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This is one of many Kong toys we have brought for our dog Max. Max is a medium sized cross breed dog.
This toy is made of durable rubber and is red with a hollow centre for inserting and dispending treats. It is ridged on the outside- this is supposed to clean teeth and massage gums and you can also insert treats such as the Kong biscuits into the ridges.
This ball can be brought in various sizes accordingly to the size of your dog- Small, Medium, Large, X-Large. The medium ball can be on Amazon for around £8.50.
Due to the shape the ball does not bounce but rolls and during play treats are dispensed. We have used all sorts of treats with this; yoghurt drops, chocolate drops, liver cake, small biscuits etc. This toy is very easy to clean and is extremely durable, Max has had his for around a year and it is still in excellent condition- and Max is renowned for destroying toys. Kong is the only brand we have found that stand up to his love of chewing and boisterous play.
Kong produce a range of biscuits and pastes, and so far the Kong branded biscuits are the only ones we have been able to insert into the ridges. Max does liek these biscuits but the drawback is the price at around £5, for that reasons I would consider this to be a slight disadvantage of this toy, as all other Kong toys we have can be used fully with any treats. For this reason we tend to just stuff the centre.
This toy is stimulating and helps Max to burn off excess energy.
Max does enjoy playing with this but it is not his favourite Kong toy- his Kong Wobbler and standard Kong having more appeal to him.
This review also appears on CIAO under the same username.
Sometimes it can be hard to find toys for your dog that are hard wearing and difficult to destroy. If you have a dog that totally wrecks soft toys, chews up squeakers in seconds and leaves a trail of broken tennis balls then this could be ideal for you.
The Kong Stuff-A-Ball is made from tough rubber that is hard wearing and difficult for the average or strong chewer to destroy. It can be filled with dog treats so that your dog can roll it around the floor and have a bit of entertainment getting at what's inside. I've found that treat sticks broken into bits work well. Kibble tends to come out of the ball too easily unless it's fairly large. You can buy special Kong stuffing for the product. I usually put a mixture of bits in the ball when we go out and it keeps our border collie happy for a short while.
There's one thing I feel I should comment on when choosing a ball that's going to be used for play as well as treats. Do make sure that you get a ball that's large enough not to be swallowed by your dog. Tennis balls are popular but they can easily be chewed and if they're damaged, a dog the size of a border collie can choke on them. Any ball that can be chewed is potentially dangerous for your dog. A medium sized dog can actually swallow half a tennis ball and if they do so you will need to get the dog straight to the vet. That's where the Kong Stuff-A-Ball comes into its own. It's so strong that there is very little danger of it being chewed and swallowed.
I bought our Kong balls about six years ago. One is still in excellent condition but the other started to break between the "Spines." This meant the ball was softer than when it was new and for safety I discarded it.
The product is available in four sizes:
Small: 2.5 inches or 6.5cm Suitable for dogs 1-20 lbs / 1-10 kg
Medium: 3 inches or 7.5cm Suitable for dogs 15-35 lbs / 5-15 kg
Large: 3.5 inches or 9.5cm Suitable for dogs 30-65 lbs / 15-30 kg
X-Large: 10.5cm Suitable for dogs 60-90 lbs / 25-40kg
The product is made from durable KONG Classic rubber
The patented Denta-Ridges clean teeth and massage gums
My dogs have got quite a few Kong toys and they've had this one in particular for quite a while now - I'd say around a year and a half. They really like it and although it looks quite tatty and worn it is still in one piece which is a minor miracle considering that they're all very strong chewers. I bought this from petplanet and although I can't remember what I paid it wasn't very expensive.
There are various sizes available meaning that these are suitable for all breeds of dogs. The sizes available are small, medium, large and extra large. I was really glad that there was an extra large option as I always like to be on the safe side seeing as my dogs tend to carry toys and ball around in their mouth and the XL is impossible to get accidently swallowed.
The extra large 'stuff a ball' retails at around £12.00 but a range of online retailers sell it for a few pounds less. Even at the full retail price, despite initally seeming quite expensive I think that it is excellent value for money as it is well designed and durable. This toy is basically a kong but it is ball shaped so it rolls around much easier meaning it is a little more exciting for the dog to play with.
Although my dogs enjoy chasing after/fetching this when it is full of treats, I find that once they actually get hold of it they will carry it into the living room and hold it inbetween their paws and lick the contents out, so it doesn't keep them running around after it for very long. This only happens when I put fillings such as soft cheese, pate or peanut butter in it though and with biscuits the only way that they are able to get the treats to fall out is to throw/roll the ball.
The dispenser hole is quite large and my dogs are all able to fit their tounges and the tips of their noses in it. There are small, flexible bits of rubber around the dispenser hole which stops the treats from falling out too easily which I think is a good idea and it does stop the biscuits from pouring out too quickly which obviously keeps my dogs entertained for longer. The ball is made from a very thick, good quality rubber and the texture of the ball is raised and it has dental ridges, which help to massage the dogs' gums and clean their teeth which is great for getting rid of tartar build up.
The toy is waterproof and easy to wash and despite looking quite worn with various teeth marks all over it, it is still in one piece and my dogs haven't managed to bite any bits of rubber off in the year and a half (ish) that we've had it. They get pretty much daily use out of this and even when there is no food inside they will still play with it. Ours is red and as far as I know this is the only colour available. I find the bright colour handy when it comes to cleaning the grass up ready for mowing etc as it is easy to spot.
The toy overall is great. It's durable, affordable and it keeps my dogs entertained. Recommended.
Kong Stuff-a Ball is in my personal opinion, an ingenious dog toy which keeps our dog occupied for ages. Along with the cat, he suffers from dental tartar build up and the vet recommended we encourage him to play / eat something to massage his gums. We bought this from Pets at Home for about eight pounds about nine months ago and he plays with it every day without fail.
There is a reason he is so keen to play with it so often, and that is because it is filled with his favourite treats which you pop through the opening at the bottom. The idea is that the dog can 'sniff out' his treats and in an attempt to get at them he bites down on the strong rubber ball and massages his gums on the sides and slits which run down the sides from the top to the bottom of the ball. Everyone's a winner!
There is no need to worry about your dog wrecking this as it is made from extraordinarily strong rubber and quite hard. It will bounce when you throw it but it is designed mainly for the dog to chew at to get his treats out and to massage his teeth and gums at the same time. Ingenious. I am just personally amazed at how strong and durable the rubber is on this dog toy.
It will smell a bit after a lot of use but it is very easy to maintain and keep clean - just wash it in warm soapy water and leave to dry and it is as good as new that's what I do.
I would definitely recommend this as although the initial outlay can seem expensive it is something that can be used time and time again and also acts as good stimulation for your dog.
Review also posted on Ciao as sorehead
Another Kong toy so another Review!!
Once again, I went a bit mad on the buying of Kong toys and this was one of them. Apparently it is or filling up with treats and letting the dog try and get them out.
It is only available in the red colour so not in the extreme Kong. However it is quite durable and so oes not need to be in extreme form!
As soon as I got this out of the package I filled it up with James Wellbeloved cracker jacks and gave it to my Rotti. (I only have the Rotti when I bought this one). He seemed to like it, chased it around trying to get the treats out. I thought he really liked it until that was all the treats ran out. When he realised there were no more treats coming out of the Kong he decided it was not as good as first thought and ignored it!!
The only time this was played with was when there were treats in it!!! He was a gready Rotti!!
It is an odd toy as there is not a great deal difference to the original Kong execpt for the shape! Apparently you can put some Kong paste in the groves of the toy for the dog to chew or lick out. This was so messy that I only did it once!
Once my other dogs came along the toy got a new lease of life as a large lexible ball!!
Quite expensive just for a "Ball" and maybe the original Kong is better!!
The Kong 'Stuff-A-Ball' is an ultra strong dog toy designed to keep your pet occupied while cleaning teeth and massaging gums. One of a range of 'chewer friendly' toys, these treat dispensers are a clever idea, with just one or two points to note.
We came across the Kong range in our local pet store, and a bit of background research suggested this particular product might suit our dog. It has in fact been quite a good investment, providing a useful means of diversion and helping keep her teeth and gums in good shape. It's also quite clean and healthy as we mainly use it with kibbles taken from her daily dry food ration.
~~Price and availability~~
Kong products have been around since 1976 and are widely available from high street pet stores and from Amazon. Current prices for the 'Stuff-A-Ball' range from around £4 to over £14, according to source and size. Small, medium, large and extra large versions are available for different sizes of dog. We opted for the small version initially, as this was in stock at our local Acorn Pet Centre. Best compare prices locally and online as these can vary considerably.
Our 'new' rescue dog, 'Staffie-cross' Lilly, was somewhat overweight and initially suffered from some separation anxiety. According to the manufacturer, amongst other things, this product can help reduce both problems 'when used as directed'. The advice on the company website (link below) is as follows:
Anxiety: 'Load one or more Stuff-A-Balls and give them to your dog or hide them around your house or yard before you leave home. This will distract your dog from the stress of your leaving and fill their time alone with appropriate, stimulating play.'
Weight: 'Use the Stuff-A-Ball's controlled food release instead of a food bowl. This will benefit dieting dogs and those that eat too fast.'
Both make sense, up to a point. Combining instructions, we decided to fill the toy with a few kibbles taken from Lilly's regular dry feed (as reviewed recently), so no additional treats were involved and feeding time was extended - but only slightly.
As we only use this toy with dry food and the occasional dry treat (not with paste or peanut butter) we may not have tested its full capabilities - but this does avoid any mess, so it doesn't need much cleaning!
The bottom line, as they say, is a useful toy that helps reduce anxiety slightly by providing some healthy distraction as part of a balanced, active regime. Our dog clearly enjoys this, so we derive some benefit too. It certainly entertains her for a few minutes at a time, which can be worthwhile: not bad value for money, with more possibilities still to explore.
~~Quality and design~~
Kong's colour coded rubber compounds are well known for their remarkable strength, especially for 'heavyweight chewers'. We've had this toy for several months now and it remains largely intact, which is more than can be said for her other toys! It's worth noting that we bought the small version as this was the only one in our local shop at the time. Even so, it seems to have stood the test of time with only the slightest sign of wear and tear so far. Indeed, some enlargement of the filling aperture may account for smaller food items tending to fall out all at once. We plan to invest in the medium size version which may be more suitable.
The design is clever and it's easy to use. The only slight problem is, as mentioned, smaller items tending to fall out as the ball is rolled along the floor. The manufacturer's advice is to seal the ball with peanut butter or similar. This might also help.
The most comprehensive instructions are on the company website - see link below - these cover a wide range of uses for dogs with specific issues.
Dental regime: toothpaste can be squeezed into the grooves - but we haven't tried this yet.
* Smaller items may tend to fall out all at once.
* Potentially messy if used with peanut butter or paste
~~Disclaimer / Caveat~~
Our experience with this toy cannot possibly cover the full range of issues and techniques described on the Kong website. I'd recommend visiting this for further information.
A variation on the classic 'Kong' toy introduced in 1976, this is a useful item that can provide some healthy diversion and potentially help with a range of behavioural problems.
Interesting that Google's first listed definition of 'Kong' is Wikipedia's :
'Kong (sometimes KONG) is [a] popular line of dog toys and cat toys [...] The classic Kong resembles a snowman-like structure...'
My first association would have been with King Kong!
Manufacturer's website : www.kongcompany.com
[© SteveS001, 2011. A version of this original review may be found on other review sites]
Like many pet owners I am always on the look out for a toy that will keep my dog happy. A few months ago I spotted an odd shaped rubber ball in my local pet shop that caught my interest. The strange shaped ball was called Kong stuff a ball.
What is this toy?
Kong stuff a ball is made by Kong an American company.
Kong stuff a ball is a natural rubber ball with slits around it. At the bottom of the ball is a small opening. The idea is that you place treats or small pieces of food inside the ball for your dog to tease out. I like to put several pieces of my dog's kibble inside.
The ball is made of natural rubber and is very strong.
The ridges around the ball will help to clean your dog's teeth and massage his gums, so this ball is not just a toy but has health benefits too. In addition to dog treats you can also rub some doggy toothpaste around the ridges to help clean your dogs teeth more effectively.
The ball is very bouncy and when thrown will bounce with an uneven bounce, adding to the stimulation for your dog. The ball can also be rolled.
My dog usually destroys his toys quickly, some have only lasted a day! The Kong stuff a ball is certainly strong. After several months it is still as good as new.
It is very easy to clean, important when you are adding food! Simply wash in hot soapy water.
Kong claim that this toy helps stop boredom. By dog likes this toy and will spent several minutes chewing on it trying to get at the food inside. However I wouldn't say it's his favourite toy. My dog prefers toys he can toss in the air and then chase. The Kong ball is quite heavy, so he can't toss it around.
Overall I would say that this is a toy that is worth a try as it does have good reviews from many dog owners. Kong stuff a ball is available from many pet shops and on line. They come in different sizes to suit the size of your dog. The price varies from about £7 to £9 depending on size.
*What is a Stuff-A-Ball?*
This a rubber chew toy made by the Kong company, which is a maker of high quality long lasting toys for pets. Stuff A Ball is made from the same quality rubber that the original Kong toys are made from.
*The toy itself*
Kong Stuff A Ball is a red rubber ball shaped toy which has grooves all the way round which are little ridges inside, these work to gently clean a dogs teeth and gumline as it chews on the toy. The toy is hollow so can be filled with treats and the little grooves can also be filled with small goodies, such as the special pastes made by the Kong company or toothpaste designed for dogs which will clean the teeth further. The Stuff A Ball can also be used as a fetch toy, but it doesn't float so make sure you don't throw it in the sea or a lake for your dog to fecth!
Like most Kong toys, the Stuff A Ball comes attached to a piece of white card which has lots of useful information about the toy and how to use it, there is also a leaflet provided to explain the different things you can use the ball for to keep your dog entertained. Both the leaflet and the writing on the packaging is printed in French and English.
*Price & Availabilty*
The toy is available from most Pets At Home stores but I have never seen any of the Kong toys in supermarkets. The toy is available in four sizes:
Small - £4.99
Extra Large- £8.99
Even the smallest size isn't that small so probally wouldn't be suitable for dogs any smaller than a Jack Russell Terrier or a Westie.
*What the dogs think*
I brought the extra large size for my Bernese Mountain Dog Benson around 6 months ago and he gets loads of use out of it, he has a few other toys from the Kong range but this one deffinatly seems to be his favourite. I squeeze a bit of dog toothpaste in the grooves to keep his teeth clean and stuff it with brown bread (doesn't sound like much of a treat but Benson loves it!).
My other dog Ruby isn't normally a fan of rubber toys so I didn't buy her a Stuff A Ball however she has started to take an intrest in Bensons, but being a little Cavailer King Charles Spaniel she obviously can't pick up the extra large size, so next time I'm at the pet store I'll pick up the smallest size for her. Benson also likes to use his Stuff A Ball as a fetch toy, just make sure you don't hit anyone..these things are very heavy!
*Ease of cleaning*
After your dog has removed all the food you stuffed the ball with it is important to clean it straight away to avoid germs and bacteria building up. Because it is made from rubber I simply wash it in hot water and washing up liquid then make sure it is rinsed well before I give it back to Benson. The only downside is that all the little grooves are a pain to clean, I use an old toothbrush which I have found works best. The Stuff A Ball has holes at both ends so you can simply hold it under the tap and let the water run in one end and out the other to clean the inside of the ball.
*Pro's & Con's*
+ Cleans teeth and if used with a dog toothpaste it freshens breath too.
+ Very tough and long lasting
+ Four sizes available to suit most breeds of dog
+ Can be filled with food or treats
+ Fairly easy to clean
+ Can be used as a chew toy or fetch toy
+ Special puppy version made from softer rubber also available, priced from £4.99
+ Prevents bordem when dogs are left alone
- Even the smallest size is about the size of a tennis ball, so tiny toy breeds probally won't be able to pick it up.
This Kong 'Stuff-A-Ball' is by far my dogs favourite toy. It is made from the same strong natural red rubber that the original Kong toys are made from, so you can be sure that it is of high quality and will hopefully provide your dog with hours of fun an enjoyment.
The Kong Stuff-A-Ball has little 'slots' going all the way round it which have little grooves in, which are designed to gently clean your dogs teeth as he chews the ball. It is also hollow, so can be stuffed with treats or regular dog food to encourage your dog to play or to liven up feeding times. The little grooves can also be filled with tiny treats or things like peanut butter or yoghurt. I push bits of 'Winalot Reward' in to them and then smear a little bit of doggie toothpaste on top of the treats, so as my dog chews to try to get the treat out, the toothpaste cleans his teeth at the same time. The Kong company does sell a special paste designed for use with Kong toys but it is rather expensive.
My Westie has the small sized Stuff-A-Ball which is about the size of a tennis ball, so its not actually that small! A tiny breed dog such as a Chihuahua would probally struggle to pick it up. Other sizes available are Medium, Large and Extra Large. My dogs Stuff-A-Ball came from my local pet store and cost £4.99.
The packaging is rather plain, the ball is just attached to a white piece of card with the Kong logo, product name and other information on. It also comes with a leaflet which tells you all about the Kong company and the product you have just brought, there is also a size guide so you can see what size is suitable for your dog.
A puppy version made from a softer pink and white or blue and white marbled rubber is also available.
It was our puppys first Christmas this year and he was spoilt by all our family giving him toys, one toy we chose for him was the Kong Stuff-A-Ball which has proved to be a great success.
The Kong Company
The Kong Company is an American company who make many different types of dog toys. They specialise in dog toys which are strong and sturdy and built to last.
What is the Stuff-A-Ball?
Stuff-A-Ball is a ball made from natural rubber and is both a treat-dispenser and a dental toy. The dog can roll, bounce or chew the ball to get it to release food or treats. The dog will enjoy playing with the ball and will be challenged to get the treats and rewarded as it does so. The ball has special denta-ridges which will clean your dogs teeth and gums as it chews. The ball will stimulate your dog, stopping boredom and thereby reducing destructive behaviour such as chewing furniture and reducing separation anxiety if you leave the dog alone.
Why do you need toys like the Kong Stuff-A Ball?
Dogs have and inborn instinct to hunt and forage for food. By providing your dogs food in a bowl every day without getting your dog to work for its food does nothing to challenge or stimulate your dog. Dogs like to work for their food, they like to be challenged and stimulated and enjoy the rewards. Your dog needs exercise for its mind as well as its body. Many zoos use interactive feeding programs to reduce animal depression, pacing and boredom, they hid food in the enclosure, use food stuffed toys and puzzles working in the same way as the Stuff-A-Ball does.
How to use the ball
Use it before a meal (or instead of), if you do it afterwards the dog may not be as interested. Start with treats that are easy to dispense to keep your dogs interest until he works out what to do. Most dogs pick it up really quickly, where there is food there is a way! As your dog progresses you can try cramming things in more to create more of a challenge.
What can you use to stuff the ball?
Your usual dog biscuit. Kong suggests to create more of a challenge seal the openings of the ball with soft foods such as peanut butter or soft cheese, this will mean the biscuits wont just fall out when the ball is turned until the dog removes the soft food.
You can use Kong Branded mini snaps which are available from pet stores (Oscar loves the peanut butter flavoured biscuits). Any Dog treat broken into bits e.g. smackos, dried liver, dog biscuits.
Sliced or diced fresh veggies or fruit (never tried this but its recommended on the Kong website. You can also spread soft food in between the Denta-ridges such as Kong paste, peanut butter, minced chicken, soft dog foods, cooked pasta, tuna, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, or soft cheeses. This is recommended for outside only as it will be very messy!!
Care and Safety Instructions
Keep your Stuff-A-Ball clean. Wash after each feeding session. It can be hand washed in washing up liquid and rinsed well or can be put into the dishwasher.
The stuff a ball is strong and hard wearing but if it did become damaged it should be replaced.
Using the stuff-a-ball to prevent problem behaviours
The Kong Company recommend you can use the kong stuff a ball for the following problems -
Boredom and Depression: Use with treats to provide your dog with extended playtimes for physical and mental stimulation. Things like fetch and retrieve with a biscuit in the ball, when the dog returns it fill it again and throw it. Hide and seek with the ball, with a treat in the ball.
Destructive Behaviors (chewing, etc.): You can stop chewing by substituting the item with the stuff a ball to reward the dog for good behaviour and to discourage the bad behaviour.
Separation Anxiety - Using the Stuff-A-Ball will distract your dog from the fact that your are leaving and will instead give a positive enjoyable experience.
Dental Recommendations - As your dog chews on the ridges their teeth and gums will be cleaned. You can get more effective cleaning by adding dog toothpaste or Kong make a StuffN Breath treat to give your dog fresh breath!
Overweight dogs - The Stuff-A-Ball can benefit overweight dogs as the food is released slowly the dog will eat slower and so feel fuller quickly (thats the theory anyway!). The dog will also get more exercise as he tries to get the biscuits out of the ball so using up more calories.
Where can I buy it and how much does it cost?
The stuff a ball can be bought in many pet stores or online from shops such as PetPlanet which is where we got ours. The cost online is from £6.99 to £8.99 depending on the size.
What does Oscar think?
He loves it. We use it sometimes to put his meals in and he works away at getting the biscuits out, pushing it with his nose or his paws and enjoying the rewards, it keeps him quiet for a while. At other times we use it with some of the Kong biscuits, with some place inside the ball and some jammed into the ridges at the sides and he enjoys working away to get the biscuits. Its something that he wont grow out of and will last him a long time. Its a great way to challenge and stimulate him and to keep him occupied. It is hard wearing, there has been no signs of damage. Due to the shape of it it isnt very easy to chew so the dog has to push it about to get the treats out. We always wash it in the dishwasher and it works well. I thoroughly recommend it and so does Oscar.
Ball can be filled with tasty treats