Kongs are among the most commonly-used dog toys on the market. Part of this is because of how great they are for keeping a dog occupied. When bored or energetic, dogs often get into all sorts of things they shouldn’t: digging, chewing your stuff, barking and more. Many of the tricks outlined below will keep your dog from getting bored while giving him an acceptable outlet for his energy. At the same time, he will be rewarded for chewing on his Kong rather than your shoes or furniture.
Here are 9 things you’ve probably never thought to do with Kongs:
1. Chase away winter blues: Stuck inside? Clear out some space and start bouncing that Kong. Its unpredictable bounce will keep your dog on his toes and get him some exercise even if you're snowed in. Also: tie a strong rope through it and use it for tug-of-war.
2. Scarfing: Slow down a fast eater by hiding kibble inside. Make it harder to get out by mixing soft or canned food with the kibble.
3. Nutty treat: Fill it with peanut butter. To make it last longer, freeze the peanut butter-stuffed Kong (great for when your dog will be home alone for hours).
4. Fruit salad: Fill with doggie-safe fruit, such as mashed bananas, melons or apples (without the seeds).
5. Meaty meal: Stuffed with a cooked, unseasoned, deboned chicken wing.
6. Pup-sicle: Fill with water or low-sodium chicken broth and freeze.
7. Veggie delight: Stuff with baby carrots or skinless baked sweet potato.
8. Doggie omelets: Scramble eggs (plain, no seasoning), mix with your dog's favorite cheese and stuff in the Kong.
9. Mutt milkshake: Blend a banana with yogurt and stuff in Kong. Freeze for longer-lasting play.
Get creative! Mix and match these ideas. Experiment with flavors and textures you know your dog already likes.
A few words of warning: Start by trying the food ideas when you’ll be home. You don’t want to leave your dog alone with a Pup-sicle Kong, only to find it messy and melted on your rug because your dog doesn’t like chicken broth. And if you use a lot of food in the Kong, be sure to cut back your dog’s regular meals appropriately.
What tips, tricks and recipes have you found for Kongs? Share them with us! Let us know on Twitter or Facebook what Kong specialties your big dog loves.
(Don't have a Kong yet? What are you waiting for, get your Kong now and get started with these fun ideas.)
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Photo credit: Crystl