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Your Dog’s Gut Health: What to Know & How a KONG Can Help

Author Icon from Laurel Lewis

When it comes to your dog’s nutrition, a KONG can serve as a tool to help support good gut health. By combining a few supportive ingredients and freezing them in a KONG, your dog can get a daily dose of enrichment and gut health altogether in one tasty treat.




First, let’s dive into some gut health basics!

The gut microbiome includes organisms like bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses, collectively known as microbiota, which live in an animal’s gastrointestinal tract (the GI tract). These organisms have a huge impact on total body health. For dogs, this means the gut plays an integral role in their overall health and well-being, including impacts on gut function, nutrient absorption, immune system strength, and body condition.

Dr. Audrey Cook, an associate professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, compares a healthy microbiome to an ecosystem—much like a rainforest or coral reef—where organisms are found to work both independently and in mutual relationships. However, this ecosystem can become disrupted, creating dysbiosis. Dysbiosis is a term used to describe changes in the intestinal microbiota balance, which can cause GI symptoms like:

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  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in stool consistency
  • Poor appetite

Dysbiosis can also cause non-gastrointestinal symptoms, including:

  • Poor nutrient absorption
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Low energy levels
  • Dull skin & coat
  • Compromised immune system
  • Inflammation—like allergies and skin irritations

If you suspect your dog has any of these symptoms due to dysbiosis, it is important to make an appointment with your veterinarian to treat the symptoms correctly. Your veterinarian can help you choose a daily supplemental probiotic to support your dog’s good gut health.

Now, let’s move on to the fun part: Creating a delicious and gut-healthy daily treat for your dog!

We’ve put together a list of natural food ingredients that support your dog’s GI microbiome through soluble fibers & prebiotics, and together make the perfect KONG stuffing. These ingredients can be combined with your dog’s daily probiotic supplement to increase gut health support.

Soluble Fiber & Prebiotics:

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  • *Pumpkin Puree (unsweetened, plain): Canned pumpkin is easy, high in soluble fiber, and widely available.
  • *Sweet Potato Puree (unsweetened, plain): High in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins & minerals.
  • *Berries Blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries have lower sugar content. Use small portions.
  • *Apples Skin & meat are healthy, high in fiber, and low in calories but avoid feeding the core & seeds.
  • *Seaweed & Kelp: Fresh, dried, or powdered. High in iron & fiber. Use 1/4 to 1 tsp of flakes, depending on dog’s size.
  • *Broccoli High in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Best to chop and lightly steam or blend.
  • *Microgreens & Leafy Greens: Look for broccoli microgreens; avoid onion & radish/spicy greens. Kale is excellent leafy green for dogs.
  • Plain Organic Yogurt: High in probiotics; however, dogs can be lactose intolerant. If so, try goat yogurt instead. Use in small portions. Avoid flavors and all
  • Dehydrated Goat’s Milk Goat milk is highly digestible for dogs and contains billions of active probiotics. Makes a great addition to pumpkin & berry blends.
  • Organic Rolled Oats High in protein and soluble fiber, vitamin B6, and iron. Good for bulking up any of the above ingredient combinations.

*These ingredients are high in antioxidants which are known to protect from inflammation & free radicals.

Making a Daily Gut-Healthy KONG Bomb

A great place to start is to choose a base of pumpkin or sweet potato, add berries or greens, then add a dairy ingredient and/or oats. Oats are a great addition to add more soluble fiber or bulk to the recipe if it is too watery. Optionally, you can add your dog’s daily probiotic supplement. See the portions below.

Base: 1/2 of recipe

Berries or Greens: 1/4 of recipe

Dairy and/or Oats: 1/4 of recipe (combined)

Directions: Place the ingredients in a blender, then fill your KONGs with the recipe.

Optional: Add your dog’s daily dose of probiotic supplement to each KONG.

KONGs vary in size, so your total recipe measurement will vary depending on the size of the KONG. However, portions of your recipe should follow the above general guidelines.

Remember to cut back on your dog’s daily food portions if you are feeding an additional KONG each day.

Do you have a gut-healthy recipe your dog loves? Share it with the world by tagging us in an Instagram post @KONGCompany, along with the hashtags #KONGCuisine and #KONGDog. As a result, your recipe may also be featured on our website under the Cuisine tab!


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