Kong declares it’s “The World’s Best Dog Toy”

by Jamie Pyatt

Developed in 1976, Kong dog toys have been around long enough to become commonplace. Most dogs have a Kong or two buried in their toy box that may have lost its initial excitement factor.

We’ve all seen these durable rubber dog toys with the funny shape but may have passed them by for the new, shiny, toy of the week. I, too, relegated the Kong to the bottom of my list when shopping for toys until a recent visit to the Kong website, kongcompany.com . I know that Kongs provide tough, heavy duty fun for heavy chewers but I did not realize the variety of Kongs available, or the benefits Kongs deliver.

I’d like to share a few facts about Kong that I’ve learned so you can be as excited as I am about this legendary dog toy. Did you know that Kongs are widely recommended by veterinarians, behaviorists and trainers? Behaviors that training with a Kong can address are chewing and separation anxiety, both which can become huge issues if left undeterred. A Kong will also help prevent stress and boredom. The Kong website even includes a training “booklet” about basic training using a Kong.

Kong was invented by a rock eating German Shepherd Dog, Fritz, and his frustrated owner. From that stroke of genius came a line of simple looking yet stimulating and long lasting dog toys.
First the basics: The classic red Kong is very strong and bouncy. Extreme black Kongs are extra hard for power chewers. Both are available in 5 sizes. If in doubt, go up a size. Multiple dog households should buy a Kong sized for the largest breed in the home.

For puppies 7 through 12 weeks, Puppy Kong will help ease teething pain, separation anxiety and boredom, as well as reinforcing and rewarding positive behavior.

Kong Ball, Stuff A Ball, Biscuit Ball and Bounzer Ball build on the foundation of durable, solid rubber toys and add a twist.

The Aqua Kong features the classic Kong shape with a rope for throwing and retrieving and - it floats!

Kong Wubbas combine the standard Kong performance with bright colors and trailing tails to tease and tug. Wubbas also come in Puppy, Snugga and Water Wubbas.

Kong’s claim of “World’s Best Dog Toy” at first seems easy to dismiss but further investigation proves the importance of this simple rubber toy. Domestic dogs still have a predatory nature that is not stimulated because they do not have to “hunt” for their food. Filling a Kong with toys and treats before giving it to your dog will challenge him to work to get the food. His reward for the natural dog behavior of chewing is the food within the Kong. Regular use will exercise a dogs jaw and, most importantly, help save your possessions from being chewed!

Here is my favorite recipe from the Kong website:

Frozen Jerky Pops
Set Kong in a muffin tin and smear a small amount of peanut butter over the small hole. Fill with cool water and a pinch of (low sodium) boullion. Place a jerky stick inside the Kong and freeze. Once frozen, the Kong (or several Kongs) can be placed in a children’s size swimming pool for a day of fishing for your pet.

Now is the perfect time to “retrieve” that Kong, or buy one at cherrybrook.com, to help your dog become healthy and happy!