What kind of balls are good for dogs? A Complete Guide

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!”

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.

This Puzzle Ball That’s So Easy For Dogs To Pick Up & Carry

  • Available sizes: 2 inches, 4 inches, 4.5 inches (featured), 7.5 inches
  • Water-friendly: no
  • You cant beat the versatility of this JW Hol-ee puzzle ball. Not only does the open design makes it far easier for a dog to pick up and carry (and, not to mention, it wont interfere with their breathing), but it also can double as a rubber chew toy, a tug-of-war object, or as a puzzle toy when stuffed with treats. Keep in mind that it doesnt float or bounce but it does roll really well, still providing loads of fun for dogs and their owners.

    Helpful review: “We have bought several of these over the years and in various sizes. They are so much fun for the dogs and with a little creativity, you can use them for an endless number of games and configurations. They are durable and easily washable.”

    Best Dog Ball 2022 | Top 5 Dog Balls

    If you’re looking for an eco-friendly, non-toxic ball for your dog, my advice is to go check your dryer. No, seriously, one of the best toys for your ball obsessed pup may well be what you already use to keep your towels fluffy: a simple wool dryer ball.

    Wool dryer balls are not only a great way to ditch those toxic dryer sheets, they’re also great for indoor fetch as they bounce but are much quieter than tennis balls and less liable to do damage to furnishings. They can also be used outside, ideally in dry weather, and can be put in the wash and, of course, the dryer, to keep them clean. Wool balls even float for a little while but will sink eventually if you abandon them to a watery grave.

    Dryer balls are ideal for senior dogs who still like to fetch and chew on a ball, and for puppies who are teething. These balls are not as hard as most dog toys and are gentle on teeth and gums; they even help keep teeth clean! And, because the balls are solidly made with wool, there’s little risk of them cracking and falling apart. If any wool fibers do lift up off the ball, you can just dampen the ball with water, pat the fibers back into place, and leave the ball to dry. Not all dryer balls are the same, though, so look for those made with organic or EcoWool, made without any dyes.

    Without further ado, here are our top picks for eco-friendly, non-toxic dog balls. Curious about how we rate products? Click here to view our methodology, which at its core, is about voting with our dollars to fight climate change.

    Highlights: These dog balls are made of 100 percent natural merino wool and are free of azo dyes.

    These colored TennisWools are available in a pack of three and look like slightly smaller tennis balls. The TennisWools are handmade in Nepal using 100% natural merino wool and are free of azo dyes. Twin Critters is a company founded by twin brothers, one a doctor of endocrinology and one a veterinarian – not too shoddy as far as credentials go for making safe, non-toxic dog toys.

    There are plenty of other dog balls around that are made with wool, but these are almost certainly dyed with chemical dyes and are mostly made in China or other countries where safety standards aren’t great. As such, I’d encourage you to get the TennisWools for your canine companion.

    Beco Pets have made the world’s first rice husk and natural rubber dog toys and are a UK company that gives back to the community, donating a portion of profits to various animal charities. The Beco Ball is tough, free from toxic chemicals, and has a slight vanilla scent. They also offer a ball and rope toy that features a natural cotton rope (would be great if this was organic cotton), which allows you to throw it even farther in the park.

    One thing I like about the Beco Ball is that, while it seems to hold up well to enthusiastic chewers, there’s not all that much cause for concern if your pup does ingest small pieces, given that the ball is made with natural and biodegradable materials. This ball howls and whistles when thrown, making it fun for your pup.

    Beco Balls have a slightly wonky shape, meaning they can bounce in a fun and erratic way to keep your pup entertained. There’s also a small hole in the bottom of the ball, so you can stuff treats inside for a fun treasure hunt game with your pup. They also seem to float and come in small, medium, large, and extra large sizes ranging from around $6 to $16.

    Planet Dog makes their Orbee Tuff® Recycle Ball entirely from material left over after the injection molding process used to make other toys in their range, which are themselves said to be eco-friendly. This process virtually eliminates manufacturing waste for the company and helps reduce their carbon footprint.

    Unfortunately, as I note in my article on Popular Dog Toy Companies to Think Twice About, we don’t actually know what’s in these toys, only that the toys contain recycled number 7 plastic and a chemical the company seems to have given a whitewashed name.

    So, why have I included the Recycle Ball as an option to consider? Well, because this ball may be marginally better than buying a dog ball made with brand new plastic or synthetic rubber that contains phthalates and BPA. Also, Planet Dog make all of their dog toys in the USA, helping to minimize emissions and ensure decent working conditions for those making the toys. They also use eco-friendly paper stocks and inks on catalogs, signage and collateral, and they participate in local composting initiatives and other environmentally friendly programs.

    The Recycle Ball measures 3 inches in diameter and is durable (a 5 out of 5 on the company’s toughness scale), buoyant, bouncy, and vaguely minty, presumably to help freshen your pup’s breath. Colors vary depending on the materials the company has left over after making their other toys.

    Made with recycled plastic in Chuckit!’s familiar blue and orange colors, the Rebounce Balls have the same durability, bounce, firmness, and fun as their regular balls but are a little more eco-friendly. They’re also compatible with the Chuckit! Launcher. Be warned, though, that these have two holes in them, which means they whistle when thrown and tend to sink rather than float.

    Chuckit! claim their toys are made with natural rubber but they offer no certification to prove as much. There’s also no real information about the company, other than that they’ve been in business making dog toys since the 1990s and appear to have been acquired by Petmate at some point in the last few years.