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How to be King Kong

Dogs can get a little bored with the humdrum kennel existence, but yours don't have to stare into space. You can liven up their lives by providing a little entertainment with toys like stuffed Kongs. These hollow, hard rubber dog toys are wonderful diversions; dogs will spend hours mouthing, pawing, and figuring out how to get the treats out of the center. And while Kongs can cost a pretty penny if you buy them in a pet supply store, shelters can take advantage of a manufacturer's special: free Kongs that are only slightly imperfect. Just visit www.kongcompany.com, click on "Get A Kong," then click on "KONG Seconds," and fill out the online form.

Then you can engage in the fine art of Kong-stuffing. Use your imagination; Kongs were designed to hold all sorts of goodies. You can stick in small, dry treats for dogs who are less active; for other dogs, you can build up to more difficult stuffings, layering the dry food with some wet food to make it sticky and challenging. If you keep in mind that a mix of gooey and crumbly layers makes a long-lasting, tasty toy, you'll soon be stuffing Kongs like a pro—and your doggies will love the mental stimulation and the reward of digging the goodies out.

Just be sure you don't end up having to dig the Kongs themselves out of your drains; if your kennels have drain holes, be careful not to let the smaller Kongs get stuck in them during cleaning. Also remember to give big Kongs to big dogs and little Kongs to little dogs, and be sure to either disinfect the toys regularly or keep the same toy with the same dog to prevent the spread of diseases. If you follow these tips, the dogs will soon be dubbing you the King of Kongs (and All Things Yummy).

 

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