The title of this post will probably seem a bit strange to those not in the know, so if you are new to the wonders of the Kong dog toy, let me introduce you.
Resembling a cross between a Dalek and a space hopper (remember those?) the Classic Kong is a hollow rubber toy available in various thicknesses according to the type of destroyer your dog is. On their own they are often enough for some dogs, but add some treats into the mix and you can put your feet up for a few hours whilst your dog takes part in a challenge Richard O’Brian would be proud of.(Photo from http://www.kongcompany.com)
I heard about these toys when doing some research on owning Dobermanns and many owners swear by them for being robust and above all, fun for the dog. It tires them out mentally as they figure out how to release the food inside. We opted for the Extreme Kong, a black version that is the strongest they do and I can vouch for it as it lasted two years. It would have lasted longer if not being subjected to the dishwasher and being frozen every night, but that leads me onto our top tip.
Every night we fill Lupo’s Kong with a combination of leftovers (check whats safe for your dog, i.e. no onions for a start) and our Kong staples are banana, peanut butter and low-fat yoghurt. If you Google Kong recipes there are hundreds of combinations to try. It’s frozen overnight and given to him when we leave for work. He doesn’t even glance back as he’s given it and we know he’ll be occupied trying to empty it for the next few hours.
He pretty much learnt straight away that if he picks it up and drops it on the floor, more food will come out. The state of the bottom half of our regularly splattered kitchen cupboards are testament to his trick. If you don’t want to freeze it, just fill with treats and something sticky, peanut butter (low-fat) works perfectly, and I’d advise to keep it off your clean carpets if you can.
Ebay is often the best place to buy a new Kong for less than you would in a pet shop, it’s where I went straight away to replace ours with a Classic for around £10, which is holding up well. Remember to give it a rinse with hot soapy water and teach your dog the Kong name before you give it to them, they will soon learn to go crazy for it and retrieve it alongside their other toys.
Check out the Kong Facebook page, it will fill your timeline full of cute and funny dogs with Kong pics. They even give them to Lions in the Zoo, although I wouldn’t fancy trying to get it back off them, would you?