In Part 1 we saw tips for getting started with games and toys to fulfill your dog's instinctive desire to forage. Now we'll discuss choices that offer a range of challenges.
A. For wet or dry foods and treats:
Kong: Justifiably an enduring classic
The puppy (pink or blue) and senior (purple) versions are a little softer – dogs that are less assertive chewers may find them more enjoyable.
If your dog can damage an Extreme Kong (black), try a larger size that they can’t fit behind their molars.
Size up for safety! Here’s Kong’s size guide according to breed.
To teach your dog to enjoy a Kong, start by putting some loose kibble inside plus a small smear of peanut butter or soft cheese inside the lip (a teaspoonful goes a long way). As they catch on, mix the kibble with something soft to make it stick together, e.g. cottage cheese, plain yogurt, canned pumpkin, canned dog food. You can mix in treats, bits of meat or cheese, to make it more attractive.
For the calorie conscious, mix in some mashed canned green beans or canned 100% pumpkin (NOT pie filling)
Once your dog is proficient at emptying the Kong, extend their enjoyment by freezing the Kong after filling it.
You can fill the channel with soft food, or with large pellets. Stella and Chewy freeze dried meal mixer pellets fit beautifully.
West Paw Toppl Toppls are great for dogs with short muzzles, and for dogs that just aren’t up for the challenge of a Kong.
In Part 3 we'll look at toys for dispensing kibble and dry treats