KONG rubber toys play an important role in the wellbeing of dogs. The process of licking a stuffed KONG to take the food out is soothing, mentally stimulating, satisfies a natural need, and is also fun! It makes dogs feel happy, and direct that energy into good behavior. When a dog eats from the KONG, they tend not to chew it up, because they learn it is a food dispenser. However, it is important to supervise until you observe it is safe to leave with them. This KONG 101 video will help you get started.
Dogs are born with the desire to work for food, called foraging, and when they learn how to work for their food, it becomes their prefer way of eating. It is also mentally stimulating, as they use all senses when they play, and get tired. We recommend that you introduce a KONG as an interactive feeder, with kibble or treats inside, to create this association. The filling can be dry at first, and gradually you can increase the challenge by mixing the dry food with something wet and delicious that they love.
Classic KONG Toys
We would recommend the KONG Puppy or KONG Classic, depending on your dog’s age and chewing behavior. Here are some recipes for stuffing a KONG.
Fun tip: for even longer lasting fun, you can pop a stuffed KONG into the freezer!
KONG Interactive Feeding Toys
In addition to the KONG Classic, there are many other options for interactive feeding toys. These should be put away when feeding is finished. For an increased challenge, add a larger treat inside!
KONG Chew Toys
Dogs have a natural need to chew. There is one type of chewing that is done with the molar tooth, at the back of their mouth, and re-directing to these types of toys to satisfy this need can help.
We would recommend the ChewStix Puppy Curve Bone for puppies, as it is softest for young teeth.
Oversized KONG Toys
Dogs also like to bite onto oversized toys with their full mouth and carry them around. But please remember that no dog toy is indestructible. It is important to supervise playtime until you are confident that they can play safely without supervision.
Durable KONG Toys
The following toys are also very durable for interactive play (tug and fetch), and should be put away when the game is over. If you leave these toys with your dog, they may chew them up; this is what many dogs do!
Squeaky Ball KONG Toys
These are line of balls with squeaker, they are great for an interactive game of fetch, but should not be left for the dog to chew:
As Always, Safety First
Please remember that KONG rubber toys are known around the world for its resistance and durability, but no toy is indestructible. As pet parents, it is our responsibility to supervise our dogs with any toy, until we feel it is safe to leave with them.
If you are looking for more assistance from a qualified dog trainer, we recommend visiting our training classes or searching for a professional through the Association of Professional Dog Trainers to find someone who will be a good fit for your puppy’s needs.
Additionally, you can find various tips and resources for new pet guardians and longtime pet guardians alike in ARF’s online Pet Care and Behavior Library.