If you are like me, and pretty much every dog parent, you got a KONG toy for your dog. But have you ever wonder how to get the most from the world’s most well-known dog toy The KONG? I did, and therefore I got in touch with Tracey from Non Fuss Fill.
No Fuss Fill stock products and toys that make life easier and more fun for puppy parents and pups.
How was No Fuss Fill born?
When we got Skooby no one told us how much the little fluff ball we carried home in one hand would fill our arms and hearts till full and be the inspiration for me to design and source the very best products to share with other dog parents.
As first-time puppy parents (owners), we didn’t know what to expect when we brought our puppy home. The first year was hard, no one really told us how hard, nor how much fun it would be.
Skooby showed us every day that the harder you work at something the more rewarding the success is.
Then we lost Skooby.
Heartbroken I very nearly scrapped the idea of No Fuss Fill but then remembered why I had started it. To make life easier and more fun for new puppy parents and pups. With product ranges named after our special boy, No Fuss Fill is his legacy.
How would you describe KONG toy for someone who has no idea?
The classic Red KONG has to be the most iconic of dog toys. But many dog parents don’t make the most of this toy.
When the founder of KONG, was working on his VW bus he tossed his dog asuspension part from a VW bus. By doing so he discovered something that kept his destructive dog occupied and happy.
It’s unusual shape that makes it bounce erratically and its durable rubber that destructive dogs don’t manage to destroy is, over 50 years later still occupying dogs.
KONG is the registered trademark for the KONG TOY company, and it’s probably the most well recognised dog toy being sold in over 80 countries.
KONG toy comes in different sizes. How importnat it is to choose the righ size for my dog?
When it comes to KONGS, size matters. It’s important for both safety and your dog’s enjoyment that you are using the correct one. The Kong company suggests it’s always better to size up. So yes, that does mean you will be buying new KONGS as your dog grows. But don’t let that put you off introducing KONGS as they are highly beneficial to you and your dog.
Plus, it’s great to taking a trip down memory lane too when you come across their first puppy KONG in the back of the cupboard and had forgotten how small your dog once was.
What else do we have to consider when buying Kong toy?
Size is not the only factor when choosing your KONG. You need to consider the stage of life your dog is at.
Let’s start at the beginning, puppies.
Those cute puppy pink and puppy blue KONG toys you see are not just a marketing gimmick. The Pink and Blue indicate that these are made from the softest of rubber to be gentle on puppy teeth and gums
Young dogs need something softer than the classic red KONG to bite to help with teething.
The puppy KONG is also a great way to build value in crate training, creating positive associations with the crate.
- Adult Dogs
The Classic Red Kong comes in 6 sizes, XS to XXL made from durable rubber is suitable for most adult dogs and medium chewers.
If, however you have a power chewer in your house then the black KONG Extreme will be the one to choose. This will give your dog a chewing outlet and hopefully save your furniture from being gnawed.
- Ageing Dogs
Designed for older and ageing dogs the purple KONG Senior is made from soft rubber (think, one up from puppy but not as firm as the red classic)
Often with age comes less mobility so it is even more important to provide
mentally stimulating activities for our dogs.
Do I have to show my dog how to use Kong? And how would you start?
A dog that has never played with a KONG might not know what to do with it. You may have heard people say their rescue dog doesn’t play! I think they question is not that they don’t play but have they ever been taught how to?
Just like humans unless we have been introduced to something and shown how to have fun with it we will not get the greatest benefit from it.
That unpredictable bounce makes it exciting, its weigh and size makes it comfortable to be carried around and chewed.
But have they learnt to relax and enjoy what is inside it?
If your puppy or dog is new to KONG or stuffable toys start slowly. Stuff it loosely with things your dog likes so that the toy ‘gives up its treasure’ easily.
You want your dog to learn that this comes with goodies!
Making your puppy or dog work too hard to get to the goodies in the early days can lead to frustration and lack of interest. Build the value and anticipation, slowly showing the toy to your dog, letting them have a sniff whilst you hold it. Discover it together and build the bond between you, your dog and their new toy.
What I you stuff a Kong with?
- Try layers of food that your dog loves.
- As they develop their skills add moist foods, or just soften their regular kibble
- Move on a stage by packing it tighter
- The move to freezing the filled KONG
- Always pop something they love at the bottom and the top. They will be excited to get started and will keep working to get the last bit.
Don’t be in a rush to make things harder. The key is anticipation and enjoyment, not frustration. Your dog receives a dopamine rush when they are seeking food, knowing that food might be available and having the opportunity to access it keeps it interesting for them.
How often would you use Kong?
If the only time you give your dog a KONG or stuffed toy is when you go out they will quickly associate the toy with you leaving.
However, if you build value in the KONG with you around your dog will associate the activity with feeling calm and relaxed.
It has been proven that separation anxiety peaks at 20 minutes. Providing an activity to keep your dog occupied during this time helps them, it also helps to reduce reactivity and barking.
I also recommend using Comfort Blend together with KONG toy to help dogs with separation anxiety and adjusting to unfamiliar circumstances.
Many dogs struggle these days with adjusting to unfamiliar circumstances and change. Can KONG help them?
According to the RSPCA, there are an estimated 12 million dogs in the UK. Many of them have been used to having their owners at home on a daily. (BBC News 1st August 2021)
As the country opens back up, working from home shifts back to the office and children have returned to school, the number of dogs finding themselves home alone have increased significantly.
Dogs that have be used to interaction from their families and comfort from their presence are now faced with longer periods of alone.
Building the value in KONGS and stuffable toys can help dogs manage these times.
For more information about KONG and other enrichment toys, please visit https://www.nofussfill.com/
And if you have any questions or need an advice on which product to choose drop Mrs P an email Mrs.P@nofussfill.com
Is your dog a fan of KONG?