I am a meanie about Silas’s diet. This is, as usual, for his own good. His stomach is a delicate thing, even in the best case scenario.
Nothing makes me feel meaner than stuffing his Kongs, though.
I look around on the internet, and I see people putting runny cheese, or canned dog food, or five different kinds of treats glued together with peanut butter, or leftover human food. No, no, no, no.
This is what goes in Silas’s Kong:
Option one (the easy way): mix canned pumpkin or butternut squash with just enough peanut butter to keep it from being a runny mess. Put in Kong, freeze. If I’m feeling prodigiously generous I’ll mix in some honey or molasses. Top with a tiny scrape of peanut butter at the time of delivery.
Option two: Puree a variety of fruits and dog-safe veggies. The recipe I used last time was spinach (1 small package), green beans (half a small frozen package), a tiny bit of broccoli (maybe 1/4 of a frozen package), carrots (half a small package), and pumpkin (one can). Add some honey and/or molasses. I aim for about a teaspoon of sweetener for a cup of puree.
Now the trick with this recipe is that it makes a lot. I’m not pureeing new vegetables for the Kong every day. So I put one cup portions into freezer bags, squish them flat, and store them in the freezer. When the time comes to fill the Kong, thaw one bag. Add in the amount of peanut butter it will take to get your dog to eat vegetables, close the bag, and squish it all together. Snip a tiny corner off the bag, squeeze into the Kong. Freeze.
Why am I so mean? Silas’s diet is really quite limited, so I try to get him as many nutrients as I can. Also, while dogs technically don’t “need” vegetables, I find that Silas does a lot less foraging for greenery in the yard when he’s getting some in his diet. There’s also no point in doing the whole elaborate jamming in of treats game, because Silas figured out way back to throw his Kong down the stairs. After he got filling all over our white walls, I stopped trying to make it “challenging” and went for “lickable.” Truth be told, the mixed veggies really aren’t that mean. It doesn’t have the globs and globs of peanut butter that some Kong recipes do, but it’s a good bit. It also has sweetener, which came out of my hope that local honey might help some allergies.
Maybe I’m not a meanie. Maybe I’m just an overachiever.