My high-energy farm dogs crave routine. Lefty, my one-year-old heeler, and Sadie, my 12-year-old Australian Shepherd, are both very smart, and if we get off our routine, they are prone to anxiety. (See How to Live with High-Energy Farm Dogs Without Losing Your Mind for all of my tricks for keeping them mentally and physically stimulated – and myself sane!) Rylee, my six-year-old Dalmatian, is more laid back, but she participates in our evening routine too.
My dogs really benefit from a settle-down routine at night. This gets them in the mindset that playtime is over, and they naturally gravitate to their beds. I dim the lights and give each of them a Kong (buy it here) with a special filling I make myself. I chose each ingredient for a specific purpose – all to keep my dogs in good health.
Healthy Coat and Joint Kong Filling
What you need:
1 – 29 oz can pumpkin (Buy it here)
1 – 13 oz can dog food. I use Taste of the Wild. (Buy it here)
½ cup natural peanut butter (Buy it here)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed (Buy it here)
½ cup coconut oil, melted (Buy it here)
1/4 Teaspoon chia seeds for every 10 lbs of your dog’s body weight for each Kong (Buy it here)
½ Teaspoon gelatin for every 10 lbs of your dog’s body weight for each Kong (Buy it here)
What It Does
Pumpkin – contains Vitamin A (eye and immune system support), Vitamin C (immune system booster and synthesizes collagen), Vitamin E (antioxidant), Calcium (teeth and bones), Iron (hemoglobin production), Zinc (skin and coat support), and potassium (muscle recovery). Plus, it is high in fiber which is good for digestion.
Peanut Butter – contains protein (muscle support) and healthy fats (skin and coat support).
Flaxseed – contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation and contribute to a healthy coat.
Coconut Oil – improves skin and coat.
Chia Seeds – contain Omega-3 fatty acids (cardiac health), Calcium (healthy bones), regulates blood sugar, insulin production, and glucose tolerance, and high in fiber (healthy digestion).
Gelatin – contains amino acids (skin, coat, and joint support), reduces seizures in epileptic dogs.
In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, dog food, peanut butter, coconut oil, and flax seed. Mix with a large spoon until well combined. Fill Kong with mixture until Kong is half full. Add the chia seeds and gelatin in the amount appropriate for your dog’s weight to each Kong and stir inside the Kong with a butter knife to combine. Add more mixture to fill the Kong.
You can give this to your dog right away, but I prefer to place mine in the freezer for at least eight hours. This frozen mixture occupies my dogs every night for 45 minutes to an hour.
This is a great way to give your dog a nutrition boost and occupy their minds. My dogs look forward to their Kong treat every night, and this routine settles their minds so I get a peaceful evening.
What is your favorite Kong filling? Let me know in the comments below!
Welcome! I've been a freelance writer since 2002 and have numerous horse-related articles published in print and online publications. I have a Bachelor of Science degree from Rocky Mountain College with a major in Equestrian Studies and a minor in Business Management. My current business ventures include High Plains Arena and real estate investing.