1. The Basic Kong
A special treat for “dessert,” like a cube of freeze-dried liver or jerky
Your dog’s kibble
Canned dog food
Sticky sealer (a blob of peanut butter, processed cheese or cream cheese)
Drop the special treat into the bottom of the KONG. Then mix together your dog’s kibble and a few spoonfuls of canned dog food. Spoon the mixture into the KONG. When the KONG is filled, seal all the food inside using a dab of peanut butter, a smear of processed cheese or a little cream cheese. If you find that your dog can lick the KONG clean within just a few minutes, try freezing it overnight before giving it to him to satisfy him longer.
2. Meat and Potatoes
Ground turkey, chicken, lean hamburger or cubed chuck steak or roast
Potatoes, brown rice, cooked oatmeal or crumbled whole wheat bread
Kidney beans and grated raw or lightly steamed veggies
Combine equal parts meat and potatoes or grain. Stir in a spoonful of beans and a sprinkle of raw grated or steamed and mashed veggies. Freeze the KONG overnight or serve it warm.
3. Chicken Stew
1 whole chicken or fryer parts (breast and thighs)
Potatoes or cooked brown rice, oatmeal or millet
Vegetables: Some that dogs like raw (grated or finely chopped) are parsley, carrots, zucchini, lettuce, bell peppers (green, red, orange and yellow), fresh corn, celery, tomatoes and beets. Some veggies that dogs enjoy steamed are green beans, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, potatoes and hard winter squash.
In a soup kettle, cover the chicken with water, lightly salt and spice to taste, and add chopped veggies—celery, carrots, diced tomato, bell pepper, etc. If you’re using potato, add that to the stew as well. If you’re using grains, cook them separately. When the stew is done, you’re ready to combine everything. Put equal parts of meat and grain or potato in a large bowl, along with a tablespoon or two of the vegetables. (The vegetables should amount to about five percent of your dog’s meal.) Then spoon the mixture into a KONG. If you’re going to freeze the KONG, you can add some broth as well.
4. Itchy Dog KONG (for dogs with allergies on restricted prescription diets)
Because dogs with food allergies usually can’t have regular treats or chews, it can be challenging to come up with ways to add variety to their diets. Using KONGs to feed your allergic dog can help spice up his life. Just be sure to check with his veterinarian or dermatologist for a list of approved foods before you get started. The following recipe includes ingredients that many dogs with food allergies can eat. You’ll need:
Your dog’s prescription kibble
A few spoonfuls of water or prescription canned food
Grated, steamed or raw asparagus spears, broccoli, zucchini and/or carrots
A few chunks of apple, banana, watermelon, cantaloupe, a strawberry, some blueberries or a section of orange
A hypoallergenic biscuit, formulated for dogs with food allergies (ask your dog’s veterinarian about where to find these)
Baked russet or sweet potato
Vegetarian refried beans
First drop the fruit into the bottom of the KONG for dessert. Then mix together your dog’s kibble, the wet food or water, and the veggies. Put a spoonful or two of the mixture into the KONG. Then put a chunk or two of potato in. Repeat, layering the mixture and potato until the KONG is almost filled. Finally, cram the biscuit into the end of the KONG. Seal everything in with a dab of the vegetarian refried beans. Serve warm, at room temperature or frozen.
5. Warm Veggie Delight
Cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, green beans, tomatoes, peas and/or carrots (use any or all of the above)
Grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Chop the veggies into chunks, grate them or steam and mash them. Put a few veggies into a KONG. Sprinkle in a spoonful of cheese. Repeat, layering the veggies and cheese until the KONG is full. Then microwave the KONG for five to eight seconds, just until the veggies are warm and the cheese is soft. Make sure the veggies and cheese aren’t too hot to eat before giving the KONG to your dog. To challenge him, you can freeze the KONG after stuffing and microwaving it. (The melted cheese will be hard to get out after it’s been frozen with the veggies.)
6. Western KONGmelete
Bell peppers and tomatoes
Grate the bell peppers or lightly steam them. Chop the tomatoes into chunks. Then scramble one egg with a sprinkle of cheese. Spoon the cheesy egg and the veggies into a KONG. Seal the KONG with a small chunk of cheese. Serve warm.
7. Fido’s Fruit Salad
Cottage cheese or yogurt (only use plain or naturally sweetened yogurt—not yogurt with artificial sweeteners, which can be toxic to dogs)
Apples, banana and melon (any kind)
One small marshmallow
Cut the fruit into chunks and put them into a KONG until the toy is about two-thirds of the way full. Holding the KONG upside down, spoon cottage cheese or yogurt into the remaining space. Finally, finish by putting a small marshmallow into the KONG. Serve at room temperature or frozen.
8. “Pupkin” Pie
Canned or freshly cooked pureed pumpkin
Yogurt or cottage cheese (only use plain or naturally sweetened yogurt—not yogurt with artificial sweeteners, which can be toxic to dogs)
Low-fat graham cracker
Put a spoonful of cooked oatmeal at the bottom of the KONG to seal the small hole. Then put two spoonfuls of pumpkin into the KONG. Follow with a spoonful of yogurt or cottage cheese. Repeat, layering the pumpkin and yogurt or cottage cheese until the KONG is almost full. Then cram a few pieces of graham cracker into the end of the KONG. Serve warm or frozen.
9. The Nutty Monkey
Half a banana, cut into slices
Plain, vanilla or strawberry yogurt (only use plain or naturally sweetened yogurt—not yogurt with artificial sweeteners, which can be toxic to dogs)
A spoonful of wheat germ
Put a blob of peanut butter into an empty KONG to seal the small hole at the bottom. Add a few roasted peanuts. Mix the banana slices with a few spoonfuls of yogurt and the wheat germ. Then spoon the mixture into the KONG. Seal the KONG at the top with another blob of peanut butter. Serve at room temperature or frozen.
10. “Quickie Kongs”
Keep a stash of halved bananas in your freezer. When you’re on the run, just grab a banana half and slide it into a KONG. Or slice an apple into wedges and insert one or two of those into a KONG.
Cram a large dog biscuit or two into a KONG. If necessary, squeeze the KONG when inserting the biscuits to change the shape of the hole and fit them in.