Chief canine officer Artemis can’t review it all (she needs to take her naps)—which is why she’s enlisted her friends in the Picky Pups Pack, a select group of Argos & Artemis dogs and dog parents who test free products in exchange for sharing their honest experiences (and very cute photos)! Of course, we know that all dogs are unique and come with their own quirks and preferences, and that the perfect toy, treat, or leash for you and your dog may not work for your neighbor’s dog (or even your other dog). But we also know that when we share our personal experiences, we can help each other make better informed decisions for our dogs! Want to join the Picky Pups Pack. Apply here!
Oh, the weather’s heating up, and with all time we’ve spent indoors in the past 365 days, all we want to do is lie in the grass and let our sticky limbs soak up the soak (and we’re not just talking about our dogs). And during the warm weather months, there is nothing better than a florescent popsicle or swiftly melting ice cream cone (all the better reason to eat it fast!). Unfortunately, while the more generous amongst us will let our dogs have a lick, these are not the healthiest options for our sweet pups (especially with their sensitive digestive systems). For years, we’ve been intrigued by Bazzy’s Kefir, which make frozen probiotic treats just for dogs. It’s like frozen yogurt, but much better! Kefir is a probiotic-rich fermented yogurt-like milk-based drink made with kefir grains, which are not grains at all but rather mother cultures of microorganisms. Yum! Bazzy’s Kefir is made from coconut milk, and can potentially help with digestive issues, inflammation, bone health, wound healing, nutritional support, and more. In other words, it’s a therapeutic food.
We’ve enlisted three of our favorite picky pups to test out Bazzy’s Kefir on our behalf. It’s a hard job, but someone’s got to do it!
Milo (@milo.shrimp) the Min Pin/Beagle Mix
“I love how long it lasts as a frozen treat, and this is coming from the mom of a dog that will eat everything with a ferocity that leaves destruction in his path.”
Bazzy’s Frozen Kefir is the kind of snack that you can spoil your dog rotten on, without worry for their gut health. In fact, it’s even beneficial. My dog Milo, a beagle mix with a notorious doggy smell, fishy breath, and tendency to gnash his teeth on anything even remotely edible, had the pleasure of trying out Bazzy’s Kefir in their two flavors: Original and Blueberry Peanut Butter. Both treats, made with coconut milk (non-dairy and vegan!) smell absolutely delicious, even to me as a human. The kefir can be served frozen right from the container or thawed overnight in the fridge, and each container measures one cup. Depending on the size of your dog, you can serve half a cup to one cup a day. Milo, the lucky pup, enjoyed a full cup every other day, despite being only 15 pounds. (I took into account his activity level and being the Energizer bunny that he is!) I love how long it lasts as a frozen treat, and this is coming from the mom of a dog that will eat everything with a ferocity that leaves destruction in his path. I am not exaggerating—Milo tore into the container and left punctured canine marks all over it, since he preferred to bite the treat rather than just lick it. I prefer to thaw the kefir overnight and smear it on a Lickimat, serve it up in a liquid treat dispenser while training, or coat Milo’s kibble in it and pack it into a Kong for him to enjoy. No more destroyed containers, and Milo is left a shivering mess because he gave himself brain freeze.
Milo has been enjoying a cup every other day for the past two weeks, allowing some time for a few of the benefits to come to life. As I mentioned before, Milo typically has very distinct dog smells, but all of those smells have noticeably improved: his breath is less fishy, and I haven’t needed to spritz him with an in-between-baths deodorizer to alleviate any doggy scent. Milo also has dry patches that develop dander over time—but no more! Milo’s coat is less oily and more glossy, plus his itching and dander has been alleviated, which my clothing certainly appreciates. All in all, Bazzy’s Frozen Kefir is worth the hype if you’re looking for a healthy treat to invest in.
Since adopting Milo, there is a particular kind of treat I’m always on the hunt for, which is a training treat that I can break apart in my hands but doesn’t crumble into dust easily. I’m sure Bazzy’s Salmon Apple Snaps weren’t intended for training necessarily, as they’re not particularly low-calorie, but wow do they do well as a higher-value reward! Milo goes nuts over the smell and taste of these, often running back at me as fast as he can whenever I offer a “come!” cue, since he knows I’ll have a piece of this ready for him.
Each Salmon Apple Snap feels like a soft granola square, and despite the fish ingredient, it’s not a particularly stinky treat which we always appreciate in this household. There are lots of similar treats on the market, some I’ve received through a Bark Box subscription, so I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy this specific type. However, it’s definitely worth the addition if you’re already picking up some of Bazzy’s Frozen Kefir. Why not have the whole Bazzy’s experience?
I’ve never been one for fancy poop bags, but I am a sucker for beautiful design and color palettes. Bazzy’s poop bags more than hit the mark on those two factors. Plus, I feel less like a sucker pulling out these brightly-colored slips from my jacket pocket compared to the standard dark green baggy. These are extremely soft to the touch, although like all poop bags, they’re still hard to ply open on the spot, but that’s nothing you can’t fix with some thoughtful pre-planning. The best parts are that they’re scent-free—literally, not even a plasticky smell!—and that they’re compostable, which is usually an afterthought for me. But hey, every little bit to help our environment works, right? Four poop bag rolls add up to 60 baggies for the price of $8.99, which is only a smidge more expensive than similar compostable bags. If you, too, would rather enjoy a vibrant pink-and-red color scheme while cleaning up after your pup, then these may be the bags for you.
As for the reusable face mask, it’s a great extra to add to cart when you’re in need of a new one, and who wouldn’t want a mask to match their dog’s poop bags? It’s made of cotton and feels light and airy on the face, although don’t be fooled—it does have three layers for more protection. I like to layer it over a surgical mask (friendly reminder: wear a mask and get vaccinated!) and wear it when I take Milo out on his walks. The big selling points are the adjustable ear-loops for optimal fitting, and the cute little “I’m a cool dog mom” design on the lefthand side—arguably the only acceptable slogan design, and one that I’d be willing to wear whether or not Milo was actually with me.
Mable (@mable.the.mini) the Miniature American Shepherd
“My favorite method so far is taking one of those mixtures and loading it into her West Paw Toppl or a different enrichment toy, putting it back in the freezer for 5-to-10 minutes, and then letting Mable enjoy it.”
The Blueberry Peanut Butter flavor smells good enough for the humans in the house to be tempted to try and sneak a taste, but I doubt Mable would be interested in sharing with us! With a creamy texture, enticing scent, and all the probiotic health benefits provided, Bazzy’s Frozen Kefir has quickly become our new favorite frozen treat. As the weather has been slowly warming up, we have frequently been taking a cup of Bazzy’s Frozen Kefir with us out on our walks and other adventures. It has worked really well to use as a reward offered throughout a walk, as well as being a great way to cool down and relax during any longer breaks. The frozen consistency definitely keeps her more engaged for more time than a traditional treat. And if you have a smaller pup or one that is slower to enjoy their snacks, the included lid will reseal to save for later. I feel good about feeding Bazzy’s Frozen Kefir Treats because they include all-natural ingredients that promote gut health, immunity, and allergy support. Mable, of course, is just thrilled to have any excuse to eat something that includes peanut butter, but I bet she would be surprised that something so tasty could be so healthy.
I was interested to try Bazzy’s Original Frozen Kefir Treats as a means to add more digestive support to Mable’s diet, and I was especially intrigued by the vegan-friendly option of using coconut milk. Between the two currently available flavors, Mable seems to have a preference for the Blueberry Peanut Butter flavor over the Original flavor, but that has ended up giving us the opportunity to get creative with the way we let her enjoy it. For example, letting the Frozen Kefir soften outside of the freezer for about 10 or 15 minutes makes it much easier to mix other ingredients with it. We have tried mixing in some of her favorite treats, a bit of salmon oil, and even her regular food, each of which she has seemed to truly enjoy. My favorite method so far is taking one of those mixtures and loading it into her West Paw Toppl or a different enrichment toy, putting it back in the freezer for 5-to-10 minutes, and then letting Mable enjoy it. The frozen consistency keeps Mable engaged for a much longer time than just eating her food out of a bowl. Plus, licking at food releases serotonin in dogs, so she always looks super zenned out as she enjoys it.
These Salmon Apple Snaps treats smell strangely good for being made for dogs. I have plenty of experience holding my breath as I feed any sort of fishy flavored treat to my dog or cat, but it seems like the inclusion of apple really helps to balance these Salmon Apple Snaps out. The treats themselves are rather large, but they can be broken up into smaller pieces with relatively low effort. Mable is on the smaller side (about 15 pounds) and is also a bit texturally sensitive with her treats. She seems to really like the flavor of the Salmon Apple Snaps, but still struggles a bit to chew through them, even when they are broken into smaller pieces. The thickness of the treat is a lot harder for me to change than the relative size, and I think Mable generally prefers treats that are a bit thinner or a softer texture to chew through. That said, most pups are not nearly as picky about treat texture as Mable is, and we have still found ways for her to enjoy the treats.
Mable could probably care less about what type of poop bag I use (in fact, she’s probably a bit weirded out that I pick up her poop at all!). But for me, I have certain qualities that I look for in pick up bags: Durable, easy-to-tear, sized appropriately to fit into standard bag holders. Bonus points for some sort of fun color or pattern on the bags. The Bazzy’s Compostable Poop Bags check all those boxes and then some. The texture of the bags feels a bit softer than many I have used in the past, but they seem to be even more durable. This is especially helpful for living in a city, often picking up off the concrete sidewalk, where things can get, um, messy. But each bag has done an excellent job of holding up, regardless of the load. They’re also easy to use, easy to tear, easy to tie up, and easy to switch out. Plus, I love that these are compostable and biodegradable. The fun, bright colors and cheeky expressions don’t hurt either.
In the past year, I have tried out a lot of face masks. While this one might not have the fanciest features, it is still a solid choice for a mask. The layered organic cotton is definitely a detectable upgrade, and it balances feeling substantial without feeling suffocating. Plus, I love any additional way to signal that I am a crazy, I mean, cool dog mom. The mask itself is a bit on the smaller side, so would probably do best on smaller faces. You also won’t find any nose wire or a chin cup, but the ear straps are easy to adjust and reasonably comfortable. Most recently I have been wearing this over a KN95 mask and that has been an effective and comfortable combo.
Kitsune (@mahnahhhhh) the Dachshund Mix
“Unfortunately, the Original Frozen Kefir upset his stomach and he’s refused it since. A week later, I tried to entice him with the Blueberry Peanut Butter Frozen Kefir. Again, he enjoyed it wholeheartedly and ate about a quarter of a serving. But this flavor upset his stomach as well, and he won’t go near it again.”
Bazzy’s Kefir has beautiful packaging; bright, vibrant colors with the cutest logo and print. They were also very careful to package the product so that it would not melt in transit, arriving in perfect condition. The kefir smells like any yogurt product that I’ve bought for myself, which makes sense since it’s human-grade quality! Initially, when I gave Kitsune a serving of the plain kefir, he was enthusiastic and ate half the cup. Unfortunately, the Original Frozen Kefir upset his stomach and he’s refused it since. A week later, I tried to entice him with the Blueberry Peanut Butter Frozen Kefir. Again, he enjoyed it wholeheartedly and ate about a quarter of a serving. But this flavor upset his stomach as well, and he won’t go near it again. Kitsune has severe chicken allergies, and minor allergies to some other meats, but hasn’t had any adverse reaction to vegan treats, so I was surprised by this. To be fair, Kitsune has a very strict diet due to a severe skin infection from allergies that he had when I adopted him a couple years ago. We have been experimenting with new treats over the past six months but his overall diet is still very bland, so I wonder if his stomach culture wasn’t right for the kefir. Bazzy’s Kefir is a very aesthetically pleasing product, with all-natural ingredients, so I was disappointed that Kistune didn’t react well to the frozen treat. I might try it again in a few years when Kitsune has a more diverse diet but would not purchase in the near future.
Has your dog tried Bazzy’s Kefir before? Let us know in the comments!