“What should I put in my dog’s Kong toy?” This is a question we hear often at our stores. Kongs are fantastic toys for heavy chewers, and with nearly endless combinations of fillings to keep them entertained, dogs may never tire of these rubber workhorses.

If you’ve tried filling a Kong with peanut butter, you may have found that your dog licks it clean in a very short period of time. Filling the toy with treats can be tricky – you want something large enough to stay in as he rolls the Kong about, but not so large that it never comes out again.

What we’ve found works well is using a combination of ingredients: small pieces of varied sizes and flavors for interest, with a “mortar” to help hold the pieces in place.

The first component is small pieces of food or treats:

  • Kibble
  • Treats
    • Biscuits
    • Jerky
    • Dried meat strips
  • Fruits & Vegetables (fresh or frozen, not canned)
    • apples, berries, pears, etc.
    • carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower
    • AVOID: grapes, garlic, onions, lettuce,

Add to that something tasty with a paste-like consistency, to help keep all the small pieces in place:

  • peanut butter –
    • organic, without  hydrogenated oils, added salt or sugar is preferable
  • canned pumpkin or sweet potatoes-
    • excellent source of fiber
    • be sure it is not pie filling
  • plain yogurt –
    • great source of digestive enzymes, calcium, etc.
  • all natural canned dog food –  smooth textured formulas are ideal

Be sure to try the individual ingredients as treats, to see if s/he likes them, before assembling the Kong treat filling.

To keep everything in place longer, and increase the play time for your pup, you can put the Kong in the freezer (wrap the end in saran wrap, with a rubber band, to keep anything from leaking out the bottom until it solidifies.

If your dog doesn’t manage to get everything out of the Kong, you can use a bottle brush, or simply place it in the dishwasher, to get it ready for its next use.

What are your favorite treats to use in a Kong, or similar treat-dispensing toy?