Ask any dog owner who uses one, and they'll tell you that Kong toys are a real game-changer! These toys, as well as their many off-brand iterations, have been around for decades. But it wasn't until the last few years that dog owners started to realize the benefits they provide.
The concept is simple: Kong toys are hollowed-out rubber toys that you fill with tasty treats. The unique shape of the Kong facilitates healthy chewing.
Meanwhile, the irresistible smell and taste of the stuffing you put inside keep your dog determined and occupied for hours!
Kong toys do a lot of good for your dog, but you have to get your pup excited to use them first!
The go-to for many people is to use peanut butter. Kong also sells "official" stuffing with a similar consistency.
While peanut butter does the trick pretty well, it's not always the best choice. Too much of the sweet stuff can lead to some unsavory health issues.
As a result, many dog owners like to switch things up and provide variety in their dogs' favorite tasty activities.
If you're looking for stuffing recipes to keep your dog entertained and happy, we have you covered.
Why Use a Kong For Your Recipes?
Before we get into the recipes, let's talk about the Kong toy itself.
These unique dog toys are nothing new. However, many people are still on the fence about them. It's not hard to see why!
Kongs promote chewing and mouth play, which is something that most dog owners try to avoid. But believe it or not, these toys can do a lot to make your dog a happier and better-behaved pet. Here's how.
The biggest perk of using a Kong toy? It provides some much-needed mental stimulation. Dogs might be simple creatures at face value, but they don't do well cooped up your house all day.
When you're not home to keep them entertained, dogs are left with nothing but their own devices.
Have you ever come home to a dog that's torn up their kennel or ruined a couch? There's a good chance it's suffering from either separation anxiety or sheer boredom!
Either way, you need to address that issue before it gets out of hand.
The best way to do that is by promoting more mental stimulation.
Keeping your dog busy with brain exercises makes a world of difference. They can stay occupied for hours, helping them avoid emotional responses to your absence and bad behavior.
Not only that, but a good mental stimulation toy can help them learn to solve problems and keep their brains sharp.
A Kong toy might look simple to you, but it's an intense challenge for your dog. Think of it as a puzzle that your pooch has to solve.
The food inside is the prize that entices them, ensuring they stay busy and stimulated.
If you stuff the Kong correctly, it can last many hours. In some cases, it can last a full day with your dog taking breaks and returning to the challenge.
Suddenly, those workdays alone are no problem for your dog.
Healthy and Happy Distraction
Need to get some work done around the house? Being productive can be impossible if you have an unruly dog by your side! Those who work from home know the struggle all too well.
When you need some personal time, Kongs are a real life-saver.
Stuff the toy with some food and let your dog go to town! It works just the same regardless of whether you're home or not. Hate to break it to you, but most dogs will find stuffing inside a Kong is more enticing than your company!
As a result, you can use the toy to distract your dog and keep them occupied as you run errands, clean your home, or just get some "me time."
Some dog owners even use Kongs strategically to keep their furry friends preoccupied while doing things that generally cause a big scene. For example, you can give a Kong to your dog as you try to brush them or grind their nails.
There's no guarantee that it'll pull their undivided attention, but a Kong can undoubtedly make a difference.
Do you have a dog that seems to gobble food down in seconds! While some canines are pickier than others, many dogs act like they're starving anytime you put their food down. It's as if they swallow their meals whole the second you turn your back!
It seems cute and endearing to watch your dog scarf down a meal they love. However, that behavior can also cause some health problems.
Dogs can suffer from a life-threatening issue called gastric dilatation-volvulus, also known as bloat. This isn't your typical gas.
When your dog eats too fast or is active too soon after eating, the stomach fills with gas and twists. Not only does this condition affect breathing, but it cuts off blood circulation and quickly damages internal organs.
If not addressed immediately, it can be fatal.
The best way to avoid bloat is to slow your dog down. Kong toys can help you do just that. These toys are purpose-built to provide a challenge.
Your dog can't eat a ton of food in seconds. Instead, they must settle for small morsels and licks.
It's a great way to slow your pooch down while still giving them all the nutrition to thrive.
The Art of Stuffing a Kong Toy
When dog owners first get a Kong, they usually stick to the basics. As mentioned earlier, peanut butter is the go-to. Lather some onto the walls of the hollow Kong core, and you're good to go!
But as you and your dog get more comfortable with the toy, you'll quickly realize that there are more complex ways to take advantage of its benefits. Seasoned Kong users will stuff these toys to the brim, ensuring longevity and hours of use.
The best way to stuff a Kong toy is to arrange the foods based on consistency.
Larger morsels and loose foods do best at the bottom of the toy where the core is at its widest. With a stickier substance like peanut butter or dog-safe cheese, you can seel the end to keep all that delicious goodness inside.
Once you have the foundation set with bigger food ingredients, you can add a handle! Bully sticks, milk bones, or even carrots work well.
Stuff the handle in the middle and arrange more filling around it for security. This longer and more robust food item will give your dog something to grab onto as they work their way through.
Finally, fill the empty space in with softer fillings. Use a stickier substance to seal everything in, and voila! You have a well-stuffed toy ready to keep your dog busy!
Tasty Kong Stuffing Recipes To Drive Your Dog Wild
Realistically, you can use any dog-safe food to stuff a Kong toy. Here are some tasty recipes your dog is sure to enjoy for some inspiration.
#1. The Commercial Meal Mix
Here's a super easy stuffing that utilizes the food your pooch already eats!
The goal is to maintain the balanced diet your dog is used to eating. However, you combine textures and pop the mix into the freezer to provide long-lasting deliciousness!
- 1/4 cup of wet canned dog food
- 1/8 cup of dry kibble
All you have to do here is mix the two ingredients together, stuff the mix into the Kong, and pop the entire thing in the freezer.
The freezing part is optional, but it creates a more significant challenge for your dog.
#2. Peanuts and Berries
What dog doesn't love peanut butter!
This recipe uses the Kong classic. However, some sweeter extras provide a tasty surprise. Not only that, but the formula provides some much-needed vitamins and acts as a much healthier treat option than fat-filled alternatives.
- Six blueberries
- One diced strawberry
- One tablespoon of dog-safe peanut butter
As always, use natural peanut butter that doesn't contain any artificial sweeteners like xylitol. After washing the berries and cutting the strawberry, you can seal one end of the Kong.
Use the peanut butter to create a barrier at the bottom of the toy. Then, fill it up with berries and use the remaining peanut butter to seal the other end.
#3. Pumpkin Pie Delight
Pumpkin is an excellent food for dogs. It's a healthy complex carbohydrate that provides plenty of gut-supporting fiber.
This recipe is like a more straightforward, dog-safe pie that gives your dog the taste of desserts in a much healthier form.
- 3/8 cup of grated carrot
- 1/8 cup of diced apple
- 1/4 cup of unsweetened pumpkin puree
Start by preparing the carrot and apple. You can leave the skin on the apple for extra fiber. But if your dog struggles with it, feel free to cut it off.
Making the stuffing is a cinch. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and stuff the Kong. You can put the stuffed toy in the freezer to make things tougher, but dogs will love it as-is.
#4. The Superfood Booster
Check out this recipe! It ticks off most of the "superfood" boxes.
The ingredients are all nutrient-rich, providing your dog with a healthy boost of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Above all else, it's pretty tasty for canines!
There's tons of flexibility in this formula. Don't be afraid to experiment and find ratios and substitutes that work for your dog.
- Five or six blueberries
- Salmon skin
- 1/8 cup of bone broth
- One chicken foot
- Freeze-dried liver chunks
- Ground meat
Mix your ground meat with the bone broth. Set that aside as you use the blueberries and liver chunks to fill about one-third of the Kong.
Add the pieces of salmon skin and stick the chicken foot into the middle of the toy to act as the handle.
Next, add more liver and salmon skin to support the chicken foot. Once you reach the top of the Kong core, use the meat and broth mixture to seal the ingredients inside.
#5. Fishy Surprise
Fish is an excellent source of protein and omega fatty acids.
This recipe uses canned tuna. Make sure to use tuna in oil and pay close attention to the quality of the meat to deliver a big nutrient punch.
- 1/4 cup of diced sweet potato chunks
- 1/8 cup of diced cucumber
- 1/8 cup of canned tuna
Begin by baking the sweet potatoes in the oven at about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook them until the potatoes become soft all the way through.
After letting the pieces cool down to room temperature, combine all the ingredients before stuffing the mixture into the Kong.
#6. The Thanksgiving Feast
Here's a tasty dinner that you can use to celebrate special occasions!
Feel free to use leftovers. Just make sure that the ingredients you use are unseasoned and don't contain any additives that could harm your dog.
Once again, there's room for experimentation regarding ingredient ratios. The goal is to have a nice balance between each constituent, resulting in a thick mash.
- 1/8 cup of turkey
- 1/8 cup of unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 1/8 cup of chopped baby carrots
- Mashed sweet potato
Start by cooking your turkey and carrots together. You can use pre-cooked shredded turkey, ground turkey, or even canned turkey.
After these ingredients cool down, use it to fill about two-thirds of the Kong's core.
Next, add a layer of pumpkin puree before using the sweet potato to seal the top of the toy.
#7. Chicken and Pumpkin
Once again, we're using pumpkin! The ingredient is versatile and tasty enough to entice your dog. Why not use it?
The only other ingredient is chicken. So, your dog is getting carbohydrates and protein in one stimulating snack.
- Cubed chicken breast
- 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree
After cooking the chicken and allowing it to cool, add the pumpkin puree and stuff the Kong. Freezing is another option, but the mixture should present enough challenge at room temperature.
#8. Breakfast Omelette
Our last recipe has fantastic ingredients that provide vitamins, minerals, and protein.
It requires a bit of preparation and cooking, but the finished product is so tasty for dogs that it'll be a recipe you return to repeatedly.
You don't have to be super precise with portions and ratios. Play everything by ear and freeze what's leftover for use later.
- One egg
- Chopped broccoli
- Shredded cheese
- Cubed chicken breast
- Spinach leaves
- A milk bone or bully stick
After chopping the chicken and broccoli, combine everything but the cheese and bone into a bowl. Whisk the egg up and add it into the mix.
Then, plop everything onto a hot skillet and cook the meal until the chicken is no longer pink.
Once the scrambled egg mixture cools down, stuff it into the Kong. Secure the milk bone or bully stick as a handle and top the toy off with cheese.
Freeze the Kong with the stuffing inside before giving it to your dog.
#9. The Leftovers
This stuffing is super simple. However, it uses something that most dog owners toss out: The crumbs at the bottom of a bag of kibble! When you empty a bag, save those crumbs for this tasty treat!
- One teaspoon of kibble crumbs
- 1/4 cup of cream cheese
Let the cream cheese sit out of the refrigerator to soften for a few hours. Then, add the crumbs to create a thick, creamy, and textured cheese mix. Use it to stuff the Kong, and you're good to go!
Canine Culinary Delights in a Kong
There's no end to what you can use to stuff your dog's Kong. These are just a handful of example recipes. Don't hesitate to experiment and find something that gets your dog salivating!
Kong toys are a must-have for any dog owner. Thanks to the toy's sheer versatility, it's something that every pup can enjoy. Use these recipes and see what your pooch thinks