Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kong Medium Dog Toy: Utterly Boring Without The "Stuff'N!"

The Good: Safe, Easy-to-use, Keeps dog entertained when filled, Inexpensive
The Bad: Utterly worthless without the filling.
The Basics: A remarkably average product on its own, the Kong Medium Dog Toy does not entertain our sixteen year-old cocker spaniel (hard to blame her!).

Some products simply are what they are and attempting to talk them up is pointless. It is from the stance of an objective reviewer that I shall gladly lend my voice to review a few products that have either been under-reviewed (like the Kong Stuff'N) or overrated in my humble opinion by other reviewers. The Kong Medium Dog Toy certainly qualifies as the latter. This is a decent dog toy, but it is hardly anything to write home about on its own and as an honest review of just this product, it is worth writing that it is a tough sell.

The backstory here is ridiculously simple: my wife recently moved in with me and with her came her sixteen year-old cocker spaniel, named Mitzie. Mitzie has pretty quickly worked her way into my heart and my partner was keen to keep Mitzie happy with the move by picking her up a new dog toy. So, one day when we were at Target, she leapt upon a Kong toy and said it was the perfect gift for Mitzie. I went along with it because I have two cats and my partner certainly knows Mitzie better than I do. So, for a clearance price of $6.50 we picked up the Kong Medium Dog Toy.

The Kong Medium Dog Toy is a 3 1/4" tall thick rubber toy produced by the Kong Company. The only one we found was red and it is essentially a series of three hollow spheres that are connected. The widest, at the base, is just above two inches in diameter. The rubber is about half an inch thick at the bottom and a quarter inch thick at the top. The bottom is has an open hole an inch in diameter. The top has a small hole that fits a nozzle to the Kong "Stuff'N" spray snack for dogs.

Basically, this toy is a series of squashed rubber balls linked together. The Medium is designed for dogs who are 15 to 35 pounds. Mitzie, being a 24 pound cocker spaniel, would appear to fit the target demographic perfectly. This, however, is a pretty boring toy for her.

As an objective test, I have taken the Kong Medium Dog Toy and tossed it before her. She is able to fit the small end in her mouth, but she spends most of her time licking the outside for about two minutes. After that, she leaves it alone. This is just for the King Medium Dog Toy. This is designed to be used with another product, "Stuff'N" and with that, Mitzie stays interested in the toy. Otherwise, this is a boring little not-ball that Mitzie tires of quickly.

The thing here is this is only a single piece to a two-part toy and Mitzie is smart enough to want both pieces to keep her interest. Otherwise, she lets it go and she seldom touches it. Objectively, this is a pretty mediocre toy, at least for sedate old dogs.

That said, this is my experience with an older dog and JUST the Kong dog toy. My wife has informed me that Mitzie is the exception to the rule with these things. Apparently, there are dogs out there who like to chew things and they will tear a Kong toy apart without the Stuff'N ever being added to it. Mitzie is pretty much programmed to lick the large hole to try to get the Stuff'N out of the center. Without that, it bores her. If the value of reviews is on the experiences we actually experience with products, Mitzie's experience is worth sharing: the Kong Dog Toy is boring and geriatric dogs will find little use for it outside getting its companion product out of it. Objectively, for our dog, while Mitzie seems to enjoy the challenge of getting the Stuff'N out, I suspect given the choice between the Kong toy and the Stuff'N, Mitzie would be more psyched to have the Stuff'N.

That said, after two months of use, the Kong Medium Dog Toy is still intact. It does not have any dents, cuts or bites through it. This is, I suspect, equally a function of the hard rubber that the Kong toy is made out of and Mitzie's weak jaw. For geriatric dogs, this is a decent toy that will last. Still, it is hard to get excited about recommending a product because it will last from lack of use!

In other words, this toy is like an applicator without the product that one is supposed to apply with it. Some might be interested in playing with that, but my dog likes things that squeak, taste good or bounce. The Kong Medium Dog Toy does none of those things and if your dog is like ours, you'll need an additional product just to keep them interested in this!

For other dog-related reviews, please check out my reviews of:
Four Paws Wire Rake Pooper Scooper
Millers Forge Large Shedding Blade for dogs
Millers Forge Large Slicker Brush


For other pet product reviews, please visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!

© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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