Your dog relaxes when he has something to chew on, and settles down after eating. Frozen Kongs (or Toppls) take longer to eat, giving your dog more time to relax. This also will gives the dog something to do when the owners are away. Dogs often sleep after eating, so the benefits of a frozen stuffed Kong are doubled.
How do I get the stuffing into the Kong?
Depending on the size of the Kong, you can use a small spoon or butter knife. The easiest way to stuff a Kong is with a pastry bag. If you don’t have one you can make one out of a Ziploc bag. Fill the bag halfway and zip it closed. Then you can cut off a corner and squeeze directly into the Kong opening. If you find the mixture leaking out of the hole at the bottom of the Kong, cover it with a small piece of cheese or kibble. You can use the bottom half of an egg crate or a muffin tin to hold several Kongs upright for stuffing.
What do I put in the Kong?
Start with a base. This will make up most of the mixture. I use plain, non-fat yogurt or canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix). You can mix in some cream cheese, white rice or peanut butter for flavor.
While you’re filling the Kong add extra, jackpots treats. Diced chicken or hot dogs, dog biscuits, cheese, banana, carrots, anything your dog loves. The hard pieces make the Kong last longer, so stuff as many as you can in there.
Give your dog a frozen stuffed Kong when you leave for work. He may learn to love your departures, instead of fear them. Have your dog walker give him one in the middle of the day.
Freeze your Kong
Once your Kongs are filled, freeze them. A Kong stuffed with food and frozen can keep your dog busy and entertained for ten minutes or more. If you don’t freeze it, your dog may be finished in about thirty seconds.
Cleaning the Kong
You don’t need to buy a special Kong cleaning brush, you can use a toothbrush or a bottle cleaning brush. First soak it in warm soapy water to loosen any dried on food. Kongs should be replaced if there are cracks as bacteria can grow in there.
If your dog is a strong chewer don’t leave him unsupervised with a Kong. Watch him carefully to make sure he’s only eating the food. If he begins to break apart the Kong it may not be the right toy for him.
Remember to ask your vet before trying a new food with your dog. Some human food is unsafe for dogs. Check this list from the ASPCA before trying any new foods:
If your dog is nervous around company, give him a Kong and let him sit in a quiet corner or his crate. He will learn to be relaxed around your friends.