Archive CF :: Stuffing a Kong Fit for a King!

Why Use a Kong?

Dogs are genetically programmed to hunt for their food. One reason there is such a prevalence of behavior problems in pet dogs is that they have so little mental challenge; they need to have work to do! So, instead of giving them their food for free, do what zoos are doing to improve the quality of life of many of their predator and primate species -- give your dog problems to solve in order to obtain food. Dogs thoroughly enjoy unpacking stuffed chew toys and finding hidden food treasures! Anything you feed her in a bowl can be adapted to a Kong!

Stuffing Recipes

Why limit your Kong stuffing efforts to just a few dog cookies? This is just scratching the surface of the creative food acquisition challenges you can cook up for your dog.

Here are some ways to jazz up your Kong stuffing repertoire:

  • The level of difficulty should be appropriate to the dog's level of skill and temperament -- does she persevere or give up easily? Any increases in difficulty should be done gradually so the dog succeeds while developing perseverance. So start easy and then get tougher gradually.
  • Keep in mind that easy stuffings are loose and incorporate small pieces that fall out easily; more difficult stuffings are tighter, with some big pieces that will be more difficult to extract.
  • Give her all of her food this way, especially if she is an active, "busy" dog.
  • You can use gooier foods (peanut butter, cream cheese, canned food, toddler food) to hold the smaller bits in and give the dog side-polishing challenges.
  • Stuff meat, mashed potatoes, etc. in it and freeze. Or, plug the small hole with peanut butter and fill the cavity with broth, then freeze this to make a "Kongsicle" (be aware that it can be messy as it melts so it might be best to feed her this one outside!)
  • Stuff cheese cubes in and then microwave it briefly to nicely coat the insides.
  • For greater difficulty, "nest" it by wrapping a stuffed Kong in a clean rag and/or enclosing it in a container (like a Quaker oatmeal cardboard cannister).
  • Hide regular stuffed or nested Kongs around the house so that your dog has to hunt around to find them before unpacking them.
  • Clean your Kongs regularly with a bottle brush and/or in the dishwasher.

Recipe Ideas

Basic Meal Kong:
- Layer 1 (deepest): dog kibble filling 3/4 of the Kong
- Layer 2: dog kibble and canned dog food mixed and stuffed in to cover the main hole.

Alternative Meal Kong:
For pooches with loose poops, substitute boiled chicken and rice or mix it in with kibble and canned food for the 2nd layer stuffing. Rice is great for firming things up.

Hint: Wedge her very favorite tasty tidbit in the little hole at the small end. If your dog can't get it out herself, she'll think you're the greatest when you dig it out for her as a final special treat!