Solving dog separation anxiety issues is not an easy task. It is easy to reward the puppy for good behavior when you are home. But when you are not home? How can you reward him if he behaves properly? How to reward your dog for sitting at home calmly and enjoying his time?
Well, you can reward him when you come back home and see there is no damage to the home. But do you know if he barked? Nope, you do not know. Nevertheless, there is a simple trick you can employ to reward your dog when you are not at home.
And this trick also helps resolve separation anxiety and similar problems. What is the solution? Simple! Stuff a chew toy with food. Today, we will talk about the Kong chew toy.
Why does this help? Well, food delivery is SLOW from a chew toy. And each bit of food that comes out of the Kong toy REWARDS your puppy.
In a way, you give him a hobby and calm his anxiety.
How to stuff a Kong for your dog?
You can stuff a Kong toy with anything that is safe for your dog to eat. You can read below for some Kong recipes, but more on that later. First, we have to talk what is the best way to stuff the chew toy.
Remember, stuffing the toy can be easy but also messy. Here are some general guidelines.
- Always put bigger and looser objects at the bottom of the Kong
- Seal the toy with something sticky
- You can install a handle, such as a bully stick, chicken foot, carrot, or anything else. Do this by inserting the handle into the chew toy, and then filling and sealing around it
- If you want a softer filling, use a small spoon to fill the toy around the bigger and looser objects
- Seal using the back of a spoon or a butter knife. If you can squeeze tubes to fill the toy
Can I give my dog Kong toy every day?
Yes, you can give Kong to your pet every day, as long as you adjust the amount of dog food offered at mealtimes. Only then it is safe and Okay to give your dog stuffed Kong every day. Remember, some people practice feeding their dog regular meals stuffed inside a chew toy. This is a great way to reward your dog when you are not home. And it helps a lot with crate training.
If not, we recommend only using Kong once or twice per week. That is if you do not feed him his meal using Kong. You can keep several Kongs at home. Make a big bowl of Kong filling once per week, stuff your toys, and freeze them.
Should you give your puppy Kong at night?
Generally speaking, you cannot go wrong with a Kong toy. It is a safe and durable toy option that will keep your puppy busy for a while. You can use it for a busy day or night. For example, if you have people coming over and you want your puppy calm. Give him a Kong toy and he will play with it while you enjoy some chat with friends.
Kong toy benefits
We said before that with Kong toys, dogs get SLOW food delivery. Your dog has to work to get food or treats. And by doing that, he is expending excess energy. It helps your pup alleviate boredom and anxiety. If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, Kong can prevent any destructive behavior. Here is a summary of all benefits.
- Keeps your dog busy and mentally stimulated
- Prevents destructive behavior
- Keeps your dog calm when you are not home
- Helps with separation anxiety
- Entertains the dog
- Your dog learns he has to work for food
- Adds excitement and activity during the day
We said you can use Kong as long as you use it safely. Well, here are some safety considerations. Yes, Kong toy is safe, strong, and relatively indestructible. However, there are risks. You have to teach your pup to use the Kong.
Why? Because some dogs think they can and should chew off fragments of Kong toys and ingest them. Do not leave your dog alone with Kong before teaching him how to use it.
Also, think about your dog’s personality. Is he a vigorous chewer? Does he destroy toys?
Last, consider the size and shape of your Kong toy. These toys are divided by size for different dogs. Do not give your large dog a Kong for small dogs. He might ingest it.
Fast and Easy Kong Recipes
Now that we talked about some of the ways to use Kong to reward your puppy when you are AWAY from home, let’s talk about some of the stuffing options. You can put anything you like inside. But just to help you, we’ve come up with a few options you can try.
- First and foremost, you can use Wet, Canned, or Dehydrated dog food and serve it as a meal
- Canned fish or meat, including sardines, tuna, and more fish oils that will keep your dog’s coat healthy and shiny
- Cooked ground meat, with options like ground turkey, chicken, beef, and pork
- Applesauce to thin out viscous Kong fillings and add extra nutrients
- Peanut butter or some other nut butter as sealing, but not as a meal replacement
- Squeeze cheese, Cottage cheese, Ricotta Cheese, or Cream cheese, great for sealing your Kong, but do not use it as a meal replacement
- Canned pumpkin, mashed sweet potato, or similar veggies and fruits your puppy can consume
- Baby carrots for some extra flavor and nutrients
- Mashed banana as a sealing for your Kong toy
- Shredded pork
- Leftover Mac and Cheese
- Blueberries for some antioxidants
- Chicken breast
Do not be afraid to get creative. Just pay attention to your dog allergies. Substitute accordingly and add new foods carefully. What is your favorite Kong stuffing?