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Which dog balls are best?

Some dogs will happily play fetch all day if you play ball, while others prefer to keep sessions short and sweet. Whichever category your canine companion falls into, choosing the right dog ball is crucial. 

You need a ball that’s durable enough to stand up to regular use and is of the right size for your dog. Plus, a good dog ball should be easy to throw and comfortable to catch. For anyone who wants a simple yet highly durable dog ball, the KONG Extreme Ball is the top choice. For more ideas, check out the guide to dog toys at BestReviews

What to know before you buy a dog ball


You must choose a dog ball of an appropriate size for your canine companion. If a ball is too large for your dog, they won’t be able to pick it up comfortably, if at all. On the other hand, if a ball is too small for your dog, it could pose a choking hazard. Many dog toy manufacturers offer balls in two or three sizes, but there’s no standard sizing for dog balls, so we’d recommend checking the dimensions to be sure. 


Some balls for dogs are highly durable, while others aren’t any tougher than a standard tennis ball. If your dog is liable to run off with their ball and try to chew it, then you’ll need to pick out a heavy-duty option, especially if they’re a large dog or a particularly determined chewer. Even if your dog doesn’t chew up their balls, too flimsy a ball won’t stand up to regular use, so choose a durable option if you play fetch with your dog most days. 


You can find some dog balls with squeakers inside and some without squeakers. Whether or not you want a squeaker depends on you and your dog. Many dogs love playing with squeaky toys, which is excellent for them, but some love it a bit too much and will make it their mission to destroy any toy that squeaks at them. Conversely, you’ll find a minority of dogs who get put off by toys with squeakers in and won’t play with them. From a dog owner’s perspective, squeaky balls can get annoying if your dog spends hours a day squeaking them. 

What to look for in a quality dog ball


You can find dg balls with a textured finish, as well as standard smooth balls. Some dogs find textured balls easy to hold onto, plus they offer a better grip for the person holding the ball, especially once it becomes slick with dog slobber. What’s more, certain textured balls massage the gumline when dogs chew in them, which can improve overall dental health. 


A dog ball with a nice amount of bounce to it is even more fun for dogs to chase. Dogs will predict a regular bounce and learn precisely where the ball will bounce over time, but you can find some irregular-shaped balls with erratic bounces to keep dogs guessing. 

Ball launcher compatibility 

If you want to use your dog’s ball in a ball launcher, make sure it’s compatible with a ball launcher and of the right size to fit yours. 

How much you can expect to spend on a dog ball

Dog balls are relatively affordable. Basic options cost around $2-$5, while more durable or feature-rich options cost around $5-$10. 

Dog ball FAQ

Why do dogs like balls so much? 

A. Our dogs might be our loving furry family members but let’s not forget that they’re descended from wolves and used by humans as hunting partners for thousands of years after that. Although their dinner comes out of a can today, dogs still have an innate desire to chase and catch moving prey. Chasing balls helps fulfill this desire. Even though dogs don’t think that balls are prey, they still feel the urge to chase them and grab them. 

What other toys can I buy for my dog? 

A. You can buy a huge range of other toys for your dog, including chew, plush, tug and interactive toys. When choosing toys for your dog, consider their personality and what they generally like doing. For example, an intelligent, treat-motivated dog might enjoy a puzzle toy where treats are the reward. 

What’s the best dog ball to buy?

Top dog ball

KONG Extreme Ball

KONG Extreme Ball

What you need to know: This is an excellent choice for heavy chewers who destroy less robust balls. 

What you’ll love: It uses solid, heavy-duty rubber that’s virtually indestructible. It suits dogs of most sizes as it comes in both small and medium/large sizes. It features extreme bounce to keep dogs interested for longer. 

What you should consider: This option is on the pricey side for a simple dog ball. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy


Top dog ball for the money

Hartz Dura Play ZooBalloons Dog Toy

Hartz Dura Play ZooBalloons Dog Toy

What you need to know: This is a lightweight ball with a cute animal design, perfect for buyers on a budget.

What you’ll love: This ball measures roughly 3 by 5 inches so it’s a good medium size to suit most dogs. A more durable natural latex covers the soft foam inner. 

What you should consider: You get one ball of any animal design randomly sent to you, so you can’t choose which one.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Worth checking out

Nylabone Power Play Ball

Nylabone Power Play Ball

What you need to know: This is an unorthodox dog ball with an irregular shape for those who want something different from a standard ball. 

What you’ll love: It has an erratic bounce due to its irregular shape, which keeps dogs on their toes. The textured nubs massage the gums if lightly chewed. The hollow core makes a whistling sound in the air, which some dogs love. 

What you should consider: It’s durable enough to stand up to heavy chewers.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy


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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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