As promised in our last blog entry, here are a few of my favorite Kong stuffing recipes. I am always on the hunt for a great new Kong stuffing recipe, so if you have a good suggestion, please leave it in the comments – Cuba and Mokie have already confirmed their willingness to serve as guinea pigs and review future Kong stuffing recipes.
#1 – Low-cal, Kong “broth-cicles”
Sadly, many of my clients’ dogs are a lot like me…they could stand to lose a few pounds, to put it mildly. Keeping your dog feeling satisfied while you cut back his caloric intake is important (and will help you avoid demand behaviors like whining and begging), so you need a nice, lean Kong stuffer. I recommend purchasing some low-sodium chicken broth or beef broth and freezing it inside the Kong. You’ll need to plug the hole at the narrow end with a smear of peanut butter first, to keep the broth from draining out. Because this can be a messy treat, it’s best to wrap the bottom with saran wrap and place upright in a coffee mug for freezing; narrow, peanut-buttered end down. Make sure your dog enjoys this Kong outside or in a crate, on linoleum, in the bathtub, or on some other easy-to-clean surface. The rug is not a great place for your dog to enjoy this particular treat.
#2 – Dinner Kong!
Canned dog food is a healthy and tasty addition to your dog’s diet. You can either stuff a Kong with canned dog food alone or mix canned dog food with kibble and then freeze. Occasionally, for a bit of novelty, I’ll also mix in a bit of plain yogurt, or a few steamed veggies.
#3 – Fruit Salad
Another low-cal Kong stuffer that your dog may enjoy is “fruit salad.” My dogs particularly like bananas, applesauce, and watermelon. Sometimes I drizzle a bit of raw, organic honey on top. Again, your dog will be a mess when she finishes her Kong, so easy-to-clean surfaces are recommended!
#4 – Raw Food
I feed my dogs a home-made raw diet consisting primarily of human-grade meats. While I realize this diet is not for everyone, raw feeders can occasionally consider, in addition to normally provided RMB, chop up some of their dog’s muscle meat portion, stuff into Kongs, and freeze. You won’t get the dental benefits you get with the RMB, but your dog will think it’s fun, so try it out once in a while! Most home-prepared diets can be stuffed and frozen in Kongs if you get a little creative!
#5 – Grab Bag
Finally, be creative. Stuff the best items in your Kong on the bottom so that your dog will work hard to empty what will surely be his new favorite toy. I’ve stuffed all kinds of stuff into Kongs – bits of apple, cottage cheese, tuna fish, biscuits, liver treats, peanuts or cashews (not many, but Her Royal Chowness does love them), meatballs, mashed potatoes, boiled chicken, or all these things mixed together. Remember that stuffed Kongs are calories, so adjust your dog’s feeding accordingly and make sure that unhealthy “treats” do not make up more than 5% of your dog’s total diet.
What are your favorite Kong stuffing recipes?