What KONG to get my dog? My dog doesn’t like the KONG toy.
As a dog trainer and pet parent I absolutely love KONGs and use them with my own dogs and clients dogs.
What makes KONGs so special?
- Mental Stimulation: KONG toys can keep dogs entertained and engaged, providing mental stimulation and preventing boredom. Filling the Kong with treats or peanut butter and freezing it can make it even more challenging and engaging for the dog.
- Dental Health: Chewing on a KONG can help clean a dog’s teeth and promote healthy gums by removing plaque and tartar buildup.
- Anxiety Reduction: Some dogs may suffer from anxiety or stress, and chewing on a Kong can provide a calming and soothing effect, similar to the act of chewing on a bone.
- Slow Feeding: KONG toys can also be used as a tool to slow down a dog’s eating, promoting better digestion and reducing the risk of choking or vomiting.
- Safe: All KONG’s are made with BPA free rubber and in the case a pet ingests part of a KONG it will show up on an x-ray, crazy right?
Why you dog doesn’t like a KONG
When I hear someones dog doesn’t use a KONG it’s usually one of two reasons.
- They are using the wrong KONG type for the dogs chewing style/age, IE the wrong color – see our next section.
- The KONG wasn’t introduced properly, which can lead to frustration, boredom or disinterest. Make sure your kong is stuffed with no only large treats that keep them engaged but small ones too so they get some win and motivation to keep playing. Smearing it with peanut butter or yogurt is a great ideas too!
If we meet their needs they will play, engage and have more fun with it.
What is the difference between KONG colors?
KONGs come in various sizes and rubber strengths. Different colored KONGs represent different strengths of the rubber.
A general rule with a chewing or teething dog is to replace what they are chewing with something of a similar chew resistance. If chewing something hard like a table leg give them a harder black KONG, when chewing something soft a softer puppy KONG may be a better fit.
Let’s go over what KONG’s are currently available:
- Light pink and blue – These are the puppy KONGs, they are softer with more flex to them for those growing puppy gums and teeth. Around 9 months age plan to swap to an adult red KONG.
- Red – Red is what 80% of dogs use and love!
- Purple – Purple is for our senior dogs, a bit stronger than puppy kong but very similar. (The purple smallest size is what cats would use when using a cat KONG).
- Dark Blue – This is a veterinary exclusive line, this is more durable than the red KONG. When dark blue launched it was the only radio-opaque one, meaning it shows up on an x-ray if ingested, but since then all KONG’s are now radio-opaque so you don’t need to buy this KONG.
- Orange – Orange is for water play, it’s similar to the red KONG in density except that it has a foam core that helps it float for water training and play. Perfect for building confidence in the water.
- Black – Black is the extreme KONG made for the super chewers. For these super chewer’s it’s also very important to be buying the right size KONG for your dog as well. If your dog is able to destroy a black KONG then go up in size and consider freezing it with their goodies inside.
- Coming soon – There is an even stronger KONG coming in the future so if the black isn’t fitting your dogs needs, stay tuned!
There is no hard rule for what your dog needs, I have seen small dogs that love puppy KONGs and stay on them their whole life, I’ve seen busy working dogs that use a puppy KONG at the end of an active day.