Sunday, January 5, 2014

Review: Ultra Woofer

Photo by Dr. Linda Aronson

PetSafe has come out with a line of toys, adding to what they bought from Premier, continuing with their products and adding more.  

I am happy to test, or have friends test, various positive products from PetSafe. In this case, it's the Ultra Woofer toy.  I gave it to Dr. Linda Aronson, veterinary behaviorist in Massachusetts, who breeds Bearded Collies and has two Havanese.  With her assortment of dogs in two different sizes, I thought I'd be able to get a good overview of the toy.  Linda shared photos and her experience with the toy and her dogs.

Here's Dr. Linda Aronson's review, based upon her dogs' reaction to the toy:

The Ultra Woofer is made of hard purple plastic with a green screw rod down the middle.  It looks a bit like a squashed dumbbell with giant bell shaped ends.  The idea is you unscrew one end and slide a narrow rawhide ring over the middle.  I thought well it might help with a dog that has separation anxiety and provide a long chew.  However, read the fine print and it says you have to supervise play.  Further perusal of the label shows that the rawhide has been sweetened with the sugar alcohol sorbitol.  While not poisonous for dogs like its cousin xylitol, it can cause diarrhea and gas if the dog consumes any quantity.  The potassium sorbate is probably safe.  Rawhide is not my favorite dog treat for myriad reasons, but there really is only a tiny bit of the stuff. So that describes the toy.  The inner side has lots of raised bumps and the whole thing smells strongly plasticky, no statements on kind of plastic, presence of BPA etc.  It can be washed on the top shelf of the dishwasher and that might remove some of the smell.  

Photo by Dr. Linda Aronson

So we unwrapped the toy - one of those plastic packages that defy opening and which might well cut your hand in the attempt, and excitedly offered it to Kido the German Shepherd who loves toys and loves to chew, a couple of sniffs and she walked away.  We tried the other dogs who were equally unimpressed.  Rain thought it might be of some interest when we rolled it along the ground, but as soon as it stopped moving he walked away.  

So my pack and I would not recommend this toy.  Others may well have a different experience, but that was ours! 

Indeed, different dogs may react differently to the Ultra Woofer. But one German Shepherd, two Havanese and several Bearded Collies seemed uninterested in the Ultra Woofer.  Your mileage may vary.

Thanks to Dr. Aronson and her pack for testing this toy for us.

NOTE: No payment was received by anyone for this review.  PetSafe supplied the toy for testing. The review is the opinion of Dr. Aronson and her dogs.