Do you have a dog that is chewing your precious furniture or you are on the umpteenth bed for your dog as he has bitten all his prior beds?
Or are you reading this because your vet has asked you to help your dog lose weight?
Or are you here to learn more about how to keep your dog engaged when you return to work or step out of the house for a few hours?
Allow us to let you in on a secret…a rather popular secret :-) that helps address all these issues! A food dispensing toy that can help address so many dog boredom, anxiety, feeding issues! The KONG! I am sure you’d have heard about it or seen it in pet stores and there is a good reason why it is growing so popular. The Kong has been a wonderful tool for us with our dogs to keep them engaged and to keep them out of trouble!
So, how does this work? A kong is basically a rubber toy that has holes on either side to stuff Fido’s favourite treats in and the goal is for the dog to work and get the treats out of the kong. Depending on the age of the dog and the nature of treats inside the kong, this toy can keep the dog occupied anywhere from 10 minutes to a solid 30 minutes! So, what are the considerations one needs to make when offering the kong to our dog?
- Size of the dog. Kongs come in various sizes that are suited for dogs of a certain size, breed and age. Pups or small sized breeds are given the smaller sizes (generally pink) that you may need to change as the puppy grows for the safety of the dog (so it doesn’t swallow the kong or bite into tiny pieces). Red is generally for the medium-large sized dogs while the black kongs are for the super large dogs and the heavy chewers.
- Nature of treats - As a beginner, make sure you have tasty treats like pieces of frozen veggies, fruits to loosely fill the kong. You can smear doggie peanut butter on the top to entice the dog to lick and then work towards getting the treats out. As the dogs get used to the kong, try to stuff the kong a little more and as a pro, the kong can be stuffed really tightly so the dog can be occupied for longer. Stuffing a KONG is really easy. You can stuff anything that is safe for your dog to eat (in healthy amounts) into their KONG.
Other times we have recommended kongs are for weight loss in dogs. By offering overweight dogs their meals in a kong, we slow them down while eating, tire them out, we give them regulated amounts and also avoid the constant begging from the pets.
Also It can also be introduced to pups so they learn patience and understand that one needs to work to earn their meals. We surely recommend this method with pups!
More importantly, if our pet was putting something in its mouth without supervision, we need to make sure that the object is safe. And the kong certainly is - Made of durable, natural rubber, the kong is a safe option and satisfies your dog’s instinctual need to chew. However It is important to note that the kongs can get really dirty and a haven for bacteria if not cleaned frequently. We’d recommend you soak the kong in warm water with dish soap to loosen leftovers. One can also use a bottle brush or old toothbrush to remove stubborn bits inside.
If you want to know more of how to introduce the dog to a kong, various stuffing options, how to use a kong to handle behaviour issues, do give us a buzz at Anvis so we can help you with this fantastic tool!
Kong-ratulations! You can now use the fantastic food dispensing toy!