Sunday, March 24, 2024

Fill a Bunch of Kong Dog Toys Fast

 Do you use a lot of frozen stuffed Kong or other food toys? Are you still filling them individually? You are definitely missing out. I have an ever-changing horde of dogs these days, ranging from puppies to seniors. There is often someone on cage rest or needing some extra enrichment, so stuffed Kongs are still my first choice for frozen licky entertainment. (That reminds me, I need to make a post about why I don't use lick mats.) 

I know West Paw's Toppl toy is becoming the new food favorite for the high-end dog snob crowd, and I have a couple of those as well, but I am still Kong fan for a couple of reasons. The first is durability, the reason I own two Toppls is because West Paw is wonderful and sent me the second after one of my dogs ripped a chunk out of the first. The second reason I prefer Kongs is price, with availability coming a close third. A large classic red Kong is currently $14 retail through sites like Chewy, and can also be purchased at a lot of big stores that have a pet department including Target and Tractor Supply. A large Toppl toy cost $25 and can only be found at pet-specific stores, and I'm not even sure it can be found at very major pet retailed. Do both Petco and PetSmart currently carry them in-store? I don't actually know anymore, I now live in the middle of nowhere and Tractor Supply and Walmart are pretty much it.

Anyway, I own a ridiculous number of Kong toys of various colors and shapes, and I know that filling them can be time-consuming and obnoxious. I used to use a baby spoon to scoop filling into each one individually. I no longer have time for that. What is the fastest method to fill a bunch of food toys fast? The pastry bag method. Not only is it fast, it is also very easy, makes minimal mess, and ha zero cleanup. Ready?

1. Find a container to set all your food toy in. They need to sit upright. I use a plastic storage bin from a discount store like Pic-N-Save. But it's not Pic-N-Save anymore, is it? It's Big Lots. Metal dog bowls can also work, or tupperware, or a cardboard box. No need to get fancy. Ideally you should have freezer space to slide your entire container in, but I won't judge if you need to stick the toys into nooks and crannies among your frozen foods either. I've been there too,

2. Gather your toy fillings. I typically use some combination of canned pumpkin, Greek yogurt, canned dog food, and peanut butter. It's ok to use the canned dog food with the chunks. You want your filling to be pretty thick, so it doesn't leak out before it freezes. You can get extra fancy and add in chunkier things like green beans and other veggies if your dog will eat them. You could even puree everything together in a blender or food processor, but that makes more cleanup.

3. Get a gallon-size resealable bag, Ziploc or whatever brand, and dump all your fillings in. Seal that bad boy, and start mooshing. Squish your filling goodies together as much or as little as you like. If there is something your dog doesn't particularly like, smoosh it together a bit more to get a good mix. If they like everything, maybe mix it a bit less so it's like that swirly ice cream with the two flavors together.

4. Cut off the corner of the bag, and pipe that goodness into your dog toys like a pastry chef. When you're done, toss the bag in the trash and stick your toys in the freezer. 

Did you know that you can stick all those toys in the dishwasher to get them clean? Kong and West Paw toys and natural rubber dog toys in general are dishwasher safe. I finally have a dishwasher so I am no longer scrubbing every food toy. Between the dishwasher and the pastry bag filling method, we have food toys down to a science. Maximum efficiency.  

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