Product Type: Kong dog accessories
Newest Review: ... giant. The idea is to fill the toy with treats, and have your dog work to get them out. Kong also provide a treat paste that can be squirt... more
Kong Dog Toy
Member Name: MollyWH
Kong Dog Toy
Advantages: Very hardy, can be used as treat and a toy!
Disadvantages: A little expensive
In 2004 I got my first puppy, Marley. With him being a Border collie, I was slightly worried that he may get bored and begin to chew the house! My Mum and Dad advised for me get a Kong. Having never heard of this before, I decided to do some research. I found out that a Kong is basically a dog toy made of hard rubber that you can fill with different treats; your dog then spends hours trying to dig the treats out from inside the Kong.
The Kong is meant to be nearly indestructible so is perfect for dogs that have a tendency to chew. Kongs come in all different shapes and sizes, you can get puppy kongs (the white ones), extra strong kongs, for larger breeds (these are black) and also kongs that float (these are various colours and are attached to a rope so you can easily retrieve them if your dog decides he/she doesn't want
The Kong is designed to be used both as a toy and a treat. When the kong is not full with treats, my dogs like to play with it, as they do a normal toy. But when I fill it with treats they sit and hold it between their two front paws and stick their tongue in it, trying to get out the treats inside.
The kong is made from rubber and has a hollow centre that can be fills with a whole array of treats.
Kongs are also used for therapy and prevention of boredom, separation anxiety and other behavioural issues, such as chewing which I mentioned earlier. Regular use of Kongs can also improve oral health
CHOOSING THE CORRECT SIZE KONG
Believe it or not, you can actually choose the wrong sort of kong. For example, if you have a puppy, you will have to get a specially designed 'puppy kong' which is softer to protect their softer teeth. If you have a large dog, you are better getting the black kong as it is a lot more durable.
You will also need to consider the size of your dog when choosing a kong. If you have a small dog, you do not want to get a large kong, as your dog will not be able to fit the kong in his/her mouth when rooting around for the treats inside! If you have a large dog, you certainly don't want the smaller sized kong as it could possibly choke on it, or swallow it.
To be honest, I think kongs are quite expensive, although definitely worth the money. I have had one of my kongs for 2 years and it gets battered around and chewed nearly every day and its still in one piece and if I gave it a good clean, would look as good as new.
The prices of kongs are as follows:
The puppy one is £3.20
The medium sized one is £4.50
The large one is £6
The extra large one is £8.40
The giant sized on is £9.99
The above prices are based on the prices at my local pet shops so prices may differ from shop to shop. My brother recently bought one from eBay and got it a lot cheaper so this may be worth a try.
THE KONG AS A BEHAVIOURAL TOY
Obviously prevention is always better than cure from behavioural problems. If your dog becomes bored, it is likely to become destructive. This is where the kong comes in, providing you pet with hours of fun. The theory is that once you give the kong (stuffed with treats to your dog) it associates chewing with the kong, therefore not chewing you nice new sofa/table etc. The dog is also rewarded for their hard work, by getting the treat from inside the kong. The kongs come in 2 different shapes (well I have only ever seen two). One is circular, and the other is the same sort of shape as a 50 pence piece. As the kong is made from rubber, it is bouncy. Because of the odd shape of the kong, it is very unpredictable when it bounces and my dogs love this. They love picking it up, throwing it up in the air, letting it go and watching it bouncing off in all crazy directions. This has provided hours of amusement for both them and me.
EXTRA INFO ABOUT THE KONG
Today, most domestic dogs do not need to hunt for their food as they do in the wild. They get a set feeding time, and they know it. I feel that the kong brings back some of a dogs natural instincts and teaches them to work for their food. Personally I think this idea helps when you are trying to train a dog, you ask your dog to sit, it does, dog gets treat - it's the same sort of theory. Eating from their kong, satisfies their hunger, exercises their jaw muscles and keeps their teeth and gums clean.
Another tip, is if you have a dog that is overweight, make sure you include any treats they have in their kong into their daily allowance of food or you will never get control of their weight. For example, I quite often fill my kong with dog biscuits and peanut butter, but I take the biscuits from my dog's daily allowance to ensure he is not getting more than he needs. Obviously this is not necessary if your dogs weight is not a problem.
LOOKING AFTER THE KONG
Obviously this part is not too difficult and is mainly based on using your common sense. Keep your kong clean, you will need to make sure that your dog has eaten all the food inside after a few hours. Otherwise it will be left to go mouldy and will not be healthy for your dog when he next tries to eat it. You should also regularly check for cracks or missing pieces. If your dog swallows a piece of a kong, this can be very dangerous. As they are very hard wearing, it is unlikely that pieces will break of but this is still something you need to be aware of, especially with larger breed dogs. Worn or damaged kongs should definitely be replaced.
I will give you a few of my favourite recipes for filling kongs
Normal dog food biscuits put in, with layers of peanut butter every now and then. This is very easy to do and it great if you are in a rush as its one of the less time consuming recipes. The peanut butter makes the biscuits stick together, which in turn makes your dog work harder to get his biscuits out. This is one of the dog's favourites.
You can also do healthy filling for your kongs. I like to cut up pieces of apple, strawberry, tomato and banana and fill the kong with them. The banana can be mashed up and placed over the entrance of the hole to hold the rest of the fruit in. This is very useful for me as I am currently trying to help my dog loose weight, so he still feels like he is getting a treat, and he wont put on the weight.
Lastly (as I don't want to bore you with loads of recipes) another of my favourites is to put normal dogs biscuits, with a layer of cheese between them. Put the kong in the microwave for around 20 seconds (or until the cheese has melted). Leave to cool, and serve to your dog!!
Personally I love the Kong. It provides entertainment for your dog, both as a toy and as a treat. It is great to give to your dog if you want him to settle when you have friends round, or if you are leaving them alone in the house for a while.
The fact that the kong also helps to clean your dogs teeth, cures boredom, relieve stress and anxiety and can also help with training are all excellent selling points for the kong.
Luckily I have never had any problems with my dogs being destructive but I think its always nice to leave them with a treat when I pop out the shops etc, with the kong, the treat lasts nearly as long as I am out, so the dogs don't have time to get bored or wonder where I am.
Overall, I would recommend this to every dog owner - even if your animal is not showing any signs or destructive behaviour or boredom, it is still a great addition to their toy collection.
Summary: King Kong