Shih Tzu Day 244: Review of Mr. Chewy — “Delivering Pet Happiness”


Some of my read­ers have been ask­ing me to try my hand at reviews, since I seem to spend a lot of time buy­ing dog food, dog treats, dog clothes, and other sup­plies (like train­ing prod­ucts) for my shih tzu tribe. I thought I would start with an online pet sup­ply review, and since I like clever names, I chose

Mr. Chewy treatsI have ordered dog prod­ucts before from Ama­zon, but I cringe when I have to pay ship­ping charges. I ordered sev­eral times when I had a free trial of Ama­zon Prime, but stopped when it expired. Yes, I am cheap, and I hate to spend extra money on ship­ping fees (although I have been known to drive 30 min­utes for some­thing I am look­ing for)! What I liked about Mr. Chewy right off was that you get free ship­ping on any order over $49. When you are buy­ing prod­ucts for four shih tzus, it isn’t hard at all to spend  50 bucks.

What I bought

I passed up buy­ing reg­u­lar dog food at Mr. Chewy, because I have been look­ing for some­thing I buy locally called Earth­born Holis­tic (Great Plains Feast), and Mr. Chewy didn’t carry it. I also give them Taste of the Wild some­times, because it’s grain free, and Mr. Chewy has that rea­son­ably priced, but the shih tzus didn’t seem as crazy about it the last time I gave it to them. Maybe it’s just me who thinks they should eat bison! They prob­a­bly want plain, old chicken.

I was a lit­tle sur­prised that Mr. Chewy didn’t carry any of the treats I buy most often: Milo’s Kitchen, Dentley’s, Wag­gin’ Train, and Canyon Creek Ranch. How­ever, a few peo­ple recently alerted me to issues regard­ing some treats from China. From what I can tell, chicken jerky treats could be an issue. Sadly, Milo’s Kitchen, Wag­gin’ Train, and Canyon Creek Ranch are some of the brand names that the FDA has men­tioned as pos­si­bly caus­ing health prob­lems. With that in mind, I have revised this orig­i­nal review to reflect that. I had been going to ask Mr. Chewy why they didn’t carry the brands I men­tioned, but I won’t be buy­ing them — with the excep­tion at the moment of Dentley’s — until I am sure they are safe for my shih tzus.

I ended up get­ting four items: Canidae Snap-Bits, PureBites freeze dried ched­dar cheese, Dogswell Vital­ity Chicken Breasts with flaxseed and vit­a­mins (for eyes, skin, and coat), and Vital­ity Chicken Breasts with mint and pars­ley for healthy teeth and fresh breath.

I chose the chicken breasts because that is def­i­nitely one of the shih tzus’ favorite treats, and I liked that these had healthy ingre­di­ents, and fresh breath ingre­di­ents. They gob­bled them down quickly. They are made in China, but since I have not seen Dogswell con­nected to any con­tro­versy, I won’t mark them off my list.

I chose the freeze dried cheese because cheese was the only ingre­di­ent, and I hate see­ing a long list of ingre­di­ents. They were more ten­ta­tive about those, but once they started chew­ing on the crunchy pieces, all four shih tzus liked them. And, hur­ray, they are made in the U.S.A.

I picked out the Snap-Bits because only Nigel and Flower are bis­cuit eaters, so I thought I would dry with these teeny bites, espe­cially for rewards. All of the dogs liked them too. It’s always a relief when they all like the same things, so all of these treats passed the test. I would buy them again.

Wish list

I also would buy from Mr. Chewy again, but I have some things on my wish list for my shih tzu fam­ily. You can shop var­i­ous ways: by brand, pet, food form, life stage, and spe­cial­ity. I par­tic­u­larly liked that “grain free” was listed under spe­cial­ity, because I try to feed the shih tzus grain free or at least high qual­ity grains, at least for their reg­u­lar dry dog food. One cat­e­gory said no potato, and I am glad to know that, but I actu­ally like to see sweet potato in the ingre­di­ents. I guess it would be too hard to break down into “no white potato.” And once you do click into the cat­e­gory and choose a brand, you can eas­ily see the ingredients.

I don’t know if other sup­pli­ers do it, but I would also like dog food and treat cat­e­gories for large or small dogs. I would also like to see a “value pack” cat­e­gory, since I have to buy four times as many treats as the one-dog owner, and larger size is one of the first things I try to find. It’s a lot more dif­fi­cult online to “see” the value packs as you can in a store. For exam­ple, I can’t buy bully sticks in quan­tity of one. I pre­fer buy­ing treats with a quan­tity of at least 50.

There is also a treat spe­cialty cat­e­gory, but I would love for it to be fur­ther bro­ken down, say, list­ing bully stick type items, since some­times I don’t have some­thing spe­cific in mind when I shop, and that would remind me. I want a lot, don’t I? You can type in “bully,” how­ever, as a search term, and if they have it, it will come up. While I am on the Made in China sub­ject, I sure would like to see some pet prod­uct sup­pli­ers help us eas­ily find prod­ucts Made in the U.S.A.

Mr. Chewy sends emails with prod­uct updates. For exam­ple, I just got one talk­ing about Dog­gie Del­i­cacy Antler Chews. Sounds inter­est­ing, but at $4.99 for a small chew, times four for each shih tzu, I’ll stick to the bulk steer sticks I buy occa­sion­ally at a local pet sup­ply store.

Char­ity donation

Mr. Chewy also has a char­ity dona­tion pro­gram. For instance, if you refer a friend, they will donate $10 to a char­ity part­ner, such as North Shore Ani­mal League Amer­ica, Best Friends Ani­mal Sanc­tu­ary, or Bideawee


Mr. Chewy does have nearly 100 brands to choose from, so there’s a good chance that if you don’t want to leave your house this week and you’re run­ning low on pet sup­plies, Mr. Chewy has a solution.

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Shih Tzu Week 34: Feb. 16 (Day 232) – 22 (Day 238)

Shih Tzu Day 233: Fri­day, Feb. 17

The chewing of Dentley's sticks is a familiar morning sound.The shih tzus are def­i­nitely look­ing shabby. Not that they care. It doesn’t seem to mat­ter what we do with Flower’s face. It seems like two days after trim­ming the hair above her eyes, it’s falling down again — she looks like Den­nis the Men­ace. After I gave the shih tzus their beloved Dentley’s wrapped rawhide sticks this morn­ing, Flower jumped up on the Nigel side of the couch to wait for me to sit down. How­ever, she dropped her stick, and it was a free for all, as Nigel raced to steal it and Flower to retrieve it. The chew­ing of the rawhide sticks is a famil­iar sound in the morn­ings. They are all chew­ing away now, except I think some­one took Candy’s. One moment some­one will be chew­ing away, and the next, a stick has mys­te­ri­ously dis­ap­peared. Then, hours later, one of the shih tzus, usu­ally Nigel, is chew­ing away. I think he steals them and hides them for later.

Shih Tzu Day 234: Sat­ur­day, Feb. 18

I real­ized this after­noon how nice it is to leave the house with­out putting the coach cush­ions up, and not have a wet spot when I get back. Flower seems to be cured of her need to relieve her­self on the couch when I am gone — or when I am here. I think I could prob­a­bly start putting the cush­ions down on the other couch, but I am so used to hav­ing her sit on my couch that I hate to lose her to the other one. One inde­pen­dent dog­gie (Candy) is enough. What Flower does now instead is chew on any­thing she can reach. Well, I take that back. I know some dogs chew on shoes, but she doesn’t. I was doing taxes this morn­ing, and she grabbed an enve­lope I had on my lap­top table and started chew­ing on it. She loves chew­ing on paper, and she loves chew­ing on plas­tic. At last! We got Nigel, Flower, and Dot­tie trimmed, although they still do need a bath. Candy isn’t look­ing too shabby, so we skipped her for today. What a pro­duc­tive day! Get­ting taxes done and trim­ming three shih tzus! And they were all so good. I am par­tic­u­larly happy that Flower and Nigel were so good on the table, since it took a long time to get all that fur off. I don’t think I will con­sider try­ing to grow their fur long again any­time in the near future.

Shih Tzu Day 235: Sun­day, Feb. 19

Flower was sit­ting on the Nigel side this morn­ing, and John sat down. At one point, she would have ran. This time, she moved closer to me, but she did let John pet her for sev­eral min­utes. Poor Nigel doesn’t seem like he feels well. Every once in a while, he will yelp, but we can’t tell why. My guess is it could be his teeth, or maybe an ear prob­lem. I real­ized we didn’t pull the hair out of their ears yes­ter­day, so we need to check and see if that might be caus­ing the problem.

Shih Tzu Day 236: Mon­day, Feb. 20

We pulled the hair out of Nigel’s ears, and he seems bet­ter today, although he did yelp a few times for no appar­ent rea­son. He has been very active today, although he mainly wants to be on one of our laps. Flower fol­lowed the lead of Nigel and Candy and ran right up to the door when John came home, but then caught her­self, ran back by me, picked up a brown dog on the floor, threw it in the air, like Candy does, and then jumped on the couch next to me. Strange chil­dren we have. I guess she was excited, but wasn’t quite sure why. Of course, Dot­tie, our bump on a log, just sat on the couch. She doesn’t like to move much. I hope I can get her used to activ­ity when it warms back up.

Shih Tzu Day 237: Tues­day, Feb. 21

Flower came to get lov­ing from Dad twice this morn­ing. She got about a foot and a half away and stared at him. Then, she let him touch her chin and pet her ears. It’s prob­a­bly good that Mom is busy on the com­puter and Dot­tie is on one side and Nigel on the other. She has to reach out to the Man. He loves it, since he hated think­ing they wanted him to move out. I imag­ine I’ve said that I think my lit­tle shih tzu tribe is adorable. They are all so dif­fer­ent. We have begun call­ing Candy our shih tzu kitty, because she is aloof like many cats, and pounces like cats. Nigel can be so mis­chie­vous, and then he climbs his stairs and plops down as close to Mom as he can get, depend­ing on where the lap­top is. He can rarely squeeze into my lap when I am work­ing, but he does often put his head on it and go to sleep. There are prob­a­bly plenty of dogs who regret the inven­tion of lap­top com­put­ers. Thank good­ness he gets Dad’s lap when he is home, and that the girls aren’t lap dogs and don’t fight him for it. Every once in a while, he’ll tip his head way back and look at John or me. He’ll just stare for sev­eral sec­tions, and then lay his head back down. I would love to know what he is think­ing. I think Flower would be by my side all the time, if big sis­ter and lit­tle brother weren’t there. But, she does come to see me often. Just now, she put her paw on my arm, reached up and licked my lips and nose quickly, and then back away. Of course, John doesn’t encour­age let­ting them lick my mouth, but it hap­pens so rarely, that I think it’s adorable. I had to go to the store this after­noon, and Candy was out­side, so I knew that would be a prob­lem. We have never raised a hand to her, so her fear must still be a learned reac­tion to her puppy mill days. As usual, I opened the door to ask her to come in, and she ran and hid under the trailer. Since I put Angels Eyes on thinly sliced turkey for Dot­tie and Flower each day (for their tear stains), I thought I could lure her in with some. I held it out to her, and she ten­ta­tively came to the door, but wouldn’t come in. Finally, I just had to leave her out there, like I have had to do a few times. I told John we need to put her on a leash when we let her out­side, so we can reel her in, like his sis­ter does with their cat. It doesn’t help some­times, because I get exas­per­ated after unsuc­cess­fully try­ing to lure her in, and some­times my voice raises, which makes her retreat fur­ther. I just have to plan it bet­ter, where I let her out­side only if I know I won’t need to leave. When I came home, Candy came in, but it was Dottie’s turn to act odd. She went out­side and wouldn’t come back in, which is strange, since her couch is inside. I finally had to go out in the grass and get her. She cow­ered down, so I was able to pick her up. I hate when they act fright­ened. Some­times, too, they seem a lit­tle con­fused. I heard chew­ing com­ing from Shih Tzu Cen­tral this after­noon, and I looked around to see what paper or plas­tic prod­uct Flower stole from me. I was sur­prised to see she was chew­ing on a Christ­mas cane shaped rawhide treat. I won­der where that has been hid­ing for the last two months.

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Shih Tzu Week 33: Feb. 9 (Day 225) — 15 (Day 231)

Shih Tzu Day 225: Thurs­day, Feb. 9

change of format

Any­one tak­ing care of four dogs, work­ing, and try­ing to make time for a fam­ily knows the feel­ing of always play­ing catch up! Because I have that prob­lem, I am try­ing to fig­ure out the best way to keep this jour­nal up to date. For now, I think I am going to try to do one update  per week. We’ll see how that works out. It might seem kind of odd, because I am going from Thurs­day to Wednes­day, but that’s because the shih tzu sis­ters first came to live with us on a Thursday.

closer shih tzu

Dot­tie used to sit at the end of the couch, fac­ing for­ward, but now, she tends to sit at the end of the couch, but with her body fac­ing towards me, so her head is right next to me. Her posi­tion means that Flower jumps on her half the way when she comes up, or else Flower comes up on the “male” side of the couch and then crosses over me.

Shih Tzu Day 226: Fri­day, Feb. 10

I had to spend some time in the spare room on the com­puter agan this morn­ing. Flower, Nigel, and Dot­tie fol­lowed me in there. I worked for about five min­utes before I smelled urine. When I turned around, there was a yel­low spot on the car­pet, but no shih tzu near it. I asked who did it, but, of course, no one answered.

I have to admit that my voice raised louder than it should have. Nigel doesn’t scare eas­ily, but he tore off out the door, and Dot­tie trot­ted off behind him. Flower just sat near the chair look­ing at me, like ‘Where are they going?” I don’t know if that meant she was inno­cent or guilty. When I went back in there later, I also found poop on the floor. I don’t think I missed it ear­lier, so I guess some­one just snuck back in.

I guess that car­pet is still too much of a temp­ta­tion, so I will have to put up the gate again when I am in the room. Partly, I think they are con­fused, because they aren’t used to me spend­ing much time any­where but with them in the liv­ing room, unless I am gone.

tem­po­rary lap shih tzu

Once I was back on the couch work­ing, Flower came to sit by me and started growl­ing at me. This time, instead of pet­ting her, which I know is what she wanted, I picked her up and sat her on my lap. I tried that once before, and she jumped right back off, but this time, she looked at me, star­tled, but then lay down on my lap and stayed there until about twenty min­utes later, when I had to get up. I would try to hold her more, but there isn’t much room  with a lap­top in front of me most of the time.

Shih Tzu Day 227: Sat­ur­day, Feb. 11

The shih tzus wanted me up at 5:30, but I didn’t budge until 6:20. I closed the gate when I went into the spare bed­room, but they looked so dis­ap­pointed that I let Nigel and Flower in; how­ever, I did turn posi­tion my chair so I could try to catch the cul­prit that likes to pee on the car­pet. And  I put a box over the area that was being used as a train­ing pad. No accidents.

Shih Tzu Day 228: Sun­day, Feb. 12

Valentine’s Day

We weren’t home most of the day. John and I had some shop­ping to do, and then we went out for an early Valentine’s Day din­ner, since John gets off so late dur­ing the week. They were all very excited when we did get home, espe­cially when they got their treats. Flower par­tic­u­larly seemed irri­tated that we left them alone so much. She stayed in her cor­ner most of the evening.

Shih Tzu Day 229: Mon­day, Feb. 13


I have started to call Candy’s cor­ner in the din­ing room, hid­den from my sight, her “apart­ment.” For the most part, she lays in her bed in her apart­ment much of the day, espe­cially now that it is cold out­side. Once in a while though, espe­cially when she thinks it should be treat time, she leaves her apart­ment and wan­ders over to the couch. For some strange rea­son, that is usu­ally right when John leaves for work.

This morn­ing when she came over and put her paws on the couch, mov­ing her head from side to side, she got Flower, on the floor, and Dot­tie, on the couch, excited. Flower and Candy were danc­ing around, and Dot­tie was wig­gling around on the edge of the couch and slid off of it back­wards. It was a very funny sight, but I am glad that she didn’t have far to fall.

When John leaves, it usu­ally has been about three hours since they had break­fast. So, when Candy comes up, I get up and either give them a chicken-wrapped banana treat, since they are so small, or a small chicken-wrapped sweet potato treat. Then, they usu­ally go and lay back down for a few more hours.

Nigel resting.Shortly after I gave them their treats, I heard Nigel and Candy fight­ing near her apart­ment. I imag­ine she drop­per her treat and he fol­lowed his rule, which is if any­thing falls to the ground, it’s his. Although I didn’t see what hap­pened, I gave Candy another treat. My guess is that she stays so thin because of all the times the other shih tzus steal from her.

I felt bad again this morn­ing, because Candy was out­side for about an hour before I real­ized it. I wish she would learn to “knock” to come in, like the other dogs. But she just sits or lies on the porch until some­one remem­bers her.

Every time she trots by me, I think she needs a lit­tle pearl neck­lace. She is so dainty.

sur­prise lunch visitor

Flower lounges on her fluffy sister.John is deliv­er­ing in this area today, so he came home for lunch. He started the shih tzus; Flower jumped off the arm onto Dot­tie. Then, she sat on top of her for the next 20 min­utes, using her as a lounger. Dot­tie didn’t seem to mind it.

Shih Tzu Day 230: Mon­day, Feb. 14

Valentine’s Day

I got up this morn­ing and made Valentine’s Day cook­ies for John. I haven’t made cook­ies for years. He told Leti­cia later that he was really sur­prised, because when he smelled the scent com­ing rom the kitchen, he thought I was bak­ing for the shih tzus. I guess that means I had bet­ter bake for him more. And, I think I will look for a recipe for treats I can bake for the shih tzus, since I haven’t ever done that yet.

shih tzu tummy petting

Dot­tie let me sleep until 6:38, when she barked to remind me that their break­fast was late.

Flower has figured out that she likes being petted. Although Dot­tie and Flower con­tinue to act leery of John, he con­tin­ues to try to get closer to them. Today, he went up to Flower, who was lying on her back next to me, and he started talk­ing to her before reach­ing out to pet her tummy. Before, she would jump up, but she has learned that she loves her tummy pet­ted, so she didn’t move.

When John stopped pet­ting her and walked away, she looked at me and growled. She wouldn’t stop until I started pet­ting her.

Shih Tzu Day 231: Tues­day, Feb. 15

groom­ing needed

Every time I look at my babies, I think how badly they need groom­ing. Flower, espe­cially, really looks like a wooly mam­moth, except she doesn’t have tusks. I thought we might be able to make Nigel look like a tra­di­tional shih tzu, with long hair to the ground. How­ever, the first issue is that his hair is very curly. It would hang to the floor if it wasn’t. That’s prob­a­bly typ­i­cal. I imag­ine there is some kind of prod­uct peo­ple use, plus, do peo­ple style shih tzu hair to make it straighter? I don’t think I am going to have the time it takes, so we’ll trim his fur shorter again, as soon as we can.

Flower has been sit­ting on Nigel and John’s side of the couch a lot, when John isn’t home. I think she would sit next to me, if Nigel hadn’t staked his claim. I picked her up today and sat her on my lap again for a while. She sat still for a while, and then wig­gled free.

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Shih Tzu Day 224: Nothing But Furs

spunky shih tzu

Flower waits for Mom to pet her tummy. Dottie's in the background.I con­tinue to be glad that the shih tzus are get­ting some exer­cise run­ning up the stairs to fol­low me when I have to look at files on my PC. After my New Year’s Eve com­puter crash, I am try­ing to get every­thing together, elim­i­nate dupli­cates, and back things up addi­tion­ally “in a cloud.” My PC is more friendly at mess­ing with a bunch of fold­ers than my Mac. I don’t know how one per­son could have gath­ered as many dupli­cates as I have.

I still haven’t put every­thing away from Christ­mas. I had a bag of sty­ro­foam peanuts that I moved (from off the floor!), because Flower is cap­ti­vated by the bag and try­ing to get to them. I didn’t put them up high enough, because some­how she got them again. When I went to get the bag back, she clamped her teeth on the bag spunkily and tried to move back. I scolded her, and she gave me the bag, but it sure was cute.

What wasn’t cure was that some­one pooped down­stairs again. That is a mys­tery. Flower goes down­stairs when I do, but I don’t think she usu­ally goes with­out me. I doubt of Dot­tie has ever gone down there, and Candy doesn’t like stairs. But, I do catch her check­ing out the hall lead­ing to the base­ment stairs some­times. It could also be Nigel. Again, I need those secu­rity cameras!

noth­ing but furs

The shih tzus have all been so good about using the train­ing pad or going out­side (I thought until spot­ting the poop down­stairs) that I thought I would reward them by fold­ing up a blan­ket and putting it on the floor. Espe­cially, I thought Nigel would get use out of it, because he sits by my feet some­times. I put it down last night. This morn­ing, out of the blue, Candy threw up on it. I have no idea why.

When John came down­stairs, Nigel was sit­ting very close to one side of me, Flower right next to me on the other side, and Dot­tie next to her. He laughed and say, “You’ve got noth­ing but furs!”

growl­ing for love

One of those furs has a strange habit. I was work­ing away and I heard growl­ing. I looked up and Flower was star­ing at me. She stopped growl­ing as soon as I started pet­ting her tummy. Do other dogs growl when you don’t pet them? I guess she doesn’t know another way to inform me that she wants some lov­ing, kind of like when Dot­tie whines out­side my bed­room door in the morn­ing, because she thinks I should get up. Dot­tie has also been get­ting in on the pet­ting action lately. Nigel seems to be con­tent to just sit next to me and chew on some­thing, although he does climb in my lap every now and then. Lit­tle Miss Inde­pen­dent is good with just get­ting a quick body rub when she chooses to come up to the couch; I try to pick Candy up some­times, but she always jumps right down.

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Shih Tzu Day 221: Extreme Shih Tzu

shih tzu slam dance

a shih tzu with a rawhide stick.After I sent the female shih tzus out­side this morn­ing to eat their break­fast, I started my nor­mal rou­tine. First, I replace the soiled train­ing pad with a new one, but this morn­ing, the train­ing pad wasn’t soiled. I didn’t see evi­dence that any­one had peed else­where. They really are all doing so much bet­ter in that area, although I expect at least one of the shih tzus to use the pad.

Next, I fill up their water bowls and if I have any extra time, I make my cof­fee. This morn­ing, when I was set­ting down the water bowls, I heard a fran­tic bang­ing on the door. I knew it was Flower. Nigel kind of claws at the door, and so does Dot­tie, although she usu­ally waits for some­one else to announce that they want in. Candy will sit there for hours, and then if you haven’t noticed she’s miss­ing, bark once or twice. Flower, how­ever, runs at the door like she’s slam danc­ing, and then claws on it, look­ing like a ham­ster run­ning in a wheel.

extreme shih tzu

That made me think of how extreme Flower is. Maybe a lit­tle high strung. Flower was the one that showed fear in the most extreme way when they came, usu­ally by her eyes being so big, and the fact that she pooped if you tried to get near her.

One of the new morn­ing rit­u­als is the pass­ing out of the Dentley’s wrapped rawhide sticks, which is one of the few rawhide prod­ucts they all like. Dot­tie trots up, takes it and walks away, usu­ally back to Shih Tzu Cen­tral to enjoy hers. Nigel grabs his a lit­tle more quickly, and, since I cor­rected him sev­eral times, goes some­where to enjoy his, instead of try­ing to grab every­one else’s too. Candy walks up timidly, acts like she is going to take hers, steps back in case a bully wants it, and then comes back, takes it between her teeth and backs away with it. When Extreme Flower has a lot of energy, she runs at my hand, quickly grabs the stick, and then runs off like a herd of ele­phants are chas­ing her.

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