02 Jul Toy Stuffing Recipies
Many of the products that we sell are designed to enrich the lives of our domestic pets, and several of them are often best used with food or treats to help keep our pets’ attention and keep them occupied for longer. Kong stuffing is extremely popular and many dog rescue organisations use them to help keep dogs stimulated and entertained whilst they are kennelled. Most dog owners know all about the benefits of Kong stuffing, but don’t always realise that there are other toys suitable for being stuffed with food!
This page will explain what toys can be stuffed, what to stuff them with, help make the most of them and keep your dog happy and entertained. Both Kongs are suitable for stuffing and either freezing or microwaving. Do not microwave for more than 30 seconds at a time.
What food can you use to stuff a dog toy?
You may struggle for ideas on which food and treats to use and often think that there are “rules” to toy stuffing. However, the truth is that anything that is suitable for our pets to eat can be used, and combining different food types and microwaving or freezing food in the toys, can result in stuffed toys of varying difficulty. The Kong and many other toys are dishwasher safe, making them easy to clean, regardless of the choice of food used for stuffing.
Are food-stuffed toys suitable for all dogs?
It is a common assumption that some dogs do not like to play with food-stuffed toys, but the vast majority will if you use the food types that press their buttons and ensure that the toy is stuffed to suit their interest and ability. Many dogs will spend a long time trying to remove even the smallest amount of low value food from a toy, while others will become easily bored if their reward is too hard to come by or not of high enough value. Most dogs love to chew a Kong toy, even when empty, so adding some yummy treats and providing a stuffed Kong is rarely going to be declined!
What to avoid.
While we will never suggest using a food that we know to be dangerous for dogs, we would like to remind you that there are food items that should never be given to dogs. These items include onion, grapes, raisins, sultanas, macadamia nuts and chocolate. When using pre-prepared products like peanut butter, apple sauce etc, check ingredients for Xylitol which is a sugar alcohol used as a sugar substitute and toxic to dogs.
Stuffing idea # 1
The simplest and quickest form of toy stuffing is to use your dog’s dry food combined with good quality wet food or something to help bind the kibble together, such as tinned fish. Pilchards, sardines or tuna are popular with many dogs, but try to use varieties in oil or tomato sauce, rather than brine. Simply mix the kibble and wet food together and then stuff into the chosen toy. This can be given to your dog as is, or frozen to provide more of a challenge. For dogs learning how to unstuff toys for the first time, or those who are easily bored and require regular early payouts, it is best not to freeze them at this stage.
Stuffing idea # 2
Mash a banana and mix with a small carton of unsweetened natural yoghurt. Stand your chosen toy on a square of cling film, fill with the mixture and then wrap the toy with the cling film to prevent leaking. Place in the freezer for a couple of hours before giving to your dog.
To save time you can fill and freeze several toys so they’re ready to be given out over a period of time.
Stuffing idea # 3
Using either your dog’s regular dried kibble, small biscuits or pieces of large biscuit, half fill the Kong toy. When the toy is half full, add a layer of grated cheese, then continue to fill the Kong with the dry treats. Once almost full, cover the food with another layer of grated cheese. Microwave for 20-30 seconds, or until the cheese has melted. The melted cheese will cool and “glue” the treats together, making them harder to remove. Allow to cool, and then give to your dog to keep him busy for quite some time!
Stuffing idea # 4
Fill the toy of choice with something that can be frozen, as mentioned previously. You can use a good quality wet dog food, tinned fish, a mixture of mashed banana and natural yoghurt, or even a very weak gravy. If the filling is particularly runny, you’ll need to block the small hole of the Kong with a treat. When the toy is full of the wet food, insert a larger treat so that some of it remains outside of the toy, forming the “stick” of the ice lolly. Fish4Dogs Skinny Strips are ideal for this. This gives the dog an instant payout which should hopefully encourage him or her to keep trying to get the remaining food out. Finally, freeze the toy, upside-down in a plastic beaker if necessary to prevent spillage.
Stuffing idea # 5
This recipe suggestion is great for using-up any over-ripe fruit or leftovers!
Simply place chunks of fruit (or vegetable) into the toy. This can be apples, oranges, pears, peaches, nectarines, carrots, broccoli, cucumber, tomatoes etc. When nearly full, mashed banana can be used to hold the contents in. This recipe is also perfect for freezing and keeping your dog cool on a hot day.
Remember not to use onions, grapes, raisins or sultanas as these are harmful to dogs.
Stuffing idea # 6
Using sardines in olive oil, mash the sardines with the oil and then spoon inside a Kong toy. This can be given as is, or the challenge can be made harder by blocking the hole with Fish4Dogs Tiddlers or something simular.
Stuffing idea # 7
Another healthy toy stuffing recipe! Drain a tin of tuna in oil and mix with natural yoghurt. Fill the toy with as much of the mixture as possible, and then give to your dog for hours of enjoyment! For an added challenge, the toy can be frozen to prolong the fun!
Stuffing idea # 8
Mix up a very weak solution of Bovril and warm water and allow your dog’s regular dry kibble to soak in it for a few minutes. Once it has started to soften and absorb the gravy, stuff in your chosen dog toy. Always ensure that the mixture has cooled significantly before giving to your dog.
Stuffing idea # 9
A Christmas special! Simply mash any leftover Christmas dinner together, mix with a small amount of gravy and stuff into your dog’s favourite Kong. Use only a small amount of gravy due to the salt content. Once again, the toy can be given as is, or frozen to prolong the fun. The toy could even be made up before dinner is served so that your dog can enjoy his Christmas dinner at the same time as you! Always ensure that the mixture has cooled significantly before giving to your dog.