Dogs are natural hunters and scavengers so why are we still feeding out of a bowl? All animals need environmental enrichment, so let's look at the simplest way to do that. Kongs are one of my favourite food dispensing toys in the world and I just happen to have over a dozen of them in my freezer at all times. West Paw also makes fantastic stuffable toys!
It is important for dogs to succeed at their "work". Make it easy for the dogs or puppy to remove the Kong stuffing at first. As they become more experienced, you can make their job more challenging.
Pack the contents tighter.
Wedge bits of biscuits inside under the rim.
Freeze a fully stuffed Kong for at least 3-4 hours or overnight.
Cheese the inside of the Kong, melt it in the microwave until it's soft and then add the other ingredients so that they stick. Let it cool to a safe temperature.
Put a dab of peanut butter in the small end of the Kong to plug it. Turn it upside down in a cup. Freeze it and then fill it low-sodium broth or another soft / liquid from the list below and freeze again. (These are recommended for outdoor use!)
Create a scavenger hunt! Leave your dog a few stuffed Kongs and let them find each of them!
As you create recipes, be sensitive to your dog's sensitivities/allergies as you experiment.
dried liver bits
unsalted cashews or almonds
rice cakes (crumbled)
your dog's regular kibble
canned dog food
plain noodles or pasta
white or brown rice
mashed potatoes / yam
peanut butter / almond butter
canned tuna / salmon
Avoid only giving your dog stuffed food toys when you leave them alone - otherwise they become a predictor of you leaving, which can be distressing for some.
Watch the caloric intake and try to use mostly their regular meals to ensure a balanced diet.
Use stuffed food toys safely! Your dog's safety is your responsibility. ALWAYS supervise your dog's use of stuffed food toys until you are confident they can be used safely without you!
CLEAN TOYS THOROUGHLY AFTER EVERY USE! Dishwasher or warm soapy water with a bottle brush is even better. Don’t let them sit in water for longer than a few minutes as they may soften!
How to stuff a Kong
How to clean a Kong
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