A Kong is an interactive snowman toy made from rubber. It is also the name of this American company which is becoming more and more popular for its many uses.
Over time, the company has developed many pet products. Overall, the Kong company aims to nurture your pet by enriching its daily life.
In this article, you will find tips for choosing and filling a Kong and recipe ideas. What’s wonderful is that the suggestions and recipes also work for any interactive bowls and lick mats.
What Is a Kong Used For?
There are different types of Kong as well as several sizes that adapt to all breeds. You can also find several toys and products of all kinds for dogs and cats.
The Kong is used to stimulate your dog mentally and physically. It can also be used as a toy, food bowl, chew toy, and learning tool.
The Kong can be used for all kinds of situations. For example, use it to redirect your dog’s attention when he digs or barks at the window. Give your dog a freeze Kong to keep him occupied or before a walk to calm him down.
What Are the Benefits of Chewing on a Kong?
Kongs are appreciated by many owners for their different functions.
A Kong can help by:
- Managing boredom and separation anxiety
- Redirect digging and barking
- Relieve teething and the urge to chew
- Control weight
- Extend meal times
- Training your puppy to be in a crate
An alternative to the Kong is the West Paw Toppl toy (Figure 1). Both of them are safe for all breeds, it is dishwasher and freezer safe while providing the same benefits as a Kong.
How to Choose the Right Kong?
Different types of Kongs are available depending on certain factors.
To choose a Kong, it must be appropriate for your dog’s weight, chewing style and age.
Visit their website to find out what size would be suitable for your dog with their chart.
|Classic Kong (Red)||Made for dogs who chew moderately and are not too robust with their toy.|
|Extreme Kong (Black)||Made for dogs with powerful jaws. Made of resistant rubber.|
|Puppy Kong (Pink/Blue)||Helps to ease teething pain and is not too harsh for their fragile teeth.|
|Senior Kong (Purple)||Looks like the Classic Kong, but is made from softer rubber for aging jawbones.|
How to Fill a Kong?
The company suggests using their treats, but you don’t have to get them to fill your Kong. No need to buy groceries for your dog either. Use ingredients you already have at home or use table scraps that are safe for your dog to ingest.
A Kong can be filled with natural and safe ingredients for dogs. It’s all about creating tasty and nutritious recipes.
To make the pleasure last, put the Kong in the freezer. It will take longer for your dog to eat everything inside. You can even use your kibble previously softened in water or unsalted chicken broth. It is also a good way to extend the duration of meals or a treat for dogs that eat too quickly.
Try alternating between different ingredients so he can discover new flavors, but go in moderation. Dogs have a sensitive digestive system, so too much of a new element could give them stomachaches and diarrhea.
Here’s a list of safe ingredients for dogs:
|Pineapple||Asparagus||Cottage cheese||Beef||Peanut butter (without xylitol)|
|Strawberry||Cauliflower||Mozzarella||Atlantic Herring||Pumpkin seeds|
|Watermelon||Cooked sweet potato||Cooked salmon||Cooked rice|
Many other ingredients are edible for dogs, but it’s best to always do your research before adding new ingredients to your dog’s diet.
Acidic fruits, such as pineapple should be given in moderation due to their acidity and high sugar content. Also, all fruits should be given without peel, pits, or seeds, as they can be toxic to your pet.
Certain vegetables, such as potatoes, squash, and beans, cannot be eaten raw, as they too could be toxic. It’s best to always cook vegetables before giving them to your dog, but some can be eaten raw.
Dairy products are suitable for dogs but in small amounts. This is because as dogs age, they gradually lose the enzymes that help digest milk. On the other hand, some dogs are more tolerant of dairy products than others.
High-fat foods should be given in small amounts to avoid excess weight and pancreatitis.
In short, a lot of ingredients can be ingested safely, it is only a question of knowing how to prepare them and monitoring the quantities.
Recipe Ideas For Stuffing a Kong
In each of the recipes, you can add kibbles, softened or not. Dried kibbles are easier to reach especially for dogs that are not used to having a Kong. Don’t forget that you can put the Kong in the freezer to prolong the pleasure.
You can mash fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Next, cut up banana chunks and coat the fruits in peanut butter.
Choose natural peanut butter to avoid the sugar that would otherwise end up there. Make sure it is xylitol-free since it is a highly toxic ingredient for dogs.
Peanut butter is high in protein and fat. It is therefore advisable to give it in moderation. It contains vitamins B and E, iron, zinc, and phosphorus. Peanut butter is also an excellent source of magnesium.
Cut fruits and cover with coconut oil, yogurt, or kefir.
Kefir contains probiotics that strengthen the immune system, aid digestion, and reduce the risk of diabetes, pancreatitis, ulcers, cancer, and asthma.
Here are the recommended amounts of kefir per day:
- 1 teaspoon for small-sized dogs
- 1/2 tablespoon for medium-sized dogs
- 2/3 tablespoon for large-sized dogs
Miz some rice, salmon or other meat, carrots, spinach or green beans, and pumpkin puree.
Rice is good for the health especially if your dog suffers from diarrhea. Do not abuse starchy foods, since your dog needs a balanced diet.
Pumpkin puree helps digestion and fights cataracts. It also helps with diarrhea and constipation.
Carrots are often very popular with dogs. Also, they help protect your dog against cataracts with their beta-carotenes. Carrots can be eaten raw or cooked. They are low in calories and contain a lot of fiber.
Do not give spinach to your dog if he has kidney problems.
Cook vegetables in unsalted chicken or beef broth. You can put vegetables like sweet potato, carrots, kale, asparagus, cauliflower, and broccoli. Then add his kibbles and let them soften in the broth.
Be careful never to give tomatoes to your dog, because they are toxic even if they are cooked.
If your dog is not used to eating vegetables, it is better to put a small amount and observe his reaction.
**If in doubt or problem, consult a veterinarian**
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JOURDAN, Kevin. «Puis-je donner du fromage à manger à mon chien? Bienfaits et risques», Caniprof.
Perfectly Ransom LLC (2021). «Carbohydrates in Raw Diets».