Ever wonder what all the hype is about Kongs? What to stuff them with? How to use them to get a calmer, more enriched dog? To solve behavior problems? This post is for you!
I have a love affair with Kongs and so do my dogs! They get them every day, sometimes twice a day. Kongs are my go-to vessel for delivering meat, treats, or kibble to my dogs. Every morning my dogs get a few minutes of training, and then settle down for a long chew on a frozen kong.
Kong’s are an excellent outlet for your dog’s natural need to chew. They direct chewing to an appropriate item, and can be a great way to make the crate a wonderful place to be. They can head off separation anxiety when used every time you leave the house. My dogs are excited when I leave because they know they are going to get a delicious kong to keep them occupied when I’m gone.
Have a busy puppy who needs lots of attention at night? Teach settling behavior by giving them a kong on leash or tether near you while you watch TV so they learn the value of relaxation. Most American pets are under-stimulated mentally, and adding a few kongs to their daily routine can give them “work” to do and something to focus on besides chewing up your furniture.
Kongs also turn a 1-minute meal in a bowl into an hour-long enrichment activity. Kongs are a wonderful way to keep a dog entertained, teach calmness and relaxation, and occupy a busy dog while you’re away.
But ever wonder what to stuff them with? I typically stuff my Kong with raw meat (such as Bravo), but also frequently stuff them with kibble. If you use kibble, an easy Kong stuffing to make is to mix your dog’s kibble with some type of moistening substrate such as pumpkin, sweet potato, yogurt, peanut butter, applesauce or even just soak in chicken broth and stuff your Kong. I typically put something super yummy at the bottom of the Kong like a liver treat or piece of hotdog so they have something to work towards at the bottom. I’ll even add special mix-ins like small pieces of carrot, apple or blueberry; whatever your dog loves! And Voila! A Doggy Kong Parfait! Quite the culinary experience for your beloved pet!
Once you have stuffed your Kong, pop it in the freezer overnight and in the morning you will have an entertaining meal for your pup. I typically gather all my Kongs and stuff them on Sunday so I have meals for my dogs all week. Try feeding your dog’s meals out of Kongs and see how you like it. I’m betting your puppy will love his special mealtime of Kong Parfaits, and you will get some well-deserved quiet time!