The kong is a beloved staple around my house. My dogs enjoy having a little project to work on and I like that it keeps them busy, while meeting their enrichment needs. While I feed a raw diet, I don’t feel comfortable putting raw food in their kongs and then letting them slurp it out on my rugs. It can be a bit of a challenge to find a filling that is healthy and nutritious. I’ve been known to smear a little peanut butter inside in a pinch, but since I give them a few frozen kongs a week, I want it to be something more nutrient-packed.
With some trial and error, I’ve come up with a concoction that fits the bill. And while it won’t be winning any beauty contests, I feel good about the ingredients and my dogs love it.
Yogurt. I use a large container of plain, whole milk yogurt as my base. Not all dogs agree with dairy, but my dogs do well with it.
Freeze-dried raw. I get these freeze dried turkey hearts at my local Woodman’s grocery store, but I know you can find this sort of thing all over. Sometimes I use chicken or pork heart as well. I like using this because I can get in some of the nutrition of raw without the mess.
Tuna. I throw in some water-packed tuna. Sometimes I will also use canned mackerels, but be warned, those are stinkier than the tuna.
Blueberries. I add about a cup of frozen blueberries. Personally, I believe a small amount of berries are a good part of a raw diet, so I like to add them in this kong mixture.
Water. I thin pour in some water to thin it out, as the freeze-dried will absorb some of the liquid. About a cup, but adjust as needed.
Optional: two or three raw eggs.
This is enough to fill about 12 kongs (and other stuffable toys).
If your house is like mine, check under all the couches and beds and round up all your kongs. I scrub all of mine in hot soapy water and let them dry before I get to filling.
I like to use a rolling pin and smash up the freeze dried raw while it’s still in the package. The pieces can be pretty big and in order to fit them in the kong, it has to be broken up.
Then I simply dump it all in a bowl and mix it up. My husband calls it “slop” and well, it’s a pretty good description. The blueberries turn it a slight purple shade, which I guess is….nice.
I put a small about of peanut butter on the bottom of the kong to block the hole – I’m sure there are other ways of doing this, but it feels morally wrong to use kongs without at least a little peanut butter. Then I use a spoon and shovel it in the kong. This can be messy and the kongs are usually covered in the mixture by the end, but my dogs won’t care.
I use a muffin tin to keep all the kongs upright and the peanut butter on the bottom keeps them stable when you set them in the cups. Then I stick the whole thing in the freezer. In a few hours you’ll have some delicious and nutritious kongs for your pups to enjoy.
Looking for other ways to have fun with food with your dog? Check out this post on food play.
Do your dogs enjoy kongs? What’s your go-to filling recipe?