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It’s no secret that here at Casa de Kolchak, the dogs love the smelly stuff.
Don’t all dogs, really? I mean, put two things in front of your dog, say a cracker and a piece of liver, and I bet every darn time, they sniff out that liver first. (If they happen to be Kolchak, they’ll snarf up the liver, then make a mad dash for the cracker, just in case you were planning to take it away after he made his choice. I’ve almost lost a finger this way. That guy is like a small furry velociraptor.)
I’m very fussy about what types of treats I will give my dogs on a frequent basis. More often than not, the treats I feel good about giving are meat-based, dehydrated treats.
Around here, we skip the store bought bones that come a bazillion to a box for $2. 75. We shun the soft treats in the zip top bags that are made with sugar and glycerin for $1.00. Don’t even suggest we buy a treat where the first 7 ingredients include 5 grains and something called “meat digest”. Um…what the woof. Gross, man. No, here at Casa de Kolchak, we serve up the good stuff. Bully sticks, tendon pieces, trachea chews, dried sardines, liver, heart and lung bites.
High quality meaty treats drive my dogs wild. Too bad they smell so darn disgusting.
<– This is Kolchak chomping on a piece of pork heart and yes, it does smell every bit as good as it sounds. Not only does he love stinky treats, Kolchak has a crazy good nose. I like to buy my treats in bulk to save a bit of money, but as soon as something smelly and delicious enters the house, this guy knows. He knows and he demands he get to eat one, immediately. He’s demanding little dictator. Still, I can’t have him eating a chew every time he catches the scent. He would always be sitting next to our doggy command centre, where we store our smelly dog treats, crying.
Over the years, I’ve developed a few ways to store smelly dog treats and keep the yuck factor at bay.
Which method I choose depends greatly on just how smelly the treat is, how often I plan to get into the package and how many treats I need to store.
1. Zip Top Bags
Zipper bags are the easiest and least effective way to contain smells. Many modern day baggies are made of this crazy special plastic that is considered “permeable” which means they let the food inside breathe and keep your food fresh. The downside to this is that air can get in, odours can get out. Yuck. I use the wide, double seal bags to minimize this, but still. The smells are escapey.
Best used for: slightly smelly treats like low-odour bully sticks, homemade chicken or turkey jerky and anything that doesn’t make you gag when you put it right under your nose or very short-term storage.
2. Foodsaver Packages
My Foodsaver is one of my VERY favourite Kitchen things. It lets me save food for freezing, it’s great for quickly marinating meats and it’s handy as heck for sealing the odour in with larger volumes of treats. Since the machine vacuum seals the package there’s no air getting in or out, so it’s pretty fabulous at containing odours. However, if your dog is a super smeller like Kolchak, they may still smell odours on the outside of the package. (True story. That nose is nuts.) If your dog has a good nose, wipe down the outside of your vacuum sealed package with white vinegar. It wipes any residual smells off the outside. I love this option because it lays flat for easy, stackable storage.
Best used for: Long-term storage, such as when you buy treats in bulk, when you’re packing to go on a trip and don’t want your suitcase to reek and super smelly treats like bison bully sticks and greasy, smelly trachea chews.
3. Vacuum Seal Containers (aka my fav)
To me, vacuum seal containers give me the BEST of both worlds and they’re my absolute favourite solution. They’re easy and convenient to get in and out of, but they do a much better job at concealing odours than the plastic baggies do. Ever since I discovered the handy PawVac containers made by TightVac last year at SuperZoo, I have been IN LOVE. They’re a lot easier to use than some other brands of vacuum seal containers which need you to have a vacuum sealing machine AND the container.
With the PawVac canisters, you simply fill with your treats, compress the button on the lid, press it into place and you’re done. (If your dog is a super smeller, I might wipe the outside with white vinegar to kill any surface smellies.) When you’re ready to serve up a treat, just compress the button and lift the lid. It’s that easy.
As a side benefit, if you leave these containers sealed, they work just like a vacuum seal package and they’ll keep your treats fresh longer. As a test, I put fresh cookies in each container. One I opened every day for a 10 days (until the cookies spoiled). The other container I left sealed and the cookies lasted longer than a month! Jack pot! They do come in really cute paw print and bone patterns, if you happen to like the doggy theme, but you guys know me. I want a house that is dog-friendly, but doesn’t look “doggy”, so I chose these plain canisters with coloured lids.