, on hikes, on lazy days in bed, for indulging in a beer, or in going out to meet new people.

It’s really important to me that I feed Sprocket the best food I can afford to try and keep him in top health. When Merrick Pet Care approached me about an ambassadorship, I was very skeptical. I wasn’t about to feed Sprocket something that wasn’t up to our standards just for a partnership. As I researched Merrick, I became really excited about the chance to test out their new Backcountry products.

What made the difference for me?

Made in America: I’m leery of pet food that is either made overseas or comes from overseas ingredients. Americans highly value their pets and Merrick recognizes this and sources their ingredients in the USA not in China. Just as importantly, they do not use preservatives, additives, or colors.

Backcountry is grain-free: When Sprocket was younger, we had him on a grain-free diet feeling that it was healthiest for him and slowly drifted away from it because the food we were feeding him didn’t seem to be working for his digestive system. (Truth: he had horriblesulfur-y farts.) Rather than experimenting with other grain-free foods we transitioned him to a fairly premium food that did include grains. Last fall, however, when I found Sprocket in my sole care, I transitioned him back on to grain free foods and have been really happy with how his coat looks and how much he seems to enjoy his food.

Glucosamine & Condroitin: Labs are prone to hip dysplasia and I’m doing what I can to help Sprocket maintain his mobility for as long as possible. While the jury is still out on their efficacy in dogs, most things I’ve read have called them low risk with a potential reward so I’m opting to make sure Sprocket gets it in his diet. Backcountry promises 1200 mg/kg of both nutrients which 200% increase over his previous food.

And on his end, Sprocket seems to be really pleased with Backcountry. He chows down on the dry food with gusto. If he likes the dry food, I don’t even know what to tell you about the wet food. Wet food has always been an “in case of emergency” (aka “Mom decided we were not going home tonight and are sleeping at this sweet lake on the way home”) food that I’d pick up at the grocery store randomly. I’d also never bought anything for him as awesome as Alpine Rabbit Stew or 96% Real Beef. Although he loved that, our go to is Great Plains Red Meat dry food.

This post was sponsored by Merrick Pet Care. While Sprocket and I were compensated for this post and Sprocket’s samples of Backcountry were provided free of charge, all opinions are my own plus my subjective interpretation of Sprocket’s thoughts.

Review: Zuke’s Hip Action Dog Treats

While we were at Outdoor Retailer, we learned about Zuke’s dog treats. Made in the USA and based out of Durango, Zuke’s uses human grade ingredients in their treats. Reading through the pages detailing the philosophy of Zuke’s, I found myself nodding in agreement. “Adventures in life and love are all around, just follow your dog’s lead and open your eyes to opportunities. Our favorite adventures are those that start as nothing, like when a jog in the park turns into an all-out frolic in the creek.” Yup, Sprocket definitely agrees! And they pay their employees to not drive to work, how cool is that?

Sprocket with Zuke's Hip Treats

Since Labs are predisposed to hip displasia, we worry about Sprocket’s long term mobility sometimes. Zuke’s makes a treat for that! Packed with glucosamine and chondroitin plus eggshell membrane (which is packed with nutrients that support joint health) Hip Treats are made for dogs just like Sprocket.

Zukes Hip Action

Furthermore, he finds them absolutely delicious. (Actually, he knows the phrase “Hip Treats” now.)

And if the video wasn’t enough to convince you, I give you “Hover Dog”:

Hover Dog

Grocery Outlet Madness

Yesterday after work F and I headed over to Spokane to do some shopping. The basic mission was to grab as much non-perishable/deep cold resistant food as we could so we don’t have to snowmobile/hike it in this winter. (Also, if the heavy canned stuff is already there we have more room for bread, butter, and other yummies.) And we decided we should also buy some more for the house since we were there.

I am sad I didn’t have my camera in Grocery Outlet. We filled two carts. It was absolutely ridiculous. We also followed up with a Walmart run for things that weren’t a great deal at Grocery Outlet (mostly instant oatmeal).

Then we went to Petco and bought Sprocket 5 bags of food. The spoiled pup gets Purina Pro Plan and we can’t find that in the Silver Valley so we try to stock up. (He used to get even fancier grain free food…but it didn’t agree very well with his digestive tract.) The end result of this being that Sprocket is prepared for winter too.

This picture does not fully represent the amount of FOOD we hauled into the house.

P.S. SP also got a Santa hat at Petco. SO CUTE.