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If your dogs are anything like my Boxers, Janice and Leroy, I bet they love their Kong toys! My guys can play for hours with these wonderful, stuffable toys, and I know that I’ve mentioned them often enough in my posts that some people think I’m on Kong’s payroll – I’m not. I don’t shill for anyone; I just try to give you the best possible information. I do love Kong toys, though, and I love stuffing them for Janice and Leroy!
There are all kinds of Kong stuffings you can use, and many of them are pretty simple – yogurt, peanut butter, soft dog food and so on. If you feel a bit ambitious, though, you can also make treats at home that you can put inside Kong toys. So, with that in mind, let’s talk about the best Kong stuffings for your dog.
Of course, there are store-bought fillings that you can use for Kong stuffings for your dog, or you can go it alone with simple ingredients and even more complex recipes.
You shouldn’t use your Kong toy as a substitute for regular feeding, though – a Kong toy is intended to keep your dog amused when you’re not there to play with him, and naturally, one of the best ways to amuse your dog is by offering food. The Kong toy simply makes him work for it a bit, and gives him mental stimulation. Usually, you’ll find that sticky substances like peanut butter work best if you’re using the Kong toy to keep your dog entertained.
You don’t have to buy specialized foods. There are all kinds of human foods that you can insert into a Kong toy, but keep in mind that not all human foods are suitable for dogs. I talked about this in Your Dog is Not a Human, So Don’t Feed Him Like One. Especially, you’ll want to avoid things like sugar and unhealthy fats. Some people tend to use their dogs as “garbage disposals,” and this is a very bad idea – simply scraping everything off your dinner plate and into a Kong toy is not doing your dog any favors, since you might end up giving him things like tomatoes, onions, or other things that can be harmful to dogs.
Many of these ingredients can be combined into delicious recipes that you can use for Kong stuffings for your dog. One thing that I like to do is put some canned dog food in the Kong toy, and then stick a Milk-Bone in the opening. Once Janice or Leroy dislodges the Milk-Bone, there’s an even better treat inside!
You can also put a bit of soft cheese in the small hole, and then add some dry dog food or other treats. Top it off with canned dog food or peanut butter and again, stuff in a Milk-Bone so your dog can dig it out and then get to the rest of the goodies.
Another thing you can do is take your dog’s regular dry food, and moisten it with water or broth, and insert it into the Kong toy. You can use it as is, or freeze it before serving.
These are great ideas, but sometimes you have human food around that you’d like to use up, and as long as it’s something that’s safe for your dog, there’s no reason why you can’t use leftover food as Kong stuffings.
All of the Kong stuffings for your dog that follow are made using human food.
Take a ripe banana and mash it up. Blend in about 3 tablespoons of peanut butter, and some Cheez Whiz or a cheese slice. Keep mixing until it’s well blended, and then stuff it in the Kong toy and freeze.
Take mashed potatoes that are left over from your dinner, or mix up a batch of instant mashed potatoes. Then crush up some Milk-Bones and add them to the mix.
Scramble up an egg, and add some plain yogurt. If you like, throw in some leftover beef, mashed potatoes and perhaps a bit of cheese.
Your dog will love this – just take some bran cereal, mix in some peanut butter, and stuff the whole concoction in the Kong toy.
You could think of this as something along the lines of a popsicle for your dog. First, you seal the Kong toy’s small hole using peanut butter. Then fill it up with water and maybe a bit of chicken broth. Add a couple of jerky sticks, and freeze. You’ll probably want to give your dog this treat outdoors, since once it starts to thaw, it can get pretty messy.
Mix together equal amounts of Cheerios and peanut butter, stuff the mix into the Kong toy, and freeze.
This might sound pretty crazy when it comes to Kong stuffings, but your dog will love it.Take some cooked pasta, some dried fruit, a bit of banana, and some of his kibble. You and I would probably find that type of concoction revolting, but it’s very pleasing to dogs!
This is simply plain yogurt mixed with mashed bananas. If you like, you can also toss in other dog-friendly fruits and some peanut butter. Freeze and serve.
Take some of your dog’s kibble, and fill the Kong toy about a third of the way. Then, melt some peanut butter. You can do this on the stove or in the microwave. Let it cool and pour it in the Kong toy. Then add more kibble, more peanut butter more kibble, more peanut butter – well, you get the idea. Do this until the toy is full, and then freeze.
Take some of your dog’s dry food, and mix it up with cream cheese. The cheese acts as a sort of cement, and this will give your dog hours of enjoyment.
Okay, we know that human kids love their PB & J (peanut butter & jelly) and this is kind of a riff on the same theme. What you do is spread a piece of bread with peanut butter, and then shove it in the Kong toy. Then, mix up some yogurt (this is the “Y” in your dog’s PB & Y) with dog-friendly fruit or cooked carrots. Then stuff it in the Kong toy and freeze. The yogurt will stick to the bread and make for one of the best Kong stuffings for your dog.
Okay, I don’t really want you to give your dog apple pie, since sugar isn’t good for dogs. But this is a pretty close approximation. Force a little bit of apple into the small hole, and then put some plain yogurt in the Kong toy. Add more apple, some mashed banana, more yogurt, and finish it off with a topping of peanut butter.
Crumble up some rice cakes, add plain croutons, cream cheese and dried fruit. Then fill the Kong toy. I’ve used a lot of Kong stuffings, but this is the one that Janice and Leroy seem to like best.
Take some pumpkin (canned or fresh cooked), add some cooked rice and plain yogurt, and mix it all up. Then put it in the Kong toy and freeze.
Take a big spoonful of peanut butter, and put it in the Kong toy. Then add some kibble and a bit of chicken broth. Then, more peanut butter, more kibble, and more peanut butter. Freeze.
Sometimes, you really don’t have to get all that inventive when it comes to Kong stuffings for your dog. Just soak some of his dry dog food in water or broth, and then stuff it inside the Kong toy, and freeze.
Take your leftover macaroni and cheese and put it inside the Kong toy – it couldn’t be easier!
Take chunks of cheese, or some Cheez Whiz, and mix it up with some of your dog’s regular food. Then put it in the microwave, and let it cook until the cheese melts. Then let it cool, and stuff it in the Kong toy. Freeze and serve!
This is one of the best Kong stuffings in that it contains just about everything your dog loves. Mash up some bananas, add some oatmeal, applesauce, plain yogurt and peanut butter. Freeze, and then watch your dog think he’s died and gone to Heaven!
If you have little ones that don’t always finish their baby food, rather than throw it out, use it in this delicious treat for your dog. Just take some baby food like bananas or carrots or strained peas, mix it up with some peanut butter and/or cream cheese and some applesauce, and put it in the Kong toy. Close up the small hole with something like a biscuit, and watch your dog enjoy!
This is a mix of yogurt and crushed nuts or peanut butter, blended together. Mix it up until it’s of a smooth consistency, but not runny, and use it to stuff your dog’s Kong toy.
Mix up some applesauce with chunks of dog-friendly fruit and freeze.
Mix up some freeze-dried liver (you can buy it at most pet supply stores) and add some unsalted cashews. Add a handful of Cheerios and some peanut butter, as well as a bit of dried fruit. Use a dog biscuit to close the hole.
Use some peanut butter to smear the inside of the toy. Place a bit of apple in the small hole, and then add some more chunks of apple. Add some cream cheese or peanut butter, and a bit of dry dog food or broken Milk-Bones. Freeze and serve.
Mix up a can of tuna, a couple of tablespoons of plain yogurt and about a quarter cup of grated carrot. Spoon it into the Kong toy and freeze. This is very healthy for your dog, as tuna is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
There’s virtually no limit to the things you can use as Kong stuffings for your dog. Most of the ingredients are pretty basic – you’ll notice that in most of the recipes above, peanut butter and yogurt play a prominent role. So do bananas. Much of the time, human foods are fine for use in Kong stuffings, but if you’re in any doubt as to what’s safe and what isn’t, refer to the list that I provided above. All the items on my list are safe. Not all human foods are good for dogs, though, so don’t venture too far off the list. After all, the whole idea here is to provide a fun treat for your dog, and it’s not going to be a whole lot of fun if you feed him something he shouldn’t have.
Most dogs love Kong toys – not only do they get a treat, they get mental stimulation as well when they’re trying to extract it. Janice and Leroy love their Kongs, and I’m sure your dogs will, too.
So, what do you put in Kong treats? Any ideas for the rest of us? Leave a comment!