Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The King of Toys

I have found that using a Kong toy can be an invaluable training tool for any dog, especially puppies. 
When you leave and tell your dog to go to her kennel, she will readily go running for the kennel if she knows she will get a treat.  I take a Kong, place a few treats inside and cover the hole with peanut butter.  This will give your puppy plenty of time to chew at it while you quietly leave the house. 

If you place a peanut butter-filled Kong in the freezer ahead of time you always have one ready, and the peanut butter is harder, so it takes more time to lick out.  Now, because peanut butter can have a lot of calories, sometimes we have to look for alternatives.  You can try low-fat peanut butter, or even better a mixture of low-fat tuna and low-fat cream cheese.  They mix together well, cover the hole of the Kong completely, and freeze nicely. 

As for treats to stuff inside the Kong, almost anything will work, but don't overdo it.  I find freeze-dried liver treats to be popular at my house.  If you're worried about calories, low-salt rice cakes break up nicely, and dogs love them!

If you've never used one, they are virtually indestructible and we carry a veterinary labeled variety that you can purchase.  Stay tuned for future training and treat ideas for your Kong!

~~~Todd Whitney, DVM

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