Playing fetch with a ball is a classic game that virtually all dogs love. But some balls can fall apart very quickly. So we’ve devised a list of the 12 best dog balls on the market so that you don’t have to waste your money.
The best balls for dogs are safe, durable, and lots of fun to play with. And some are more suited to certain dogs than others. Let’s break down exactly what this means.
Why Do Dogs Love Balls So Much?
Dogs love to play fetch with their toys because it allows them to exercise their hunting instincts. And in some breeds, their herding instincts too. Plus they get to run around, have fun, and get praised every time they bring it back to us.
And a ball is the best toy to do this with! Their round shape and lightweight-ness are designed to be thrown for long distances, roll, and bounce.
How to Pick the Right Ball to Play With My Dog?
The most important factors in choosing a ball for your dog are safety, durability, and function.
One of the most important aspects of safety within dog toys is the size of the toy. It must be the right size for your dog’s mouth to avoid choking or accidentally swallowing the toy, which could lead to a dangerous internal blockage.
This means it should be too big to fit completely in their mouths, but not so big that it can’t be picked up and carried. It should extend beyond their jaws slightly, and be obvious when they have it in their mouths.
You also don’t want a ball that is too heavy for your dog. If the ball is too heavy, it may hurt them when playing catch if you accidentally hit them with it. A ball should be light enough to throw long distances, and light enough that if you got hit by it yourself, it would not hurt.
The materials used within the ball are also crucial. You don’t want to give your dog anything that’s made with toxic materials or chemicals that could be ingested by them.
A dog doesn’t even have to break a toy to ingest what’s inside. Toxic chemicals can seep through the surface and be ingested by your dog. For example, some tennis balls contain lead, exposure to which can cause lead poisoning. To avoid toxic toys, make sure you know what to look out for. Be sure to look for toys that use FDA approved materials & chemicals.
The surface material is important too. For example, a teething puppy would benefit from a ball with a rubbery, textured surface to chew. Whereas an elderly dog with a more sensitive mouth might prefer something with softer surface material.
The durability of a ball is also super important, especially for owners of heavy chewers. You don’t want to waste money on something that will be chewed to pieces within days. Durability also affects the safety of the ball, as a ball that breaks easily poses a choking hazard.
You should buy a toy that reflects your dog’s needs. When you want something to play fetch outdoors, a standard non-toxic tennis ball will suit them just fine. If you want something to play fetch with indoors, you probably want a more lightweight ball made from a softer material.
But if you’re looking for something a bit more interactive which your dog can play with alone, a ball fitted with a squeaker may be better. And for a dog that needs extra mental stimulation or something to bust stress, you may want a treat ball that serves as more of a puzzle or game.
Brightly colored balls and balls that are scented or have taste would also benefit puppies and dogs with special needs like impaired vision and/or hearing.
Top 12 Best Dog Balls
Here is our list of the best ball toys for dogs in 2021.
1. West Paw Design Jive Zogoflex Dog Ball
This ball by West Paw is made with Zogoflex; a pliable, tough, FDA-compliant non-toxic material that is super bouncy and soft on the mouth. Perfect for games of fetch! The ball comes in three sizes, small, medium, and large, and three colors, blue, green, and tangerine orange.
The ball floats for extra fun in the pool or at the beach and fits into a standard ball thrower. It’s easily washable via a dishwasher for your convenience. As well as made in the USA and 100% recyclable, so you can feel good about your purchase!
It’s moderately priced and with West Paws guarantee of durability, a good choice for heavy chewers. Whilst it’s great for fetch, some of the reviews claim that the ball is too heavy for their dog to play catch with, as it could hurt them if they’re accidentally hit by it. So be careful if you have a lighter set or older dog!
Helpful review: “The ONLY ball that lives up to its name… We have had it for 9 months now and she has yet to mark in it. Much more expensive balls have lasted about 15 minutes with her. Highly recommended”
2. Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Dog Ball
Praised as the “world’s best dog ball” by many experts in the industry, Planet Dog guarantees that their Earth-like ball will be a playtime favorite with your dog. The tough material ensures durability and is great for heavy chewers, it comes in three different sizes, small, medium, and large, three colors, and glows in the dark, which is great for dogs with impaired vision.
The surface pattern makes for an interesting texture for dogs to chew, and the ball has a squeaker and a minty smell and flavor to it to enhance interactivity. This is especially beneficial to puppies and dogs with impaired vision and hearing who still love to play fetch!
There’s a space in the ball to hide treats in for extra mental stimulation or for dogs who spend time alone. Toys that serve as games can calm anxiety in stressed dogs too. The ball is also non-toxic, 100% recyclable, made in the USA, and easy to clean. It is moderately priced and has thousands of five-star reviews on Amazon, with many claiming that the product is fantastic value for money.
Helpful review: “At our house, this ball is the best. First, it has a great bounce. It’s also very durable for my aggressive chewer. The raised continents help give it an erratic bounce that makes chasing more fun. It floats, and it glows in the dark. What more could you ask for?”
3. Monster K9 Indestructible Dog Ball
Made with the highest grade industrial strength rubber, this entry from Monster K9 was made with large dogs and aggressive chewers in mind. The brand promises ‘virtual indestructibility’ and the reviews back this up. The ball is also puncture-resistant and designed to bounce on any solid surface for extra fun.
Unlike some rubber dog toys, the ball is made from 100% natural rubber from latex trees and contains zero toxic chemicals. The only downside to this toy is that it doesn’t come in a smaller size for smaller dogs. It is on the expensive side, but if you have a big dog that likes to play rough and you constantly find yourself wasting money on toys that don’t last, this could be the ball for you!
Helpful review: “I bought this to have for a visiting large dog who has destroyed anything I’ve bought so far. I thought for sure I’d be using the replacement guarantee but so far, only teeth marks in the ball.”
4. Chuckit! Kick Fetch Ball Dog Toy
This innovative design by Chuckit! is great fun for all of the family. The soccer size ball is made to be kicked by humans for a different type of fetch, but it’s deconstructed design enables dogs to pick up the ball and join in with kickabouts. The foam, rubber, and polyester blend ball floats very high when on water, making it the perfect ball for games in the pool or at the beach.
It comes in two sizes, small and large, and is on the expensive side. But it’s a truly unique ball that will enable your dog to engage with you & the entire family. Many reviews praise the product’s performance during play and say it stands up to chewing surprisingly well for the material. That said, it’s not intended to be a chew toy!
Helpful review: “I bought two of these balls and my Aussies love to chase them around the yard! It’s their new favorite toy! I highly recommend it, the ball is very durable!”
5. KONG Extreme Ball Dog Toy
Kong is famous for manufacturing tough toys, and this ball is no exception! Vet-approved and made from non-toxic puncture-resistant ultra-durable rubber for a longer-lasting toy, this ball is perfect for not only games of fetch but chew sessions too. Made in the USA and available in two sizes, small and medium/large, the ball is designed to have an extreme bounce that gives the chase of fetching an extra element of fun for your dog.
This toy has barely any bad reviews and is fairly inexpensive/moderately priced depending on the size that you buy, making it great value for money. The only downside to this ball is that it doesn’t come in a large/extra-large size for bigger dogs.
Helpful review: “Great bounce, my dog loves it… It’s held up very well to extensive rough play and chewing, especially with a dog that easily tears apart toys. After he destroyed about twenty tennis balls, I was really looking for something that would hold up but still be good for play, and this fit the bill.”
6. Gnawsome Squeaker Dog Ball Toy
Gnawsome‘s unique spiky-textured ball is made from soft, non-toxic, bite-resistant TPR rubber, which is BPA-free. It’s great for teething puppies & adult dogs alike. The firm but gentle surface cleans teeth and massages gums, contributing to good overall oral health. The ball is fitted with a loud squeaker making it even more interactive.
Available in multiple different sizes and bright colors, it’s lightweight yet durable, making it perfect for both indoor and outdoor use. Gnawsome’s spiky squeaky ball is very inexpensive, and with reviews praising the ball’s durability & fun factor, it’s brilliant value for money.
Helpful review: “I have NEVER seen my puppy more excited about a ball… The squeak and the texture get him so hyper, then he’s nice and tired after playing with it for just a short time”
7. Chuckit Indoor Ball Dog Toys
Another entry from Chuckit!, this time with a ball specifically designed for indoor use. The lightweight Bounceflex Core Technology is soft enough to protect walls & furniture whilst still giving plenty of bounce for your four-legged family member. The multi-layered construction is said to ensure durability, but some reviews dispute this. It also only comes in one size, which is that of a standard tennis ball.
That said, the ball is non-toxic, stuffing free, inexpensive, and textured on the surface with a chenille fabric that is interesting for dogs & puppies to chew on. Just make sure you supervise them during play!
Helpful review: “My puppy adores this ball. It’s definitely showing wear and tear after a few months if constant chewing, but even with the cover half chewed off, the squeaky insides are still holding strong.”
8. Pet Qwerks Blinky Babble Ball Dog Toy
This flashing, talking ball by Pet Qwerks is one of the most interactive toys on the list. Available in bright red and in three different sizes, the ball reacts to touch by flashing a light and making a variety of sounds. It makes 18 different sounds including a person talking, a dog woofing, and a doorbell, and stops when the ball isn’t being touched.
This ball is fantastic for stimulating the senses of young puppies and keeping adult dogs physically and mentally active, preventing boredom and its destructive effects. It’s also a fantastically interactive toy for dogs with visual impairments. The batteries for the toy are included with the ball at purchase and are very long-lasting.
The ball itself is made from a non-toxic durable hard plastic material. It’s very affordable and you get a lot for your money, with thousands of good reviews on Amazon and multiple buyers praising the ball as their dog’s favorite toy.
Helpful review: “He loves the sounds it makes, they drive him crazy and he has a great workout chasing it around the house. He won’t stop until we take it away! Perfect solo entertainment.”
9. Hyper Pet Tennis Balls Dog Toy
These Hyper Pet tennis balls for dogs are designed specifically with our four-legged friends in mind. They are made from Grade A rubber and don’t contain any of the harmful coatings or gasses many regular tennis balls do. The surface material is also non-abrasive and soft on teeth and gums.
They are lightweight for throwing, have a classic tennis ball bounce, and float for games of fetch at the beach or lake, making them one of the best dog balls for playing fetch on the list. That said, they are a little smaller than regular tennis balls, meaning they’re best suited to small-medium dogs. And some of the reviews echo this, with owners warning that they’re not suitable for bigger dogs or aggressive chewers.
Although the color of the ball is a bright neon green that can be easily spotted in the grass, they come in packs of 12 for when they do inevitably get lost, and are very affordable for the amount you get in one purchase.
Helpful review: “Favorite tennis balls for our small dog… Our 11lb Chihuahua/Jack mix has shown a definite preference for these.”
10. Jolly Pets Tug-n-Toss Mini Dog Toy
This ball by Jolly Pets doubles up as a tug toy and a treat dispenser and comes in many different sizes and colors. It has a supreme bounce that makes fetch extra fun, and the handle not only makes it handy when it’s time to put it away, but it also makes for a great pull toy. The treat dispensing aspect is great for dogs who need a little extra mental stimulation.
The brand Jolly Pets prides themselves on making toys of the highest quality with extreme durability from non-toxic materials, and this ball is no exception. But some reviewers do warn that the toy may not be suited to particularly aggressive chewers.
The ball is suitable for dishwasher cleaning for your convenience, and the price ranges from inexpensive to moderately priced depending on the size of the toy you opt for.
Helpful review: “From the minute this arrived, my 12-pound puppy fell in love with it. He plays with it every day. And the treat dispensing is an added bonus.”
11. West Paw Zogoflex Air Boz Ball Dog Toy
Another ball by West Paw, but a very different toy. The light, squishy, bouncy ball is well suited to dogs who like to catch as well as fetch. It’s also perfect for older dogs or those who need something softer in their mouths due to dental health issues. However, it is still made from the same durable material, and its surface is deeply textured for a more interesting, interactive experience. It also floats making it perfect for dogs that like to play in the water.
The ball comes in either small or large and is available in three different colors, pink, yellow, and blue. It’s moderately priced but worth the money if you do have a dog that requires a softer ball and you struggle to find something durable enough. Many of the reviews back this up, praising the ball’s ability to withstand heavy chewing.
Helpful review: “Our Rottie loves to shred every toy we get him… We’ve had these for a couple of months now, he plays with them constantly, and they are showing zero damage… he loves them so much he sometimes takes one of them to sleep with him.”
12. As Seen On TV Wobble Wag Giggle Ball Squeaky Dog Toy
Designed to be suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, this ball by As Seen On TV is guaranteed to keep your dog physically active and mentally engaged. It’s closer in size to a soccer ball than a tennis ball but comes with six ‘clutch pockets’ so that any sized dog can pick it up and play with it.
It’s brightly colored and stripey to stimulate the visual senses and makes funny ‘giggle’ sounds when shaken or rolled with no batteries required for extra engagement.
The ball is very affordable for the level of interactivity and entertainment it provides, and the reviews praise its ability to do just that. That said, some of the reviews do claim that it is not suited to heavy or aggressive chewers, so always supervise your dog during play!
Helpful review: “Best little active toy ever. This is perfect for my little 80 lb 8-month-old Rottweiler. He is so captivated by this ball. Kept him busy and wore him out. I would recommend to all my pet owner friends.”
What do you think of our list of the 12 best balls for dogs? Does your dog have any of these toys or will you be trying any of them? Are there any other ball toys that you think should be added to the list? Please let us know in the comments down below!