Mo Rita is a mom, a teacher, a pet owner, and a self-proclaimed artist. She enjoys washing dishes.
Maybe you have a hyper doggie... I do. I try to find ways to keep him mentally stimulated and busy after his twice daily hour-long runs. I feel your pain if you're in this situation, too.
At any rate, I've found that the great lifesavers for me in this situation are Kong-type food-fillable toys. They keep my dog occupied physically and mentally for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
The only problem with Kongs is that if you have a truly industrious dog, you need to freeze things in there to make it challenging. And unless you have a whole collection of Kongs, you will have to allow freezing time between Kong sessions.
Here, then, is a method I made up to make Kong-stuffing easier and faster.
What You'll Need
For this project, you'll need the following supplies:
- A regular ice cube tray
- Some non-stick cooking spray
- The large-sized Kong toys
- Soft food of some sort
Some suggestions for soft foods to use:
- Quality, mush-style canned food your dog likes (Eagle Pack, Solid Gold, Merrick, etc.)
- Raw ground meat if you're a raw-feeder
- Oatmeal mixed with something stinky, such as mashed up sardines or tuna fish or parmesan cheese
- 100% pure canned pumpkin can be added to the mixes to calm dog stomach issues
Take the ice cube tray and spray it with cooking spray. If you don't, you'll probably still be okay. You'll just need to run the bottom of the tray under hot water and tray-twist pretty vigorously. Since writing this Hub years ago, I've stopped using the cooking spray and I haven't had any issues.
Spoon the food into the ice cube tray and pack it down tightly. Do not overfill the cube spaces. Leave a little bit of room at the top of each space or your cubes will be too large.
One 14 oz. can of dog food fills an ice cube tray almost perfectly.
Put the ice cube tray in the freezer and wait for it to freeze.
During this time period, please realize that no guests should be allowed to look for ice cubes in your freezer. I should not have to explain to you that ice cube trays filled with brown, lumpy mystery-substances are not a good thing to run into unexpectedly.
When the cubes are frozen, twist the tray or run the bottom of it under hot water until the cubes pop out easily. Put the cubes in a plastic bag.
Hide the plastic bag somewhere deep in your freezer where no one but you will think to look. Again, think of little brown, lumpy cubes of stinky stuff, and imagine the faces your guests will make upon encountering them.
Take a cube and push it as hard as you can to get it into the Kong toy hole. If it won't go in, you may have to run it under hot water until it disintegrates a bit.
Once it's in, push it down to the very bottom of the Kong and see if you can then shove another cube in there.
Hand the toy to your patient dog-friend.
If your dog is not motivated by the frozen food, run some hot water into the Kong to melt just the outside of the cubes and to increase the smell factor. Yum Yum!
Take the cubes into account in your dog's daily food / calorie allotment. Each cube is about an ounce of food.
My dog is pretty good with emptying a Kong, and a Kong prepared in this manner, with two cubes inside, will take him roughly 20 minutes to empty.
To lengthen busy-time, you can put peanut butter on the inside walls of the Kong before putting the cubes in there.
good thing about this method is that as soon as your dog has emptied
the Kong, you can stick another few cubes in there, and you've got more
free time! Yay!
Let me know how your dog does!
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© 2010 Mo Rita
Sinea Pies from Northeastern United States on February 23, 2011:
I love this suggestion. Not only will I try it with my two yellow labs but I am adding this article as a link on my dog toy hubs. The readers will love it!
Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on February 06, 2011:
Great idea! Will try this for sure. Thanks.
Mo Rita (author) from IL on August 13, 2010:
Good idea, Kathy! Thanks :0)
Kathy on August 13, 2010:
You can put saran wrap instead of spray if you want. Sheet is slightly larger than tray
Mo Rita (author) from IL on August 09, 2010:
Thank you for the compliments! I hope this keeps doggies quiet everywhere! :0)
JD on August 09, 2010:
Excellent Idea! Thanks! And this will even things up with my husband who puts stinking dead fish parts in the freezer to use as bait (without labeling them).
Theresa on August 09, 2010:
Great idea, will have to try this, thanks!