Here is a great way to give your dog a mental workout.  Give him a Kong to de-stuff!

Buckets of Stuffed KongsFirst, you have to stuff them.  An easy recipe is this.  Slice some bananas, and drop into Kongs.  It’s easy to maneuver Kongs if you put them in a large yogurt container.  We get them from Publix.  Both the dogs and I love yogurt, so we have plenty of these empty containers, which are perfect to hold Kongs!  After you stuff the Kongs with sliced bananas, push some good peanut butter in with a knife.  We use organic peanut butter from Costco.  It’s more economical, but good.  Though watch the ingredients.  For a while, Costco had an organic brand with added sugar.  Dogs don’t need sugar in their diets.

Covered KongIf you have dogs that are good at de-stuffing Kongs, you can put some peanut butter in after adding some banana, then add more banana, then more peanut butter.

For those toughian dogs who get really good at de-stuffing, I freeze a bunch of stuffed Kongs to make it a more challenging de-stuffing project.  You can cover the Kong with aluminum foil for freezing, or turn the Kong upside down in the yogurt container, ingredients permitting.

Remember, don’t make it too hard for dogs who are soft.  Keep the stuffing to their levels, or they will get frustrated and not try.  For the first-time dog, you might start with a simple slathering of peanut butter inside.  That will be an easy and rewarding introduction to the Kong for your dog.  If your dog is crate-trained, giving him a Kong to de-stuff while he’s in his crate prevents boredom and may wear him out, so he’ll nap afterwards.

Bamboo Kong Cleaning BrushAfter the Kong has been de-stuffed, it will need cleaning.  I used to buy vegetable brushes and squeeze them together for a good, tight-fitting brush that would get the Kong clean for next use.  But now, Bamboo makes a brush especially to clean Kongs.  Soap and water and a soak sometimes is needed to loosen the remaining peanut butter.  These brushes are convenient and a perfect fit for all-sized Kongs. (Click picture for more information.)

Dogs love Kongs and have a good time de-stuffing them. They give Kongs their stamp of approval.  It is a mental workout, which all dogs need, and it’s fun to watch your dog figure out how to get the treats out. Some bounce, some lick, some take the whole thing in their jaw and smash.  Remember to count their Kong treats as part of their daily calories.

Click the red or black Kong for sizes and purchase information.

KONG Dog Toy (X-Large; 5.5KONG Dog Toy – Available Online at PETCO.com.  KONG’s exclusive red natural rubber is puncture resistant, super bouncy, and chewer friendly.  It is unmatched for resilience, durability, and bounce.  KONG(R) satisfies a dog’s natural need to chew and also cleans teeth and conditions gums.  The thick, flexible walls keep springing back for more! KONG(R) rubber is non-toxic, nonabrasive, non-splintering, and does not get sharp when chewed.  Kongs(R) are widely used for therapy and prevention of boredom, separation anxiety and other behavioral issues.  Regular use of Kongs can also improve oral health.  Their unpredictable bounce lures most dogs into a game of chase, catch, and chew.  The hollow center can be filled with food and treats.  A dab of peanut butter spread around the inside is very effective.  Providing food and/or treat stuffed KONG’s(R) for your dogs can keep them contentedly busy (working) and out of trouble for long periods of time.  Add more stuffed Kongs to increase their work time. KONG(R) toys are enthusiastically used and recommended by veterinarians, trainers, dog professionals and satisfied customers world wide.

Extreme KONG Dog Toy (Large; 4.25

Extreme KONG Dog Toy – Available Online at PETCO.com the Worlds strongest rubber dog toy! KONG(R) toys are legendary for performance and durability, although no dog toy is indestructible, Extreme KONG(R) Dog Toys are made from super-strong black rubber that stands up to even the most tenacious power-chewers. Regular use of Kong will strengthen your dog’s jaw muscles.  Extreme KONG(R) will assist in battling boredom and keep your dog out of trouble.  Today, most domestic dogs don’t have to work for food. In nature, however, dogs are predatory meat-eaters.  Hunting for food is physically and intellectually challenging.  The hunt is their “work.”  Success on the job results in a well-earned “paycheck” – their meal.  Eating meat off the bone satisfies their hunger, exercises their jaw muscles and keeps their teeth and gums clean.  Extreme KONG(R) helps satisfy dog’s natural instincts and assists in preventing: excessive barking, destructive chewing, soiling, digging, and separation anxiety.  Fill with your dog’s favorite treats or food to keep your dog entertained the healthy way.

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