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     Toys and Treats      Jack loves his toys!


New pet owners are always eager to buy toys, treats, collars and leashes for their new companions. And goldens certainly love toys and treats! What kind should you buy? Here are some suggestions:


Bones and
Chew Toys

We recommend Nylabones or sterilized beef bones. Rawhide can be hazardous to your dog; swallowed in large pieces it can cause damage to the esophagus or digestive blockage. Large rope toys tied in knots on both ends are good for dogs but watch that they don't chew off too much at one time.



Goldens love to carry things around the house so give them their own toys to retrieve. Do not be tempted to give them an old sock, shoe or slipper. How can the dog tell the difference between an old shoe and your new one? It can't! Good toy choices for goldens are:

  • Large latex squeaky toys and balls. Some dogs can chew up vinyl toys in a matter of minutes. Latex toys are generally sturdier and last a lot longer. Be sure to keep and eye on squeaky toys and if your dog starts chewing it apart take it away immediately. Normally goldens will enjoy many hours of just holding the latex toy in their mouth and going "squeak-squeak-squeak". Fleece toys or stuffed animals specifically made for dogs. Don't buy the cheapest ones you can find - generally they are made of low quality fleece and plush materials. Look for one that appears pretty sturdy and well made. Goldens love to carry these "babies" around in their mouths. Sometimes they will carry more than one at once! Some dogs are too destructive with these toys and start ripping them apart - if you discover your dog does this, consider another type of toy. Also beware many plush toys have squeakers inside, and it is unsafe to let your dog rip the toy apart and then possibly be able to swallow the squeaker.
  • Kongs, a large red or black rubber hollow cone toy, are great for goldens. You can put treats inside or a little bit of peanut butter. The dog will spend a long time trying to dig their treat out of the Kong. This is great to give a dog as you leave the house to avoid separation anxiety. It is also good to use for helping to settle a dog into it's crate. Licking the inside of the Kong is very soothing and keeps their mind off whatever is making them anxious at that moment.



Don't overdo treats! Many dog treats are very unhealthy as they have sugar, preservatives and chemicals in them. Try good quality biscuits and treats or feed little pieces of raw veggies for treats such as baby carrots or green beans.



Buy a wide nylon buckle style collar with a parachute or conventional buckle or a rolled leather buckle collar . Always keep tags for identification on your dog's collars. Dogs shouldn't wear a choke or prong collar except when they are in obedience training or you are walking them on a leash. You can leave their buckle collar on with their identification tags, and place the prong collar higher up on their neck. Buy a high quality collar. Cheap ones don't last. There are new halter style dog collars (such as "Gentle Leader") that prevent the dog from pulling. These are meant to be worn only when walking the dog and don't take the place of a regular collar. Your obedience instructor can help show you the proper way to use a choke or prong collar. They must be put on the dog correctly or injury can result.



Goldens are strong dogs and you need a wide (3/4" - 1") six foot leash for walking your dog. Use a leather or heavy duty cotton web leash - they are easy on the hands. Leather leashes seem stiff at first but they soon become pliable. Flexi-Leashes (retractable leashes that extend from 6' - 16' or more) are good options for exercising your dog in the park or your yard. Make sure you purchase one that has the proper weight rating for a golden. It would be conservative to purchase one rated for a 100 pound dog. Be careful when using a Flexi-Leash in some situations - if the person operating the leash doesn't know how to lock it properly, the dog could run out into traffic and get in harms way. They are excellent for exercising your dog and we recommend the "Flexi-Lead" brand that is widely available in pet supply stores and catalogs.



Pet stores have all of the above supplies. If you are unable to find these items at your local pet store, there are several pet supply catalogs where you can purchase mail order. Here are phone number of some companies if you would like to request a catalog:

K. V. Vet Supply
Drs. Foster and Smith
J-B Pet Wholesale