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Kong Stuffing Recipes

Enrichment. That's a word that gets tossed around a lot in the dog world, and for good reason! Providing our dogs with a variety of enriching activities throughout their lives is proven to have countless benefits on their overall wellbeing. Not only that, it can be a powerful tool to help you and your furry friend along on your training journey. To put it simply, the right enrichment has the potential to really make all the difference in the world. And the best part? Providing enrichment doesn’t have to be complicated to still deliver great benefits. In fact, one of the easiest ways to incorporate enrichment into your dog's life is through food.


Now we can't possibly talk about enrichment feeding without also talking about Kongs. Kongs are still one of the most popular options out there for enrichment feeders, and it's no surprise as to why! The classic Kong line comes in a variety of sizes, making it an instant essential for so many.


Another popular option—and my personal favorite—is the Toppl from West Paw. Similar to the Kong, the Toppl has a variety of sizes and colors to choose from, with the main difference being its shape. It all comes down to personal (and canine) preference, but both enrichment feeders are easy to use, easy to clean, and are highly recommended by our team!


Benefits to using enrichment feeders:


  1. Licking, sniffing, and chewing are all actions that dogs will use for self soothing, stress relief purposes. The equivalent of deep breathing exercises for humans!

  2. Useful for crate training, place training, socialization and so much more.

  3. Provides mental stimulation, helping to curb problem behaviors brought on by boredom.

  4. Slows down a fast eater (especially if what is inside is frozen!)

  5. A great way to incorporate fresh foods and more variety into your dogs diet.

  6. Can be used to make meal time more exciting.

  7. Great way to hide certain medications.

  8. Keeps a dog (or puppy!) occupied and entertained while you get some work done.

  9. Endless possibilities for filling them!


So, let's talk about filling them! As you continue reading you'll find that I have compiled a list of ideas that you can use to fill your enrichment feeders, starting with the easier options and moving on to the more involved. It may seem intimidating at first but just remember, enrichment feeding doesn't need to be complicated in order for it to be effective!


A few important notes before we begin:


  1. Both Kongs and Toppl's have holes that will need to be plugged beforehand to prevent any liquid from spilling out.

  2. If using a Kong: Use a little dab of dog-safe peanut butter to plug the smaller hole. To prevent Kongs from tipping while you freeze them you can stand them up in a cup, bowl, or even a muffin tin!

  3. If using a Toppl: West Paw actually makes stoppers that perfectly plug the hole on the side. These stoppers also come with little feet that act as a kickstand to prevent it from tipping over!

  4. Feel free to make adjustments and substitutions to better suit both yours and your dog's individual needs. These are merely suggestions to help get you inspired!

  5. It is always best to introduce new foods slowly, in moderation, and under the guidance of a trusted veterinarian.


So let's get our Kong or Toppl ready and let's get started!


#1 - Kibble (yes, it really is that simple!)


Ingredients:

  1. Kibble

  2. Water or dog-safe bone broth*


Fill the Kong or Toppl with your dog’s regular kibble. Top it off with some water or dog-safe bone broth. Freeze the Kong or Toppl until ready to serve.


*Bone broth is a fan favorite in this house! Not only is bone broth packed with nutrients, but this super beneficial liquid is an excellent and tasty way to help keep your pup hydrated in the summer months. Just make sure it is safe for dogs! Most bone broths that are made for human consumption contain ingredients that are toxic for dogs, like onions and sodium. Pet stores will often carry dog-safe brands.


#2 - Wet/Canned Food


Ingredients:

  1. Desired amount of wet or canned food

  2. Optional: water or dog-safe bone broth


Pack your Kong or Toppl with the desired amount of wet or canned food. If you're worried about feeding too much of this, you can mix this with water or dog-safe bone broth beforehand to both thin out the wet food and further maximize the space. Freeze until ready to serve!


This could also be served without freezing beforehand if it's not too liquidy, it just won't last as long and may make a bigger mess. But sometimes that's all part of the fun!


#3 - Fruit Smoothie


Ingredients:

  1. Any dog-safe fruit of your choosing. Some of my favorites include blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. I'll often buy bags of already frozen mixed berries for this exact purpose. Apples and bananas work well too!

  2. Plain Greek yogurt or kefir

  3. Optional: kibble or crumbled up treats for a crunchy “granola” topping


To a blender, add in all of your fruit and yogurt. Blend to your desired consistency and pour the mixture into your Kong or Toppl. If desired, top with any additional crunchy toppers. Freeze until ready to serve!


Extra: You can also keep ingredients separate and freeze them in layers to make a sort of parfait! The combinations for this are endless!


#4 - Veggie Scrap Smoothie


Got any dog-safe leftover vegetables in the fridge? Dealing with too many vegetables from the garden? Make a veggie smoothie and let your pup help you out!


Similar to the fruit smoothie, blend up your dog-safe vegetable scrap mixture with either wet food, dog-safe bone broth, plain Greek yogurt, or plain kefir. You can also just use water but I find that, much like kids, most dogs prefer the taste of their veggies to be hidden! Pour into your Kong or Toppl and freeze until ready to serve!


#5 - Eggs


Ingredients:

  1. Eggs, scrambled or boiled

  2. Optional: Dog-safe veggies like peppers or broccoli, blended or cooked.


Prepare your eggs and any optional additions. Let cool to a safe temperature and stuff into your Kong or Toppl. I personally don't find that eggs freeze well, so this one can be served once it reaches a safe temperature for consumption.


#6 - Thanksgiving Dinner


Ingredients:

  1. Turkey themed canned food or cooked lean ground turkey, drained of excess grease

  2. Pure canned pumpkin or cooked butternut squash

  3. Any dog-safe berry, like cranberries!

  4. Dog-safe bone broth (turkey flavor)

  5. Optional: A dog-safe green veggie like green beans.


Prepare chosen ingredients and mix together in one bowl, or layer separately into your Kong or Toppl. Freeze if desired or serve as is once it reaches a safe temperature!



I hope you were able to find some inspiration in these recipes, your dog will thank you! We'd love to see your pups enjoying their enrichment too, tag us in your stories and posts on Instagram and Facebook! @sordogs



Dog in crate with kong
Flash calmly hanging out in his crate after enjoying his kong!

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