Using a Kong Toy to Reduce Stress

Dog and Kong
Zekie and his Kong toy.

I have found a way that Zekie is not so severely stressed when I must leave him in his crate. He is just a little stressed. This is quite an improvement for him.

I break a dog biscuit in half, spread peanut butter on each half, and toss them inside a Kong toy. (Make sure the peanut butter does not have xylitol in it. This is hazardous to dogs. I use natural to be safe. ) Sometimes I throw a carrot in too. I spread the remainder of the peanut butter from the knife around the inside of the Kong. The peanut butter keeps the treats stuck inside the toy so he has to work to get them out. This gives him something to do to occupy his mind. Zekie will go in his crate on command if he sees I have the Kong loaded. I used to have to find him and put him in his crate. Now he is willing to go for this special treat.

I also have a bone shaped Kong that I put a baby carrot in each end of, before I put Claire in her crate. Claire doesn’t mind her crate, I just like to give her a treat too. The other dogs don’t require a crate when we go away.

Often times, the treats are still stuck inside Zekie’s Kong when I return home and let him out of his crate. When this happens, he takes the Kong with him wherever he goes. He even carries it with him outside and back in, lest any of the other dogs find and confiscate it. I will eventually dig the treats out and hand them to Zekie.

The distracting toy makes for a much happier Zekie upon my return. And he is not covered in nearly as much “stress drool” this way. Give it a try and see if it makes your pup happier too.

10 thoughts on “Using a Kong Toy to Reduce Stress

  1. I’ll have to try this with Duffy. I’ve just been putting pnut butter in his Kong. Sticking the bisque in there should keep him busy longer. Like while I’m trying to get my weekly Zoom art class in. Thanks Cyndi!

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  2. I have a 5 month old Sheltie (we had a 13 year old Sheltie that passed last summer) and I was always told NOT to give them anything when they are in their crate……or…is that just a suggestion for puppies (about not giving them anything in their crate). I do use KONGS with our 5 month old……did with our other Sheltie too…..our 5 month old doesn’t handle peanut butter well…..so I put treats in the KONG, when he is allowed to I will try the baby carrots.

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    1. I’ve only heard to be careful not to leave them with things that could be dangerous. Like rawhide can get soft or have pieces come off that they could choke on. Same for rope bones and pieces coming off. Any plastic type toys or rubber, should have holes in both ends so they don’t form a vacuum if the tongue gets stuck inside.

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      1. Hi Cindy, what i meant was, I have a five month old SHELTIE PUPPY. They say that NOTHING should be in a crate with a puppy because you use the crate for crate training (ie housebreaking)…I wasn’t referring to an adult Sheltie, it is fine with an adult Sheltie. I was just saying what they say when crate training a PUPPY that NOTHING should be in the crate with them.

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    2. I only leave my dogs with the stuffed Kong products, or a large hollow cow leg bone stuffed with peanut and carrots or biscuits. The kind of hard bone from the pet store that is meant to last nearly forever.

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