A food-motivated dog is tough to entertain.
Their daily treat allowance will only go so far, and with them being gone in just a few seconds, you might be searching for another way to keep them entertained.
The KONG is a perfect solution.
In this guide, we’ll share exactly what a KONG is, along with over 40 KONG recipes you can use to keep your dog entertained for hours.
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What is a KONG Toy?
A KONG is a dog toy that was created by Joe Markham after his dog, Fritz, had a passion for chewing. He’d eat sticks, rocks, and harmful items that could damage his teeth. Markham created the indestructible KONG as a solution to help him chew safely.
The KONG design is easy to spot: It’s a two-tier-style toy made of durable rubber. It has a large hole at the bottom to insert treats, and a smaller hole at the top to stop your dog’s tongue from getting stuck inside with suction.
The KONG is a type of dog puzzle toy, but since its introduction, there are now several types of KONG for dogs, including:
- Puppy KONG: A standard KONG made with soft rubber for teething puppies.
- Classic KONG: The classic rubber KONG that comes in various sizes from Small to XL.
- KONG Extreme: Designed for extreme chewers and larger breeds.
- KONG Wobbler: A standard KONG with an extra hole for treat dispensing.
- KONG Senior: Designed for older, aging dogs with lighter chews.
The Benefits of KONG Toys
Head to your local pet shop and you’ll find tons of dog toys. What makes the KONG so great, in particular?
There are some benefits that a KONG offers, which other toys don’t.
Once of those is the fact it provides mental stimulation for dogs. When stuffed with food, your pup will need to think about getting the food out of it. It isn’t just there for them to take it–like it would be in their normal food bowl.
This means it takes longer for dogs to eat their food. That’s why some owners feed their dogs purely out of KONGS; because it stops them from gobbling down their food too quickly. (This could cause indigestion, or them throwing their food back up.)
KONGs are also superb toys because they keep your pup occupied. They’re recommended by some behaviourists to use when training dogs out of separation anxiety, with the idea being that the KONG keeps them occupied when you leave the room.
You can also use the KONG to get rid of waste food. Let’s say you’ve got a Sunday roast, for example. You might have leftover chicken, broccoli, and mashed potato. Why not layer them in your dog’s KONG as a tasty meal?
Not only does it keep them entertained for hours, but you’ll prevent throwing out perfectly edible food.
42 Delicious KONG Recipes for Dogs
Have you purchased your KONG and looking for things to stuff it with? The possibilities are endless–but it’s crucial to check whether your KONG recipe is healthy and non-toxic for your furry friend.
Here are 42 KONG stuffing ideas bound to keep your dog entertained for hours:
- Broth (beef or chicken)
- Canned Dog Food
- Cereal (e.g. Bran Flakes or Weetabix)
- Cheese (cottage or cream)
- Eggs (cooked)
- Flax Seeds
- Green Beans
- KONG squirty cheese
- Natural Yogurt
- Natural Baby Food
- Meat Pate
- Mashed Potato
- Peanut Butter
- Plain Rice
- Softened Spread
- Sweet Potatoes
- Unsalted Nuts
Can I Layer My KONG Toppings?
The KONG topping we’ve shared are all good for your dog to eat in moderation, but you might find that they fall out either side of your KONG. You can prevent that by layering different KONG recipes and stuffing them inside, making it tougher for your puppy to get them out.
Here are some stuffed KONG recipe examples:
- Chicken Pie: Shredded chicken, mashed potatoes and peas
- Quick and Easy Breakfast: Oatmeal, honey, and frozen yoghurt
- Breakfast: Frozen yogurt, bananas, peanut butter, and honey
- Vegetable Surprise: Frozen broth, broccoli, peas, and cauliflower
- Chicken and Potatoes: Chicken, shredded carrot, and sweet potato
- Un-boring Meal Time: Kibble and liver pate
- Fish Friday: Tuna, green beans, and spinach
Can I Freeze my Dog’s KONG Recipe?
You might’ve noticed that the KONG stuffing options we’ve shared are frozen. That’s because freezing a KONG makes the insides last much longer–and therefore, can keep your dog entertained for a longer period of time.
Take frozen yoghurt, for example. Plain unfrozen yoghurt would be lapped up in seconds. But if you pop the yoghurt-stuffed KONG in the freezer for a few hours, it’ll be harder for them to scoop it out.
You don’t have to freeze your entire KONG, though. One of Hugo’s favourite KONG recipes is frozen chicken broth with his standard (unfrozen) kibble on top. It makes his dinner time much more entertaining and long-lasting!
Do I Need to Supervise My Dog with a KONG?
It’s rare to find a dog toy that you can leave your pup to play with unsupervised. Things can come loose, and the risk of choking can be great–especially when food is involved.
Only leave your dog unsupervised with their KONG once you’re confident they won’t try to rip it to shreds. The first time they use the KONG, they might be confused; throwing it around and aggressively chewing it to get the food out. Although KONGs are designed to withstand strong jaws and teeth, make sure they know how the puzzle works before leaving them unsupervised with it.
Plus, you shouldn’t leave your dog alone with a KONG if there are large items they could choke on (like carrots, cereal, or unsalted nuts.)
It’s generally safe to leave your dog with a KONG if the food you’re stuffing it with is liquid–such as pate, smooth peanut butter, or frozen yoghurt. The risk of choking is slim to none.
Ready to Get Your KONG?
Once you start introducing a KONG into your dog’s play or food routine, you’ll start to notice that they’re using their brain–which in turn, should tire them out.
The best part? You can grab a KONG for as little as £10 on Amazon. The rest of the ingredients will already be in your food cupboards.