Dealing With a Nervous Dog? Try This Unexpectedly Easy Kong Hack to Keep Them Occupied

With this treat, your pup may even forget you’re gone.
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Jack Russell dog with a Kong toy
Credit: Valeriya Dzyuba / Shutterstock

If you're a pet parent who's struggling to keep their nervous dog calm, this frozen Kong treat may do the trick. Pets who are left alone for hours, especially if you're back in the office, can suffer from separation anxiety and/or boredom. And while it's not uncommon for dogs to struggle with loneliness, it's important to try and keep them relaxed when you're gone.

Kongs and other enrichment toys are great solutions to reduce your pup's stress if they hate being left alone. This recipe will keep your dog mentally stimulated and he'll be rewarded with a yummy treat. A win-win!

For this hack, you'll need a classic Kong dog toy, which is one of the most ultra-durable rubber toys on the market. They're made with a large hole and a hollow inside that you can fill with treats to keep your pup stimulated as they chew. Kong toys come in different styles depending on your dog's age and size, so this boredom-buster can work for all dogs!

This Kong recipe is super simple. First, fill the Kong with your pup's favorite peanut butter (make sure it doesn't contain xylitol as an ingredient, as it's toxic for dogs). Place a spoonful or two of the peanut butter around the inside of the toy. This step is key! Scraping the peanut butter on the sides rather than just in the Kong or over the openings will add another level of challenge for your pup and help keep them occupied for longer.

Next, add in your dog's favorite treats for some crunch. Make sure the treats are small enough so you can fit multiple in the Kong, or try out a handful of their kibble instead. Give the Kong a few taps and shakes to get the treats nice and stuck to the peanut butter, which will require your pup to work extra hard for his reward.

You could stop and give your dog the toy here, but this next step will take the treat (and your pup's engagement!) to the next level. Place the stuffed Kong in a plastic bag to prevent cross-contamination and pop that bad boy in the freezer. After chilling for an hour, take the frozen Kong out of the freezer, and you'll have yourself a doggy McFlurry that will keep Fido entertained for hours.

If your dog isn't a big fan of peanut butter and you're not sure what to stuff the Kong with, there are a ton of alternatives that are safe for dogs to eat! You could try out pure pumpkin puree, mashed bananas, or the Kong cheese spray. Our TikTok friends Kiba and Cheza are totally on Team Cheese, but it's all about what your pup will enjoy the most.