Buddy the Cockapoo taste tests wine and tea for dogs

Paws off my pint! Posh Pooch ‘wine’, PG Tips for pups and even Bottom Sniffer ‘beer’… as novelty dog drinks are booming, what does Buddy the cockapoo think?

  • In the past 18 months, no fewer than 3.2 million households have acquired a pet 
  • Latest trend is ‘pet humanisation’ including drinks, from wine to beer to tea
  • Here, Buddy the two-year-old Cockapoo taste tests the products on the market 

There’s a pleasant whiff of burdock, dandelion and rooibos wafting from Buddy, my two-year-old toy cockapoo, which makes a delightful change from his usual dog breath.

And no wonder. He has just enjoyed a refreshing bowl of herbal beer.

Normally he drinks tap water but this week he has his very own drinks cabinet.

In the past 18 months, no fewer than 3.2 million households have acquired a pet — so now a third of UK homes contain at least one doggy companion and collectively we spend £10 billion a year on them.

In this booming market, the industrykeeps finding new ways to pamper our pooches. And the latest trend is ‘pet humanisation’ — or dog versions of human products, including drinks, from wine to beer to tea.

But are the drinks good for dogs, and do they really like them?

Cameron Wimble, aka The Dog Nutritionist, calls some of the drinks ‘gimmicky’ but adds: ‘If the ingredients are natural and the dog doesn’t turn its nose up, they can be a good way of increasing the water content of a dog’s diet.’

Over to Buddy for the slurp test then . . .

In the past 18 months, no fewer than 3.2 million households have acquired a pet — so now a third of UK homes contain at least one doggy companion and collectively we spend £10 billion a year on them. In this booming market, the industrykeeps finding new ways to pamper our pooches. And the latest trend is ‘pet humanisation’ — or dog versions of human products, including drinks, from wine to beer to tea. Cameron Wimble, aka The Dog Nutritionist, calls some of the drinks ‘gimmicky’ but adds: ‘If the ingredients are natural and the dog doesn’t turn its nose up, they can be a good way of increasing the water content of a dog’s diet.’ Over to Buddy for the slurp test then . . .

A DETOX TEA FOR PUPPY AND ME

PG Tips English Breakwoof Dog Tea (£9.99, woofandbrew.com)

PG Tips English Breakwoof Dog Tea (£9.99, woofandbrew.com)

This is a limited-edition set of teas that was launched to celebrate International Dogs’ Day earlier this month. All profits are donated to Support Dogs, a charity providing dogs to people with various medical conditions. It comes with a pack of teabags for Buddy and another for me.

Made from herbs and rooibos, it is detoxifying and will help your dog have a healthy coat and skin, the manufacturer claims. You make it like an ordinary cuppa, then let it cool before offering it to your pet.

Cameron confirms that the antioxidants in it really will do Buddy some good, as they play a role in cell health for dogs as well as humans. ‘It would be good for you, too — that’s a human-grade product,’ he says.

Buddy seems to enjoy it but only drinks half the 250 ml I put in his bowl.4/5

PRICEY BUT TASTY MUTT MILKSHAKE

TopLife Milk For Dogs (89p for 200ml, petsathome.com)

TopLife Milk For Dogs (89p for 200ml, petsathome.com)

Made from goat’s milk, which TopLife markets as low in fat and highly digestible for dogs, this has added glucosamine, which can help to keep joints healthy; and green tea extract to aid the immune system.

‘It’s true, goat’s milk is much easier to digest than dairy, which can upset some dogs’ stomachs,’ says Cameron.

‘But those added ingredients are in very low quantities. Mostly, this is simply long-life goats’ milk. If your dog enjoys it, then it will be a healthy way to help keep him hydrated. But you could just buy the human version from a supermarket.’

I splash some into Buddy’s empty bowl and call him over. He starts lapping it up eagerly.

I’ve marked it down slightly as I agree this is a costly way to buy goat’s milk (in Sainsbury’s, a litre carton is £1.80). 4/5

‘WINE’ FOR CANINE CONNOISSEURS

Posh Pooch Barker Bay ‘Wine’ For Dogs (£3.39 for 250ml, petsathome.com)

This non-alcoholic wine is a fruity-smelling infusion of ginseng, elderflower, nettle, limeflower and carrot — like a cold herbal tea.

Posh Pooch Barker Bay ‘Wine’ For Dogs (£3.39 for 250ml, petsathome.com)

Buddy has a couple of slurps, then loses interest. Clearly, the top notes are not to his liking.

But, says Cameron, that’s not to say another dog won’t love it. ‘Some dogs only like meaty tastes and smells,’ he explains. And that’s true. I offered a slurp to Buddy’s pal, Jack Russell Toby, who liked it far more. 2.5/5

TOP-SCORING SEAWEED ‘BEER’

Bottom Sniffer Beer For Dogs (£2.99 for 330ml, lordsand labradors.co.uk)

After Buddy rejects the wine, I wonder if he is more of a beer guy — especially this one, which is brewed with a hint of chicken. Non-alcoholic, it has a vaguely malty smell and contains herbs and some seaweed extract.

‘It’s gimmicky but contains antioxidants and the ingredients are natural and healthy,’ says Cameron.

Antioxidants boost the immune system in dogs; and the seaweed can aid digestion. Plus, Buddy loves it.5/5

BONE BROTH FOR A HEALTHY TUM

Chicken Bone Broth for Pets with added chia seeds (£4.58 for 250ml, boilandbroth.com)

This broth smells and, ahem, tastes amazing. How do I know? Reader, I drank some.

It’s fine, the manufacturer makes bone broth for humans and pets — the only thing distinguishing one from the other is the added chia seeds in the doggy drink. I’m a fan of bone broth and used to make it myself by simmering chicken bones in my slow cooker for days at a time. But when Buddy came along two years ago, he whined so pathetically it was torture for both of us, so I stopped.


Left: Bottom Sniffer Beer For Dogs (£2.99 for 330ml, lordsand labradors.co.uk) Right: Chicken Bone Broth for Pets with added chia seeds (£4.58 for 250ml, boilandbroth.com)

‘This is a quality product with truly healthful properties,’ says Cameron. ‘Bone broth contains a set of proteins that are good for the stomach lining and aid digestion. They help with joint inflammation and collagen production in humans and dogs.’

Buddy is an instant fan. It’s full marks from us both.5/5

SUPER SMOOTHIE FOR FUSSY FIDO

Slurps Nutritious Drinks For Dogs, Chicken (£3.75 for 250ml, amazon.co.uk)

Marketed as a way of getting fussy dogs to drink when you’re out and about, this drink’s main ingredient is water but it also contains chicken broth and fish oils. It’s low in salt and the smell isn’t too bad.

Buddy laps it all, then licks furiously at his empty bowl. I spent hours dragging him, whimpering, away from the bin where he saw me put in the empty bottle. Full marks don’t seem enough!5/5

Slurps Nutritious Drinks For Dogs, Chicken (£3.75 for 250ml, amazon.co.uk)

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