If you’ve ever given your pup a stuffed Kong, you know what an amazing treat it is for them. Kongs are versatile rubber toys made for dogs of all ages and sizes. They can be used for chewing, for playing games of fetch, and most commonly, as treat dispensers. You can purchase premade Kong stuffing online or from your local pet store, but have you ever tried making your own? If you’re wondering what to put in a Kong (besides the standard peanut butter), we’ve come up with some healthy Kong recipes that are easy to make, and that your pet will love.
Stuffed Kong Benefits
Kongs are one of the most popular pet toys and provide several benefits to your pup besides just keeping them busy. “Kongs are mentally and physically stimulating and offer teething pups an acceptable toy to chew,” says Dr. Dawn Filos, a small animal veterinarian for more than 30 years. “I love that they learn to entertain themselves, which is especially helpful to dogs that have separation anxiety.” Stuffed Kongs can also slow down their mealtime, and “while not a substitute for brushing teeth, can help prevent periodontal disease,” adds Filos. You can also use a stuffed Kong to sneak healthy foods or supplements into your pet’s diet.
What to Put in a Kong: Ingredients List
As most pet owners should already know, many human foods can be toxic to dogs. It’s important to only use pet-safe ingredients when you’re deciding what to put in a Kong dog toy. Here’s a list of some safe ingredients you can use for Kong stuffing:
- Plain nonfat yogurt
- Plain, canned pumpkin (no pumpkin pie filling)
- Peanut butter (be sure to check the label to ensure it doesn’t contain xylitol)
- Dog treats
4 Fun and Tasty Kong Recipes for Dogs
Okay, let’s get Kong stuffing! Check out these four healthy and delicious dog Kong recipes that you can make for your pup in minutes.
Breakfast Kong Recipe for Dogs
Want to have breakfast with your pup? Here is a simple dog Kong recipe to help make it happen! Eggs are perfectly safe for canines and are a great source of protein, vitamins, and fatty acids. Just be sure to thoroughly cook them to avoid the risk of salmonella or food poisoning.
- 1 egg
- 1 pinch of grated cheese
- 1 link of cooked sausage (can be substituted with dog treats)
Step 1: Cut sausage into small pieces and mix the egg in a small bowl.
Step 2: Add the egg, cheese, and sausage to a non-stick fry pan and thoroughly cook.
Step 3: Stuff the Kong and serve to your pup after it’s cooled off to room temperature.
Pumpkin Pie Kong Stuffing Recipe
It doesn’t have to be the fall to enjoy a tasty pumpkin pie. Here’s a healthy Kong recipe with pumpkin, which is loaded with essential micronutrients, fiber and antioxidants. This is also a perfect Kong recipe for puppies that may have sensitive digestive systems.
- 1/2 cup plain, unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 1 tbsp nonfat plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup dog treats or kibble
Step 1: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
Step 2: Stuff the Kong and serve it to your pup.
Tip: Freeze the Kong for a non-messy treat that lasts longer!
Kong Recipe for Puppies
If you’re wondering what to put in a Kong for a puppy, we’ve got the perfect recipe. Salmon is not only a great source of protein, but it also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which boost the immune system and are great for your dog’s coat. Your puppy will go bonkers over this delicious and healthy Kong recipe.
- 1/2 cup cooked salmon
- 1/2 cup sweet potato puree
- 1 medium carrot
Step 1: Dice the carrot and cooked salmon into small pieces. (Be sure to remove any bones.)
Step 2: Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl.
Step 3: Stuff the Kong and serve to your pup.
Froyo Frozen Kong Recipe
Who doesn’t love frozen yogurt on a hot day? Yogurt contains calcium, protein, and probiotics, which are good for your pet’s digestive system. Just be sure to use nonfat yogurt (or if you don’t, keep the portions small because regular yogurt is high in fat). Here’s a frozen Kong recipe that’s a perfect treat for those steamy summer months!
- 1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
- 1/3 cup sweet potato or pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup blueberries
Step 1: Blend or mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
Step 2: Stuff the Kong and place in freezer for 3 to 4 hours before serving.
Kong Stuffing Tips and Tricks
Even if you’re not an expert in the kitchen, making your own Kong recipes for dogs can be a fun activity for the whole family. Here are a few dos and don’ts to help you with your DIY Kong stuffing:
Do select the right size and color
“Make sure to choose the correct size and color Kong for your pet. Each color represents a different toughness or purpose,” says Dr. Lindsey Wendt, an L.A.-based holistic veterinarian. “For example, the pink and blue Kongs are intended for puppies or gentle chewers. The red Kongs are the most common, and the black Kongs are the extreme version made for very aggressive chewers. Purple is for senior dogs and is a bit softer than the red but firmer than the pink and blue puppy versions.” As for the Kong size, there is a helpful chart on the Kong website.
Do monitor your dog
Most likely your pup will go nuts when you break out the stuffed Kong. Just be sure to keep an eye on your dog for possible choking, especially in the first few minutes of introducing the new tasty toy.
Don’t use Kong treats as a meal substitute
Stuffed Kongs are a great way to keep a dog entertained but should not replace a meal. In general, treats shouldn’t exceed 10 percent of a dog’s daily caloric intake.
Don’t forget to clean
To avoid bacteria, be sure to thoroughly clean the Kong between each use with dish soap and warm water. Kong also has several cleaning tips listed on their website.