A WOLF IN DOG'S CLOTHING?
DOG A TRUE PACK ANIMAL?
WHAT DOGS REALLY NEED
THE HUMAN-CANINE BOND
STRESS & COMPULSIVE
KONG STUFFING RECIPES
QUOTES & TESTIMONIALS
A Kong is a tough, hollow, rubber
cone designed to be filled with food. Kongs come in different sizes,
are freezer proof, and are extremely resilient to being chewed.
For powerful chewers, the black Kong is recommended. Red is for
normal chewers, and for older dogs and puppies, multi-coloured,
softer rubber Kongs are available. A dog should be supervised for
the first few times that it is given a Kong, and unless a dog proves
that it can destroy it, it is probably the safest activity toy to
leave with a dog whilst alone.
I have yet to meet a dog who doesn't show any
interest in a tasty filled Kong. Some dogs take a little time to
really get into the 'zone' of licking out all the filling, but all
quickly realise that Kongs are wonderful things. Many dogs who tend
towards anxiety develop licking compulsions towards themselves and
surfaces such as floors and walls. Licking is a comforting, stress-reducing
activity, and using a Kong to encourage but redirect this behaviour
into an acceptable and even more rewarding outlet can really help
to put socially insecure dogs at ease.
A Kong is a great way to introduce a puppy to being
left on its own and to view its owner's departure as a good thing.
The same applies to adult dogs who are prone to separation distress,
as part of a rehabilitation programme. For dogs who are convalescing
and need to have their physical activity restricted, splitting the
daily food ration into four smaller meals and feeding each in a
Kong is a great way to provide rewarding, alternative activity and
not overload the body with too much food in one go. For dogs who
tend towards anxious excitement when visitors call, a Kong smeared
with something tasty inside can provide a useful distraction.
A number of things that dogs find
tasty that can be smeared inside a Kong to provide a quick, two-minute
distraction include peanut butter, cream cheese, meat and fish pastes,
Marmite and Bovril.
There are special pastes and biscuit type products
available to stuff into Kongs, however, cheap and healthy alternative
fillings are extremely easy to make. A portion of a dog's daily
kibble ration, cooked white rice or cooked, mashed sweet potato
all provide a good base to which 'extras' can be added such as foods
that promote good digestive health, foods that can help to calm
separation distressed dogs, and foods that provide a vitamin or
About 50% of dogs are lactose intolerant meaning
that they cannot digest lactose, a sugar that is found in milk,
yoghurt and cheese. Lactose-intolerant dogs are often very flatulent
and may produce softer than normal faeces. If you suspect that your
dog is lactose-intolerant, it is better to avoid feeding yoghurt
and cheese as whilst the foods in themselves aren't harmful, the
abnormal bacteria activity within the dog's gut can lead to bacteria
imbalances and malabsorbtion of nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
Foods to avoid because they are toxic to dogs include
chocolate, grapes, raisins, sultanas and onions. Watch out for 'hidden'
sources of onion too - stock cubes often contain onion and are very
high in salt, so are best avoided.
Kongs can also be filled with water
or cooking stock and frozen in hot weather. As well as being a cooling
and soothing treat for teething puppies, this is a great way to
provide liquid to dogs that need to be crated when left.
To prepare and freeze a liquid-filled Kong:
- Plug the small end of the Kong with a good-sized lump of peanut
butter. You could also use a piece of cheese or sausage to do
this, so long as it provides a good seal.
- Next, place the Kong, small end down, into a mug.
- Fill the up-turned Kong with liquid.
- Put the mug into the freezer.
- When the liquid is frozen, the Kong is ready to serve.
Of course a Kong doesn't have to be filled with
liquid to be frozen. Any stuffed Kong can be frozen, and a frozen
filling will provide a longer-lasting treat.
KONG STUFFING RECIPES
Here are just a few Kong stuffing
Ingredients: A portion of your dog's normal kibble,
about a teaspoon of meat paste, a chunk of banana (about an inch
Method: Half fill the Kong with kibble, then add
the meat paste. Using the handle of the spoon, mix the meat paste
into the kibble. Add some more kibble, packing it in well, and then
plug the large opening with the banana.
Food Fact: Banana is a 'pre-biotic' food, which
means it provides a good nutritional base to feed the dog's friendly
gut bacteria and so promote good digestive health.
Ingredients: A portion of your dog's normal kibble,
about a dessertspoon of cottage cheese, a chunk of banana (about
an inch thick).
Method: Half fill the Kong with kibble, then spoon
in most of the cottage cheese. Holding your hand over the large
opening, shake the Kong to coat the kibble in the cottage cheese.
Add some more kibble, packing it in well, then top with the remainder
of the cottage cheese before plugging the large opening with the
Food Fact: Cottage cheese contains a good source
of the protein amino-acid 'casein', which the body converts into
naturally occurring opioids that have a calming effect. This is
especially useful to help separation distressed dogs to feel more
relaxed when alone. Bananas are also thought to have a calming effect
SWEET & NUTTY
Ingredients: Warm freshly boiled white rice, warm
freshly steamed and mashed sweet potato, about a dessertspoon of
Method: Mix and mash together the rice and sweet
potato and peanut butter. Fill the Kong with the mix and it's ready
to serve. Alternatively, wait until the rice and sweet potato has
cooled before making the mix and then freeze the Kong to use later.
When frozen this mix seems to last for hours, so it's a great boredom
buster, especially on long car journeys.
Food Fact: Sweet potato is a great source of beta-carotene.
Beta-carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A and acts as
powerful antioxidant, helping to support immune system health.
Ingredients: Banana, a small handful of blueberries,
Method: Mash or blend the banana, blueberries and
yoghurt together in a bowl. Place the Kong, small end down, in a
mug, and spoon in the mix. Place in the freezer and serve when frozen.
Food Fact: Blueberries are high in antioxidants
and vitamin C, and can help to support cardiovascular and urinary
Ingredients: 1 scrambled egg, 1 chopped Frankfurter
or hot-dog sausage, boiled white rice.
Method: Mash the scrambled egg and rice together
in a bowl and then mix in the chopped sausage. Fill the Kong, using
a chunk of sausage to plug the end.
Food Fact: Egg is 100% nutritionally complete,
meaning that it contains all the protein-amino acids that the body
~ Thanks to Carole Green (owned by Cody) for this recipe suggestion.
Ingredients: Cold boiled white rice, about a dessertspoon
of natural bio-yoghurt.
Method: Mix and mash the rice and yoghurt together
and fill the Kong. Serve straight away or freeze for later.
Food Fact: The blandness of boiled white rice coupled
with the 'friendly' bacteria in natural bio-yogurt makes this a
great recipe for dogs with sensitive tummies.
~ Thanks to Eryka Kahunanui (owned by Bizzle Fo’ Shizzle and
Sarah Bean) for this recipe suggestion.
Ingredients: Pureed pumpkin, tahini paste (or peanut
Method: Mix together the pureed pumpkin and tahini
paste and fill the Kong. Serve straight away or freeze for later.
Food Fact: Tahini (sesame butter) is a good source
of calcium and zinc, minerals essential for healthy bones.
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Lizi Angel 2007-2015