Archives for the day Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Palette’s note: Kong

 Have you ever wondered if you could
actually see how other dogs are enjoying the products or maybe hear the
sound of treats so you can estimate the texture of the treats before
purchasing one?

 As you may have noticed, I have started product testing series titled
“Palette’s Note”, which you can read about products detail, and see
video clips from Palette’s taste test/product test.

 This time,it is not about treats. I would like to put out the detail on Kong.


What is Kong?

 Kong chew toys are great interactive non toxic rubber toys with the hole in the center,and they are staple chew toys at many houses.

 In fact, our k9
executive chef “Palette” grew up with this toy, and it has been one of
her favorite chew toys.

 With Kong toys, you can stuff it with biscuits, with
cool down treats recipes from our blog site (You can find the recipes
with series titled “Palette’s treats diary” under Dog Diet category) and
freeze them, or with your dogs’ favorite mixed fresh vegetable puree, fresh meat (grind with food processor) etc and freeze them. You can be
creative with how you stuff this chew toys with.

 These Kong toys will keep your dogs busy and happy for
long time. Dogs will work hard to get to the treats by licking,
chewing, tossing in the air to get to the treats.It helps satisfying
the urge of chewing.

 Kong toys are made of durable rubber and they are very
bouncy toys.

 Due to its odd shape, they bounce to unpredictable
directions and, they are fun toys to play with as well.

 Our k9 executive chef “Palette” loves this Kong chew
toy and she works very hard to get to the treats inside the Kong,and
once they are gone, she likes to toss it in the air and catch them.
Palette and I also like to play fetch game with this toy.

 Sometimes, unpredictable bouncing direction fools her and she misses the catch but she has blast playing with these toys.

Personally, I prefer to stuff the Kong with dry treats because it encourage your dogs to move around and make them “think” how to get the treats out of it.

 If it were stuffed with wet treats such as frozen yogurt/meat treats, dog will be at one spot,simply licking,chewing and there is not much to it.

 In a way, this toy is like a doggy puzzle toy.

 This toy is good to prevent boredom, which can lead to many behavior problems,  and give them mental stimulation.

 How to choose the proper Kong…

 There are several kinds of Kong

Some are made for puppies, some are made for medium chewer, some are for aggressive chewer.

 What we carry are red one and black one.

 The red one is for medium chewer, which is classic/original of Kong and they are more flexible, and the black one is specifically made for aggressive chewer with strong rubber.

 We have recommendation for the size depending on the dog’s body weight to help you decide the proper size of the Kong.

 Also, the maker of the toy has breed specific sizing chart for Kong toy.You can refer the chart to decide the size as well.

 To see the guiding chart at Kong company website,please click here.

 That being said,as any chew toys, it is important for you to check the wear and tear and if it showed wear, replace the Kong with new one.

How to stuff Kong..

Kong has small hole on top, bigger hole on the bottom,and when you stuff your kong with wet treats, close the top hole with bit of peanut butter or cream cheese and then, pour the wet treats inside.

 For the extra protection, you would want to put the Kong in the zip bag to freeze it so it would not leak in the freezer.

 Some people stuff the kong with only peanut butter, but to me, it seems very fatty,high calorie treats. Not only that, it is high in sodium as well.

 Dog loves peanut butter and you can find many treats made with peanut butter from dog bakery to make your own biscuits or cupcake, but be careful how much of peanut butter you would be using.

 Just because dog  loves them is not necessary good choice for the good, nutritious, healthy treats.

 The small Kong can hold 5 tsp peanut butter.However, since peanut butter is roughly 90 kcal per table spoon, if you stuff the small kong all the way up, you are giving your dog 150kcal per small kong, and large portion of the calorie will be coming from fat.

 Example of Kong stuffing ..

** Frozen yogurt treats..

 Frozen strawberry tomato yogurt treats (recipe from July 16th,2010 Palette’s summer treat diary).

Strawberry tomato yogurt treats..

Here is how you make them.

1. To the mixer, add 1 red ripe tomato cut to chunks 4.8 oz, 3 big strawberries 4.8 oz, 5 oz of Stoneyfield organic plain yogurt , and puree them.

** The strawberry used for the treats were big; 2″ high,1.5″ width.

** When you cut tomato to chunks,make sure to use ripe tomato,not tomato that are green,and make sure to take vines,leaves off. Tomato plants; stems and leaves, and green part of tomato are toxic to dogs.

** I would not use tomato as
staple in the frozen treats because night shade family plants such as potatoes,eggplant, peppers, tomatoes could aggravate the inflammation if dogs were arthritis. Palette is not arthritis dog but,she used to limp in the past, and tomato is very rare occasional ingredients in the treat.

2. Pour those onto ice cube tray and freeze for treats or pour it in the Kong after closing the tip hole of the toy with peanut butter or cream cheese

** This will be about 14 blocks of treats in one ice cube tray if you freeze in the ice cube tray for treats

** Frozen strawberry tomato yogurt treats whole ice cube tray is roughly about 153 kcal (you can see more detail here at website). So, each ice cube given is about 11kcal

** Mixed pureed fresh vegetables/meat

** Dog biscuits

 Here is the healthier biscuits idea that has peanut butter in it.

 What I made is “Peanut butter and strawberry jam biscuits”.

 I have tried stuffing the kong with 2″ whole bone shaped biscuit,half the biscuits, smaller bits of biscuits,and whole biscuits cracked on one side tips.

 With whole biscuits this size, it fits nicely and Palette can taste a bit first and it keeps her busy long time, but problem was that the other half had hard time to come out and,she brought the kong back to me for help

 With the whole biscuits one side tip cracked, it worked better than “as is” but some of the biscuits still stuck inside the kong and still needs to be tweaked.

 With cracked biscuits bits, it was too easy and Palette got it without doing much.

 If I use the whole biscuits, I would need to tweak the shape of the biscuit. You can try various shape of biscuits and see if it work for you.

 With the broken into half biscuit, if I put shaped side out, she got it out in matter of minutes and it was too easy for her to get it out.

 With the broken side out, it made the biscuit comes out harder.

 If you have smaller size dog bone shaped cutter, it might work better.

 Here is the video where you get to see how Kong toy works.This one is with whole biscuits with one side tip cracked. You can see Palette is working hard to get the biscuits out.

Palette and Kong

If you are a blog subscriber,please click here to watch the video.

 It seems I would need the tweaking of the shaping for homemade dog biscuits for Kong, but the biscuit itself was huge hit,and Palette was drooling all over my hands.

 Try make this biscuits and you will be your dog’s best of the best friends in the world,lol.

 To show you how much Palette loves this biscuits, here are two youtube videos. You can see the big drop of drool coming out from her mouth

Palette and Peanut butter strawberry jam biscuits Part 1

If you are a blog subscriber,please click here to watch the video.

Palette and Peanut butter strawberry jam biscuits Part 2

If you are a blog subscriber,please click here to watch the video.

Now, here is the recipe for the Peanut butter and strawberry jam biscuits.

Peanut butter and strawberry jam biscuits recipe..

Peanut butter and strawberry jam biscuits..

1. Make strawberry jam

** How to make k9 strawberry jam **

1. Cut 3 strawberries (3 oz) into 8 sections, and put them in the sauce pan and stir often and cook them til it gets mushy and thicken and set it aside

2. Mix the strawberry jam with 1 tsp peanut butter in the small container

3. In the small bowl, add 1/2 C whole wheat flour, add 3 tbs plain yogurt,peanut butter-strawberry jam mix and stir

4. Knead for a few minutes on the lightly floured surface

5. Roll the dough out to 1/4″ thick and cut the dough with bone shaped cutter (I used 2″ bone cookie cutter size)

6. Place them on the non stick foil lined baking sheet,brush them with extra virgin olive oil and bake them at 350F for 35-38 minutes til golden and firm enough with slight dip when you press the biscuit

7. Cool it down

8. Serve

Makes: 20 biscuits

 The whole biscuits dough is roughly 311 kcal,which means, each biscuits (2″ bone shape) is about 16 kcal.

 You can find all the nutrition information for this biscuits at nutritiondata website here.

 As you can see, this peanut butter and strawberry jam biscuits recipe is tasty but not so high calorie biscuits treat.

Use for the kong..

 Kong is good toy to give mental stimulation with dry treats inside, and when you are using dry treats inside the kong, you can make the kong time extra fun by playing the “find it” game in the house, or outside the house and let the dog sniff out the kong and reward themselves with stuffed treats inside the kong

 When Kong is stuffed with wet treats, it is good to prevent the boredom which can lead to behavior problems.

 When Kong is empty, fun would not end there. You can play “fetch” with it.

 It bounces to unpredictable direction and makes the fetch game extra fun!

Care for the kong..

 Many people will be wondering what is the best way to clean the kong because it has funky shape and washing the toy is somewhat awkward.

 Therefore, I have contacted the company for the suggestion and here is the answer that we got.

  They suggest that the toys be washed in the sink using a bottle
brush or similar brush to get leftovers out of the inside.

 They do
caution the customers against using the dishwasher for cleaning the
They suggest that if someone would want to use the toys in the
dishwasher that they
only use a cool or warm water rinse cycle, no
drying cycle, and that the toy be placed on the top shelf of the
dishwasher only.

Kong company has a variety of
dog products that are durable and unique.

Besides classic Kong, people loves the tennis ball that squeak called “Squeakair tennis ball“.

Have you tried that too?

 What are your dog’s favorite Kong stuffing?

 Share your Kong stuffing recipe in the comment below.

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Mar 19, 2014 | Comments are off | Yassy's Gourmet Dog Kitchen