A KONG toy is a puzzle toy for dogs, with a hollow center with two holes, that can be stuffed with food. This tough dog toy has two holes in order to prevent suction. The KONG is made of non-toxic rubber and it will make your dog work for his food. I use KONG to give treats and meals to my dogs. My pups have plenty of puzzle dog toys. I have to keep their mind sharp. Also, KONGs gives them something to do or to focus on. These types of toys can help you with your dog. KONGs help me a lot. Especially, when my dogs were puppies and the training was starting.
There are KONGs for every dog, from little puppies to large adult dogs with powerful jaws. My Siberian Huskies couldn’t destroy KONGs, or not yet at least. Made of nearly indestructible rubber, with KONGs you will not have to worry about your dog destroying them and swallowing rubber pieces.
These KONG toys come in four sizes and for colors: KONG classic, KONG puppy, KONG senior, and KONG extreme.
- Classic KONG is the best choice for most adult dogs. It is made of ultra-durable red rubber.
- Puppy KONG is made from the softest rubber and is customized for puppy teeth and gums.
- Senior KONG is also made from soft rubber, but not as soft as the one for puppies. This purple KONG is made for an aging dog’s chewing needs.
- Extreme KONG is made of extremely durable and resistant rubber. It’s the best choice for extreme chewers. My husky male has a black Extreme KONG.
My puppies tend to destroy every rubber toy and crumble them into pieces. I don’t let them play with weak rubber toys alone. Usually, the squeaky toys are made of weak rubber. They are fun at first, but they got destroyed pretty fast. That’s why I appreciate KONG and the nearly indestructible rubber that is made of.
Are KONG toys safe?
As I mentioned before, KONG toys are safe. A KONG dog toy has two holes to prevent suction. If you want to give a frozen KONG to your dog then you could leave the filling to soften or put some peanut butter on the KONG’s surface, canned food or other soft food until the stuffing will unfreeze a bit. Supervise your dog when you’re giving him a frozen KONG. Even if the KONG is not frozen, you should still supervise him while he is eating.
How to Use a KONG Dog Toy?
First time when you’re giving a stuffed KONG to your dog? At first, you should put just some kibbles or dry treats inside the toy. You don’t want to get him frustrated if he can’t get the food out. So, baby steps for your pup and he will learn to have fun with it. After he mastered and he managed to get out the kibble, you can start adding wet food. See how he is doing after that. My male husky starts bouncing the KONG around the room – that big Extreme KONG makes bomb-like noises when thrown around by a hungry husky… combine this with his digging, and the yard is a war zone. He made a lot of mess but he got the food out and he was so satisfied. After a few KONGs, he became a KONG master.
Now I fill the KONGs with food that they don’t eat at their regular meals. They only eat their regular meals from the bowls and they will not accept it otherwise.
For what do I use KONG?
Distract your dog with a KONG
My puppies are so hipped when they meet someone new and I use KONGs to make them focus on the food and less on the human. When they are done with the stuffing, they just go to investigate the new person more calmly. Siberian huskies are friendly and overwhelming to other people that are not usually showered with so much love and attention. Especially when they see a big boy running toward them. You know that your husky will jump on the new person that will give them attention. My huskies love attention but they love food even more. So, a stuffed KONG helped me a lot with training them not to jump on every guest.
Use stuffed KONGs for separation anxiety
Stuffed KONGs are great for separation anxiety. Fill a KONG with some treats – make sure that the filling will not obstruct the holes – before you leave. Give the KONG with 2-3 minutes before you go out. This helps your dog to associate being left alone with good and tasty things. When you want to use KONGs for separation anxiety, you should have already given him a few KONGs before while you were home with him and you supervised him. This method worked perfectly with my lady husky, but not for my male husky. He will just leave the stuffed KONG and start whining and destroying everything. It depends on the dog, so don’t worry if the KONG is not the solution for your dog’s separation anxiety.
KONGs for fast eaters
Your dog eats too fast and throws after that? Use a KONG to give his meal. You will have to refill the KONG 2-3-4 times but he will learn to eat slower. My husky male, Loki, had a phase like this. He ate too quickly, and he didn’t chew his food. When a dog eats too fast, he will also ingest a significant amount of air. Regurgitation or vomiting are the results of that.
Make your dog work for his treats
Do you want to make your dog work for his food? A KONG will keep your dog busy while he’s having plenty of fun. You can fill his KONG with treats or with food and he will have a blast. Unfortunately, your floor will be a mess. But if you have a dog that stays outside and inside, you got used to cleaning after him. Vacuuming and washing the floor and rugs it’s on a daily basis. Especially if you have a double-coated Siberian husky that enjoys playing and digging in the yard.
Frozen KONGs for summer days.
Give your dog some frozen and tasty KONGs. The stuffed and frozen KONG will keep your puppy busy from 30 to 45 minutes. While I’m eating ice cream, my dogs can have a frozen KONG stuffed with fruits, Greek yogurt, and peanut butter. Fun for everyone!
What can you put in a KONG dog toy?
In a KONG you can put almost all the foods that your dog can have. If your dog is on a special diet, then you’d have to stick with those foods. For example, if your dog is lactose intolerant then you shouldn’t put any dairy products in his KONG. You get the point.
If it’s the first time when your puppy has to get out the food from a KONG you should put in there only a few of his kibbles or treats. Let him get the hang of it and master the art of the KONG. After that, add some wet food.
Dogs are smart and they will figure out pretty quickly how KONGs work. Especially when food or delicious treats are at stake. When he learns how to use the KONG and he can get out the stuffing from a KONG quickly, you can give him other foods. So, let’s talk about what foods can we stuff a KONG with after he managed to master the process.
You will need :
- Half a banana, cut into cubes
- A few cubes of apple
- Peanut butter (Check the ingredients label! Don’t feed your dog peanut butter with xylitol or other artificial sweeteners)
- Plain Greek yogurt (again, check for artificial sweeteners because artificial sweeteners are toxic to dogs)
Put the peanut butter into an empty KONG to seal the small hole at the bottom. Put the banana cubes and apple cubes in the KONG. Add the Greek yogurt. Put more peanut butter at the top.
When you’re stuffing the KONGs is better to put the KONGs in a bowl. This way you will not make a big mess, even if the stuffing will pour. If you want to freeze the KONGs, put in the freezer the KONGs with the bowl. By doing so, you’ll not have to worry about any stuffing pouring directly in your freezer.
You can replace the banana or the apple with any other fruit that your dog can eat without any problem. Read here what are the good fruit for dogs.
This is not a KONG made for breakfast but it has scrambled eggs and cottage cheese.
You will need:
- One egg
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Carrot – small cubes
Wondering with what other vegetables can you stuff a KONG? Read here what are some good vegetables for dogs.
How much food fits in a KONG?
A KONG does not take a lot of food as it’s actual volume is quite small. And that is ok because you can use a KONG to treat your dog and not to feed him from one. He has a bowl for that. It is fun for your dog to get out the food from a KONG. Dogs enjoy working for food. But for mealtime, dogs will eat more than what it fits in a KONG. Especially medium or large dogs.
Before you start chopping vegetables or fruits to stuff a KONG, keep in mind that it doesn’t have such a big capacity. I know that you are used to his meal portion, but this is not a regular meal. Think is a treat. You can stuff different vegetables, fruits, and other foods in a KONG.
When you are just starting using a KONG to feed treats and food to your dog, don’t forget to count the calories and the nutritional content. Make sure your puppy is on a balanced diet.
How do you wash a KONG?
KONGs are dishwasher safe but if you don’t want to wash it on a dishwasher then you can clean it with a toothbrush or with a bottle brush. Peanut butter or other sticky foods can be a challenge. Let it soak first in some warm water, and wash it after that.
KONG works for my Siberian huskies. They are looking forward to this stuffed and durable puzzle toy. Served with warm stuffing, at room temperature or frozen it’s a perfect treat for every dog. When you’re buying a KONG for your dog, don’t forget to choose one that fits your dog age. Stuff it with foods that are good for him and for his diet. I hope you like this article. I will write more stuffing recipes on the blog.