KONG dog toys are one of our favorite dog products. They’re durable, fun and affordable. It’s no surprise that we think these super tough boredom busters are a must have for every pup.
But there’s more to KONG than just throwing one over to your pup every now and then. You can fill them with tasty treats, use them to mentally and physically stimulate your pup, and even bust one out during a training session.
Scroll down to see over 100 Kong fillers and create your own #kongbinations for your dog.
Plus Taylor, the Kween of KONG, shares her KONG stuffing tips and 10 easy recipes.
Don’t have a KONG? Get one here:
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How to Stuff a KONG
Some might say that stuffing a KONG is an art form. Sure, you can jam some peanut butter in there and call it a day, but there are ways to elevate your KONG game. Here are tips from Taylor on how to stuff a KONG:
Tip 1: Start off loose
I would always start out with loose foods inside the KONG for beginners (especially with puppies, who can give up pretty easily if they don’t understand that they will get a reward out of this mysterious little rubber beehive!) and then build up to stuffing entirely.
I started both dogs off with just loose kibble or training treats. Once they got used to this, I added a tiny blip of peanut butter, and gradually worked my way up to stuffing the entire thing.
Tip 2: Layers matter
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to stuffing! It just depends what works the best for your dog.
I advise putting all regular ingredients in first and then including wet ingredients last – OR – layering everything dry/wet/dry/wet.
Some people do simple purees and freeze, others do loose treats only – and either of these methods work just fine.
I’ve found that a mix of different textures/tastes helps keep my dogs interested and occupied so that they don’t get bored and leave the KONG half full.
I freeze mine to help the treats last longer, and to encourage the act of licking (which is scientifically proven to help calm your dog).
Tip 3: Entice your pup!
I always have something of interest sticking out of the end of the KONG to grab my pups’ interest – this way they know that there’s something yummy to work for inside!
It’s like a nice little preview of what’s to come that immediately catches their attention.
Tip 4: Get multiple KONGs
Get a few different KONGs so that you can prep in advance.
I found the perfect amount when I had one dog was four KONGs, as it allowed me to rotate them easily throughout the week.
Now that I have two dogs, I prep them eight or nine at a time.
Tip 5: Cleaning your KONG
One of the biggest questions regarding KONG toys is how to clean them.
Make your life easier in this department by picking up a bottlebrush or recycling one of your old toothbrushes and using it as a designated KONG brush. A toothbrush helps get at all of the hard to reach crevices inside KONG toys.
You can also wash your KONG on the top rack of the dishwasher.
Get more tips on the art of Kong Stuffing HERE.
When Should You Give your Dog a KONG?
KONGs are a great enrichment toys that provide both mental and physical stimulation. They’re great to use in the following scenarios:
- Training: KONGs are a great crate training tool, plus they help ease anxiety and tire overactive dogs. They’re a great outlet for chewers!
- On a rainy day: KONGs help combat boredom. Give your pet a KONG on a rainy day and keep them stimulated.
- Snack time: KONG slows eating and turns it into a mental and physical challenge.
- Teething + Dental Care: KONGs help teething puppies learn proper chewing behaviors and ease pain.
- Playtime: KONGs bounce! You can use them to play a fun round of fetch.
Is There a Kong Toy for Puppies?
KONG Puppy is specially designed for a puppy’s baby teeth and gums. It’s made with softer rubber that helps soothe the pain of teething.
It comes in four sizes: XS, S, M + L.
KONG comes in four varieties. Besides Puppy, you can get KONG Classic, KONG Extreme, and KONG Senior.
Get one here: KONG Classic • KONG Puppy • KONG Extreme • KONG Senior
What Size Kong Does Your Dog Need?
The Classic KONG comes in six different sizes.
You can choose the right size for your pup based on their weight.
If your dog’s weight is on the cusp or you’re unsure of whether to go big or small, KONG recommends that you size up. When in doubt, always size up for safety!
KONG provides a handy size guide by breed for those with pure bred dogs.
If you’re buying a specialty KONG (KONG Puppy, KONG Extreme, or KONG Senior) use the following sizing guides:
KONG Stuffing Ideas
Choose your own adventure: KONG fillers!
Check out these KONG filler options. Use these filler options to get creative and invent your own recipes.
Have fun: pick and choose one item from each category and create your own KONG-bination. Think of this section as a Chipotle for KONGs.
Food Items To Stuff Inside a KONG
- Bell Peppers
- Brussel Sprouts
- Corn kernels
- Green Beans
- Potatoes (skinless)
- Sweet Potato (skinless)
- Swiss Chard
Fruits can be given either fresh or dried.
- Orange slices
- Pumpkin (canned or fresh)
- Apple Sauce
- Baby Food (check the ingredients)
- Cheddar Cheese
- Cheese Slices
- Cottage Cheese
- Cream Cheese
- Dog kibble
- Dog treats
- Eggs, cooked
- Oats, cooked
- Peanut Butter
- Peanuts or nuts (unsalted)
- Quail Eggs
- Rice, cooked
- String Cheese
- Yogurt (Greek or Plain)
- Beef Jerky
- Chicken (diced or shredded)
- Chicken hearts
- Chicken Jerky
- Cold cut deli meat, rolled up
- Hot Dog
- Leftover meat scraps (avoid poisonous spices or herbs, and of course no bones)
- Liver Pate
- Liver, freeze-dried
- Steak (diced or shredded)
- Turkey (diced or shredded)
- Chia Seeds
- Turmeric or Golden Paste
- Bone Broth
- Chicken broth (no onion)
- Coconut water
- Ice Cream or Sorbet (beware of added sugar)
- Whipped Cream
10 Easy KONG Stuffing Recipes
1. Apple Crunch
- Dog Treat of your choosing (pictured here: Dogswell chicken jerky)
- Homemade dog friendly applesauce*
The applesauce pictured is thick but will still drip a bit. To help with mess, I stick my stuffed KONGs upside down in an egg carton and freeze.
*Homemade Applesauce recipe: You can really use any applesauce recipe as long as you omit any sugar/ sweetener. I cook mine in the instant pot, which I find is super helpful as you can create the exact consistency you’re looking for. I like mine to be a bit thicker so that it doesn’t run out of the KONG like crazy.
2. Yogurt Medley
- Plain Greek Yogurt
- Kibble (if feeding raw, use any portion of ground meat)
- Carrot (chopped)
- Apple (chopped).
Feed fresh or frozen.
This is probably the easiest KONG to put together and the one we do most frequently – chop up whatever dog-friendly fruits and vegetables I have in the fridge, throw in a bit of kibble and yogurt, and voila! Tasty, quick, and packed with nutrients.
3. Eggs and Cheese
- Hardboiled egg (halved)
- Low fat cottage cheese
Served fresh, this option is great for elderly dogs who may not have the patience to sit through an entire frozen KONG, or dogs who have lost teeth and struggle with crunchy ingredients.
Optional: You could always add a little bit of bone broth or even a splash of water to cement these ingredients together further if you’re looking to freeze this variation. If you decide to go this route, balance your KONG upside down in a recycled egg carton to catch any drips.
4. Shrimp Special
- Sweet potato puree
- Shrimp (always cooked* & deshelled)
- Supplements (pictured here: Thrive Bladder Supplement for our puppy, who’s prone to bladder infection)
KONGs are a great vehicle for giving your pups their supplements. Mix any supplements you’re using into the wet ingredients prior to stuffing.
For this recipe, I stuffed the shrimp into the KONG first, followed by all other ingredients.
* Always serve shrimp cooked as feeding raw shellfish to dogs puts them at risk for shellfish toxicity.
5. Peach Hearts
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Dehydrated chicken hearts
- Peaches (fresh or frozen)
- Supplements (pictured here: Cranimals cranberry powder and Thrive bladder support)
Just because you’re not used to eating certain parts of an animal, doesn’t mean your dog won’t love them!
Our dogs love dehydrated and raw chicken hearts. Chicken hearts are a lean protein that contains fatty acids, vitamin A, iron and B vitamins.
6. Fish Dish
- Shredded carrot
Sardines are loaded with nutrients like omega-3s, vitamins D and B12, amino acids, and coenzyme Q10.
Pick up a can of sardines at your local grocery store. Make sure it’s salt-free and packed with water or a natural oil like coconut, olive, etc.
7. Mango Medley
- Organic mango puree (no additives- I use organic baby food with no added sugar)
- Raw quail egg
- Frozen kibble stick
- Peas (can be fresh or frozen)
This puree is very thin & runny, so for this recipe I would add half of the peas first, followed by the quail egg, kibble stick, and top with the puree last.
Tap the KONG gently on the counter so that the puree can get to the bottom, and cap it off with the remaining peas. Freeze and serve.
8. Fresh Breakfast
- Raw quail egg (can also use chicken or duck eggs – cooked or raw)
- Strawberries (fresh or frozen)
Insert a quarter of the strawberry first, in order to stop the honey from running out of the bottom hole. Good thing is – honey is thick, so the faster you assemble this one and put it in the freezer, the less likely the honey is to come out the bottom (Challenge accepted?).
9. Protein Shake
- Scrambled Egg
- Assorted dog treats
- Low fat cottage cheese
This six ingredient KONG will keep your pup interested for a long time! The eggs and chicken are a great source of protein, the treats add a nice crunch factor, and the parsley freshens breathe and soothes the stomach.
10. Pumpkin Party
Made using a KONG Goodie Bone, get one HERE.
KONG Goodie Bone with:
- Frozen cube* of pure pumpkin puree
- Frozen cube of kibble/plain yogurt mix
*These ice cubes also work amazingly for the KONG Goodie Ribbon.
The ice cube tray is great for KONG Goodie Bones and Med/Large KONGs. Get the ice cube tray HERE.
These easy KONG stuffing recipes make for healthy snacks for any pup.
What’s your favorite #kongbination? Share in the comments!
Thank you to Taylor and Bindi for sharing their favorite recipes. Follow them on Instagram for more KONG recipe ideas.
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