Last year, Aldi released a Heart to Tail Pure Being Advent Calendar for Dogs, which was later recalled because it posed a choking hazard. My dog Stella helped review last year’s calendar, and I noted that the treats were a strange texture for a dog treat, more like an extremely stale gummy bear than a traditional dog biscuit. I wasn’t surprised that they were recalled, given that they were difficult for many dogs to chew.
This year, Aldi is trying again with the 2022 Heart to Tail Pure Being Advent Calendar for Dogs. The calendar costs $7.99, up from $5.89 for the calendar with the old recalled formula in 2021.
This year’s model advertises “Premium Quality,” “Natural,” and “With Real Chicken” on the front. I bought this year’s calendar hoping that the treats would be easier for my 9-year old, 25-pound dog to eat than last year’s version.
The treats are more varied than last year, too. The flavors are Peanut Butter Flavor Biscuits with Chicken (23 calories/ treat), Chicken Soft Bites (1.8 calories/ treat, but there are several “bites” per serving), Biscuits (4.2 calories per treat, 2 per pack), and Chicken Jerky (43 calories). Ingredients and nutrition vary between treats, but none of them contain synthetic colors.
Crunchy or Chewy?
Texture and size vary according to the treats. The Peanut Butter Flavor Biscuit with Chicken, which looks like a Nutter Butter cookie wrapped in bacon, is about the same size and texture as a small Milk Bone dog biscuit. This one is Stella’s favorite, and it must have a strong smell, because my cats are interested in it, too.
The Chicken Soft Bites are chewy, but they don’t have a “stale” texture like last year’s treats, and the pieces are so small that they’re easy for Stella to eat. The crunchy bone-shaped Biscuits are smaller and thinner than the peanut butter flavor biscuits, making them easy for nearly any dog to eat.
The Chicken Jerky, the extra-special treat reserved for Christmas Day, is much larger than the other treats and would need to be broken into smaller pieces for dogs Stella’s weight and under. It is also just as dry and chewy as jerky made for humans, so smaller and/or older dogs might have difficulty chewing this one.
Last year’s calendar featured individually-wrapped treats behind each “door.” This year, the treats are held behind plastic windows, and you have to use a knife or scissors to get to the treats. (This goes for the Aldi Heart to Tail Pure Being Cat Advent Calendar as well.) The package’s instructions recommend using a butter knife, and the plastic is thin enough that you don’t need a very sharp tool.
This packaging is inconvenient, especially for the Chicken Soft Bites, because you either have to remove them individually from the box or dump them out onto the ground. I thought it was much less user-friendly and messier than last year’s individual wraps.
This year’s Heart to Tail Pure Being Advent Calendar for Dogs is an improvement over the 2021 version. Stella loves the Peanut Butter Flavor Biscuits with Chicken and likes the other flavors, too. However, the difficult packaging and large, overly chewy Christmas Day treat missed the mark. Maybe by 2023, Aldi will release a dog treat Advent calendar that has 25 easy-to-chew treats for dogs AND human-friendly packaging.