One of the biggest contributing factors to behavioural issues in our canine friends is boredom. We are becoming busier and busier with our modern lifestyles and our dogs are suffering for it. Heck! Us dog trainers often spend more time with other peoples dogs than our own!
A simple way to add that extra enrichment to your dogs day is making meal time more fun and challenging. Any extra enrichment equals more time eating or problem solving and less time being destructive and up to no good.
Why use a Kong?
They are often found at the bottom of the dogs toy box, few Kongs get used as intended. For dogs, the act of chewing/licking releases those happy hormones we all desire. Doing so will help your dog feel more content, happy and relaxed.
Some other benefits include;
- Helps to keep teeth clean and reducing plaque
- Fantastic with reducing boredom
- Assist in the reduction of destructive behaviours
- Reduces the speed in which your pooch consumes their meal (bloat prevention)
- Meets the dogs instinctual behaviours of scavenging and working for their meal
Watch Canine Connect’s Sam prepare, use and clean a Kong for our dogs. On the menu is raw offal and vegetable mix, peanut butter and treat for enticement.
What ingredients can I use?
Kongs are very simple to prepare and can suit almost any canine diet. Whether you feed a raw diet (Our preference), a kibble based diet or both, a Kong can work for you!
Some ingredients we often like to use;
- Minced offal and vegetable formula
- Chickens feet and necks
- Mashed sweet potato
- Greek yoghurt
- Fruit (Watermelon, apple, banana ect)
- Meat broth (salt reduced and diluted)
- Mashed pumpkin
- Roast or raw chicken
- Scraps, odds and ends!
Often we will use a type of spread (Peanut butter) to either seal the openings or as an enticement. Peanut Butter should have no Xyilotol (Artificial sweetener) as it is toxic for dogs. Always check before using new or unknown ingredients to ensure they are safe for dogs. IF using kibble, try soaking the Kong after you fill it. This will make the kibble swell filling the Kong nice and tight.
Time to up the ante!
You do not always need to use a Kong, there are many alternatives. Either slow feeder dog bowls, enrichment toys or homemade ideas are also great options. If you dog is too much of a smarty pants, try freezing your Kong, in fact freeze as much as you can. The harder the meal the better it is for the dogs enrichment and mental stimulation. Hiding the Kong in the garden, sandpit also adds that hunt and seek mentality. Engaging your dogs sense of smell they will have a ball trying to find their dinner and are heavily rewarded for their find.
Canine Connect recently shared the ‘No Dog Bowl Challenge’. Over one week we demonstrated alternative methods to feeding our dogs and adding some enrichment to their meal times.
Why not take on the ‘No Dog Bowl Challenge’? Find ways to enrich your dogs life and elevate their boredom, your dog will thank you for it!