Everything Kong

Everything Kong

Kongs are an excellent enrichment toy to help provide enrichment, especially while actively dog training. With dogs, just remember whenever we are introducing anything new to our animals; we always want to observe them to make sure they are interacting with it safely and appropriately. Keep in mind that Kongs are freezable and dishwasher safe, because of this I love having multiple prepped and ready to go in my freezer! They come in three densities; a softer puppy (pink or blue) one, a red classic Kong and a black Kong which is for heavy chewers. It is important to make sure they have an appropriate durability one for their age and chew style.

Here is a chart from Kong to help with that!

Later we will talk about specific ingredients and example recipes for kongs, ensuring that you take into account not only calories but their allergies and sensitivities as well. Always watch them the first thing you try anything new. Remember, just because it may not sound appetizing to us doesn't mean that it won't be for them! Peanut butter, carrots and peas? We may not love it, but our dogs may, give it a chance!

When first introducing the Kong, think of it like dog training, you may have to do it in steps, helping them learn how to solve the 'puzzle' without getting frustrated. First, start with high value treats loose in the Kong, let them watch you stuff it. Then proceed to an unfrozen base smeared inside and around the large hole. After they love that step, you can do the same thing except freeze it now. Once it is frozen, for this step, I'll put the thawed on top of the frozen. I like to freeze my Kongs in plastic cups or Tupperware in the freezer to prevent them from spilling. Last, I can start freezing them solidly and experimenting with it. Be creative with it and have fun!

Bases: broth, yogurt, canned pumpkin (in very small amounts), mashed sweet potatoes (no skins), mashed potatoes (no skins), wet food, cottage cheese, oatmeal, ricotta, cream cheese (in moderation), sugar-free applesauce, peanut butter

Fillings: carrots, blueberries and blackberries (will stain, use caution), treats, peas, bananas, kibble, cubed cheese (watch for fat content), tuna, apples (no core, stems, or seeds), scrambled eggs, green beans, healthy leftovers, broccoli (raw), asparagus, brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, cauliflower (raw), celery, cucumber, liver, flax seeds, bran cereal, honey (watch out for sugar content), oranges, pineapple, cooked rice, salmon, spinach, squash, steak (cooked), strawberries, watermelon, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cheerios

Example Recipes:

  • Soak your dog's kibble in warm water or broth for 10-15 min
  • Chicken, peas, carrots, mashed potatoes- mix well
  • Ripe banana, peanut butter, slice of cheese broken up- mix well
  • mashed potatoes (no salt) mixed with crushed dog biscuits
  • Yogurt mixed with blueberries and cheerios
  • scrambled eggs, small about of beef, yogurt, cheese, and mashed potatoes
  • Cottage cheese, cucumber and apple
  • Fill the small hole with peanut butter, fill with broth, and add a bully stick that will stick out slightly. Then freeze! (Make sure that it is standing upright securely in a cup!)
  • plain yogurt and mashed bananas
  • ricotta and hard kibble
  • From the bottom of the Kong up layer: peanut butter, dry dog kibble, pour in enough broth to fill kibble, peanut butter, dry dog kibble, pour broth and end with a last scoop of peanut butter

The following foods may be dangerous to your pet

  • Alcohol
  • Apple seeds 
  • Apricot, cherry and peach pits
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate and candy in general, including gum
  • Coffee
  • Caffeine
  • Citrus: stems, leaves, peels, fruit, and seeds
  • Be careful and talk to your vet about what essential oils are okay/ what aren't to be use around your dog
  • Coconut and Coconut Oil
  • Grapes and Raisin
  • Hops
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Milk and dairy Products
  • Moldy or Spoiled food
  • Mushrooms
  • Mustard and mustard seeds
  • Nuts
  • Onions, Garlic and Chives (including in powdered form)
  • Potatoes and Tomatoes (Leaves and stems)
  • Raw/under cooked meat, eggs, and bones
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Salt
  • Salty Snack Foods
  • Tea
  • Walnuts
  • Xylitol
  • Yeast Dough

For more things that could be dangerous or concerns talk to your vet

Written by - Allison Daack

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