Today we’re going to talk about using Kongs, you probably heard a lot about them and how they can be a great way to keep your dog busy and teach them new skills.
If your dog barks when you leave the house you can keep them busy with a Kong toy, Kongs are great for puppies, they can spend 30 minutes to an hour digging in a Kong, and when you have a puppy all you want them to be is busy and tired.
There are many benefits to Kong toys, they allow your dog to be comfortable being alone which in itself solves other problems like fighting boredom which leads to misbehavior and anxiety. They also distract your dog from chewing on items in the house.
With all of the information and recipes online, it can get overwhelming quickly, and there is no guarantee your dog will even like the stuff, I’m a big fan of keeping it simple, I use dog food to stuff a Kong (more on that later) for breakfast and dinner.
Remember they need to love the kong as is, don’t try to up the ante when it comes to dog food, and if you happen to use raw food I’m gonna show you how to use that too.
Selecting a Kong toy
The first thing you need to focus on when buying a new Kong toy is size, a small Kong (S) hold about a tablespoon of medium-small kibble while the large Kong (L) holds just under half a cup.
Keep in mind that a larger Kong toy means a larger hole, which makes it easier for your dog to get through it, if you’re in doubt just size one up.
The second thing you need to pay attention to is color, there’s different Kong colors for different rubber toughness :
- Blue or Pink Kong: soft rubber for puppies formulated to ease teething pain.
- Red Kong : classic rubber for the average chewing dogs.
- Black Kong : tough rubber formulated for power chewers.
- Purple Kong : soft rubber for aging dogs formulated to provide a comfortable chewing outlet for aging teeths and gums.
Make sure you get more than one so you can conveniently fill, freeze, use and rotate.
Don’t buy the junk you find at the pet store to stuff a Kong, it’s overpriced and you’re not even sure what’s in it, stuff your kong with the normal dog food, be it kibble or raw.
Take Some kibble and put it in a bowl, moisture it with water and spoon it to a Kong then put it in the freezer. When you take it out of the freezer for serving Put something tasty on the big hole like peanut butter or cream cheese.
Same as above put it in the Kong and freeze it, you can put a piece of liver in the bottom so your dog will want to get to the bottom of the Kong.
Like I’ve said earlier there are many recipes online, but they’re complicated and unnecessary, if you’re trying to increase the value of the Kong to make your dog like it, you’re coming at it from the wrong angle, train the dog to love the kong as is, then you can stuff it with whatever you want.
Plan ahead and stuff 3-4 Kongs and put them in the freezer, they’ll be on demand if you need them.
When you first introduce a Kong toy to your dog they simply take their meal from the Kong, a bowl is convenient but it’s a waste of opportunity for training.
Take the Kong from the freezer and spread something tasty like peanut butter on the hole to encourage your dog to go through it, serve their meal on a crate or bed, the same place every time to distinguish their place of eating.
If you’re just introducing a Kong to your new puppy, you have to train them to use a puzzle toy and how rewarding it is. If you’re feeding kibble just put loose kibble in the Kong so they will knock it out and eat it, if you’re feeding raw don’t freeze the meat, put some in and outside the Kong, they will go through it quickly but it will teach them how to eat from a Kong.
Some puppies don’t have the attention span for a Kong, I will use the Kong, but if they abandon it I will hand feed them and introduce the Kong again.
What Kong recipes have you made lately?
Let me know what are some other ways you use a Kong ?