Ever since we adopted Jeter, it’s taken me a while to adjust to always having to keep a dog busy. Ruby was happy to be a lazy dog or run around and have fun. Jeter brought the energy beyond what I’ve ever known!For some time now, I’ve stuck with Bully Sticks to keep Jeter entertained and to keep him happy chewing, but if you buy bully sticks you’ll know they can be expensive. They are about $1 per bone. I buy them in a big box of 50 for around $50 or a bit less if on sale at Chewy.com or BestBullySticks.com.
I wouldn’t give him a bully stick every day, but still, we went through quite a bit each week. He likes to be active or chewing on a regular basis, though that has calmed down a bit as he approached being with us for 9 months now!
I love Kong dog toys, but Ruby and my previous chihuahua Bambi, never liked chewing much, so I rarely used them. Jeter was a whole other story, so I had bought 2 small Kong toys and stuffer treats over the summer. Needless to say, Jeter worked so fast to get them emptied they kind of became annoying to have to set up. Then I stumbled upon a new idea…
I first saw this idea on YouTube and finally decided to give it a try a few weeks ago.
My main reason for trying this was to get the dogs to stop crying when I would go for a walk to the park with the kids or out for a run. They would cry and bark at me while I left the house on foot, but never when I left in the car. I needed a way for them to be entertained and less attached to me to make that time period a more positive event. Plus, I just wanted something to keep Jeter busy from chewing up paper around the house, too!
Originally, I started with 2 small Kong toys we already had, but quickly learned I needed to purchase a few more. The dogs easily took to getting out dry kibble. Wetting and freezing it took it to another level (see video below for levels of difficulty).
I bought 4 medium Kong (we had been given a few older ones from my mom) and various types of other styles on Chewy.com.
Let me tell you, setting these up each week has been pretty easy and I might even get more since I use them now to feed them some of their main meal each day.
There are several videos on YouTube that go into more ideas for how to fill them, and I may feed them their entire meals from these in the future because they love them so much.
Ruby and Jeter go wild for these when I open the freezer. They know when I get dressed to go for a run, and then they start going nuts for me to pop one of these out for them. I feed them each one in separate places in “their beds” so they get used to going to one area to work on them. It takes them about 30-40 minutes to get it completely empty, enough time for me to go run or play with the kids and come back.
Plus, it’s far less expensive overall than buying bully sticks, and probably better for them.
- Cup of dog food kibble mixed with water.
- Let that sit a few minutes while I wash all the Kongs by hand.
- Fill each Kong with wet kibble and top the end off with peanut butter.
- Pop them all in the freezer on a tray until I’m ready to use.
- Once they use them up, I toss them in the sink until I have a bunch to handwash and start over again.
I have two dogs, so they typically get at least one of these a day each. I go through them quick. I also went up a size when I ordered additional Kongs.
At first, I used the small size, but that didn’t hold much or keep them super busy as the kibble defrosted quicker. Now, I use the medium size and 4 of them equal about 1/2 of their meal for the day. I may eventually get the large size so they can consume their daily meal that way as well. Plus, I feed them less at their main meal now that they are getting some throughout the day.
Try it out if you have a busy dog who needs a way to play or has anxiety when you leave. I was skeptical, but it works like a charm and they love it! And we get to save quite a bit on dog treats (not to mention it’s probably healthier for them, too).
Edited to add: beware of choking hazards and always monitor your dogs use of any chewable toys.