Nothing is worse than having a pup with separation anxiety. I worry every time I have to leave him alone that I’ll come home to a house in shreds, so I’m always on the lookout for things to keep him busy while I’m gone. Now, of course, KONG dog toys are by no means new. They’re definitely one of the big kids on the block, but there are a million different ways you can fill them and this is just my personal take on a super simple yet effective filling. This method is also very cost effective as the main ingredient is your dogs kibble.
The toy I have is the Large Black KONG Dog Toy (you can purchase this one on Amazon for $8.53) and it’s the perfect size for my 62 lb boy. I went with black just out of personal preference, the classic red KONG’s always seemed kind of garish to me and after all I do have to look at it laying around my house wherever Adakias decides to leave it when it’s been filled or he’s pulled it out of his toy box.
I only used three ingredients (other than water) for this KONG filler, two if you don’t count the peanut butter since it is only used to plug the holes and not actually in the filling. The other two ingredients I used were my dog’s dry food (he’s currently on a mixture of Fromm flavors) and a can of Merrick grain free wet food. This mixture is actually what I feed Adakias normally, but with entirely different proportions. For a normal meal, Adakias gets about 2 cups of Fromm with a couple spoonfuls of Merrick wet food stirred in to entice my little picky eater. Much like the Fromm, I like to mix up the Merrick flavors but I make sure to get a certain kind. I don’t like the more solid wet foods because they don’t mix into the dry food as easily and you wind up having to use more, but Merrick carries a few good flavors that are more liquid than solid. When you open the can it actually looks more like soup with chunks of meat in it rather than a can of tuna or Spam. The two flavors I’ve used so far are the Smothered Comfort (pictured) and the Wingaling. Side note: both of these flavours do actually contain bones, but according to the packaging the cooking process softens the bones and makes them safe for your dog to enjoy. I haven’t had a problem with them yet and I think it’s a nice treat for Adakias when he gets the bone from the can.
I haven’t figured out yet if there’s a way to tell which Merrick flavours are more soupy than Spam-y, but my foolproof plan at the store is to just shake the cans and listen to which one’s sound liquid-y…..it’s science. Either way, the liquid base isn’t completely necessary, but I feel like it does work better for this KONG recipe because it makes it more like a doggie pupscicle. I suppose if you had a more solid wet food you could just change up the measurements and add more water, though you may need to heat the mixture to get it to really incorporate.
Here is my quick KONG dog food filler recipe:
1/2 cup dry dog food
1/4 cup Merrick Smothered Comfort wet food (or similar product)
1/2 cup warm water
About 1 tbsp peanut butter (optional, for plugging holes)
- Plug the small hole at one end of the KONG toy with peanut butter.
- Mix water into the wet food to thin it out.
- Start adding a little bit of the dry food into the KONG and then pour a little of the wet food mixture over it, alternate until the toy is full. (-OR- mix the wet mixture and the dry kibble together and then spoon into KONG)
- Once the KONG is full, close off the larger hole with more peanut butter and then stick in the freezer until needed. (Note: if you don’t let it freeze all the way it won’t last as long and will make a much bigger mess while your dog is enjoying it)
Optional last step: Reward yourself with a mini powdered donut, much to the chagrin of your pouty pampered pooch who has to wait till morning for his KONG, and Snapchat it for good measure.