One of a dogs instinctive behaviours is to hunt and forage for food. We can help to fulfil this instinct by using a Kong toy and by filling it with food, it provides dogs with a healthy outlet for their natural desire to chew and lick.
The effort dogs make to get their food from these toys can help to ease boredom, reduces destructive behaviours and can help to relieve any anxiety when you leave them for short periods.
How to use a Kong
Dogs need to learn how to get their food out of a Kong so if your dog has not used one before, start off easy otherwise they will become frustrated and give up. To begin with use small pieces of kibble that fall out easy then gradually make it harder by mixing in larger pieces or by adding cubes of cheese or chunks of vegetables.
Once your dog has got the hang of it, you can use any variety of your dog’s favourite foods. Just remember to ensure you do not use any foods that are harmful to dogs and if you use peanut butter, ensure you check the ingredients for Xylitol. Xylitol is an increasingly common sugar-replacement sweetener that’s in including some brands of peanut butter. It’s a natural sugar substitute that’s fine for people, but it’s extremely poisonous to dogs.
If you’re unsure about what’s safe to feed your dog, contact your veterinarian for advice.
If you are worried about weight gain or your dog has allergies, you can also feed your dog’s usual dinner in a Kong. You can put it in dry or soak it in water first then spoon into the Kong and freeze.
Sniff and Wagg weekly menu
After our walks, with owners consent, we continue the enrichment by leaving them with a tasty Kong, helping to keep them occupied for longer.
Here is a sample of our weekly menu:
Monday Morning Blues
Ingredients – Natural yoghurt with mashed banana, blackberries and blueberries.
Mash a banana and mix in a bowl with a few spoons of natural yoghurt, blackberries and/or blueberries.
Ingredients – Coconut oil, parsley, banana, cucumber plus a few sprigs of mint.
Blend the coconut oil with the mint and parsley and banana then stir through the diced cucumber.
Tail Wagging Wednesday
Ingredients – Scrambled egg, ham slices, peas.
Mix the scrambled egg with the chopped ham and peas.
Tongue Tingling Thursday
Ingredients – Carrot, chicken, grated courgette, low fat cottage cheese.
Grate a carrot and mix in a bowl with the low fat cottage cheese, grated courgette and strips of cooked chicken. Spoon into your Kong and for some added crunchiness place a full carrot in the end of the Kong.
Ingredients – Sardines, mashed sweet potato, broccoli, fish skins.
Steam the sweet potato and broccoli, then chop into chunks. Stir through the sardines and spoon into a Kong. Place a fish skin sticking out of the end of the Kong.
All these recipes can be served at room temperature or frozen for an extra special treat!