Kongs are kind of the best thing that’s happened to me since I became a dog owner. I owned a lovely pitt bull/boxer mix who could chew through any other toy we tried and a Beagle who had severe separation anxiety that was only trumped by her love of food. Kongs worked well for both of them because Colt, my big guy, needed chew toy he wouldn’t destroy when he played with it and Katy needed something to keep her occupied when we crated her.
Two kinds of stuffed Kongs
There are pretty much two kinds of stuffed Kongs – frozen and not. Frozen Kongs worked really well for dogs like Colt who would spend hours chewing and needed lasting entertainment. For dogs that get easily frustrated and like to quit, freezing isn’t always the best option because it can just cause them to quit, leaving you with a mushy, nasty mess later.
I like to keep Kong stuffing healthy. That was really easy to do when I used a food that required that I add water and meat, because it was already moist. I personally loved Sojos dog food, but when I worked with a friend who owned a dog training facility, we used the brand Honest Kitchen and I loved it when my dogs stayed with her.
I didn’t always give them raw meat because I don’t believe raw is always the healthiest choice, but that’s just my personal preference.
If you’re a kibble kind of family (no judgement here, we’ve done that too!) then add some hot water to your kibble and let it sit for a few minutes to soften it up and let it get mushy enough for a frozen Kong.
Here are some other things to add to Kongs that are whole foods and/or reasonably healthy:
- Natural peanut butter
- Mashed potatoes
for grown up dogs
we use homemade or store bought
- Pumpkin puree
canned or store bought
- Cooked oatmeal
- Cream cheese
low fat or fat free, unless your dog needs to gain weight
- Canned dog food
add water or another liquid like homemade onion-free broth to help soften it
Fully cooked, obviously
- Flax seeds
- Green beans
- Rice cooked
- Sugar snap peas
- Sweet Potato
For a lot of vegetables, we found that our dogs would eat just about anything if we shredded them or chopped them and cooked them in some homemade onion and salt-free beef broth.
Treat-y choices – ones that might not be the healthiest but will taste amazing:
- String cheese
- Cheese whiz
- Hot dogs
- Regular dog treats
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