How to stuff dog treat balls
The filling of the balls should be mashed and contain only small solid pieces, so the dog will be able to get it out of the dog treat balls.
For longer entertainment and less mess, I freeze every treat ball, I make.
Still be prepared to clean up a little mess after you give your dog this treat, because it will not only lick, but also roll the ball around, play with it and try different tactics to get the filling out. This can be messy on carpet, so the better choice is to give a dog treat ball on hard and easier to clean floors.
The Kong balls have uneven compartments inside, which makes it more tricky for the dog to empty them, but also requires some consideration when filling them.
When I fill a Kong the bottom layer is always a few bits of kibble or crushed crispy treats, for example these:
This prevents the filling from sticking in the bottom part, at some point it will come out on its own and the dog can eat it as well as it will eat the falling out kibble.
Everything on top of that is up to your creativity and your dog’s taste.
I mix the ingredients I use to a mushy texture and then fill the dog treat ball to the brim and put a little crown of the filling on top. The filling can alternate in layers to make it even more interesting for your dog to discover everything inside the dog treat ball.
Once filled the dog treat ball gets wrapped into plastic foil and frozen.
Usually after a few hours dog treat balls are ready to keep your dog busy for 10-30 minutes.
If you have really fluid fillings it can become difficult to fill a ball with two openings, such as the Kongs, for freezing. In this post I am showing how I fill balls with two openings for freezing.
Treat variation: Frozen Ice Cubes
As an alternative to frozen dog treat balls some people also recommend to create ice cubes to treat bigger dogs or keep them busy.
In many cases frozen chicken broth or frozen juices are on the list.
However, I would only recommend to use fat-reduced, unsalted broth and small amounts of juices with no extra sweeteners added and of course only from fruits that are recommended for dogs.
Also there is a warning that dogs can crack their teeth on ice cubes, which in my opinion does refer mainly to those “watery” preparations, because they will freeze harder (more like water-hard) than cubes containing ingredients with less water and more fat. These usually form easier-to-chew units, which are more like very firm ice-cream with a high water content.
I myself sometimes give Mila a cube of frozen yoghurt mixed with peanut butter when she is overheated from playing outside, which she will then lick and chew to cool her tongue and stomach.
Note: In general I advice caution with giving bigger sized frozen aliments, because some dogs tend to swallow them in whole and their stomachs can react sensitive to that. Also watery preparations can have sharp edges, which can hurt your dog’s esophagus or stomach. For dogs prone to gobble their food down in whole I would rather crush the cubes to small pieces myself before I let my dog eat them.
Note: If you don’t want to add too many calories to your dog’s diet by giving treats, roughly estimate the additional calorie intake from the filling of the ball or ice cubes and hold back the appropriate amount of dog food on the day you give the treat ball.