Beat the Heat-Give Your Dog a Frozen Kong

Kong StuffingWhen temperatures reach the danger zone, it can be difficult to keep our pets occupied with the typical outdoor exercise that we enjoy together in summer. However, with a little creativity, planning and just a few items, we can create a tasty, healthy treat that will satisfy our dogs’ desire to chew as well as beat the summer heat!

What’s  a Kong  Anyway?

A Kong is an ice cream cone shaped, rubber dog toy that comes in several sizes and strengths. Kong sizes are selected by the age, size and chewing level of the dog.

There are several ways that a Kong toy can be used with dogs. We stuff them with different recipes to satisfy our dogs urge to chew as well as their natural urge to forage for food.

Why Give Your Dog a Kong?

Dogs have a natural urge to hunt and work for their food. Many dogs develop behavior problems out of boredom due to limited physical exercise, mental stimulation and exposure to different environments. A Kong will give your dog the opportunity to work for their food and satisfy their chewing urge. Both activities are stimulating and enjoyable for your dog!

How to Introduce the Kong to Your Dog

If your dog is not already familiar with the Kong toy, you can show him/her how to use it by smearing a bit of wet dog food, peanut butter or cream cheese around the rim. As your dog becomes used to using the Kong, you can began stuffing with more complicated recipes! To further challenge your dog, stuff with layers of ingredients and freeze.

Get to Stuffing Your Dog’s Kong

Our dogs like variety. We vary our Kong ingredients but we are sure to include healthy ingredients that will support our dog’s nutritional needs. I like to use a variety of textures in my Kong stuffings, but sometimes I just use wet food if time doesn’t allow for more complicated recipes. The dogs never complain!

Here’s a sample recipe that I use:

Place 4 standard sized Kongs in large bowl or container with small opening down. Set aside. In a medium sized bowl, mix 2-4 pouches of Weruva with 1/2 can canned pumpkin (be sure to use plain pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix).  Set aside.  Plug the inside small hole of the Kongs with a crunchy treat or a soft treat (we like Bil-Jacs) so that they wet layer doesn’t leak out.  Spoon out a heaping tablespoon of the wet food/pumpkin mixture and place in each Kong. Next,  layer with 4-6 Charlee Bear Treats (you can crumble them a bit if you wish).  Repeat wet food and Charlee Bear layers until you reach the top of the Kong. You can seal the top (larger opening) with a crunchy treat f you wish.

Freeze the Kongs for 4-6 hours or until they become frozen.

Helpful Tips

  • If you feed your dog traditionally (kibble or other diet in bowls, etc.) be sure to reduce the amount of food if supplementing with stuffed Kongs.
  • If your dogs aren’t used to stuffed Kongs, start out with easier recipes and gradually make them more difficult. You may begin introducing stuffed Kongs without freezing ingredients first.
  • You can hide Kongs around the home if you will be gone for an extended period of time. Let your dog find their stuffed Kong at their leisure!
  • Some dogs can make quite a mess unstuffing their Kongs,  so be sure to have them confined in a room with linoleum or another easy to clean surface.

Kongs are a great way to keep your dogs occupied in the hot summer months or whenever they need to stay occupied or stimulated. Stuffing Kongs is also cheaper  and safer than many of the typical chews available.  You can also customize your dog’s Kong stuffings according to their nutritional needs or dietary restrictions all the while providing a fun, healthy activity for your dog to engage in.

Have a favorite Kong recipe or site you like? Share in the comments!

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