In last month’s Woof Club Valentines Box we included a Kong and a Kong Easy Treat filling paste, so we thought it would be a good idea to have a look at the benefits of these dog toys and to give you some filling ideas.
For those of you who have not received a Valentines Woof Club Box or who are not already the proud owner of a Kong, we’ll start with a short description just so we are all on the same page.
The KONG is the best known of the treat dispensing dog toys It is a nontoxic, dishwasher-safe, rubber toy with a hollow centre. When stuffed with food, it provides dogs with a healthy outlet for their natural desire to chew and lick. Oh, and there is a KONG out there for every size and age of dog!
Getting started with your KONG
You can stuff KONGs with almost any kind of food your dog likes and you can hide them around the house to add to the fun!
Start out easy
Dogs don’t automatically know how to use food toys. They need to learn how. When you introduce your dog to the KONG, you’ll need to make it easy for him to empty it, so he doesn’t get discouraged and give up. Use small pieces of kibble or treats that will fall out easily.
Then make it harder
Once the dog learns how to empty the KONG quickly you can make the task more difficult. He’ll love the challenge!
The mechanics of stuffing your KONG
Stuffing a KONG is easy – but it can get messy. Here are some useful tips.
- Put bigger, looser objects at the bottom of the KONG and seal with something sticky.
- Install a “handle,” such as a bully stick, chicken foot, carrot, or milk bone. Do this by inserting the handle into the KONG, then filling and sealing around it.
- For softer fillings, use a small spoon to fill the Kong around the bigger, loose objects.
- Seal using the back of the spoon or a butter knife or use the KONG squeeze tubes – it’s cleaner!
We recommend, to make life simpler, you have a KONG-stuffing day once or twice per week, make a big bowl of stuffing and freeze some of the filled toys so they keep longer.
Our favourite fillings
To finish with we took a poll amongst the furry Woof Club team members and came up with their list of absolute favourite Kong fillings.
In no particular order, here we go!
- Peanut butter by itself or on a piece of bread. All our dogs love it but be careful because its really messy, so make sure that you move your favourite rug! Also make sure that you only use unsweetened peanut butter. Some of the artificially sweetened butters can be harmful for dogs.
- A simple option is the Kong Easy treat filling. We put one in our Valentines Box as well. It comes in multiple flavours and can be used to seal up the end of a Kong filled with kibble or fruit or just by itself. The only downside is that it doesn’t last long.
- For picky eaters’ cat food is great and the consistency is perfect for sealing the hole. Our princess Mika certainly approves of this!
- If you are like us, you will have leftovers from mealtime and these are perfect fillers for a KONG. If your dog doesn’t have food allergies, then it is an easy option and a firm favourite of Molly’s! Think cooked meats, rice, oatmeal, yoghurt, scrambled egg and any other dog friendly human food.
- Chunks of fruit and chopped vegetables is one of Pupz’s favourite fillings. It’s low calorie and you can use a large chunk to seal off the hole and make the KONG last longer.
- Minced meat is a winner! The whole team absolutely love it. Seal the hole with cream cheese or Kong filler to keep everything inside.
- Cheese cubes by themselves or mixed with dog food can be served as it is or put into the microwave for a couple of seconds to melt the cheese. Make sure its cool of course before serving.
- Banana is a favourite of the busy hooman Woof Club team members. Its quick because you just need to cut it in half, stuff it into the Kong, seal with peanut butter or add plain yoghurt and its done!
- Tuna is the preferred option of our youngster Eris. Mix it with grated vegetable or yoghurt and freeze overnight to provide a healthy option, high in Omega 3 fatty acids which are great for skin and coats.
The list of ideas is endless, but we hope that we ‘ve given you some food for thought.