Looking for the best chew toys for your golden retriever puppy?
Chew toys help relieve the pain of teething, release feel-good hormones, and keep your puppy from chewing up the house.
However, some toys can be dangerous for your puppy, and some toys are best used only in special circumstances, so you need to be smart about which toys to give your pup.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- What makes a good chew toy
- What to avoid in chew toys
- How to get your puppy to love chewing on chew toys
- And, of course, the best chew toys to give to your golden retriever
Let’s dive in!
What Are Chew Toys?
Chew toys are a type of dog toy made to be chewed on by your dog.
They’re usually made out of rubber or plastic and are tough and durable to stand up to dogs’ strong jaws and teeth.
However, chew toys made specifically for puppies are usually made of materials that are a little softer due to puppies’ weaker jaws and teeth.
Other types of toys include:
- Plush toys (like stuffed animals)
- Interactive toys (like tennis balls)
- Dental toys (which are actually chew toys…more on this later)
Why Do Golden Retriever Puppies Need Chew Toys?
Chew toys are safe outlets for your golden to take out their chewing needs.
Dogs have a natural desire to chew and chewing actually releases endorphins that make them relax and feel good.
This is why they try to chew everything in your house.
However, by getting your dog to love chew toys (which I’ll show you how to in a moment), you can get them to stop chewing up the house and start chewing on chew toys like they’re supposed to.
In addition to this natural desire, puppies especially need chew toys because they’re teething.
Their adult teeth are coming in, their mouths are hurting, and chewing helps relieve some of that pain.
And on top of all that, golden retrievers as a breed are typically pretty mouthy.
They were bred to carry gunned down game in their mouths, so they just have a natural tendency to use their mouths a lot.
Now before you start getting them all sorts of toys for them to chew on, you need to know what makes a good chew toy for your puppy, and what to avoid…
What Makes A Good Chew Toy?
There are two major things to make sure of when choosing a chew toy:
- The toy is safe
- Your puppy likes it
Safe chew toys:
- Aren’t easily destroyed
- Are too big to be swallowed or choked on
- Don’t have movable parts that can be broken off
- Are tough enough to not be torn apart quickly
- Are made of non-toxic materials
And here’s another note on safety…
If you see that your puppy is about to start breaking little pieces off a toy, just get rid of it.
No toys are indestructible and it’s best to take it away before they start breaking off pieces and swallowing them.
When To Give Your Puppy Chew Toys
Chew toys are great for having around the house all the time.
There’s almost never an inappropriate time for a puppy to pick up a chew toy and starting chewing her heart out.
They’re especially great for crate training as they can keep your pup occupied on doing something fun that makes them feel good, as opposed to thinking about the fact that they’re all alone in a crate.
They’re also good for getting puppies to settle down.
If your puppy is doing zoomies around the house, a chew toy with peanut butter on it or a bully stick will most likely grab their attention and get them focused on chewing instead of running around being crazy.
After a long chewing session and a potty break, your pup will happily lay down for a nap.
However, it is important that you monitor your puppy with new chew toys.
For example, some toys are less durable than others and your puppy will chew through those in just minutes.
When they do that, they could swallow or choke on the pieces, so make sure that when you’re giving your puppy chew toys in the crate they’re toys that are proven to be durable.
How To Get Your Puppy To Love Chew Toys
Although most puppies love chewing on chew toys, it may take some learning or getting used to.
For example, my golden, Oliver, couldn’t care less about this tire toy at first.
He would completely ignore it until we started putting his food in there and rolling it around for him.
Eventually, he started chewing on it a little bit, then realized he loved chewing on it, and it was one of his favorites for a long time.
So to get your puppy hooked on chew toys, here are five tips.
1. Put peanut butter on it
If you spread a little bit of peanut butter on a toy, your puppy will love it.
At first, he’ll lick the peanut butter off, then he’ll start chewing.
This worked for Oliver, especially with new chew toys.
For a while, he wasn’t interested in new chew toys, but after a few peanut butter sessions, he learned to love chewing on them without peanut butter.
2. Rotate toys and utilize a toy bin
Doesn’t your puppy love it when you give them new toys?
If you use a toy bin and rotate toys, you can recreate that feeling over and over again.
If a toy is constantly available, your puppy will get bored with it, but if you bring out a toy from the bin that they haven’t seen in a few days, it may re-spark the joy that they had when they first got it.
3. Make sure the toy is the right size
If a toy is too small, your puppy could swallow or choke on it, but if it’s too big, your puppy may not be able to get a good grip on it to really go to town chewing on it.
Choosing toys that are the right size for their mouths will help them enjoy it more, and also keep them safe.
4. Put toys in the freezer
When they’re teething, puppies mouths are hot and sore.
Frozen toys can relieve that pain a little extra because they’re cold.
5. Praise your puppy for chewing
By letting your puppy know that they’re doing a great job by chewing on toys (and not your shoes), they’ll be encouraged to keep chewing on them.
Dental Toys vs. Chew Toys
You might have heard about dental toys and how they’re good for your dog’s gums and teeth.
The thing about dental toys is that all dental toys are chew toys, but not all chew toys are dental toys.
Dental toys are toys that have little ridges or bumps on them that can clean teeth and massage gums.
Some of the toys mentioned below are both dental toys and chew toys.
Best Chew Toys For Golden Retriever Puppies
Below is a list of some of Oliver’s favorite chew toys when he was a puppy (in no particular order), as well as links for where to get them.
Like with all chew toys, be sure to monitor your puppy while they’re chewing on them, especially if you’re giving them a toy for the first time.
Nylabone Teething Ring
He would run around the house swinging them, and then when he was tired he would lay down and chew on the keys.
Plus, since it’s one piece and pretty durable, this is one of the toys we felt confident leaving in his crate with him while unsupervised.
Kong Goodie Bone
It’s also soft and perfect for young puppies’ tender mouths.
Kong Dental Stick
Similar to the Kong Goodie Bone, the Dental Stick is great because it’s soft and has little pockets for treats or peanut butter.
The ridges in this toy help massage puppy gums and relieve the pain of teething.
The only problem with rope toys (at least with Oliver) is that they don’t last long because they’re easily torn apart.
This is not something I would let Oliver chew for a long time, or leave in the crate with him unsupervised because he would eventually tear it up.
However, he does love chewing on these toys, and they also double as a tug rope, which is a fun game to play to bond with your pup.
Benebone Wood Stick
It’s another toy that is durable and that I trusted leaving in the crate with him when we were crate training him.
They’re dried bull tendons (penis tendons, to be exact…yes, I know…) and will captivate a dog’s attention for literally hours.
Since your dog will slowly grind them down into a smaller and smaller piece (according to the AKC, they are digestible), I personally would not leave my dog unsupervised with a bully stick because of the dangers of choking on it.
However, this would be great to keep your dog occupied in the crate while crate training if you’re in the room with them.
Nylabone Dental Bone
West Paw Dog Bone
The rubber is tough, yet bouncy and has some give, so your puppy will love it.
They’re even dishwasher safe so you can keep it clean for your pup.
This kong isn’t the best for actively chewing (unlike some of the other toys previously mentioned), but it is great for keeping your dog engaged.
Oliver loves it when we freeze some of his food inside and spread some peanut butter around the opening.
Chew toys are some of the best toys for your golden retriever puppy.
They help wear them out, help relieve pain from teething, and they keep your puppy from chewing up your house.
Have any questions about chew toys for golden retriever puppies?
Let me know in the comments below!
And if you know someone who has a new golden retriever puppy, please share this with them!
P.S. If you liked this article, you’ll love our article about crate training your golden retriever puppy.
- How To Potty Train Your Golden Retriever Puppy (In Just 2 Weeks)
- How To Stop Your Golden Retriever Puppy From Biting & Nipping
- The Complete Guide To Golden Retrievers (Puppies, Price, Facts, Shedding & More)
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