In a rush and just want my recommendation? I think the KONG Extreme Ball Dog Toy is a great choice
Dogs love to chase, and catch things. In fact, if given the opportunity they’ll play the game all day. So a ball is a great toy for them and for us, because it will go a long way with minimal effort on our part. Your hound gets to run a good distance on the chase, and we get the satisfaction of giving them lots of exercise, and fun at the same time. Getting the best dog ball will keep your dog playing safely for a long time.
In this article, I’m reviewing the following balls for dogs.
- Hyper Pet Tennis Balls For Dogs
- Chuckit! Ultra Ball
- Gnawsome Medium Squeaker Ball Dog Toy
- Virtually Indestructible Best Ball for Dogs, 10-inch
- KONG Extreme Ball Dog Toy
Why Do Dogs Enjoy Playing ‘Fetch The Ball’ So Much?
Whether your dog will enjoy playing ball really depends on a few factors. Their breed plays a large part. If they are a hunting or retrieving breed they will likely enjoy the game. Breeds such as spaniels, setters, retrievers, and whippets. Don’t forget that terriers were originally bred to hunt out and kill vermin, too.
Your dog is more likely to play ball if it was an activity they enjoyed as a puppy. If dogs have been socialized and had fun with humans when they were young, it teaches them to play.
Healthy, happy dogs will almost always get involved in a game with you if you put time into making it fun for them. Check out this American Kennel Club guide on teaching your dog to fetch and retrieve.
What Balls Are Safe For Dogs?
As long as your dog is supervised while playing with toys, there’s less chance of them getting into trouble with choking or breaking teeth. The US Humane Society has put together a guide on safe toys.
Another issue that can arise is when a ball is thrown too far. There have been reports of dogs running onto busy roads to retrieve vigorously launched balls.
The main thing to consider when buying the best ball for your dog is the size. They should not be small enough to be able to lodge in your dog’s throat. Dogs should be able to hold a ball in the front of their mouth, but be unable to move it back towards the throat.
This depends on the material used to make the ball, and on how your hound likes to play. Some dogs will shred a toy in ten minutes (or less), while others will keep it going for months or years. You need to choose the right ball for your particular hound. If you’re not sure, bigger and tougher are best.
There are no regulatory bodies that check dog toy materials for safety. Toxic chemicals can be found in a lot of plastic dog toys and packaging. Check this article to learn more.
Are Treat Balls Good For Dogs?
Absolutely! They can keep a hound happy for ages. The only downside is that treat balls are not solid. There is either a hole in the middle, or the ball is a honeycomb structure. If your dog is an aggressive chewer they may have it in small pieces quite quickly.
What Can I Put In My Dog’s Treat Ball?
Any kibble or treats will work. Bits of hard cheese or peanut butter are good in moderation too. Some dogs will enjoy apple chunks or other fruit and vegetables. I’ve had two dogs who loved crunching broccoli stalks!
Should I Buy A Ball Throw Machine?
If there’s a reason you can’t throw a ball yourself, a throw machine could be a good option for you. Be careful at first until you and your hound get used to it. If you’re trying to teach your dog to retrieve the ball, I’d avoid a machine if possible. They can be distracting, and automatic models can be dangerous if your dog stands in front of it.
Available in three colors and two sizes, mini and regular. These balls are bright, so great for finding in low-light conditions or long grass. They are non-toxic, and will work with a ball launcher. They have a non-abrasive felt-coating over a rubber type inner, and basically look like a tennis ball.
- Bright colors
- Suitable for ball launcher
- Not good for chewers
These squeaker balls are made from natural rubber, and are really bouncy. They are high visibility orange color, and being waterproof is a great feature in an outdoor toy. It means you can play water sports with your dog for hours without the ball sinking, or becoming slimy.
This ball is tough and durable, with a textured surface for easy pick-up. It has a thick rubber core, so will certainly take some chewing punishment. These balls are strong without being too hard, so there’s less chance of harming your hound’s teeth.
It can be used with the Chuckit! Classic Ball Launcher. If you do purchase the ball launcher, make sure you get the right size to fit your ball.
- Easy to clean
- Chew proof
- Lasts a long time
- Quality differences between some items
The Gnawsome range has extremely bright colors, and has a spiky textured surface. Dog’s do seem to enjoy the tactile toys. It gives them good grip, and a gum massage at the same time.
This ball is made from a non-toxic rubber, and comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. The presence of a squeaker means there is a small hole through the surface, so water can get inside the ball, making it a bit messy at the river or lake.
It’s a sturdy toy which lasts well. The irregular surface makes it bounce erratically so it’s a lot of fun.
- Good value
- Bright colors
- Erratic bounce
- Lasts well
- Squeaker doesn’t last long
This is a much bigger toy, and designed for dogs who like to push or ‘herd’ balls. The quality of the material and it’s virtual indestructibility is reflected in the higher price point, but it will last a long time.
This ball is designed for bigger dogs. It’s made in the USA from a hard plastic which floats in water. It’s very heavy and very hard, which is why it’s virtually indestructible. Your dog will not be able to get their teeth round this to chew it.
- Perfect for dogs who love pushing and herding
- This hard plastic ball will last a long time
- Floats in water
- Made in the USA
- Good customer service
- Can become rough on the surface
The Kong Extreme black rubber formula is made from the toughest natural rubber, and created to be very durable for power chewing dogs. This distinctive looking ball comes in two sizes, small and medium/large.
It has an extreme bounce, so perfect for getting your dog running around and exercising. This ball is heavy and puncture resistant, so it is built to last.
There is a small hole in the ball which treats can be pushed into, which means your hound can be kept busy for a long time.
- Very durable
- Made in the USA
- Money back guarantee
- Extreme bounce
- Hole for treats
- The treat hole can enable chew damage if your dog is persistent
I really love the Kong Extreme Ball Dog Toy. It’s perfect for games of fetch and because of its weight it is very easy to throw a long distance. I feel secure knowing that my dog can’t chew it quickly into small bits.
The treat hole is a bonus, and a smear of peanut butter or chunks of apple are a great way to keep my dog busy.
Slightly higher price point than some other balls, but this is compensated for by its longer life.