Image taken by Mike McCune and uploaded to Flickr
If the amazing dog trainer Joan Hunt could have her own television program it would be called…
How to Stuff a Kong
I would definitely watch. Thank you, Joan, for submitting these great tips on stuffing Kongs. We have several in our house and our dogs love them for the treats and just to play “keep away” with one another.
The following are tips that Joan teaches in her Enrichment Workshop – and we’re getting them for free!
Using your dog’s kibble as the base, add enough liquid that would allow it to soak in and get mushy to the consistency of a stuffing. You usually have to soak it overnight – using warm water helps expedite it.
Once it’s mushy you can start adding all the “extras”.
Liquids I use to soak the kibble (and here’s where it can get interesting):
- broth (any kind)
- juice from canned tomatoes
- liquid from drained frozen vegetables (I use frozen bell peppers – the liquid that drains from it is sweet and quite yummy!)
- leftover broth based soups
- vegetable juice
So you can see that the little bits of leftover liquid we use everyday (and often thrown out) for cooking can be used to jazz up a dogs meal.
As for the “extras” when I’m working with clients I suggest they look for ingredients in the foods their dog is already eating. Then use small pieces of the same food but in its whole state, including whatever protein base the dog is on.
When it doubt, ask they should ask their vet about dietary needs and restrictions.
If the dog is permitted to eat anything, I even use the scraps leftover from our meals – as long as they’re healthy and proper for his diet. (Nothing too rich as many dogs do not tolerate rich fatty foods).
I’ll use small pieces or amounts of the following items mixed in with the kibble, keeping the consistency similar to a stuffing. Some suggestions are…
- leftover rice
- cous cous
- green beans
- roasted broccoli
- cooked squash
- canned pumpkin
- raw cucumber
- veggie stir fry with the sauce rinsed off. (No onions or heavy garlic sauces).
As for proteins there’s chicken, steak, fish, pork tenderloin, turkey, beef – leftover meatloaf and/or hamburgers – turkey and/or beef. Chicken sausage too as long as there’s not too much fat in it.
When I was reading these tips, I was blown away by how creative I can get with their Kong. I’ve just been doing kibble and peanut butter.
If you have a great, healthy and safe dog food, dog treat, or Kong stuffing recipe that you’d like to share with thousands of dog lovers, please head on over to the Contact Page and submit it to Keep the Tail Wagging along with your name. The recipe will be attributed to you and promoting online on all the major social networking sites!
As with any change to your dog’s diet, please double check with your veterinarian.