Who needs a focus group when you have your own pup pack?

By Rebecca Angel Baer
February 28, 2020
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Credit: Purina

If you’ve ever watched The Pioneer Woman on Food Network, then you know that Ree Drummond and her family live on a ranch with cows, horses, and of course, cowboys. But it’s the ranch dogs that rule the roost. “We have actually four Bassett hounds, the labs, Duke and Lucy…and our cowboys have dogs. Basically, we have free range dogs on the ranch, and they have so much fun. They are part of my family and even though they have total run of the ranch, they would rather be on the porch than anywhere else,” Drummond said in a recent phone call with Southern Living.

For years we’ve turned to Drummond’s show, blog, and recipes for inspirations for feeding our families, so it seems natural that last year, she expanded her brand to include treating the bellies of our fur babies through her partnership with Purina on a line of dog treats. “I love dogs so much. I’m just obsessed with dogs so to develop a line of dog treats was really in line with my daily life,” she said. When developing the flavor palate of her new goodies, Drummond didn’t need to rely on some far away focus group. She had a whole pack of pups volunteering as taste testers. “My dogs on the ranch are pretty picky and they don’t like store bought treats, usually. My mom would show up with a big bag of dog treats when she’d visit and they’d just kind of look at her like, what is this?” she said with a laugh, adding that her dogs set the bar high for taste. Nothing but the best for her dogs and now all of yours.

This year, Purina and the Pioneer Woman have added three new flavors—two that come in a beef jerky-like form that resembles the jerky the cowboys and kids eat—and one that is in another familiar shape, a tater tot. The jerky style comes in chicken cranapple and in beef and veggie. The third new treat is the chicken tater tot. “They look just like tater tots, obviously an important thing in our neck of the woods in the Southern states, and they look just like tater tots they have a chicken flavor.” Drummond said this was the clear favorite with her dogs. “It looks just like people food.”

Drummond comes to Purina with not only her wealth of knowledge about cooking crowd-pleasing food, she’s a very experienced dog mom and she designed this range of products to reflect what she’s learned from her four-legged babies. “Dogs are just like people. They like variety. They like different shapes and textures. They don’t want to eat the same thing every day, necessarily. So, when I treat my dogs, it’s fun to be able to change them up. No two treats in my line are alike.” She continued, “They have a different shape, and a different flavor profile and they meet different needs. Some are crunchy, some are a little bit sweeter, some are meat forward.”

We’ve yet to find a Pioneer Woman recipe that our family doesn’t love, so we have a pretty good feeling our K-9 crew are going to love these too.

WATCH: The Top Tips Ree Drummond Taught Us This Year

She also had some wise words for anyone contemplating joining the puppy parent club. “I think the best thing to know about dogs is they are there for their people and they do need love. And they need affection and reassurance, and attention. You know to be a dog parent you do need to look at it as parenting. Now, it’s good to consider your lifestyle and think about the dog that’s going to be in line with your pace.”