Most dogs love toys. It’s nearly impossible to place a value on the benefits play has for dogs, young and old. Mental stimulation, physical exercise, bonding with their pack (human or other dogs in the family), and just the joy of sitting down and getting a good chew on are all just part of play for a dog.
What we can place value on is the amount of money most pet owners spend on toys. Many end up rejected or ignored, and in the case of a power-chewer, are terminated in record time.
Enter the Kong Extreme. A tough-guy version of the cult classic red Kong Classic, this one is meant for power chewers. It’s tough but soft enough where your dog can gnaw on it without grinding down his teeth.
The Kong Extreme comes in 5 sizes. When experimenting with different sizes over time, we find that the size L is a great size for most dogs, even smaller-to-medium size dogs do just fine with it. A Kong that is too small is dangerous. If you have multiple size dogs in your household, only buy Kongs sized for the largest dog in the family.
The Kong Extreme is a hollow toy made of rubber that looks like three balls stacked on top of one another. The opening at the top is much smaller than the opening at the bottom. This is good for several reasons but the most important is safety- the dual opening design prevents the toy from being stuck due to suction.
The material is a tough, natural rubber. When new, there is a bit of a rubber odor but this dissipates pretty quickly, especially after you’ve put a little peanut butter inside the toy.
We have about 4-5 Kong Extremes in circulation in our household, and the dogs chew on them occasionally when they’re empty, but when I start rounding them up and rinsing them off in the sink they know what’s coming next!
The Kong can have just a little bit of something smeared or frozen inside to get your dog’s attention or can be filled it up completely with several layers of goopy stuff and crunchy treats/food. We’ve even used things like applesauce, yoghurt, and pumpkin for our pups and they love it all.
Kong sells Easy Treat filler sold in cans with a squirt nozzle (think canned cheese spread for humans) in various flavors, but we prefer to use our own ingredients. The Easy Treat gave our dogs explosive diarrhea and we weren’t a fan of the fillers, high sodium content and some of the other ingredients. Some owners do enjoy the versatility of Easy Treat but much, much less is more here, trust us.
When the Kong Extreme starts getting worn down, it will start showing signs of pitting before chunks come off. Even though it’s durable, we don’t recommend letting your dog have it for much longer after the product begins to break down.
We love that the Kong Extreme is made in the US. Not all dog toys (even other products made by Kong) are these days. When it comes to something that will be in your dog’s mouth a LOT, this is really important to us.
When buying your Kongs from Amazon, always be sure that you are buying from a US seller to ensure it’s an authentic product.
Tips for Use:
- Never have Kongs that are too small for your dog around- if he can fit it into his mouth, it’s too small and dangerous.
- We found that putting these in the freezer for 6-8 hours after putting peanut butter inside made the fun last a little longer.
- Supervise, supervise, supervise!
- The Kong should be cleaned regularly in hot water. We use hot water from the tea kettle with a little bit of vinegar, just pour through and ensure both openings are clear. We used to run ours through the dishwasher until our veterinarian told us the toxic chemicals used in dishwasher soap would easily leach into the plastic, so even though this might hold up in the dishwasher, we cannot recommend it.
- If your dog is on a special diet and cannot have treats or peanut butter, you could dip the Kong into some chicken or beef broth for a few minutes to add a little flavor or add something mild like a dab of applesauce or banana.
- Load the Kong from the bottom (larger opening).
- If you are using peanut butter, designate a jar just for the pups!
Kongs for Every Life Stage
If your dog just loves his Kongs but is getting older, there’s a Kong Senior Edition for the older dog who still loves a good chew but has mature teeth and gums!
For a puppy who’s chewing the heck out of everything but isn’t quite ready for the black leather jacket tough-guy Kong Extreme crew, there are adorable pink and blue Puppy Kongs and Kong Binkies.
Luckily, some dogs aren’t as destructive and for them, the red Kong Classic is all they need.