If you read my previous article about having a dog and needing a Kong, then you’ll appreciate the follow up material and tips in this article!
As I mentioned in my previous post, Kongs improve life with your canine companion for a variety of reason, but there are few more things you need to know about how to set yourself and your dog up for success!
The Many Benefits of Chewing
Did you know that your dog needs to chew?
Chewing is a natural stress relief for dogs. Chewing releases calming hormones in your dog and helps them to feel better. Chewing is a natural way that dogs self soothe.
Chewing helps your dog to remove tartar from their teeth, and clean their gums. Kongs allow dogs to do this because they are specifically made for dog’s teeth of all ages. It’s a texture that your dog can really grip onto and clean all along the gum-line. This is a great way to prevent periodontal disease.
Chewing is a tool you can use to help your dog with many types of positive distraction activities, and redirecting their energy. There are so many ways that you can encourage your dog to chew on approved things such as a Kong, to keep your dog busy during alone-time, when you have company over, or when you need alone time! Offering a Kong helps to keep your dog’s focus on the oh-my-goodness-delicious Kong, and not on all of the other things. This helps to ease any anxiety surrounding new people, events, or your departure.
Make That Pooch Work for That Treat!
Sometimes we put special treats, or something our dog rarely gets in the Kong. Rather than just offering our dog the special treat we place it in a Kong and have her work for it, after we practice a few behaviors. It’s so easy to just hand over a treat to your pooch, but why not make her work for it?
Kongs allow you, your kids, or your partner the opportunity to do a quick training session with your dog and have fun together! What behaviors would you like to practice with your pup? Sit? Come? Stay? Wait? Get creative!
One Kong Isn’t Enough!
Having plenty of Kongs prepared ahead of time makes your life easier! When you have plenty available you can offer them to your dog whenever necessary.
Here are a few common examples of why you want to keep LOTS of Kongs handy:
- Got a dog that needs to be trained? Use a Kong.
- Got a rambunctious pup? Offer a Kong.
- Got a post-surgery pup? Get a Kong.
- Got a new baby on the way? Get lots of Kongs.
- Got a food bowl? Replace it with a Kong.
- Got a worker coming to the house? Offer a Kong in another part of the house.
- Leaving for the day? Give your dog a couple of Kongs as you head out the door
- Want to address behavior problems, basic training, and more? Use a Kong!
We will discuss these examples in detail, and I’ll also share my tips on how to make delicious frozen Kongs in the next 2 articles of this 4 part series!
Amy is the founder and chief operator of Conscious Companion℠. She is on the Advisory Team for Family Paws Parent Education™. She is a licensed presenter of the Dogs & Storks® and the Dogs & Toddlers™ programs, and a Doggone Safe ‘Be A Tree’ presenter. She is an active member of the Pet Professional Guild and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Amy serves on the board of directors of the Cape Fear Parrot Sanctuary. You can learn more about her on her website.