39 Healthy Treats You Can Stuff in a Kong
I’ve said it many times before and I’ll keep on saying it – owning a Kong is just plain awesome for any dog owner. If you’re looking for a simple way to keep your dog busy with minimal effort you can’t go wrong with using a stuffed Kong.
A Stuffed Kong is a Simple Way to Keep Your Dog Busy
Are you looking for an easy way to keep your dog busy? By stuffing a Kong dog toy you’re making your dog work for his food; and it’s a simple way to keep him busy and out of trouble.
The best part is you don’t have to buy any fancy Kong stuffing either (though there are some cheap options if you want premade). I’ve put together a list of 39 treats & snacks you can stuff in your Kong today.
The Benefits of Stuffing a Kong
There’s a lot of great benefits to using a stuffed Kong, and some of my favorites are:
- Stuffing a Kong is an easy way to keep your dog busy & entertained
- They’re great for slowing down dogs that eat too fast
- They can help keep your dog occupied while you go to work or do chores
- They give your dog a simple job to do
- They provide mental stimulation
- They’re a simple way to use up healthy leftovers (see the list below for suggested foods)
When you’re looking for a quick way to keep your dog busy or distracted it’s a Kong the perfect toy for the job. There’s all sorts of healthy things you can stuff in a Kong to keep your dog engaged – from ice chips mixed with veggies to your dogs favorite kibble. (They’re also dishwasher safe which makes cleaning up a breeze)
I’ve also discovered that what I stuff in the Kong doesn’t seem to matter much. The fact that it’s an interactive toy is what seems to be the real draw. Laika loves a challenge, especially when it’s figuring out how to get those darn frozen berries out of that Kong. It keeps her busy, and she seems to enjoy having to work for treats.
I could stuff a Kong with expensive doggie treats today and just some cantaloupe tomorrow. She’ll love both. Instead of buying specially made treats I’ve started using the healthy leftovers I’ve got in my fridge.
Good Alternatives to a Kong
If you’re not a fan of Kong toys check out the West Paw Zogoflex Toys, they’re by far my favorite Kong alternative. They’re just as durable, dishwasher safe & easy to freeze. They are a bit smaller than the large or meduim sized Kongs which makes them perfect if you’re trying to watch your dogs weight.
Another option is the Star Mark Bob a Lot toy, though these along with most other food dispensing toys are best used for solid food because they only have small holes for the food to come out of. You can fit about 3 cups of food inside the Bob a Lot, and they’re durable and easy to wash like Kongs & West Paw toys.
Do You Ever Find Yourself Tossing Out Food?
I really don’t like to waste food, and I bet you don’t either. At the end of each week I always find myself with a few extra groceries that I don’t know what to do with. What am I going to make with 5 green beans and a couple spoonfuls of broth? Instead of tossing out extras I mix them up and stuff them in Laika’s Kong.
Use Leftover Human Foods That Dogs Can Eat For Your Kong
The great thing about stuffing a Kong is the fun you can have mixing and matching it up. Do you think the idea of frozen broth and green beans sounds gross? I do, but my dog certainly doesn’t. Consider putting those extras to good use by stuffing them in your dogs Kong.
You might find yourself making some weird combos – but don’t worry, your dog will love it. Dogs have weird palettes to say the least; it’s not uncommon for dogs to eat tissues and poop. That’s all I’m saying. If you had to choose between green beans mixed in frozen broth and a used tissue what would you eat?
How to Stuff a Kong
One quick thing to mention about stuffing a Kong – all those extra calories can add up pretty quick. Always keep in mind how much stuffing you’re putting into your dogs Kong. If you’re using a high calorie treat you don’t need to fill it to the top to keep your dog busy.
Mix and match some of your dogs favorite foods, and don’t be afraid to improvise with your favorite healthy dog treats. While mixing peanut butter and carrots together might not sound awesome to you I bet your dog will absolutely love it.
If your dog hasn’t used a Kong before start out with some simple stuffing such as kibble or a few small treats. Encourage them to play with the Kong and once they see that the treats fall out they’ll start to catch on.
If your dog is already an expert at unstuffing a Kong you can make it more challenging. Freezing treats, mixing them with peanut butter, or using larger chunks will make the challenge of getting those treats out last much longer.
The Classics of Kong Stuffing
When it comes to stuffing a Kong there’s a few key ingredients that make it amazingly simple. First you’ve got your sticky and freezable items:
- Peanut Butter seems to be the most common Kong stuffing. It tastes great, it’s usually already on hand, and it’s texture and stickyness makes it a great, long lasting challenge for your dog. (make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol)
- Store Bought Kong Stuffing is a popular item at pet stores. It’s available in a wide variety of flavors and comes in an easy to use spray can. (it’s basically the Cheez Whiz of the dog world)
- Broth (chicken or beef are popular choices) is a great supplement when stuffing a Kong because you can easily freeze it. What I like to do is dab a bit of peanut butter over the hole in the bottom of the Kong, then place it upside down in a cup and fill with your liquid and freeze it for a couple hours.
*Puppy tip: Using some frozen low sodium chicken or beef broth in a Kong makes an excellent teething treat.
When starting out with Kong stuffing you can use some items you’ve already got on hand:
- Kibble is great, especially for dogs that are new to having a Kong. Most kibble is small enough that it will just easily fall out which encourages your dog to keep playing with it for more rewards.
- Dog Treats are a popular choice, and as you know they come in many shapes and sizes. Whether you’re using your own homemade dog treats or some store bought ones all doggies seem to love some old fashioned treats.
So now that you know the basic staples of stuffing a Kong here’s the big list of healthy foods you can add to the mix.
39 Healthy Foods You Can Stuff in a Kong
This is the big list of healthy human snacks you can add to your dogs Kong. You can add some meat as well for some extra protein. Just watch the fat content – with skin and certain cuts of meat it can add up quickly.
These are all human foods that dogs can eat, and they’re great for Kong stuffing.
And for those that want to easily cut or paste here’s the simple version:
- Apples (no core, stems, or seeds)
- Baby Food (natural)
- Blackberries (will stain – use with caution)
- Blueberries (will stain – use with caution)
- Brussels Sprouts
- Cheese (watch for fat content)
- Cottage Cheese
- Flax Seeds
- Green Beans
- Honey (in moderation due to high sugar content)
- Oranges (in moderation)
- Peanut Butter
- Pumpkin (canned)
- Rice (cooked)
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Sweet Potato
- Watermelon (seedless)
- Yogurt (plain, lowfat)
Now It’s Time to Mix It Up
So now that you’ve got a big list of healthy foods you can use in your Kong it’s time to mix it up. Instead of throwing out those odd ingredients you don’t have any plans for make them into a simple Kong recipe. I have no idea what I’d to do with one egg, a can of baby food, and a little bit of broth – but I know could make something my dog would enjoy.
Do you have some salmon, an apple, and some peanut butter? Line the inside of your Kong with peanut butter and toss in some cooked salmon chunks and apple slices. Freeze it for a few hours and you’ve got yourself a toy that will keep your dog busy for quite some time. Let’s call this masterpiece the PB Applefish. Yeah it sounds gross I know, and it’s a terrible name, but your dog will love it.
Have some fun with your Kong recipes – mix and match what you’ve got on hand. Some combinations might make you question your sanity, but your dog will love watching you prepare that salmon & apple just for them. They’ll be enthusiastic to try out all of your new recipes, and they’ll eat it up as if it were the best thing you’ve ever created. Dog palettes are weird, what can I say?
If you don’t own a Kong you’re missing out on a simple way to keep your dog busy (and a great excuse to make some crazy treats) and use up all those extra groceries. It’s one of the few items I’d recommend to any dog owner.
Do You Have Any Favorite Kong Recipes?
Do you use a stuffed Kong to keep your dog busy? What sorts of Kong recipes have you made? What are your favorite items to stuff in a Kong? Do you give your recipes horrible names like I do?
I don’t know what I’d do without our Kong; it’s the easiest way I’ve found to keep my dog occupied with minimal effort. It’s a super easy way to keep your dog busy – and what dog doesn’t want a home made PB Applefish of their very own?
Resources & Recommended Reading
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- 26 Quick & Easy Ways to Relieve Dog Boredom
- 3 Simple Ways to Check Your Dog For Fleas
- 33 Easy Ways to Keep Your Dog Busy Indoors