December 19, 2011 Posted by Kelsey in Gear
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Gifts and Gear: Pets

Dog toy review: The Twiz

By Josh Allen, Explorebigsky.com Contributor

The new ‘Twiz’ dog toy from West Paw Design is a combination of fetch-toy, tug-toy and hide-the-treat toy. Twist its handles together and throw it like a football for maximum flight, or untwist to hide dog treats inside the treat pocket.

A popular trick is to put canned dog food or peanut butter in the treat pocket and freeze. Your dog will have a ball trying to get at the frozen goodness inside!

Because it’s made of West Paw’s durable, buoyant Zogoflex material, you can use the Twiz in almost any environment. If it ends up soiled after an exhaustive outdoor play session (or if your dog can't get the all of frozen food from the treat pocket and you don't want to touch it), you can run it through the dishwasher on the top rack to clean.

Durability? The Twiz is 100 percent guaranteed, even for the toughest chewers. We've been selling it at Dee-O-Gee (in Bozeman, a town full of big dogs) since it came out last fall and haven’t had any returns.

Josh and Holly Allen own and operate Dee-O-Gee in Bozeman. They’ve been helping Montanans take care of their pets naturally since 2008. The Twiz is available at their storefront at 8th & Main in Bozeman or online at Dee-O-Gee.com.

Dog treat: Brewies

By Grady, Explorebigsky.com Contributor

Not going to lie—I’ve never really met a treat I didn’t like. Well...except for that dried pig ear that didn’t sit too well in the ‘ol tummy and the ping-pong ball I ate that I wasn’t supposed to. But that’s when I was a pup. Now I’m a year-and-a-half old, and I love adventure, hunting, sticks, swimming, birds, ski touring, rafting, sticks, fetch, birds, soccer balls, footballs, birds, baseballs, sticks, birds and nordic skiing. Did I mention sticks and birds?

I’ve grown to have an adventurous palette, but when it comes to treats, I know quality when I taste it. Too many places these days sell crap bones that just throw in all the nasty leftovers. Sure they might seem tasty at the beginning, but they don’t give me the energy I need to get through my day of activities, and the aftertaste... gross.

So, when I heard about these new Brewies—a homemade treat made in Bozeman out of malted beer barley, I was skeptical. Partly because I had an organic treat before and it tasted like dirt, and partly because I’m not old enough to have beer yet.

To my surprise, my parents let me have some Brewies the other day. I was blown away by the flavor explosion in my mouth. Not to mention the chewy texture. So good. After six of them, they made me quit, but I wanted more. Once I start it’s hard to stop.

I had so much energy after eating them, and my mom said they’re even good for me—all organic ingredients, olive oil to help my shiny coat, flaxseed oil for regularity and peanut butter! Best of all, I didn’t even get in trouble for having a beer snack with them.

Brewies are my new favorite treat, and I’m pumped they’re here for ski season. Après ski will be so fun. Dear Santa, if you’re reading this please fill my stocking with Brewies this year!

16 oz. cups of Brewies Pale Ale treats, Amber Ale treats and stocking stuffers available in Bozeman at Great Harvest, Sola Café, Barkenhowel’s, Dee-O-Gee, Bozeman Dog Co., Heebs, the Co-op and Bozeman Angler, and online at brewiesbiscuits.com. $7.99, $6.99, $2.


Dog toy: West Paw Būmi

Boots doesn’t know that the line over the u in her Būmi is called a macron. But, she does know how much she loves fighting over the toy with her pal Lefty. A cow dog mutt and a golden retriever, they try their best to tear the bright yellow, rubbery, s-shaped toy apart. But they can’t do it.

West Paw Design, a 15-year-old Bozeman company, manufactures eco-friendly dog and cat toys, pet beds and dog apparel (sorry, kitties—none for you).

A play on the word boomerang, the Būmi is part of the zogoflex line, the company’s most popular. The toys are made of a top-secret propriety material and have a one-time warrantee. Less than 1 percent are returned, according to Westpaw’s Ryan Buck.

Westpaw, which employs 47 people, sells pet accessories in Montana, across the U.S. and internationally. Most of the beds are filled with 100 percent recycled material, and some have organic or recycled fabrics. The zogoflex toys are made of 10 percent recycled content and are themselves recyclable.

Buck says his dogs love West Paw’s newest toy, the Twiz.

While Boots and Lefty can’t put a ding in their Būmi, their owners have an issue with it: Throw it too high in the backyard, and it gets stuck in a tree.

The Būmi comes in two sizes and three colors (blue, green and red)—plus a limited edition red for the holidays. E.S.

Available in Bozeman at Dee-O-Gee, Barkenhowel’s, Bridger Feeds, Ace Owenhouse, Heart of the Valley Humane Society, the Co-op, Rosauers and Sola Café, and in Four Corners at the Bozeman Dog Co. or online at westpawdesign.com. $11.88, $16.06