Kong Stuffing Pointers

Why Stuff a Kong? Dogs are animals that are genetically programmed to hunt for their food. Part of the reason there is such a prevalence of behavior problems in pet dogs is that they have so little mental challenge or work to do: their food is given to them for free. Zoos have had some success in decreasing behavior problems and improving the quality of life of many of their predator and primate species by giving them problems to solve in order to obtain their food. This same environmental enrichment concept can be applied to domestic dogs, who thoroughly enjoy finding hidden food and unpacking stuffed chew toys.

Stuffing Suggestions

Many people’s Kong stuffing efforts consist of inserting a few dog cookies. This is scratching the surface of the creative food acquisition challenges you can cook up for your dog. Here are a few pointers and principles to bump your Kong stuffing prowess up to the next level:

Recipe Examples

Tight (more advanced) Stuffing

Pack as tightly as possible. The last item in should be a dried apricot or piece of ravioli, presenting a smooth finish under the main hole. Bon appetit!

Lite Version

For cashews, substitute crumbled rice cake; for freeze-dried liver, substitute Caesar croutons; for peanut butter substitute fat-free cream cheese

Reprinted with permission. The San Francisco SPCA Dog Behavior and Training Department

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