One of the best tools to keep your dog busy is a Kong stuffed with tasty fillings. These are great on days with bad weather when you can’t get out for regular exercise. If you work from home, a stuffed Kong can keep your dog busy while you’re on an important phone call. Kongs are also great for dogs who are recovering from surgery and aren’t allowed to move around much.

Healthy Kong Stuffing Recipes That My Labradors Love

Last year on a trip to California, I visited the Palm Springs Animal Shelter and got a tour of their beautiful facility. Part of the tour included a demonstration of how the shelter uses Kong fillings to provide enrichment, fun and tasty treats to their dogs.

They had an amazing guide to help volunteers understand why Kongs are used in the shelter and recipes on how to stuff them for optimal fun and enrichment. That guide is such a great resource that I’ve saved the piece of paper for almost a year! Now, I want to share this info with you.

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Healthy Kong Stuffing Recipes That My Labradors Love

What is a Kong?

First of all, a Kong is a must-have for all dog owners. It’s a rubber snowman-shaped toy that’s hollow on the inside and can be filled with treats and given to your dog. Depending on what you use to stuff your Kong, they can provide a great puzzle to your dog and help bust boredom, alleviate separation anxiety or distract high energy or nervous dogs.

Kongs come in a variety of styles suited for everyone from puppies to super-tough chewers. I’ve always bought the regular sized red Kong and they’ve worked well for my labradors for the last 15 years. That’s right… I’ve been stuffing Kongs for over 15 years! If your dog is a tough chewer, you should pick up the extreme version.

There’s also a lot of other tough rubber chew toys available that you can stuff similar to a Kong. Some of my favorites include the West Paw Toppl, ZEE.DOG Super Fruitz, PetSafe Busy Buddy.

What’s a Good Kong Stuffing?

You can stuff your Kong with something simple like all-natural peanut butter. They’ll be delighted to lick that up! If you want to keep it simple but make the treat last a little longer, stuff you Kong with the peanut butter then put it in the freezer overnight. A frozen peanut butter Kong should keep your pup distracted long enough for you to get out the door in the morning, do some cleaning or just have some quiet time to yourself.

One of the best things is that you can stuff a Kong with whatever you have available. Be creative! For my two labradors, I’ll often use peanut butter, plain greek yogurt, pumpkin puree, treats, kibble, carrots, apples, chews, jerky, etc.

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Healthy Kong Stuffing Recipes That My Labradors Love

Boredom Buster Kong Recipe

The Palm Springs Animal Shelter has an awesome healthy formula for a Kong filler that will keep your dog interested until the very last morsel. According to their guide, this is a great way to build up your dog’s attention span, teach them how to focus on a task and be calm when they need to be. I like to use this formula when I stuff Kongs for Burt and Lucy because I think it makes them much more fun than just using one ingredient.

Step 1: Tantalizer
At the small end of your kong, insert something super tasty like a little morsel of freeze dried liver, peanut butter, almond butter or cheese.

Step 2: Dessert
Next up, fill the smallest third of the Kong with treats such as biscuits, treats, cubed apple, carrots, green beans or bananas.

Step 3: Main Course
Stuff the last two thirds of the Kong with your regular dog food such as kibble or canned food. If you’re using kibble, try mixing it with unsweetened applesauce to make it harder for your dog to get it out.

Step 4: Appetizer
The last step is to put something in the opening at the widest side of your Kong. Use a treat, chew or jerky sticking out of the top to entice your dog to “get serious” about the deconstruction job ahead of them!

Healthy Kong Filler Options

In addition to treats, kibble, chews and peanut butter, there’s a variety of healthy and dog safe ingredients you can use for Kong fillings. Have fun and experiment! For starters, my labradors love all of these:

Fruits: Apples, Bananas, Blueberries, Strawberries, Watermelon
Veggies: Carrots, Green Beans, Peas, Brocolli
Spread: Almond Butter, Peanut Butter (make sure it’s Xylitol free!), Coconut Oil
Cheese: SPray cheese, Cottage Cheese, Cheddar Cheese Cubes
Yogurt: Low Fat Plain, Plain Greek Yogurt
Food: Kibble, Canned Food, Healthy Treats (like freeze-dried liver) Cooked Chicken or Beef, Kibble Soaked in Water
Sauce: Pumpkin Puree, Unsweetened Applesauce

Kong Stuffing Combo Recipes

You can pair any of the above ingredients together for your Kong filling. But to make it really easy for you, I came up with a few simple recipes from a regular stand by to a low fat recipe and a recipe that’s good for dogs with dry skin.

Low Fat Combo
Almond Butter, Green Beans, Kibble with Applesauce, Carrot

Regular Combo
Peanut Butter, Cheddar Cheese, Yogurt mixed with Kibble, top with treats

Dry Skin Combo
Coconut Oil, Freeze Dried Liver Treats, Mashed Sardines in Water

Make Your Dog’s Kong Last Longer

If your dog is anything like my labs, they can finish a carefully Kong before you have time to turn back around! Keep your dog busy with their Kong for longer by freezing it overnight. This works best if you have at least one liquidy filling like kibble mixed with water, pumpkin puree, applesauce or yogurt. I’d also recommend freezing the Dry Skin Combo recipe above so you don’t end up with sardine juice all over the place! Yuck!

I also love to combine two long lasting treats in one by stuffing a dried chew such as a chicken foot (as you can see above) in the end of the Kong. If you freeze this combination it should really keep your dog busy! My favorite long lasting dried chews are from Real Dog Box. Subscribe and get a free bag of treats in your first box!

Find the right Kong or Stuffable Toy for Your Dog:
Puppy Kong
Classic Kong
Extreme Kong
West Paw Toppl
ZEE.DOG Super Fruitz
PetSafe Busy Buddy

Take the BEST Photo of Your Dog

Great photos last a lifetime and remind you of every sweet moment with your pup! My free e-book teaches you how to take professional style photos using just your phone.

Powered by ConvertKit

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