All about Kong dog toys
Kong dog toys are widely used and recommended for therapy and prevention of under stimulation, boredom, separation anxiety and other behaviour problems. Following are some simple ways Kongs can be utilised to promote good behaviour in your dog.
The Kong toy is designed to be filled with your dogs favourite treats and food
It is important for dogs to succeed at their “work”. To start with, make it easy to remove the Kong stuffing. As they become more experienced, you can start to make it more challenging by:
- Packing stuffing tighter.
- Wedging biscuits inside the cavity using the inside rim of the opening to secure them.
- FREEZING IT! Very popular! Try various combinations of canned food, gravy, noodles, rice and mashed potatoes mixed with food nuggets and freeze. You can also keep your dog cool with KONGSICLES. Put a dab of peanut butter in the small end of the Kong to plug it. Turn it upside down in a cup. Fill it full of water, chicken broth or fruit juice and freeze.
- CHEESING IT! Mix cheese pieces or cheese spread with food nuggets. NOTE: Use a cup to hold the Kong upright when freezing.
- Hide stuffed Kongs indoors and/or out. The hunt is great fun and rewarding.
Important points when using Kongs
- Provide stuffed Kongs randomly so that they won’t always be associated with you leaving.
- If your dog is unstuffing several Kongs per day, you should appropriately reduce the amount of bowl feeding.
- CLEAN KONGS THOROUGHLY AFTER USE! A dishwasher is recommended. Your dog’s job will last until the Kongs are unstuffed. You can keep your dog “working” all day if you provide enough stuffed Kongs!
Kong Stuffing Recipes (courtesy of the Kong Company)
As you create recipes, be sensitive to your dog’s tummy as you experiment. Following are recipes created by veterinarians, dog trainers and dog lovers worldwide.
- BANANA RAMA: 1 fresh banana · 2 tbs wheat germ · 1 tbs plain yogurt (can use your pet’s favorite flavor as well) · Kong Toy that best fits your pet’s chewing temperament in a bowl, mash up banana. Then, add wheat germ and yogurt. Mash all ingredients together and use spoon to add to Kong. Freeze for 4 hours. Makes 1 serving for a medium Kong. Double for every Kong size that is bigger.
- PHILLY STEAK: steak scraps · 1 ounce cream cheese · appropriate Kong toy. Place small scraps of the steak inside Kong toy. Spread cream cheese in large hole to hold scraps.
- FRUIT SALAD: apple and carrot chunks · 1/4th of a banana · appropriate Kong toy. Place apples and carrots in Kong toy. Mush the banana in large hole to hold fruit in place. You can include other fruits and veggies: orange slices · peach and/or nectarine chunks · celery sticks · broccoli and/or cauliflower · tomato and black olive mixture.
- AUNT JEANNIE’S ARCHEOLOGY KONG (for advanced dogs) LAYER ONE (deepest): roasted, unsalted cashews · freeze dried liver bits LAYER TWO: dog kibble, cookies or liver biscotti · Cheerios · sugar-free, salt-free peanut butter · dried banana chips, apples and apricots LAYER THREE: carrot sticks · turkey or leftover ravioli or tortellini · Kong toy (the larger the better!) Pack as tightly as possible. The last item inserted should be an apricot or piece of ravioli, presenting a smooth “finish” under the main opening. LIGHT VERSION: substitute crumbled rice cakes for cashews, Caesar croutons for freeze-dried liver, fat free cream cheese for peanut butter. – by Jean Donaldson
- KONG ON A ROPE: Dry dog kibble · appropriate Kong Toy · Rope Take the rope, pull it through the Kong Toy and knot it. Hang this upside down from a tree, deck or post. The small hole should be facing the ground. Take the kibble and fill the Kong toy. Make the toy hang just low enough that it is out of your dog’s reach. The dog will spend hours trying to retrieve the kibble from the Kong Toy. At the end of the day, take the remaining kibble and give to your pet as a reward. This is advanced work for your dog. – by Dr. Ian Dunbar
- FROZEN JERKY POPS: Peanut butter · bouillon · Jerky Strips · Water · appropriate Kong Toy · muffin tin Smear a small amount of peanut butter over small hole in your Kong toy. Fill the cool water and add a pinch of bouillon. Place a Jerky Stick inside Kong toy and freeze. This can also be put (once frozen) in a children’s size swimming pool for a fun day of fishing for your pet. – by Terry Ryan
- SIMPLE, TRIED AND TRUE: Peanut butter · Appropriate Kong toy. Smear peanut butter inside the cavity of your Kong toy. It’s that easy!
- TRIXIE’S FAVORITE: Trixie, a 50 pound Aussie/Springer mix, loves turkey, chicken or marrow bites mixed with slightly moistened food nuggets frozen inside her Kong. She is very clean about unstuffing – some dogs are not! – by Joe Markham
Every dog has a favorite recipe! Finding your dog’s will be fun. Remember, not all foods are healthy for dogs, check with your vet if you are not sure. If you have found a unique Kong recipe, drop us an email and we will include it here.