Hey! My name’s Valerie, and you’ll often catch me writing about dog-related topics on Officiallypets.com!
Every dog owner likes to buy gifts for their pooch, and most dogs end up with their own toy box full of playthings. Often these toys need to be thrown away because the dog has chewed them. Perhaps the stuffing is coming out, and the ears have been ripped off. Sometimes the toys are left unsafe for a dog. No surprise then, that dog owners are always on the lookout for toys which are almost indestructible. Certainly, we all want toys that our dogs simply cannot destroy.
Enter the Kong range of dog toys.
What are Kong toys?
A Kong toy – and there are several different kinds of them – is non-toxic. It is constructed of rubber, which is not only safe to chew, but also dishwasher safe. A Kong toy has a hollow center which is designed to carry food or treats for your dog.
Dogs have a natural desire to lick and chew things, and Kong toys provide a healthy option for your pooch instead of licking your shoes or furniture.
Kong toys come in different sizes so that even the smallest dogs can enjoy their own bite-sized toy.
Are They Indestructible?
Let’s face it if you have a dog, particularly a pup, you can expect them to chew. You may be lucky and have a pooch that does not chew until the object is destroyed, but these are few and far between. Most dogs will chew – and chew until the object is useless. What we need are toys that simply cannot be destroyed by dogs.
That’s where Kong comes into play. Kong has the reputation of making some of the most durable and toughest toys in the world. Even serious chompers and chewers may not be able to destroy these toys!
There are four different types of toy depending on the dog, their age, and the ability to chew. Kong has divided its toys into these sections.
Kong Puppy- Don’t be tempted to buy this for an adult dog as it will not last. It is made for a puppy, so it is slightly less durable than other toys. This is good for dogs that hardly chew or are light chewers. They are also good for puppies because their gums are still soft.
Kong Senior-This is designed with the older dog in mind, who may have some dental issues. It is made from soft rubber although it is harder than those made for puppies. Again, this is not good for vigorous chewers.
Kong Classic- This is for the average chewer and chomper. These toys are made from rubber which is super durable and can withstand a dog who enjoys a good gnaw on things. Don’t give this to pups or older dogs as it is too hard for their teeth and gums.
Kong Extreme- Here’s the ideal toy for that dog that chews everything! We all know someone who has a dog like that. These toys are made to outlast even the best chewer, no matter how long he likes to spend gnawing away at a toy.
So, Why Give your Dog a Kong Toy?
Dogs are made to hunt and forage. They are also often used as working animals. From the beginning of animal existence, they were taught to find their own food.
One of the reasons our dogs become destructive is that they are bored. They may not get enough exercise – either mental or physical. They also may not have enough outdoor time to satisfy their curiosity.
For your dog’s life to be more fun and enjoyable, he needs to have more ‘work’ to do. This is also a good thing when you need to go out and leave him on his own. It is also a solution for when you must get on with other things and don’t have time to spend playing with your pooch.
Puzzle toys like the Kong range give your dog the opportunity to work for their food literally. Kong toys are in effect, sturdy little containers for you to place food or treats in. Normally there will be a hole at either end, although one hole will be larger than the other one.
If your dog wants to get the food out, he needs to learn how to shake or lick the inside of the Kong until the treat is small enough to be eaten.
Often this can take some time for the dog to get the treat out and because he is working all the time, he may get quite tired. But – as every dog owner knows – a tired dog is a good dog!
So, How Do We Use a Kong?
Your dog does not know that the Kong is a food-filled treat, he must learn this trick. The first time you give the Kong to your pooch, you should leave it empty so he can familiarise himself with it. If you stuff it right away, he may become frustrated because he has never seen one before and has no idea what to do with it.
After he knows what the Kong is and has seen it moving around, you should place a few small pieces of dry kibble inside. Shake them around so that your pooch hears them, and they fall out easily. Your dog will soon learn that whatever rattles inside the Kong is going to taste delicious! He just has to get it out.
Once your dog can easily get any dried kibble pieces out of his Kong, you can progress to larger and more interesting combinations.
Of course, you should remember that fresh water is essential, particularly after a bout of exercise with the Kong.
What Can you Put Inside the Kong?
The list of what you put inside the Kong is almost endless. If it consists of things that your pooch likes and never any of the foods that will harm him, the choice is up to you.
After dry kibble to teach your dog what to do, it is often peanut butter which is smeared inside the Kong.
Here is a list of other foodstuffs that you can use.
To smear inside:
- Peanut butter
- Cream cheese
- Cottage cheese
- Canned wet food
- Cooked ground meat such as chicken and ground beef
- Greek yogurt
For solid pieces:
- Cubed apples
- Cubed cheese
- Sliced frozen banana
- Cooked veggies such as cubed sweet potato
- Cooked diced meat such as chicken or beef
- Cubed carrots
For an extra long chewing and licking session, you can fill the Kong with cooked meat and gravy then freeze it. You need to stand it is a cup to freeze, so the liquid does not run out of the small hole at the one end.
What’s in the Ultimate Kong Toy Package?
Kong toys began with the first toy most dog owners are familiar with, namely the red rubber thingy with a small hole at one end and a larger hole at the other end. It is known as the Kong Classic toy.
Since then they have brought out several additions to the range so you can mix and match a selection box of goodies for your pooch.
Here’s a selection of interesting Kong toys which will make up the ultimate Kong package for your dog. You could even wrap them and give as a gift to another dog owner!
- The small dog ball – perfect for the smaller pooch.
- The rubber flying disc – great for getting your dog to exercise a little more.
- Puppy tires – these come in small and extra large so will fit all size of a dog.
- Jump’n Jack – this is great for dogs because while they chew the toy, it also cleans their teeth.
- Kong bones – these come in small and large sizes so will suit any size dog.
- Kong jumbler disc – for dogs who like to play fetch games, this disc is easy to grasp, won’t hurt their teeth, but will give them something to get their teeth into while they bring it back to you.
The toys are divided into colors to make it easy when buying a toy for your or anyone else’s pet.
Red: this may have been the first Kong toy that pet owners became aware of. It is made of red rubber and is designed for average chewers.
Pink/baby blue: as the color indicates this toy is for the younger dogs and for puppies. The rubber is softer and gentler on new teeth and sensitive gums.
Purple: these toys are made for older dogs. While the rubber is still durable, it is quite soft so it will not harm sensitive gums.
Black: this is for extreme chewers. These toys are made from the strongest rubber and are the most durable of all the toys in the range. Not for the faint-hearted, these toys!
What’s So Special About Kong Toys?
There are several reasons why it makes sense to give your dog a basket of Kong toys.
Not only does regular chewing keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy, but it also helps remove debris from between his teeth and prevent gum disease.
Dogs who suffer from separation anxiety will benefit from having something to keep them occupied while they are left alone.
Stuffed toys provide a long-lasting ‘fun’ time for your pooch where he can chew and lick to his heart’s content while you do your own thing.
Having something to chew and lick fulfills the instinct to work, so when you give him something to do, he feels busy and content. This, in turn, will make your dog feel more confident, particularly if you play games such as ‘hunt the Kong’ with him.
Dogs who are overweight and lazy will benefit from having these toys, as they will start to move more, particularly if filled with one of their favourite treats. The toys will bounce unpredictably so your dog will have to work harder to catch them, which means extra exercise.
You can stuff the toys with almost anything, certainly everything that your dog likes. The list is endless. Do remember that licking and chewing can be a messy business so you may want to keep Fido off the sofa while he salivates over his stuffed toy!
To Sum Up
Kong toys come in all shapes and sizes and are suitable for every dog, no matter how large or small, young or old or age.
So, next time you are at a loss as to what to get your dog for his birthday, make your own ultimate Kong toy package. Include a packet of his favorite treats and voila!.. you will have a very happy dog!
My name is Valerie. I am the proud owner of Bentley, who is a Clumberdoodle. That’s a mix of Clumber Spaniel and Standard Poodle. Writing is my passion and writing about dogs gives me a chance to share our experiences with Bentley. I write about him in articles for happytailshq.com!