One Couple + Two Dogs = Our Waldo Bungie

Gourmet Kongs and Turk’s Ability to Eat Anything in 30 seconds flat.

April 20th, 2011 | Posted by Emily in Blog Love | Doggies!

Turk gets bored easily.

He also luuuuuuuurves to eat. Seriously, he would walk through fire if it meant there was a treat for him on the other side.

We’ve attempted to keep him occupied with various treat-filled toys, but with the exception of Kongs and the Squirrel Dude, Turk would manage to not only get out the treats but also destroy the toy in the process.

I was starting to get annoyed with the treat/toy situation because Turk would always get the treats out in 30 seconds and then come back to me with a face like this:

Hey mom, got any more treats for me?

I didn’t know what to do – would Turk ever have a treat puzzle challenging enough??

Enter Love and a Six Foot Leash. Aleksandra did a blog post Friday morning about this very issue!!

Here’s what she had to say:

To make a kong more difficult, we started to put a little peanut butter, yogurt, or cheese at the bottom of the kong, add the kibble, then seal the top. This way, dog has to extract the very end of the goodies with his tongue. For our geniuses? Still too easy.  ** THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT’S HAPPENING WITH TURK!! **

The next phase was mixing the kibble with yogurt or runny peanut butter in a bowl, and then stuffing the kong. The whole mixture is sticky and wet, so it takes a lot more tongue action to finish the work. This is challenging enough for Gonzo; it takes him about 20 minutes to finish one of these. For Chick, though, we have to take it to the next level: the freezer. Once frozen solid, it takes even an advanced chewer a while to get all the goodies out.  Our normal filler for these kongs is a combination of kibble, peanut butter, raw veggies, cheese, and leftovers – whatever we have that is dog-friendly and not likely to be otherwise eaten. ** Um, okay, I hadn’t attempted this method. **

So after work on Friday I gathered my Kong-stuffing supplies…

Ingredients: All-natural dog treats (the “training” size), baby carrots, all-natural peanut butter, and a Kong Extreme (for heavy chewers).

Mix together the peanut butter, treats, and chopped up carrots.

Stuff mixture into the Kong.

Once mixture is inside the Kong and place it in the freezer overnight.

Hopefully when Turk gets to try it out, he’ll be entertained for more than 30 seconds.

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15 Responses

  • avatar Kate B says:

    Okay your dogs are adorable. My heart smiles every time I see their pictures. Maybe because they remind me of mine?

    ANYWAY- this cracks me up. Oh, the lengths us dog-parents go for our furbabies. Baxter and Bella aren’t huge chewers- Bella likes more to snuggle down on her pillow and watch the world go by (for the most part, sometimes she gets a wild hair in her keyster and runs around like a crazy woman.) Baxter loves his toys, but was never a huge fan of the Kong. He loves the latex squeaky toys though!

    Let me know how this works- I might try it with our pretty much mint-condition Kong haha.

  • avatar Bridget says:

    I wish McGee was interested in Kongs, he gets out what he can easily and whatever is hard to get he just leaves. I’ve recently become concerned because he doesn’t even want to play with his tennis balls outside any more because he would rather run back and forth along the fence to “protect” his yard from the neighbor dogs. I have tried many different puzzle toys to keep him entertained but none seem to interest him… He just wants to try to eat through the privacy fence. Any ideas to keep him busy?

  • avatar Emily says:

    Kate – I totally understand the wild hair business! We call it “zoomies” when Turk all of a sudden goes crazy in the backyard and does huge loops in the yard! Squeaky toys have been banned at our house because while Rufus will treat any toy with a squeaker like his best friend,Turk will destroy them in seconds. Rufus had a weird Yeti-like toy for years before we got Turk and then as soon as Turk came home with us, the first thing Turkey did was promptly rip off Yeti’s head and Rufus’ life hasn’t been the same since! I would give the Kong a shot but like I told my friend Jamie on our Facebook page, try not to do the Gourmet Kong more than once a week or their poops will become…interesting. :)

    Bridget – Like I said to Kate, before Turk, Rufus would carry around this Yeti-like stuffed toy like it was his child for years. What kind of dog is McGee? Maybe you can google that breeds’ temperment and see what kinds of toys or puzzles is best for their personality. I am at a loss if he’s not interested in the gourmet Kong. That is like crack for my dogs! :)

  • avatar Sickel says:

    You’re ridiculous and lovable all at the same time, Em. I haven’t worked that hard on my last three meals.

  • avatar Lisa says:

    Did it work?? I need the same solution for Chili! She has her Kong down to a science if its not frozen. Like…30 seconds flat. Is it sad we have about 4 different jars of peanut butter? I should have invented the Kong. Good grief.

    • avatar Emily says:

      It lasted about…30 minutes. But like I said to my hair stylist, Jamie, you really can only give this kind of Kong to your dog about once a week or their poop becomes…interesting. :)

  • avatar Kate B says:

    I will have to try it.
    And I LOVE the term “zoomies”… its perfect!

    Are your furbabies other-dog friendly? Maybe a playdate is in our future sometime?

    • avatar Emily says:

      Turk is okay with some dogs if they are more submissive but if they have strong personalities then he tends to get aggressive. Do you ever go to Shawnee Mission Park? I have found that is a good place for doggie playdates because they have a lot of stimulation to help dispel any tension.

  • avatar Kate B says:

    I’ve taken Baxter there, Bella is really nervous and shy. She is a total homebody.

    • avatar Emily says:

      Yeah, Rufus is a homebody, too. We don’t take him to Shawnee Mission Park anymore because he just walks around barking at everybody. Turk loves it though and will zoomies all over that park! :)

  • avatar Aleksandra says:

    i saw in your comments that it lasted 30 minutes. that’s amazing! we recently tried this ice cube tray trick: where you essentially put a handful of kibble, some PB, some leftovers — we like plain rice, potatoes, or sweet potatoes — and a little water or broth in the blender until it becomes mushy, pour into ice cube trays (spritz the ice cube trays with a cooking spray first so they don’t stick), and freeze. once frozen, you can pop the cubes out into a zip lock baggie and keep them in the freezer. this way you have a kong puzzle ready to go at a moment’s notice, and you only have to do the whole fiasco once!

    we love that we can essentially just use dog kibble and other things that are easy to digest, so there is none of the weird poop issue that you mention. and, it’s a nice way to use up leftovers!

  • avatar Aleksandra says:

    oh, and i forgot to mention the crucial step: you can jam a frozen cube into a standard kong or kong genius toy with a little muscle– but it’s easier if you don’t fill the tray to the brim, but rather about 1/4 inch from the top. sometimes i put two cubes in a kong just to keep the pups occupied for even longer!

  • avatar Janae says:

    amazing what the kong can do! im going to make some ice cubs tomorrow!