So we are about to get a puppy in a couple of weeks and I’m wanting to try Dr. Dunbar’s “Before and After Getting your Puppy” advice and pretty much feed all meals from the Kong. He believes that keeping the puppy entertained and exercised with the chew toys will help with sleep, separation issues and keep them from chewing up other things in the house.
He says to measure out your dog’s kibble for the day and just stuffing it all in the Kong and let the dog eat from that instead of the food bowl, until they have been found to be trustworthy in the house. It’s important to use their allotted amount of kibble rather than treats because the treats are full of more fat and calories (some treats are fine). My problem is that I’m going to raw feed the dog. So what would I stuff the Kong with that they can eat all day without gaining too much weight?
You can try kibble, yogurt, a dehydrated food like The Honest Kitchen or other and layer them in the kong and freeze. But these won’t last all day once they start thawing.
Hm, I imagine stuffing a kong with raw food might be a bit messier for sure. Maybe grinding the raw food up, cut into kibble-sized pieces, then freeze (or possibly even baking would work) to harden them. That might be a bit much as far as work goes.
If you don’t mind the mess and puppy is good at cleaning the kong out completely, just grind up his daily raw meat (leaving the bones out…) and stuffing it in there?
I’d recommend cleaning out the kong regularly, as raw residue could cause some icky build up I’m guessing.
Best wishes with you and your new fur baby!
Pugmomsandy has good suggestions as well. It really depends on how quickly your pup can clean out a kong, really. I wonder if making other DIY treat dispensers (or buying them at PetCo/PetSmart), maybe you could find one that would make the food last longer than a kong does.
If you could acclimate your pup’s taste buds to veggies, you could chop them up and bake/dehydrate them for a while. Veggies make for a low-cal treat. (Possibly even boiling the veggies w some chicken broth, or just a chunk of fatty meat, to make them tastier)
Just keep an open mind and let your creativity-gland shine! 😉
I bought this awesome bone shaped ice trays from safemade pet. They fit perfectly in the stuffing octopus (from the same brand). I do not own a Kong stuffing toy but I’d figure this could work.
I think it’d be a good idea to grind up her raws and some veggies and freeze them?
I love this product for stuffing toys, it is long and narrow and the molds are made with safe silicone. You can freeze it or put it in the oven!
If you do not trust the link just google: safemadepet and go to products for dogs, the treat tray is on the second page 🙂
Try buying a dehydrater. They are great. You can dehydrate your own raw treats for you dog. You can puree vegetables or fruits and spread out on a dehydrating sheet, then roll into balls or small pieces and stuff into stuffable chew toys. You can also dehydrate fresh meats, raw meatloaf, fish etc. I also make stock from organ meats and bones (no salt) and freeze into kongs as well as adding fruit, veggies or meats into the liquid and freeze into kongs in summer. Goats cheese which is lactose free is good as is quinoa cookies broken up. I also make meat pastes which I stuff along those stuffable chew toys that have groves along the sides, so they can lick it out and get interested in what’s on the inside. Hope these suggestions help, mind you, they are not my own, they are an accumulation of what I have gathered from my own research.
My thought? I maybe wrong but making a young puppy work for his food when he’s very hungry just seems kind of well, cruel to me. Again I may be wrong but if a hungry puppy wants to eat he should be able to eat. He could become very frustrated if the food doesn’t come out fast enough. Don’t beat me up over this it’s just my humble opinion but that’s how I feel. I’m not one for gimmicks and creative games when it comes to feeding dogs.
I have no objection to the Kong for treats- my Mickey loves his Kong. But when he wants to eat he wants to eat.
Hi Gloria K. I would certainly not beat you up for your “humble opinion”. It’s mine also. A puppy needs to be fed 3 – 4 times a day in a bowl and given water readily available. If one wants to put kibble or whatever ingredient (not raw) in a kong for entertainment purposes in addition to their meals that’s one thing (assuming you’re not over feeding the puppy), but certainly not his meals. The things people think of (the book, not the OP) is always mind boggling.
I do not believe that raw food should be put in a Kong. As a raw feeder myself let me say it’s a very bad idea. Dehydrated is okay as it’s not raw, but not raw food in a Kong. IMHO!!!
- This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by Dori.
Dori I didn’t go into as much detail as you did but I sure could have. Your thoughts are exactly like mine. I’m already feeling sorry for the poor puppy who has to go through hoops just to be fed. I can’t imagine leaving raw food in anything all day – it’s going to spoil. Sometimes people who write books don’t always know what hell they’re talking about.
Gloria, I wholeheartedly agree with you!!!
While I wouldn’t be giving my pup raw food until my holistic vet approved of it, I would encourage you to have a look at Ian Dunbar’s e-book “After you get your puppy”
http://www.dogstardaily.com/files/downloads/AFTER_You_Get_Your_Puppy.pdf. While I can understand that you think putting a certain amount of a puppy’s daily portion of food into a stuffable chew toy is cruel, I thought so too until I began doing my own research about dog training and teaching a pet good manners right from the beginning rather than focusing on what he does wrong (i.e., like ending up chewing things he shouldn’t be). Also, there are many benefits to placing a portion of the pups daily food allowance in chewtoys. For example, it entertains and stimulates them (in the wild, dogs naturally have to work for their food, even chewing the meat off of bones), it is a highly effective means of providing the pup appropriate things to chew on especially when teething, and it offers soothing and teaches them to self-soothe and entertain themselves rather than always expect you to entertain them. By the way, none of these are my own ideas, as I said, this comes from my own extensive research. But what you do and feed your own pups and beloved pets is your own choice. Good luck with it!
Lyndel M, The original poster indicated that all of the dogs food for the entire day should be fed through a Kong. While I respect your opinion I couldn’t disagree more. Again a dog should not have to get his meals bit by bit throughout the day and only if he is successful in getting it out of the Kong – especially a hungry puppy.
I often have my dogs eat out of either slow bowls or various puzzles. It really isn’t cruel, dogs with some toy drive or mental capacity to spare often thrive on doing this. There is plenty of research out there to show that it isn’t a cruel tactic at all, and helps work their brains. What a lot of people forget is dogs (especially dogs that are still closer in their lines to dogs that still work) really enjoy having a job, and to them, that can be part of it. It helps wear them out similar to a good session of obedience work. People are often concerned with feeding dogs similar to their ancestry, which also comes into play-no dog in the wild was ever handed food to eat
Edit: Leaving raw in something all day is asking for problems. I also don’t give them a stuffed thing for them to nibble on all day, as meal time is meal time, and I don’t really approve of free feeding. It needs to be attainable, dogs needs to be setup for success
I enjoyed working too (now retired and I’m enjoying that even more) and heaven knows I enjoy using my brain and at 75 my brain is still pretty sharp but when I want my meals I want them now and in one dish at the same time. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to have to go through an entire day knocking over a toy in order to get fed piece by piece. LOL just saying.
By the way a slow bowl and a puzzled bowl are good ideas especially for dogs that gulp and bolt their food, but a far cry from a kong feeding.
- This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by Gloria K.
I would consider a kong a type of puzzle, when I say that.
There are a lot more things in your life to keep your brain sharp than a dogs. And the biggest mistake I see people make is thinking that daily walks are all their dogs need.
To each his own, there are plenty of people doing totally right by their dogs (including most of the people in this thread) who DONT do that, but I’m interjecting to say that it certainly isn’t “cruel”.
I would have to say that even when Bruno was a little puppy, he received at least one out of 4 meals per day in a puzzle toy of some sort. Either a wobbly tower thing that he had to push around for the kibble to come out (with awesome adjustable levels for varying difficulties and kibble sizes); a treat-dispensing ball; or a small Kong. Normally within just a couple minutes he had figured out the toy and was happily finished with his meal within 5 min or less overall, from serving to the last bite. He also seemed to have a lot of fun and is always excited to see those toys, because they mean fun and food for him.
Nowadays he has about 2 meals per week (randomly chosen, without toppers, just the kibble) come out of toys and he still loves it. We have gotten 2 new puzzlers and use those, and the good ole tower and ball (the Kong got lost in our last move, still need to get a new one). Also, the RMB he gets every Sunday evening he doesn’t get in a puzzle or treat, but spends some extra time working on as it is, well, an RMB.
Personally, I wouldn’t feed ALL meals from a Kong or a treat dispenser/puzzle of any sort because I like to keep using toppers for his kibble and don’t want the mess, but on occasion, I would totally use them for some of his kibble-only meals. 🙂 And I wouldn’t put raw in a Kong or a puzzle toy either.
My concern aquariangt with the OP is that she is talking about a puppy that she will be getting in a couple of weeks. Feeding out of a Kong is perfectly acceptable to me as are slow feeding bowls for adult dogs, not puppies. Puppies have needs that must be met by feeding three or four times a day. She has also stated that she wants to feed a raw diet. In my opinion it is completely inappropriate to have raw food for a puppy stuffed into a Kong not knowing how long the food will be in the Kong while the puppy tries to figure out how to get it out and if, in fact, the puppy is even capable of getting it all out and then there is the problem of thoroughly cleaning the inside of the Kong. I have no issues whatsoever if she wants to hold out one of the puppies daily meal and put that into a kong (only if it’s a dehydrated or freeze dried food). I love Kong’s . I use them myself for my three. I make up a batch of dehydrated and freeze them. They are a great source of entertainment for dogs of all ages. I just want to make sure that the rest of the days meal the puppies nutritional and caloric needs are met.
Thank you for all of your comments. However, can I say that I was responding to another member’s query as to how to stuff chew toys when she is using a raw food diet and I provided with options from my own my own research and provided a link.
However, given some of the confusion that, i) it is cruel to make a puppy work so hard for its food by giving all of its food in a chewtoy, ii) that they can’t get all of their nutritional needs met from a chewtoy due to the difficulty of getting all of food out, especially the raw meat out; iv) the raw food may go off or the chew toy become contaminated with raw food left in there and cleaning difficulties etc. Yes! I agree to most of those responses.
A puppy has very specific needs indeed. He/she needs a balance of 70% protein, 20% carbs !0% veg/fibre. Their protein should also include 10% organ meat, with only 5% of that being organic liver.
I am going on my own research and as most of your know there are many benefits to using stuffable chew toys and food puzzles. Dr Ian Dunbar (a UK vet and one of the first positive dog trainers) recommends that for the first few days to a week only feeding you puppy either by hand or in chew toys to teach them i) bite inhibition;ii) to teach the a chewtoy habit so they only chew on appropriate chew toys. However, in his day in the 80’s kibble was viewed as the best food for all dogs and he did feel his puppy’s chewtoys with kibble.
We do not intend to feed all of my puppy’s meals in a kong and we will not be leaving our puppy unsupervised…ever! We have used chew toys with previous pets and of course know the importance of cleaning. While our puppy is getting positively conditioned to his portable crate, his chew toys will be in there for him to chew on for entertainment and teaching him to self-sooth for those times in the future when he will need to be on his own. Outside of his crate (which by the way, will only be used in this way for the first few weeks), his food will be hand fed and given as treats in his training sessions.
I have found and spoken to a holistic vet in my area and will of course be guided by her expertise. We will also be supplying certain omega -3 & 6 rich oils for a shiny coat and skin health and other vitamin supplements. We love and have always loved dogs, however, this will be the first time that we will be introducing raw food into the diet after our growing awareness of how poor the quality (even premium) commercial dog foods are. Given the controversy around raw vs cooked food, my partner and I have decided to offer a mixture of both home cooked and raw food.
As most of you know that daily physical exercise is essential for a healthy pet, I am a big advocate of not allowing our pet just sit all day with nothing to do except sleep and wait anxiously for us to come home for his walk. So chewtoys are great for reducing anxiety and boredom and providing mental stimulation.
As our pup grows, we will of course be providing some of his meals in bowls and some in puzzles, kongs etc and some still by hand.
It is great to see though that some of you who are concerned about the issue of animal cruelty are being outspoken about this, we are all definitely on the same page there. I am passionate about preventing cruelty to all animals and humans. Have a good day!
Lyndel M., you wrote an excellent post. I agree that dogs cannot sit all day and do nothing. Fortunately I’m home all day so I have time to play with him and take him for walks and his favorite past time- going ANYWHERE in the car. Unfortunately the car trips will and in the next month or so when the weather here starts to heat up. Temperatures are well above 100° from late April through October.
When I fed him this morning I only gave him the homemade food plus a tablespoon of his cottage cheese. Then supplemented with kibble in his Kong about 20 minutes later. He loved it and has the system down pat so I may be doing this a lot more often.
I do have a question though.. why the raw food versus cooked food? I know there has been a lot written on this site about it but not sure why. What is the advantage of raw over cooked. It’s difficult for me to get my mind wrapped around giving Mickey raw food. Enlighten me. 😉
Yes, there is certainly a lot of confusion amongst the raw and the cooked dog food camps. I have been reading heaps about it. Those in the raw food camp put forward for the raw food diet. I shall do my best to summarise a few of the key points that are important to me. First, they say that the dog’s metabolism has changed very little from the wolves, the original wild dogs. They suggest that when we provide our dogs with the right proportions of meats, organ meats, vegetables, fruit matter and bones, they’re digestive systems have the best chance of exacting the nutrients they need for shiny coats, healthier skin and teeth, stronger bones, and decreased chances of modern-day ailments and diseases that dogs in the wild rarely if ever have. Some of these ailments include itching, skin irritations, including dryness, fleas, hip dysplasia and arthritis.
In the other camp, there is some criticism of the raw diet saying that giving a dog only food i.e., meats risks feeding contaminated food, that people don’t take enough care in raw food preparation, that dogs today have evolved to adjust to modern (cooked, commercial) food and that dogs are at moderate – high risk of injuries from bone which become lodged in the throat or gut.
I am definitely against using any commercial dog foods. There are some great you-tube documentaries disclosing the shocking truth about the poor quality of nutrition of kibble and canned dog foods and the associated illnesses. In addition, that most Vets receive very little real knowledge of nutrition in their veterinarian studies and are just as influenced by the unregulated marketing and commercial dog food producers as GPs are by drug companies.
Regardless, Jean Hofve & Celeste Yarnall “Paleo Dog” is one book that has been recommended provide excellent information for providing your dog with all of the information needed to provide our dogs with all of the nutrients required and how to do so, if we want to go down the raw food pathway. Also there is the BARF raw foods that you can purchase and other online info about this pathway. And there are heaps of recipes for cooking our dogs food as well. Andi Brown “The Whole Pet Diet: 8 wks to great health for dogs and cats”, which is also excellent for going down the cooked food pathway. They both recommend certain supplements and they both provide enough evidence to suggest that just like for humans, if we give our pets fresh wholesome, organic foods (either raw or cooked) we will be doing our beloved pets a great service.
Given I have been a passionate advocate of healthy, unprocessed foods for more 40years, I certainly want to extend this to my pet. People on this post have just been concerned that I was being cruel to our new puppy for placing his food into chewtoys. However, I made the mistake of saying that we would be putting all of his daily foods into chewtoys, whereas that won’t be the case. But I will definitely using chewtoys together with crate training, self-soothing, stimulation and entertainment as I mentioned in my previous post. I am definitely not an expert, but a concerned pet owner who has done lots and lots of reading in order to do the best by our new puppy in terms of nutrition and training. All the best!! :0)
Lendel, sounds like you’ve got it pretty well down pat. Thanks so much for the explanation. I do agree with you that most Vets are not trained in dog nutrition as most of them advocate dry dog food and often have them for sale in their offices.
They range from Iams, to Science Diet to Purina etc. and I have the same feeling you do that maybe they are connected to the companies of the products they’re selling as most GPs are.
Lyndel, sounds like you’ve got it pretty well down pat. Thanks so much for the explanation. I do agree with you that most Vets are not trained in dog nutrition as most of them advocate dry dog food and often have them for sale in their offices.
They range from Iams, to Science Diet to Purina etc. and I have the same feeling you do that maybe they are connected to the companies of the products they’re selling as most GPs are.
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