Friday, September 12, 2014

Kong Quest Revisited

Now that I've owned the Kong Quest toys for several months, and used them on a regular basis with multiple dogs, I have a lot more to share about them. We have a large Kong Quest Starpod and a large Kong Quest Wishbone. I never got around to acquiring the Kong Quest Bone, and I will likely be able to resist purchasing the newly-released animal shapes. After my experiences with the Wishbone and Starpod, the Kong Quest Critters just aren't that appealing.
Photo by Erin Koski

Kong Quest Starpod
It is difficult to express my feelings about the Kong Quest Starpod without using profanity. Seriously, who designed this thing? What exactly were they planning on putting in it? I demand that they find me a dog that takes more time to unload this toy than it does for me to load it.

See those eight little circles? Those are eight little circles of pure inefficiency. The sides are deeply curved to hold peanut butter and other lickable treats. They also make hand washing it an act of pure frustration. I need at least two different specialized scrubbing tools to get this thing clean. It takes far longer to wash it than it does for the dog to empty it.

I had nearly retired the Starpod to the toybox in frustration when I found a couple of dry treats that fit in it so perfectly that I was compelled to keep it in the food toy rotation. Fruitables Crunchy Pumpkin Baked treats pop nicely into those little wells with just a little bit of shoving, as do Zukes Skinny Bakes. Both of these are small, low-calorie dry treats that don't leave my hands smelling vile. Sometimes I also dab some peanut butter in each well and stick the whole thing in the freezer. The discovery of these treats has significantly sped up my Starpod loading time, and saved it from the depths of the toybox.

Kong Quest Wishbone
The Wishbone is another nightmare clearly designed by someone who owns a dishwasher. I hate that person. I also feel at least slightly uncharitable toward anyone else who owns a dishwasher. The edges of the cavities in the Wishbone hang over and trap crumbs and bits of goop in such a way as to be nearly impossible to scrub. I assume the toy is designed this way to make it challenging for the dogs to get to the tasty stuffing, but at some point they either have to give up and abandon the Quest or tear it apart. I would like to tear it apart myself sometimes.

The Zukes Skinny Bakes also fit really nicely into the Wishbone, and I usually stick a Superior Farms heart-shaped biscuit in the center of each side. Sometimes I put a strip of jerky or other higher-value item underneath the Skinny Bakes. When I stick peanut butter in this toy, I usually load it up with dry biscuits and then smear just a little bit of peanut butter on top. This makes scrubbing it slightly less nightmarish.

Bottom Line
These toys are obnoxious to load and horrendous to hand wash. They are somewhat challenging for Ulysses to use, but Brisbane empties them out instantly. Until I found appropriately-shaped cookies to put in them (not the ones by Kong) I was ready to chuck them. While I currently use the ones I have, I won't be buying any more of these no matter how many I see in the clearance bin for $1.

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