Kong stuffing recipes
Getting the best from Kong!
By Bev Cobley – canine behaviourist and dietitian.
The art of kong stuffing is not difficult to learn, but there are requirements for them to work, both for the dog and the human to be satisfied.
First you need to decide what the kong is for. Is it a meal in itself? A reward for being good? A treat to be left with when you go out between meals? Whatever it’s function there are some rules to follow.
- The filling has to be at the correct consistency. If it is too hard to get out dog will become frustrated and bored with it. If it is too soft then it will go too fast and the dog will be left feeling unsatisfied and bored …these apply especially if given one to amuse while you are out and the object was to keep dog occupied to prevent destruction etc.
- It has to be the correct kong, as in the correct size for the dog’s mouth and tongue and of the right hardness and density. You do not want the dog to eat the kong…you will end up with a huge vet bill.
- Until the dog understands the concept of eating from a kong, never leave alone and unsupervised and if your dog has guarding tendencies then you need to work on the ‘mine’ ‘yours’ training with it…a kong, like a bone is a high resource.
- A kong is not a toy: you wouldn’t allow your dog to play with his/her food dish…don’t allow the dog to play with a kong. It is yours not the dog’s and is given at your say so and as such a powerful training and bonding aid.
- It has to taste good…be appealing to the dog and have healthy ingredients; the less commercial junk in the better.
The filling needs to be firm but not hard…about the consistency of pate of soft cheese to begin with. It is easier to make them up while the filling is still warm or at least at room temperature; you can then leave them in the fridge overnight to firm up to the consistency of firm chilled pate. As the dog works at the filling it will soften with the warmth of his/her paws and the action of the saliva. Frozen kongs (we call them doggy lollies in this house) are good as a treat on hot days and help add more fluids into the system. My dogs love frozen fruity kongs on a hot day…but you might want to give those outside.
Size and Type:
Check the information on the packet…manufacturers give indications of ‘toughness’ but you know the power of your own dogs jaw…if your dog can destroy hard substances then you will need the heavy black kong. If you have a puppy you are kong training then the soft light blue one will be best. If it is in substitute of a meal then it will need to be large enough to take the equivalent of what would normally go in a dish.
Ami is on diet so had a tuna kong and not her honey and narnie kong stuffing!
Reward or Amusement Kong filling recipes
‘The Ami Special’ Banana and Honey
Cut of the end of a ripe banana (2 if using the large kong) and block the small hole at the bottom of the kong.
Slice 3 or 4 thin pieces and put to one side.
Mash the remaining banana with 1 teaspoon of olive or vegetable oil and add a good tablespoon of honey.
Pack into kong, smearing around the insides and place the sliced pieces on the top sealing the large end. Smear with a little oil and put in fridge to set for an hour.
‘The Cubert Special’ Cream Cheese and Apple
Buy the really cheap cream cheese…the supermarkets own brand equivalent of philly.
Small dice an apple mix with cheese until soft enough to pack into kong. Refrigerate until firm.
‘Percy’s favourite’ Peanut Butter and Meat Paste Layer
Use meat paste as recipe below and a cheap peanut butter…assuming your dog can eat peanuts.
Seal the small hole with peanut butter then smear peanut butter all around the insides. Create layers of the butter and meat paste until it is full ending with a peanut butter layer. Refrigerate until firm.
Got some stale, manky cheese lurking in the back of the fridge? Furry hard or smelly blue? Some stale ham or other sliced meat bits past the use by date? How about left over beans or cooked pulses or barley or vegetable soup?
Don’t waste it…blitz it with margarine or peanut butter or a little cream cheese add finely grated carrot or fruit. Fill and refrigerate.
Almost anything can make a kong filling as long it not on the prohibited food list and is not salty…nothing goes to waste in this house if it dog friendly.
Blitz over ripe fruit to a puree with a little water, you can cook the fruit first if you wish or even buy a cheap jar of apple sauce …I use fruit such as apples, pears, peaches, melons etc ( our market man saves us bruised or over ripe fruit and sells it to us cheap and if you use melons save the seeds for natural worming)
Seal the small end with peanut butter or margarine or cream cheese. Stand kong in egg carton and pour in the soft filling. Freeze 24 hours.
After sealing the small end as above, stand kong in egg carton and fill with fish/meat/chicken stock from boiling that fish/meat/chicken that you did for his/her dinner.
You can stir in a little cooked rice or couscous or cooked lentils or barley etc to make it more interesting. Freeze for 24 hours.
After sealing the small end as above, stand kong in egg carton and fill with goats milk to which you have added 2 tablespoons of plain yoghurt…you can also add some pureed fruit and/or honey to the yoghurt if you wish. Pour in the milk smoothie and freeze for 24 hours.
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