Tennis balls were never originally designed for dogs to enjoy. However, as time went on, a lot of dogs realized just how much fun they are to chase around and play around with.
The good news is that companies have started to catch on some, and they even market tennis balls to dog owners as well as tennis players. While not all of the options on this list are made specifically for dogs, they are all top options worth considering as a cheap exercise tool.
As a tennis player and a 3x dog owner (my dog in the picture), I would call myself a mini-expert when it comes to tennis balls for dogs. Below are the 7 best tennis balls for dogs right now.
1. Chuckit! Ultra Bounce
There are quite a few people who have this rated as the best overall dog tennis ball on the market right now. It is a company with a few different options out there, and this is well-rounded enough to work for any type of dog for the most part. Not only is it bouncy, but it is extremely durable under heavy use.
Not only can it be used on land, but it floats so that it works on water. There is also quite a bit of flexibility with this ball to really challenge dogs as much as possible. It is very easy to throw and get it to go a pretty long way, which helps to tire out dogs and give them the enjoyment that they are looking for (with exercise opportunities galore).
The rubber surface is much safer and much more durable than the green fuzz that is usually found on tennis balls. The bounce is very high on hard surfaces, but will still bounce well enough on grass to give dogs a challenge.
- Versatile for very different surfaces
- Easy to throw long distances
- Comes in a few different sizes
- Getting the wrong size can be detrimental for a dog
- Does not squeak
2. West Paw Jive
It is pretty easy for a dog to chew through a tennis ball if they are on the stronger side. People who have bigger dogs or a big bite, in general, will want to go with a West Paw Jive. It is shaped differently from a traditional tennis ball, but it is heavy-duty enough that it will not break down.
Not only is the ball easy to throw around, but it floats for ultimate versatility. It is shaped a little bit differently than a traditional ball, but it bounces pretty consistently so that people can stay in control overall.
Weight is a bit of a concern for some people who do not want to throw around things that hurt their arms. This is heavier than a traditional tennis ball, and is one of the heaviest on this list right now. Do not throw it near anything that is too fragile, as it could break that item if a person is not careful. It is mainly meant for outdoor use only, so keep that in mind.
There is never a concern around finding something that works just right with three sizes to choose from. The middle option is the size of a traditional tennis ball, but there is a size for smaller and larger dogs.
- Three different sizes to choose from
- Durability guarantee from the company
- Not indestructible by any means
- A little heavy to throw around
3. Hartz Dura Play Ball
There is no guarantee that a dog is going to fall in love with a ball, even though plenty of dogs go crazy about balls bouncing around. That is why the Hartz Dura Play Ball is a good ball to get a dog into playing around.
The nose of any dog will instantly recognize the bacon scent infused in the material of the ball. It is a long-lasting smell that convinces a lot of dogs to chase the ball over and over again.
Those needing zero convincing will love the ball for being durable, dependable, and easy to fit into any mouth.
- Smell of bacon lasts a long time
- Floats easily
- Many different colors
- Not the best for big dogs
- Texture is a bit different than most other tennis balls
4. ChuckIt! Breathe Right
Some dogs have a pretty tough time breathing while they are playing with any type of ball. One way to negate that issue is to have a breathable option like this one from the ChuckIt! company.
The design allows for easy breathing when the ball is in their mouth, as the holes open up the air passages for flat-faced dogs in particular.
The ball acts much like a regular tennis ball, but it just takes a little bit of getting used to when throwing it around and reading the bounce. It is still durable despite having so many holes in it, which is always a huge selling point for people who might be a little hesitant at first.
- Easy breathability
- Floats easily
- Not particularly durable
- Takes getting used to throwing it around and bouncing it
5. SodaPup Crazy Bounce
Not everyone is crazy about a random bounce ball for the dog, but those who are will love this option. It is another very heavy-duty ball that is about the size of a tennis ball, but it is meant to bounce in random directions. This means dogs can have a lot more of a challenge when trying to chase the ball around and pick it up the way they want to.
These are recommended for younger dogs who are looking for a little bit of an extra challenge. For older dogs, changing direction can be a little bit tough on short notice.
It needs a little bit of space so that the ball bounces around and does not accidentally run into anything, but most people are pretty satisfied with the investment once they get it up and running.
- Erratic bounces for an additional challenge
- Easy to fit into just about any dog’s mouth
- Does not float
- Not designed for older dogs
6. Kong Extreme Ball Rubber Dog Toy
Dogs are pretty notorious for chewing through balls, especially if they are a bigger breed overall. That is when going with this extreme ball toy might be the best way to go.
They are extremely durable and come in a puncture resistance setup. That means that people spend less money on a toy that is meant to be as rugged as possible.
Along with the durability, I’ve also noticed that the ball bounces around very well. There is a little opening on the bar that people can put treats in to help with their dog’s appetite as well. It helps to keep those dogs motivated that might not otherwise be gravitated towards a ball like this.
- Very durable
- Puncture resistant
- Multiple sizes
- A little more expensive than others
- Only one color choice
7. West Paw Zogoflex Air Boz
The final ball to make this list looks the most like a traditional tennis ball. This is especially true if a person purchases the dandelion color, as it is pretty close to what a tennis ball looks like.
This soft and bouncy ball is light enough to be used in many locations while still being very durable overall. In fact, the brand claims that it is the most durable ball for dogs out there on the market today.
The first thing people will notice with this option is that it is a very soft choice. That is good news for people worried about their dog’s teeth, as this will not be an issue whatsoever.
Another thing to keep in mind is that this ball is great for the water. It will flow just fine and is even dishwasher safe to get it cleaned off after playing around for quite a bit.
Ranging in size from 2.5 inches to 4 inches, there is an option for just about any dog out there. There are three colors to choose from as well, and many owners have really fallen in love with everything the company brings to the table. It might just be the ball that inspires a dog to run around and play.
- Three color choices
- Multiple sizes
- Floats easily
- Not as heavy as others out there
- A little expensive
Are Regular Tennis Balls Safe For Dogs?
Using a regular tennis ball will not be the end of the world, but it is not exactly designed for the best option to play with for dogs. It is a choking hazard for some, and it might not be the best for their teeth either.
That is why a lot of companies are designing balls very much like traditional tennis balls, only they offer a little bit more playability.
Most of the time, dogs fall in love with traditional tennis balls, but owners find out there are better options. If only a traditional tennis ball is around, look for clay court balls over hard court balls. The felt does not fluff up as much, making it easier for dogs to handle the ball is in their mouth.