Stress relief-Kongs

Years ago, possibly 10 years,  I went to a one day canine behavior seminar in New England, where the speaker, forgive me for not remembering her name,  was a Veterinary Behaviorist.  The most memorable advice she gave for canine stress relief was having stuffed Kongs available for your dog.  A Kong is a rubber, hollowed out beehive shaped interactive toy that can be filled with any food or treats that might interest your pet. She said she had 3 Kongs for each of her dogs: one stuffed with their dinner in the freezer, one for them to actively work on, and one in the dishwasher, all in constant rotation.  

Kongs come in a variety of colors and sizes.  Select a size that your pet can easily interact with but one that is not so small that it might get caught in their mouth or throat.

The filling in the beginning should be highly interesting to your pet–smelly is always a hit–and packed loose within the Kong so your pet stays interested in pulling out the treats.  I use whatever treats I have available: cut up cheese, hot dogs, liverwurst, or boiled chicken along with a binder like meat favored baby food or mashed sweet potato.  The following link has fun Kong stuffing recipes that will give you inspiration when looking through your fridge for stuffing material.  Always remember: be careful to use foods that are easy on the stomach and are not toxic to your pet.  Lists of those foods can be easily googled.

Happy stuffing!

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