Product Type: Puppy Kong dog accessories
Newest Review: ... years back. I had a larger red version of this for my dog that was older and bigger than my daughters pup. I've seen them in different... more
Bubbles Vs Kong
Member Name: sandemp
Advantages: Tough, fun, great for chewing, great for making puppies work for their food
Disadvantages: Costs more than the average puppy toy
The newest addition to the Sandemp household is a gorgeous bundle of white, fluffy mischief in the form of eleven week old West Highland Terrier, Bubbles. Bubbles is a loving, playful little boy, but being a puppy he likes to chew and being a terrier puppy he likes to "kill" his toys by shaking them to death. We bought him a dense foam ball that he managed to tear to pieces within seconds and he was threatening to turn his attention to the table legs, computer wires, my two year son's toys and even my feet. It's not his fault, the poor thing is teething and only satisfying a natural urge, so I decided that I needed to buy him a toy that was specially designed to satisfy and survive this urge to chew and picked him up a Puppy Kong.
The Puppy Kong is just one in the Kong range of pet toys that have been specifically designed to survive the rigours of being chewed and played with while adding an extra element to occupy the animal's mind. I don't plan on going into detail about the origins of the first Kong, but suffice to say that as is often the case necessity was the mother of invention and it was created by a dog owner to provide his dog with something to distract him from chewing stones while providing him with stimulation. (If you want to read the full story then it's here : http://www.kongcompany.com/the-world-of-kong/the-k ong-story/). The original Kong is made of a very tough, almost indestructible rubber, which is greater for older dogs, but a little too tough for puppies with their baby teeth, but the Puppy Kong has been specially designed for puppies under nine months.
The Puppy Kong is available in three sizes (small/medium/large) and two colours (blue/pink), as Bubbles is most definitely a boy dog I chose the blue colour for him, but choosing the size was a little more difficult. It's important to get the size right, as if the Kong is too small there's a chance that the puppy will try and swallow it and if it's too large then they won't be able to get their jaws around it to chew. Although Westies are considered small dogs they are very often described as being big dogs in a small body and certainly Bubbles doesn't seem to consider himself "small", so after looking at the different sizes I decided that the medium was the one for us. Prices for the Puppy Kong vary from place to place and size to size but I paid £4.89 for a medium blue from Amazon with free super saver delivery (I actually paid extra for next day delivery as it cost the same as it would have for me to get to my nearest pet shop).
The Puppy Kong isn't the easiest thing in the world to describe, but I'll give it a try. Imagine three bead shapes of graduating sizes stacked one on top of the next. Then imagine these beads are made of a tough rubber and welded together and you almost have the idea. Or you could just look at the picture above this review, that's a pretty much perfect representation. The rubber the Puppy Kong is made from feels tough and yet still has a lot of give. When thrown the Kong bounces erratically, meaning that the puppy needs to think about where it will end up. As well as being great for playing fetch, being chased round the room and chewed on, the Puppy Kong can also be used as a food dispenser that makes the Puppy work for his treats. This works as the Puppy Kong is hollow, with a small hole at one end and larger hole at the other. You can buy brand specific treats to fit in the Puppy Kong, including biscuits and a spray filling, or you can fill it with your own treats. You could fill it with puppy treats, wet food, dry food or pieces of meat, you can even fill it with gravy and then freeze it to give your puppy a cooling treat on a hot day. Obviously if you put food in the Puppy Kong it will get a bit mucky, but it is very easy to rinse out under the tap to be left looking like new.
==Bubbles Vs Kong==
As I've said previously Bubbles is a rather enthusiastic chewer and even at eleven weeks he can be quite destructive, so the Puppy Kong was going to be seriously challenged. The first challenge was whether or not Bubbles actually liked it and I must say he doesn't just like it he loves it. Whenever he starts chewing something that I don't want him to (my foot for example), I distract him with the Puppy Kong and he will spend a good ten minutes chomping away. Other toys have been destroyed in well under this time, (the tennis ball lasted all of a minute) and yet the Puppy Kong showed not a single tooth mark, quite impressive really. But Bubbles isn't one to simply lay back and allow a toy to defeat him, he enjoys shaking it in true terrier fashion and finds it fits well in his mouth, but that he still can't kill it. During one of these play sessions, Bubbles discovered that he could throw it in the air and that it would bounce wildly so he could chase it. I have to say that watching him throw it in the air, then pounce on it before giving it a good chew before throwing it again, is fantastic (and hilarious) to watch and from the way his tail wags ten to the dozen it's obvious how much fun he's having and this is without adding food into the mix.
When we fill the Puppy Kong with food, he has even more fun and gets to fill his tummy at the same time. Now I do not use the Kong branded biscuits or squirty fillings in the Puppy Kong, instead I make my own fillings. With one meal a day (out of three) I fill the Puppy Kong with dry food out of his meal and then give him the Puppy Kong so that he has to work for his food and use his brain. By doing this his dinner lasts a little longer and he can have fun chasing the Puppy Kong around the kitchen until every last piece has worked free. I wouldn't say I can get a huge amount of food in there though, maybe a third of his meal, but I do feel it gives him that little bit more stimulation. The only other time I put food in the Puppy Kong is when we will be leaving Bubbles on his own for a short period of time, to give him something to occupy himself while we are out and so far (fingers crossed) this has distracted him from chewing on the kitchen units and table. An absolute favourite was a mix of cooked turkey and puppy treats, squashed in tightly, that lasted him over two hours.
Although the Bubbles' war to kill the Puppy Kong has only been raging for a few days, there have been a large number of battles each lasting for an extended period of time with the Puppy Kong not having taken a single injury. So far it has survived treatment that has destroyed lesser puppy toys within minutes without showing a single sign of wear or distress. This fact alone makes the relatively high price more than worth it, but the serious fun Bubbles has while playing with it makes it more than worth twice the price. As with all puppy (and dog) toys it will need to be regularly checked for wear and tear such as splitting and cracking, but I know of dog owners that have had Puppy Kongs in their dog's toy collection for over a year without it being "killed".
If you have a puppy under nine months then I can't recommend the Puppy Kong enough. It's unique shape means that it can provide relief from teething pains no matter where in the mouth they are. It's toughness means that it should survive even the most ardent junior "killer" of toys (Bubbles has destroyed not one but four toys in the last couple of days), while it's versatility means that it provides hours of fun without the addition of food and even more fun with. It can be used to distract puppies when you want to leave them alone for short periods, or to make them use their natural intelligence to work for their food.
Summary: Brilliant puppy toy, especially for chewy puppies
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