What kind of Kong recipes do you use to keep your dogs interested?

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Maudie Moo
By: elvissa – CC BY 2.0
I love the miracle that is the Kong. It keeps my dog calm most of the time when I leave my house.

I started filling it with peanut butter and dog food at first, but my dog got real tired of it. So I started introducing her regular treats into it. She's currently cool with that, but I can tell her excitement is dwindling.

I was wondering what kind of Kong recipes the Homies had for keeping their dogs interest? -Kelsey

This is such a great question! My pups love their Kong, but they're WAY too smart and get the treats out of them far too fast to keep them occupied for long. I know there are ways to freeze treats into Kongs, and I know pet parents, far more wonderful than I, have great tricks up their sleeves for their Kongs. Lay 'em on us!

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  1. This might be specific to my dog, but my cocker spaniel LOVES the pulp in our juice machine that's left after we juice! If you juice, (or do anything that produces similar pulp-y results?) you might try that. I haven't tried putting it in his Kong yet, but it is thick enough that it would probably stay in there. Plus, it's healthy. We were doing peanut butter as well, but he gained some weight that way.

    I am interested to read other fun ideas for this!

    2 agree
  2. I'm not sure my dog could ever get tired of peanut butter, but she LOVES when I put coconut oil in her Kong toys. Obviously, this doesn't work as well on hot summer days since the oil would be a liquid, but for this time of year, it's great! Plus, it's actually really healthy: http://wellnessmama.com/13700/benefits-coconut-oil-pets/

    I don't usually put it in her toys, but my pup also loves bananas and I see no reason why you couldn't mash up some banana and put it in a Kong too.

    If you're better at planning ahead, you could also keep some Kongs filled with plain yogurt in your freezer for a pupsicle 🙂

    Sweet potato treats are pretty popular for dog treats, so I'm sure mashed sweet potatoes or any fruit/veggie puree would be good options too.

    4 agree
  3. mashed sweet potatoes, mixed with yogurt and a teeny bit of maple syrup, then frozen for a bit. that is awesome for a cool treat in the summer. same with mashed banana and yogurt. otherwise, we do pb and treats. i fill the kong with treats then sort of smear pb over the hole so the treats are sealed in, then freeze. freezing it keeps my dog occupied for longer.

    8 agree
  4. I fill my dog's Kong about 2/3 full with her dry kibble and then drop it into a large plastic cup filled with water. The kibble soaks up the water and expands, and in about half an hour, it's a fun toy that takes her some time to finish.

    I'll also just fill it with dinner leftovers mixed with her own food–mashed potatoes, veggies, bits of meat, mashed-up fruit, etc. Freezing the Kong makes getting the food out more of a challenge.

    Sunbutter (spread make with sunflower seeds) is also a good alternative to peanut butter, as is any other variety of nut butter.

    4 agree
    • You just blew my mind. This is sooo much better than my method of trying to soak the dog food first, then stuff squishy kibble into the kong.

      8 agree
  5. I puree fruit – usually bananas, apples and/or pineapples – mix it with some plain yogurt and freeze it for a while. In the summer I also fill this mix into smallish containers and then freeze it. Instant doggy ice cream! Just substitute about half a meal for one of those suckers 🙂

  6. I used to do half her breakfast kibble + canned pumpkin, or kibble+plain yogurt. I always prep her breakfast the night before (I haaaaate the rattle of kibble pouring on a metal bowl first thing in the morning when I'm barely awake) so the kong goes into the freezer.

    1 agrees
    • I do a small it of kibble at the bottom and then fill the rest with canned pumpkin and freeze it.

  7. My dog is so food motivated that ANYTHING will excite her. I ended up moving away from kongs and just put her breakfast kibble in a variety of food-dispensing toys. 1. It's easier and 2. She was getting a little food possessive towards the cat when she was eating her kong since he would sit there and stare at her…

    I have filled kongs with pumpkin puree, squished bananas, apples, carrots, applesauce, frozen green beans, meat broth (no onions or garlic), soggy dog food, etc. We had a couple kongs so I could fill multiple ones at a time, reusing cling wrap and random beer coozies to hold them upright while they froze.

    1 agrees
  8. I usually do yogurt (plain), with a treat stuffed in the smaller end to seal it. Then I freeze it, with plastic wrap on the other end so you can set it down flat in the freezer. To that, I've added peanut butter (she's not keen on it plain), cream cheese, treats or kibble, even a leftover piece of bacon as a tasty surprise in the middle. You do have to know how your dog reacts to dairy, if you're going to go that route.

    I've also used the terribly overpriced Kong filling, the kind that comes in a can. My dog went crazy for the liver flavour, but she only gets it as an occasional treat since it's not cheap to fill a decent-sized Kong. If you have a smaller dog (and therefore a smaller Kong!), you may not find it so bad.

    Freezing it can be really helpful though, since it'll take your pup longer to eat. If you want to make it even a little more difficult, you could maybe try upgrading your Kong to the Extreme version (the black one), if you're not already using one.

    Oh! I totally forgot – I also use baby food. You have to make sure the ingredients are okay (no onion or garlic, mainly), but I've found quite a few that are meaty + veggie flavours that work. I freeze those too, since it's messy otherwise.

    5 agree
    • I second the baby food! I usually give our dog the baby's leftovers–applesauce, banana, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, mashed potatoes, etc. Turns out that stuffing it in her Kong makes her just as happy, and keeps her busy for longer!

      2 agree
  9. Posted this on the facebook page, but I'm going to re-post to add to the convo here..
    We keep a list of "Kong Friendly Ingredients" on our fridge door as well as the recipes at the bottom of this page: http://dogs.thefuntimesguide.com/2006/02/dog_recipes_for_kong_chew_toys.php
    Our dogs currently have 2 Kong's waiting in the freezer stuffed with a mixture of their kibble, some canned food and plain yogurt. Sometimes we switched the canned food out for some peanut butter and add chopped carrots.

  10. None of our three dogs have ever shown any interest in their kongs, despite all sorts of yummy treats offered inside. (for some reason our dogs have always prefered soft squeaky toys)
    However, they do have a few 'people foods' that they are permitted to have. Hands down, their favorite treat is coconut oil. Whenever they hear me open the container they come running, which means I have to make sure the bathroom door is shut when I want to moisturize after a shower!
    They also go crazy for eggs, scrambled or hard boiled, bits of cheese, greek yogurt, cream cheese, and when they are really good, a little raw ground beef. (the beef is a very close second to the coconut oil)
    My mother in law gives her dog a daily carrot, which he loves, and I have a friend who used to freeze green beans and give them as treats to her overweight dog.

    1 agrees
  11. Freezing it, however you fill it, definitely helps! I typically soak my puppy's kibble until it's mushy, and then layer it in her kong with things like shredded cheese, peanut butter, plain Greek yogurt, chopped up carrot or apple, etc, and always peanut butter to seal the top. Stick it in the freezer overnight and it takes my super food motivated Staffordshire Terrier 45min-hour to finish it. Just a warning though that as she goes as it, and it thaws, it gets a bit messy. I put down a blanker for her to eat it on.

    3 agree
  12. My dog's #1 favorite thing in her Kong is avocado. I make one tiny slice into the avocado skin and she's running full speed into the kitchen. In the summer I'll stuff some inside and freeze it and she's in heaven. She also likes coconut oil (also great to freeze inside), hardboiled egg, pumpkin, or cheese pieces. Not so into peanut butter or sweet potatoes. If we just put her regular old training treats in there, she'll just sniff and walk away. Snob.

    1 agrees
  13. We switched our fur baby to a grain-free diet and decided to forgo his usual treats in the Kong by replacing them with baby carrots. We still put peanut butter at the top to keep them in. He seems to love it. We also do bananas with peanut butter or yogurt sometimes, but carrots are our go-to now.

    1 agrees
  14. The easiest Kong filler for me is half of a Trader Joe's dog treat, the big ones, wedged into the size large black Kong. I'll throw in some smaller pieces of treats and/or peanut butter, too. Pretty much anything that is big enough to be impossible to remove without breaking but won't get too mushy while she works it out (so, no carrots or lettuce or fruit).
    Peanut butter and her dog food, frozen, works really well, but she is very . . . intensely dedicated to her Kong and gets all frothy and drooly and then there's dog saliva and peanut butter all over the carpet. Not fun to clean.

    • Does your dog have a crate (that you use, and she feels comfortable in)? I'll throw a towel in my pup's crate and give her the Kong in there, so even if it gets messy it's just a matter of throwing a towel into the wash.

      1 agrees
  15. Did y'all know that your KONG is dishwasher safe?! It was mindblowing to me when we found out!

    I saw a few comments about pumpkin – It's a natural laxative, so be careful about the amount you feed your dog.

    Quick plug for my my friend, The Dog Food Dude. He has published an entire book about dog-friendly meals and snacks. http://www.dogfooddude.com/fybfb.html

    2 agree
  16. I'm a big fan of filling with kibble then pouring in something liquidy to fill in the nooks and crannies before putting in the freezer. Just be sure to seal off the holes on either end of the Kong with something more substantial (peanut butter, sweet potatoes, etc.) to prevent any leakage. My favorite liquidy fillings:
    Melted peanut butter (microwave for a few seconds to liquify)
    Mashed banana
    Pumpkin
    Chicken stock (check the salt content and ingredient list before use)
    Yogurt mixed with ___________
    Applesauce
    🙂

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