Many dogs are serious chewers, especially those smart puppies who have to be left alone all day, so a chew toy that lasts is going to be a winner. While no dog toy is completely indestructible, Kong makes robust chew toys for dogs and puppies.
Birth of the Kong
This great product was originally designed in the 1970s to satisfy a German Shepherd who loved to chew on rubber from his owner's ancient VW van. Wanting to preserve his classic car and concerned about tooth damage and possible toxins, Joe Markham went to work to find a super-durable, non-toxic rubber he could mould into a toy Fritz would love to chew (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kong_(dog_toy) ).
Classic Kong Shape
The Kong looks rather like a small squashed snowman, three balls of increasing size packed together, with a hollow center. This shape is ideal for chewing because it gives size and shape variety but has no obvious pieces to chew off a main body. The rubber is resistant, so while a dog can compress it a little for chewing satisfaction, it immediately springs back into shape. They come in various sizes and intensities, from puppy to senior to Extreme (for dogs with a serious killer instinct.)
Kongs are somewhat bouncy and can easily be used for ourdoor retrieval play. Their unique shape makes them bounce unpredictably, giving dogs the opportunity to chase and capture the errant toy and subdue it very firmly without destroying it. The true genius of the toy is the central cavity. This space, with a small cylindrical hole at each end, runs right through the rubber like the marrow in a bone. Owners can fill it up with a variety of hard and soft treats which the dog will then spend hours trying to remove with teeth, tongue, and brute force, providing wonderful entertainment and an instant reward. This reinforces a dog's bond with the Kong and it will quickly become a favourite.
Fill It Up Please
Kong fillings are as varied as the dogs who own them. Many have success wedging a hard dog treat deep inside, and plugging the ends with something softer like wet dog food, peanut butter, soft cheese, or some of the Kong range's Stuff N Paste which comes in several flavors. Shove a filled Kong in the freezer to make the filling even more difficult to remove, or simply to give a Kongsicle treat on a hot day.
The Kong product line has grown and now includes treats, stuffies, balls, bones, and sticks, some of which are also designed to clean teeth . Take care to choose the right toy for your dog, as some of the Kong products are definitely not designed for chewing. No matter which toy you purchase, make sure you supervise your dog initially and check it regularly for damage. Choose the right size and intensity of Kong Classic (Red), Extreme (Black), or Puppy (Pink/Blue) for your dog to get a satisfying chew without destroying the toy. Say goodbye to finding favourite shoes, tables, or walls in small pieces after a long day at work.