I bought a Kong for Phoebe a few days after her arrival. Not because I understood its purpose, but because it was one of three chew toys in the entire store that was supposed to hold up under the grueling conditions of a power chewer like Phoebe.
Phoebe literally annihilates toys within an hour, sometime in as little as a few minutes. So the only things that I can leave her to chomp on unattended are an odd-shaped black Kong, a black bone-shaped Kong, and a Nylabone DuraChew (the one she is holding in the photo in the header of this site). She had another that was an absolute favorite, but after two months she chewed through it. I had to toss it and have not been able to find another.
I was reading a post on another blog about another lovely Phoebe dog, and learned that the odd-shaped Kong toy was / is supposed to be used as a brainer teaser for treats. Well, color me stupid! I thought they were just for play. The author provides a few yummy recipe options for making the most use out of this little mind exercising toy. That got my creative juices flowing. I can’t use kibble in the thing, because Phoebe can not eat kibble.
Think-think-think…what to use? I figured it would come to me.
Then yesterday I saw Phoebe out in the yard pouncing, tossing, running, rolling around and having a grand old-time all by herself. Had she taken a few nips from a bottle of booze? Was she on some hallucinogen? Nope. She found our orange tree.
I did not know the oranges were ripe, but I guess she did. Her new little friend was a carved-out orange. The innards were gone and she was amusing herself with what remained.
That’s when a new Kong filler idea came to mind. Why not take some orange slices, put them in the Kong and see if Phoebe liked it or not. I segmented them so that the juice was contained within the membrane, hoping to prevent a juicy mess if she got tired of it.
Oranges are great for Vitamin C (a well established immunity booster). They are also low in calories and provide a bit of calcium. More or less, half of a small orange (about 3″ diameter) has 25 mg Vitamin C, 22.5 calories, 5.5 g carbohydrates, and 18 mg calcium. I say more or less, because the amounts can vary based on the specific type of orange and actual size. Basically, all I am trying to get across, is that they are not fattening and offer some immune boosting goodies.
I stuffed that Kong full of orange slices and let her have at it.
If you try this, don’t forget to include it in the daily calorie count for your dog. No more than 10% of their total daily intake should come from treats. If you have a medium sized dog like Phoebe (40 pounds +/-), treats should be no more than a total of 80 calories +/- per day. That makes an orange a great treat once in a while.
Thanks mymelleablelife for getting me thinking!
Here is a little video of Phoebe’s reaction to her Orange Infused Kong.