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The 8 Best Dog Balls

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Though they are a popular go-to for playtime with pets, tennis balls can pose a choking hazard and can be too abrasive on a canine's teeth. Instead, you can make your next game of fetching more exciting and safer with one of the best dog balls. These spherical toys are generally made of tough materials (like rubber or hard plastic) that will be able to withstand your dog’s level of chewing. Choose yours based on your pet’s size and what style of play they enjoy the most. Don't know what they prefer? The good news is that all of these picks fall under $14 so you test out a few.

Much like choosing a dog bed or harness, a ball also needs to be sized appropriately for your pooch. You'll find products ranging from 2 inches (slightly larger than a golf ball) up to 10 inches (about the size of a basketball), and as a general rule, the best size for your dog is one that's small enough for them to comfortably pick up and carry around but large enough so that they can't fit the entire ball in their mouth and risk swallowing it.

Consider the material that the ball is made out of, especially if your dog is less of a chaser and more of a chewer. Lightweight balls, often constructed with thin rubber or hard plastic, are easy to throw and easy for dogs to carry. Plus, some will bounce and roll on hard surfaces, giving them an element of unpredictability that dogs enjoy. However, if your dog is a heavy chewer, you may want to look for one that made's with a thicker, more durable material — like heavy-gauge rubber— that can withstand knawing and sharp teeth.

Lastly, think about the type of activity your animal engages with the most. If you're regularly around water, a ball that floats might be a must-have. For more mental stimulation (or a nice distraction if you'll be gone for a while), a toy that makes silly sounds or dispenses treats will keep them occupied.

To get you started, well, having a ball with your furry friend, take a look at some of the best dog balls from Amazon below.

1. This Launcher-Ready Rubber Ball With 37,000+ Glowing Reviews

  • Sizes: 2.5 inches (featured), 3.5 inches, or 4 inches
  • Water-friendly: yes

Made of lightweight rubber, these ChuckIt! ultra balls have amassed thousands upon thousands of positive Amazon reviews because they check off nearly all the boxes when it comes to a round dog toy. It's available in plenty of sizes, it bounces, and it floats in water. A majority of fans also praise these balls for how long they last, even through continuous chewing, and because they are so affordable you won't mind replacing them if they are destroyed (or lost at the dog park). One other advantage to this pick (and others below that are also made by ChuckIt!) is you have the option to purchase a separate ball launcher, just be sure to check the size chart to make sure your toy fits right.

Note: ChuckIt also makes a similar soft-sided ball intended for safe indoor use, too.

Helpful review: “Our dog is obsessed with these balls. They are fantastic for indoor and outdoor use because they are made from a tough rubber so they wash off easily and can be dried from going inside and outside. Very durable! They do not squeak (thank goodness!) and work great with the chucker or without! Would highly recommend these to anyone with a dog who loves to fetch!”

2. This Versatile Ball With Handle For Fetch & Tug-Of-War

  • Available sizes: 4.5 inches, 6 inches (featured), 8 inches, 10 inches
  • Water-friendly: yes

As its name implies, this Jolly Pets Tug-N-Toss ball is ideal for both throwing and playing a rousing game of tug of war, thanks to its built-in handle that makes it easier for pet owners (and other dogs) to grab on. This toy also offers the best of both worlds when it comes to its construction: Its rubber material is light enough to float in water but offers some degree of chew-resistance. Although the handle inhibits its ability to roll well, it does still have some bounce to it.

Helpful review: "This ball floats and is easily retrieved by your dog in the water as they can grab the handle. My Shepherd had bitten into this ball zillions of times and it always floats. It will fill with water but you can squeeze it out and it’s ready to go again. Love these balls and they last years of constant torture. On land, the same, doesn’t matter how many times they bite and squeeze the ball (ours looked like a pin cushion) they always keep their shape."

3. This Rubber Ball That’s Ideal For Heavy Chewers

  • Available sizes: 2.5 inches, 3 inches (featured)
  • Water-friendly: no

Some dogs love chewing a ball even more than chasing it. For those canines, this KONG extreme dog ball is a great choice. It's made of heavy-duty black rubber for maximum puncture and chew-resistance even for the most strong-jawed pets, but according to the more than 9,300 five-star ratings from Amazon fans, it's still bouncy and rolly enough to toss around. Just note that you'll want to keep it away from water, however, because it doesn't float.

Helpful review: “If your dog is a ball dog, and loves to chew, you can't go wrong with these Extreme KONG Rubber Balls! The black ones are by far the thickest and hardest and most durable. My dog will destroy balls, especially tennis balls. These black Kong balls are bouncy and durable and my dog has yet to destroy one! They are VERY heavy and thick though, so if you have kids (which I do) make sure the kids do not get them to throw around in the house, or they could easily break things.”

4. This Cult-Favorite Ball That Makes Giggle Noises

  • Available sizes: 5.5 inches
  • Water-friendly: no

With 16,000 five-star ratings, this Wobble Wag giggle ball is a top seller on Amazon, thanks to one unique feature: It makes silly noises when it's moved or rolled. Not only does this engage a dog's curiosity, but it also encourages them to keep playing. In addition, the Wobble Wag is designed with six indentations on the outside to make it easier for dogs to pick up. It also doesn't require any batteries (making it safer for pets to play with and less of cost over time to you), relying on simple tubes inside the ball to make the noise. However, because it's constructed with vinyl material, this ball is not meant for heavy chewers, and take note that it also does not bounce or float. But for dogs needing some mental stimulation as well as physical, this ball is a great choice.

Helpful review: “This has SAVED MY SANITY! I’ve got a high energy, high intelligence, super demanding golden doodle puppy, and I couldn’t get any work done (or just have a moment to myself) before I got this. He loves it and so do I. I also feel better leaving him at home when I work if he’s got this to play with, rather than just sitting bored. Its a little smaller than a soccer ball, so he wrestles and bats it across the floor for hours, giving me some much needed me time. It rolls great on carpet, tile, linoleum, and grass.”

5. 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 can't 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 won't 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 doesn't 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.”

6. This Glow-In-The-Dark Toy That Keeps Playtime Going After The Sun Sets

  • Available sizes: 2.5 inches, 3 inches (featured)
  • Water-friendly: yes

Another pick from ChuckIt! this Max Glow ball is also worthy of adding to your collection if you're looking for a way to be able to play with your pup even when its dark outside — and this rubber glow-in-the-dark toy will still do everything you expect it to, including bouncing, rolling, and floating in water. For even more fun, you can pair it with the brand's glow-in-the-dark launcher or other launchers that fit similar-sized balls. To "charge" it, you'll need to hold it under a flashlight or another source of light for at least five minutes, and while reviewers do confirm it glows pretty bright, the brand notes that it will only last about 20 minutes.

Helpful review: “I bought this ball about 3weeks ago and I couldn't be happier with it. Not only does this ball glow very bright in the dark, but it whistles, bounces a bit and floats in the water. My dog loves it to death. He can clearly see the ball flying through the sky and in the water. It's very tough, but chewy so it doesn't hurt your dogs teeth or gums.”

7. This Clever Treat-Dispensing Ball That Will Give Your Pup A Mental Workout

  • Available sizes: 3 inches, 4 inches (featured)
  • Water-friendly: no

This OurPets IQ treat ball is not only a playful toy, it's a way to give your dog a mental workout, too. The ball slowly dispenses treats as it is rolled or moved your pup, providing them with the task of figuring out how it works. Plus, you can adjust the ball's opening size to accommodate different sized treats or to make it more or less challenging for your pet. It's important to note that as a plastic ball it isn't meant for heavy chewers and because of the opening, it's more limited to rolling instead of tossing. One major plus: It easily twists apart when it's time to put in more treats or hand-wash it clean.

Helpful review: “MY. DOG. LOVES. THIS. TOY. I have a Red Heeler/Border Collie mix, and needless to say he is very hyper, and very intelligent. This toy is almost TOO much fun for him. The reason he loves it is not because of the treats, those are a bonus, He loves the material the ball is made out of, it glides very quickly over any indoor surface.”