Healthy and Tasty Kong Stuffing Recipes for the Adventure Pup
From the moment I saw my pup, Chewy, I knew he was the perfect dog for our family. Like most dog moms, I have been known to shower (smother) him with love, show pictures of him to complete strangers (sorry sweet Publix employee), and justify working overtime by thinking of how many new treats and toys I could buy for him. However, anyone who has had a puppy knows, “aww look at this adorable puppy” changes to “DEAR GOD I LET A VELOCORAPTOR INTO MY HOUSE” extremely fast.
When I found myself at the velociraptor stage with Chewy, the Kong toy saved my sanity and probably many of our personal belongings that didn’t end up being chewed to shreds by a teething pup with endless energy. Even since Chewy has grown out of puppyhood, the Kong continues to be a great toy to work his brain and keep him occupied. Since Chewy is an Australian Koolie mix, he has herding instincts and herding breed energy. On long road trips or rainy/snowy days when he can’t get all the physical exercise he needs, I’ll pull a Kong out of the freezer and give his brain a little workout to burn off some of his extra energy. Another quirk of herding breeds is their tendency to “velcro” themselves to their human’s side. Chewy is a velcro dog in every sense of the word, and I actually remember the first time I gave him a stuffed Kong, he didn’t follow me around our apartment! At least for an hour or two. I remember being so excited that I even called my mom to tell her he was completely occupied for more than an hour. It was a new record.
So, if you’re a dog mom or dad to a puppy or an equally high energy dog, I wanted to share some Kong stuffing recipes to keep your dog out of house destroying shenanigans. Plus, these stuffing recipes were recommended by my vet because they’re a bit more nutritious than the can of stuffing you can buy at the pet store, but also still equally as rewarding/challenging for pups.
- Freeze the stuffing in the Kong to make it last longer/if your dog is an aggressive chewer.
- Buy an appropriate size/strength Kong for your dog (or two – I usually keep a few stuffed in the freezer all the time so I’ll have them ready if Chewy needs something to occupy him at home).
- Play around with dog safe ingredients and add more of what your dog likes to make the Kong game more rewarding.
- Use stuffed Kongs as part of crate training. Treats will help your pup associate good things with the crate and keep them too busy to be anxious.
- If your dog isn’t in their crate while enjoying their stuffed Kong, put an old towel or sheet down while your dog is working on it in case they miss a few licks. Peanut butter and carpet are not friends.
- Use a dollop of peanut butter to seal the top hole of the Kong to keep the stuffing inside.
Now you’re ready to make your own stuffed Kongs!
Two of Chewy’s favorite stuffing recipes are:
Pumpkin Peanut Butter Stuffing:
- One container of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
- ¼ Cup of pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (plus a smudge to seal top of the Kong)
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil (for a healthy, shiny coat)
- ½ of a banana, mashed
- One of your dog’s favorite cookies or treats to stick in the big end of the Kong – this helps your dog get started working on the Kong if they’ve never done it before
Greek yogurt acts as the base for this stuffing recipe. It’s protein to calorie ratio is great for pups. Pumpkin puree is an excellent source of fiber which helps to relieve constipation or runny stools. Peanut butter is the mana of heaven for lots of dogs, Chewy included. If they need some coaxing to get into the Kong, peanut butter will do it. Coconut oil is great for coats and young puppy brains. I add banana to this recipe as well because the sweetness from the fruit keeps Chewy interested until the Kong is licked clean once again.
Berries and Cottage Cheese Stuffing:
- ½ cup of plain, nonfat cottage cheese
- ¼ cup of blueberries (I mash mine up just slightly to get the juice throughout the stuffing mix)
- ½ tablespoon local, raw honey (helps with immune system building in puppies)
- ½ of a banana, mashed
- 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (plus a smudge to seal the top of the Kong)
- One of your dog’s favorite cookies or treats to stick in the big end of the Kong
Cottage cheese, like Greek yogurt, is another good source of protein for dogs. Blueberries are packed full of antioxidants that are good for pups and their people as well. Local, raw honey is also used to acclimate human immune systems to the local bacteria and allergens that exist in an area and the same concept applies for dogs. Again, the addition of bananas and peanut butter are just the taste preferences of my dog. Have fun with dog safe ingredients and find your dog’s favorite mix.
Always check with your vet before giving your dogs anything new.
Do your dogs love Kongs or other puzzle toys? What are some of your favorite ways to stuff them?