Some of you may have noticed that Left Coast Cowboys is an ad free zone. That’s not necessarily because of some radical anti-commercial Web philosophy. I just found about a year ago that my payouts from Google Adsense weren’t even keeping me in daily Mochas. And besides, those text ads were ugly. I would much rather have something like my random quotes in place of ads. So I did away with Google Adsense, said no to BlogHer ads and never looked back. After all, I’m really just doing this for fun and not with any illusions that I’ll be making Internet millions.

Well, in the last six months, something strange happened. My readership grew and the next thing I know, Technorati is contacting me and telling me Left Coast Cowboys is among the Top 100 Pet Blogs. And here I didn’t even know there were 100 pet blogs out there. Let alone that I was a Pet Blogger. But I must be, as suddenly pet product companies are knocking on my virtual door and asking me to review their products. Of course, those requests come with free product. I was in between deciding whether I had some sort of integrity stand on this issue or if I just couldn’t be bothered, when Oscar and Lucy got wind of the deal. “Wait a minute”, they barked. “Someone is offering a deluxe sampling of all natural dog biscuits and all we have to do is eat them?” (They’ve always left the blogging to me.) Well, there were murmurings of a general strike. And it was pointed out that I have reviewed products I’ve bought (like the Amazing Penguin Water Carbonator and my NaturesMill Home Composter). And it’s not as if HUMANS would be getting any payment. These are dog biscuits and Oscar and Lucy decided they had no moral qualms about sampling them. So here we are ready to embark on a taste test of Natural Pups All Natural Herbal Treats.

In an effort to maintain some sort of integrity around here, I’m not going to do a real review until I can put the dogs through a rigorous one week testing period when the results and effects of treat application can be meticulously studied. So consider this just a preview. Here’s what we’re prepared to review:

natural Pups Herbal Dog Treats

We've been given three samples: Itch and Skin Rash formula for Oscar, Weight Loss for Lucy and Harmony for both dogs.

Now Harmony is the formula I’m most looking forward to trying. According to the package:

Natural Pup’s Harmony formula is beneficial for your pets who are nervous, anxious and hyperactive. Some of them misbehave or act out, such as attacking other animals or destroying furniture. The Harmony formula helps to relieve some of this anxiety and negative energy so that your dog will feel at ease and relaxed. Available in Peanut Butter, Chicken, Beef and Cheese flavors

I could be tempted to be skeptical about these claims — on the basis that nothing short of a lobotomy can mellow out a terrier. But then, if someone liberally applied peanut butter, beef and cheese to me, I would tend to Zen out. So that’s why there’s Science, folks. We’re going to take this to the lab and get the results for ourselves.

natural Pup Biscuits

In the first round of testing, we do have to say the biscuits are the perfect treat size and have a pleasing crunch and texture.

Natural Pups dog biscuit

Let's just try an initial taste test with our panel.

Lucy eats Natural Pups

Unlike much diet food, Natural Pups' Weight Loss formula clearly has not sacrificed flavor for low calories.

Oscar eats Natural Pups biscuit

And Oscar demonstrates that the Skin Itch and Rash formula has plenty of terrier-pleasing flavor.

Then the bad news. We read the instructions: Daily dose: 2 treats for every 10 pounds of body weight.

So that would be about four treats per dog per day. FOUR TREATS?! Terriers are on a strict quid pro quo system. All requests (there are no commands to terriers) must be preceded and followed by a treat. In this household, fistfuls of treats are dispensed every day. Clearly, my original plan of stopping all treats except Natural Pups during the test period is not going to work. Or maybe it will if each terrier gets his or her daily dose of Harmony biscuits. Stay tuned on this one.

Technorati logo

The Technorati favorite button looks like this.

In the meantime, since we have opted for shameless commercialism, you might as well scroll down to the end of this post where there are a load of little icons under the words “Share and Enjoy”. Search out the little Technorati button and click it. That “favorites” Left Coast Cowboys, gets me some sort of Technorati Brownie Points and will ensure that we are kept rolling in dog biscuits.

See, my friends, it’s a slippery slope…