Chew Toy Cookbook

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Why stuff chew toys with food?

Dogs are programmed to hunt for their food. Because we give them their food each day in a bowl, we take away the mental challenge and excitement of the hunt.

Behaviour problems arise in dogs that have no mental challenges or no “work to do”. We can improve their quality of life by giving them chew toys stuffed with hidden food.

Chew toys such as Kongs™ and Buster Cubes™ are made of strong rubber and last a very long time. They are available from most pet shops.

How does it work?

The secret of success lies buried within! These food chew toys are hollow and virtually indestructible. If you stuff it well, it will become the most rewarding thing to chew in your whole house. If your dog is happily chewing their chew toy, they are not barking at birds, chewing your furniture, digging up your plants or any of the destructive things that dogs can do when they are bored.

What's the best way?

It is important for dogs to succeed at their "work". Make it easy to remove the stuffing at first. As they become more experienced, you may want to make their job more challenging.

Easy stuffing is loose and made up of small, easy to fall out pieces. More difficult stuffing is tighter with some bigger pieces that are harder to extract.

To maintain their novelty value, it’s important to put the food chew toys away when they’re not in use.

Clean regularly with hot soapy water and a bottle brush or in the dish washer.

Chew toy hunting

Hide stuffed chew toys indoors and/or out. The hunt is great fun and rewarding. Only use frozen toys outside to avoid the mess. Frozen toys can also be put in a children's size swimming pool for a fun day of fishing for your pet.

Provide stuffed chew toys randomly so they won't always be associated with you leaving.

If your dog is cleaning out several chew toys per day, you should appropriately reduce the amount of bowl feeding so they don’t gain weight.

You can keep your dog "working" all day if you provide enough stuffed chew toys!

Use chew toys safely

Your dog's safety is your responsibility! Always supervise your dog's use of chew toys until you are confident they can be used safely without you.

Stuffing suggestions

Peanut butter - smear peanut butter inside the cavity of your chew toy

Frozen Jerky pops - Peanut butter, stock powder, jerky sticks, water. Smear a small amount of peanut butter over small hole in your chew toy. Fill with water and add a pinch of stock powder. Place a jerky stick inside of the chew toy and freeze.

Veggie Omelette - 1 egg, grated cheese, frozen mixed vegetables. Scramble egg and fold in vegetables. Put into chew toy. Sprinkle some cheese over the top and microwave for about 20 seconds. Cool thoroughly before giving to your dog.

Fruit Salad - Apple and carrot chunks, 1/4 of a banana. Place apples and carrots in the chew toy. Mush the banana in large hole to hold fruit in place.

Cheese it - Mix cheese pieces or cheese spread with food nuggets and microwave until cheese melts. Let it cool to a safe temperature.

Meat lovers - Left over meat scraps, potato mash, cream cheese. Mix the meat scraps with the potato mash and fill the chew toy. Spread cream cheese in large hole to hold scraps.