There are several things that you can put in a Kong. While there are many commercial options, you can also make a variety of homemade options. Peanut butter is a quick and easy go-to. Some people use canned pumpkin (just ensure that it is sugar-free). Others use bananas. Plus, any of these things can be mixed together to create a filling (peanut butter and bananas, anyone?).
The most important thing to consider when filling up a Kong is finding something that your dog likes. For pickier canines, this can actually be a bit challenging. Therefore, we’ve included many different options below, as we know just how frustrating it can be to find a filling your dog likes.
The 10 Recipes & Fillers to Put in a Kong
1. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is a go-to filling for Kongs. It’s easy to stuff, healthy, and most dogs like it. You can also freeze the peanut butter into the Kong, which extends how long it takes your dog to empty it. Of course, it all depends on whether or not your dog actually likes peanut butter to begin with!
When you do use peanut butter, be sure it is actually made from peanuts and natural ingredients. Many peanut butter brands have added sugar, which is not a great option for dogs. Stay clear from artificial sweeteners, especially xylitol as it is very toxic to dogs. Furthermore, nut butter should not be used, as dogs are allergic to some tree nuts. Be sure it is just peanuts and oils. Crunchy or creamy doesn’t matter.
2. Canned Pumpkin
Pumpkin is hailed as well-loved by most dogs and great for many canines’ stomachs. In fact, some vets recommend adding it to your dog’s food if they have a sensitive belly as it can help calm their stomach. Some dogs do not like plain pumpkin, so you may have to mix it with something else. Either way, it can be a great option for many canines out there.
Be sure the canned pumpkin your purchase only contains pumpkin. Some cans also contain other ingredients, like added sugar. Obviously, this is the last thing that your dog needs.
You can mush up bananas and put them inside your dog’s Kong as well. While bananas are high in sugar and should not be fed in excess, once or twice a week is completely okay. You can just use plain bananas or mix them with something else, like peanut butter.
Either way, bananas are completely safe and can be used safely for most dogs.
Yogurt is healthy and can be used as a Kong stuffing. You’ll want to use plain, Greek yogurt, though. Flavored and sweetened options will usually contain ingredients that you don’t want your dog to have, like sugar.
While yogurt is plenty healthy for most dogs, it isn’t exactly the tastiest. In many cases, your dog will prefer one of these other options on this list. However, some dogs really do like yogurt, so feel free to try it.
Broth is a great option as long as you freeze it and choose the right kind. First, you want broth that is low-sodium. Don’t just choose a regular broth, as it may be far too high in salt.
Of course, because it is a liquid, this is a bit harder to freeze than other options out there. However, you can dab peanut butter over the hole on the bottom to cover that, and then use the rest like a cup. Freeze it and perhaps put it somewhere easy to clean, since the broth will leak everywhere if your dog does not eat it.
6. Canned Dog Food
Canines that eat canned dog food have it easy since you can just use their food as a filling. Of course, this only works if you think that your canine will choose to eat this canned food out of their Kong. Some dogs simply do not want to eat the same food that they usually eat out of their Kong.
Of course, if you do not usually feed your dog food, you can get some to use as a Kong filler. However, be sure to slowly introduce the wet food in this case, as it can cause stomach upset for dogs that aren’t used to it.
Eggs are an extremely nutritious meal for most dogs. They contain many different hard-to-find nutrients that your canine needs. You can even feed your dog raw eggs if you trust the supplier to be sure they are salmonella-free. It is best if you feed the whole egg, including the shell. You can blend it and then freeze it in a similar manner that you did with the broth.
Just don’t feed your dog too many eggs, as this can result in stomach upset and nutritional problems. Some of the nutrients in the egg may prevent your dog from absorbing other nutrients, which can lead to deficiencies over time.
There are lots of berries that your canine may enjoy. Many dogs like to eat berries consistently, making them a good choice. They are also quite healthy if you use them in moderation. However, your dog should not be getting much of their calories from these berries, so be sure to limit their consumption appropriately.
Many berries can also stain carpets, so use caution when feeding them to your canine. You should put them in an area that is easy to clean.
9. Baby Food
The best part about baby food is that it is typically designed to be as natural as possible. It usually doesn’t include any added sugar or anything of that sort, making it a great option for most dogs. Of course, you should always double-check the nutrition label before purchasing just in case.
There are many different baby foods out there. Just make sure the flavor you select is suitable for your dog such as meat-based baby food but do make sure the recipe is free from onion or garlic.
You can use almost any type of meat in your dog’s Kong. However, do be mindful of the fat content, as it can throw off a dog’s nutrition. If you have a really fatty cut, you may want to balance it by using something with low amounts of fat next time.
Of course, it is always best to use cooked meat but do not season it, as the added salt is inappropriate for most dogs.
There are several fillings that you may want to try for your canine. You don’t have to use a commercial option, which is typically less well-made than using natural options you can find around your house. Plus, most of these ingredients require very little prep work on your part. Usually, you can use them in their raw forms.
Just be sure to moderate any extra treats you’re providing your canine. You don’t want them filling up on any of the ingredients we suggested above, as they also need to eat their balanced and complete dog food. For this reason, we highly recommend only filling up their Kong occasionally.
Featured Image Credit: anetapics, Shutterstock