June Bug here again to talk about my favorite thing, FOOD! A healthy and balanced diet can easily be ruined by too many treats (so says my mom, anyway…), but there are some healthy and fun ways to have a special treat without relying on store bought cookies or beggin’ strips. One of our favorite treats is a stuffed Kong toy! Mom loves it because she can control what goes in them and because they can occupy us for at least half an hour or so while she tries to get stuff done!
When you think about what to stuff the Kong with, the options can get overwhelming! And you may have to do some trial and error to see what your dog likes. For example, I’m not a huge fan of carrots, but my sister Kona loves them! And I don’t usually like broccoli, but I will gladly eat it when it’s frozen! We both love yogurt, but Kona’s favorite is peanut butter. Sometimes mom calls me a brat, but I manage to get my way eventually and she stuffs it with my favorites. It’s all about finding something healthy that your dog enjoys to eat!
And the BEST part is, mom makes a few of these ahead of time! She turns them upside down, wraps the bottom with foil so nothing comes out of the hole, then stands them up in a muffin tin, fills them with all these goodies, then puts them in the freezer. Whenever we’re deserving of a treat, she pulls one out and we go to town! The frozen filling makes it last longer and makes it less messy (although we do have to stay on our “place” while we eat them just in case).
Here are some healthy ideas:
- Peanut Butter (make sure it doesn’t have xylitol as a sweetener because that can seriously hurt us! Mom uses a natural peanut butter that’s just peanuts and a tiny bit of salt).
- Greek yogurt (zero fat and zero added sugar!)
- Mashed sweet potato
- Pumpkin puree (you can find canned pumpkin in the pie aisle of the grocery store, but make sure you get 100% pumpkin and not the pie filling, which has too much sugar)
- Dog friendly fruits (small quantities cut into bite size pieces): apples, blueberries, bananas, cranberries, strawberries, watermelon
- Dog-friendly veggies (small quantities cut into bite size pieces): Carrots, celery, green beans, broccoli
We like for mom to layer in the goodies so we are getting new flavors as we tackle the Kong. It’s like a little doggie parfait! A layer of peanut butter, some blueberries, a layer of yogurt, some broccoli, a layer of sweet potato, some banana, and a final layer of peanut butter! It varies according to what mom has in stock, but we love getting this frozen treat two or three times a week!