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Kong Toys

So last week we talked about different forms of enrichment. Well, this week, it's all about Kong toys! I'm sure you've seen these in major pet stores as well as some local pet stores as well. So what exactly are Kongs and what's so special about them? There are many uses for them. Kongs can be used as chew toys (under supervision of course), treat puzzles, fetch toys, stress relievers, and they can even help with crate training!

Let's start with chewing. If your dog likes to chew on things, Kong is a great option. Although, like most toys, dogs should not be allowed to destroy or ingest toys, as they can cause blockages, and that's a vet trip you don't want to have to make. Different colored Kong toys have different toughness levels. For puppies, a small pink or blue one has just the right amount of give and toughness to soothe a teething puppy. Here at Right Direction, we love Kongs for teething puppies.

Kong also has a Senior line, shown by the purple toy, that is designed with senior dogs in mind.

As we move up the toughness line, we have the Classic Kong, shown by the red toy. These are great for moderate chewers, and can be used with most adult dogs. The Extreme Kong is for those dogs who do have a tendency to destroy every toy they come into contact with. And again, I cannot stress this enough, please, if your dog has an issue with chewing or destroying toys, use these under supervision.

Kongs can also be used to help with some behavioral issues. Separation anxiety is an issue that many dogs suffer from, especially after the ongoing pandemic. Separation anxiety happens the first 20 minutes after a dog is left alone. Stuffing a Kong with a mixture of wet and dry ingredients can keep your dog busy, rather than letting your dog sit there and amp themselves up with anxiety.

Having an outlet for your dog to focus on your absence is an awesome way to help your dog cope with their separation anxiety. You can even pop the toy in the freezer with the ingredients stuffed inside and it will take your dog longer to figure out the puzzle. It doesn't just have to be separation anxiety, maybe your dog is bored and they just need something to do while you're working around the house or while you're gone. Fill your Kong with the mix of ingredients, pop that bad boy in the freezer, and boom! Easy boredom buster that isn't involving your dog chewing on your shoes or the furniture.

There are so many uses for Kong toys, it'd take hours to write out everything! (It would also be waaay longer than I want to make these blog posts!) With that in mind, I'll move on to Kong stuffing recipes!

Easy Home-made Kong Recipes

So for stuffing your Kong, you want to have a creamy substance like pumpkin, unsweetened, plain yogurt, a mushed banana or peanut butter. You want a solid like kibble, dry treats, or anything else you can think of, a sprinkle of flavor like shake parmesan cheese, etc. And then finally, you want something to close the bottom of the whole. This can be a bone shaped treat, celery, duck foot, or anything else that can basically get the Kong started.

I personally like to blend all of my ingredients together and freeze them, but it really doesn't matter how you go about doing it. With the top small hole, I like to put either a small blueberry or raspberry in it to seal that end, especially if you choose to blend your ingredients.

Your dogs Kong should like like the picture on the right when you're all done!

Kongs are a super easy way to help stimulate your dog mentally, especially if your dog is anxious or needs to learn how to settle down.

Next time we will talk about the benefits of teaching your dog how to settle down and why it's so good for them!

'Till next time!

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