Previously I have written about intelligence toys* as well as interesting bowls as means to keep your dog mentally challenged, slow his eating, and/or increase his interest in eating. I continue to employ all these strategies with Bingley, but recently discovered some more info on stuffing Kongs for fun and profit…
The first comes from a Facebook post on Reisner Veterinary Behavior & Consulting Services (scroll down to the post on January 29, 2016) where she asks for Kong stuffing ideas. There are lots of suggestions, but my favorite is the picture of the stuffed Kongs in the plastic Solo cups ready for freezing. What a great way to 1) make sure the filling doesn’t leak out in to your freezer and 2) keep them organized in your freezer.
The other Kong stuffing information was also mentioned in the above Reisner post and is a free Kong recipe book from FernDog Training. It is a downloadable ebook and has some great recipes and guidelines for stuffing Kongs as well as this brief history of the Kong:
Back in 1976 while working on a VW Bus, Joe Markham began throwing out car parts to Fritz, his beloved trained police dog. Fritz took a quick liking to a rubber suspension part and started playing with it gleefully. The erratic bounce and toughness of the rubber inspired Joe and the Kong was born. Since then Kongs have been one of the most popular dog toys worldwide.
A key point to remember with Kongs is to make it easy to begin with so your dog gets the idea that this can be really fun, without being so hard as to frustrate her. When I introduce a new dog to a kong, I put a few pieces of kibble and some small treats (such as small pieces of hotdog, cheese, or dried liver) that will fall out of the Kong easily as he plays with it. As the dog gets good at emptying the Kong, I will make it harder by stuffing it fuller, adding a peanut butter (or cream cheese) plug to the hole. When that is no longer a challenge, I will mix dry ingredients with wet stuff (such as canned dog food, yogurt, cottage cheese, pumpkin), pack that into the Kong, and freeze it.
Frozen Kongs are great long-lasting treats that can be used strategically when you need your dog to be happy for an extended period of time. I will give them out on occasions such as birthday parties, Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, movie night, when I need to concentrate on writing, etc. In the summer when we like to eat outside at local establishments, I will bring along a stuffed Kong for Bingley to work on as we eat our dinners.
In my post on intelligence toys I mention several interactive toys from Petsafe (formerly known as Premier) and Bingley still enjoys all the items mentioned. However, he has a new favorite that he begs me to mention as it is “WONDERFUL and EVERY dog should have one”, according to him. This is the Busy Buddy Magic Mushroom. Bingley will seek this toy out from his plethora of interactive wonderfulness to plunk in my lap or drop at my feet. (The lip of the mushroom makes it convenient to carry to your favorite person.) It is not as easy as the Kibble Nibble or the Twist n Treat, but not as hard as the Tug-a-jug (see intelligence toys link above.) It rolls and wobbles and randomly distributes various amounts of kibble. Adjustable windows let you vary the distribution rate and therefore the level of difficulty which helps to keep your dog interested. It is available online at Amazon or at Village Pet Market here in Granville.
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