Hunting for food used to be a dog’s job. Then we came along and started giving him all his food for free! No wonder dogs get themselves into trouble—they are bored and must come up with other things to do to occupy themselves, such as chewing your furniture or shoes, going through your trash, digging up your yard. They have nothing to stalk, capture, dissect, and eat. Kongs can help fill this void. They are hollow rubber cones. You fill the hole with your dog’s food and give it to him to work at unstuffing. Twenty minutes unstuffing a Kong are twenty minutes your dog is not chewing on your stuff!
Stuffing the Kong
Level of difficulty: Always start out stuffing it loosely. If your dog cannot gt the food out, he will become frustrated and will not like the Kong. The stuffing should be appropriate for your dog’s level of experience and personality. Does your dog give up easily or is your dog persistent? Increase the level of difficulty gradually.
Feeding Regular Meals In Kongs
Measure out food for the day. Stuff into Kongs as appropriate:
Easy: Fill Kongs almost to top with dry kibble, top with a tablespoon of sticky soft food such as canned dog food, peanut butter, cream cheese, peanut butter, spray cheese, mashed banana, mashed potatoes, etc.. Dog licks off soft food and kibble falls out.
Moderate: Mix kibble with a very small amount (1 tsp.) of the soft sticky food and stuff Kong.
Difficult: As dog gets more skilled, you can add more sticky food and press the food into the Kong more tightly.
Put a special treat in the bottom of the Kong before you stuff. He’ll be even more interested in his Kongs!
More tips & ideas
- Serve busy dogs all their food this way, much preferred to just eating out of a bowl for free.
- Invest in several Kongs. You can stuff Kongs up to 24 hours ahead and refrigerate until serving time.
- Serve your dog a Kong when you leave your house—your dog will look forward to your departures.
- Serve your dog a Kong when he is in his crate—he’ll love his crate!
- Easy stuffings are loose, small pieces that fall out easily.
- Advanced stuffings: put the (already stuffed) Kong in a sock and tie off the ends. Put into a plastic or cardboard container (Cool-Whip tub, oatmeal box). Hide Kong in the house so your dog has to hunt it down! Do this only if your dog does not eat socks, plastic containers, etc.
- Clean Kongs after each use with a bottle brush, soap, and hot water or put in the dishwasher.
- Fill with layers of various goodies, best one goes into the Kong first, then the next, etc. Your dog will work hard to get down to the “good stuff.”
- BEST IDEA: Kong Goodie Bones, Balls & Ships have a nice hold right through
the toy. Fill that hole with canned dog food. FREEZE.
Then give to your dog as a “pacifier”