The 9 Best Dog Fetch Balls & Toys of 2023

by PetCare
dog playing fetch with tennis ball

To ensure the health, happiness, and good behavior of your dog, teaching them to fetch is an effective way to provide exercise. There is a wide range of fetch balls and toys available, including balls, discs, and automatic launchers, catering to different preferences and needs.

When selecting a fetch toy, it is important to consider the size and intended use of the toy. Dr. Kelly Dunham, a Fear Free Certified Professional and area medical director, advises avoiding toys that are too small, as they can pose a choking hazard. Additionally, it is essential to check for any detachable or breakable parts that could be damaged during the throwing process.

To assist you in finding the most suitable fetch toy for your dog, we have conducted research and evaluated factors such as durability, material safety, weight, size, and cost. Our top recommendation is the Petmate Chuckit! Classic Ball Launcher. This toy is user-friendly, durable, and lightweight. It allows you to launch the ball further than you could on your own, providing ample exercise for your dog while minimizing physical exertion for you.

Here are our top picks for the best dog fetch balls and toys available today.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall:Chuckit! Classic Ball Launcher at Amazon
Best Flying Disc:KONG Classic Flyer Frisbee Dog Toy at Amazon
Best Indoor/Outdoor Automated Launcher:iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher at Amazon
Best for Night:Chew King Glowing Fetch Balls at Amazon
Best for Water:Kurgo Floating Skipping Stones Dog Toy at Amazon
Best Launcher:Hyper Pet Hyper Pet K9 Kannon Ball Launcher at Amazon
Best Bounce:West Paw Zogoflex Jive Ball at Amazon
Best Squeak:Planet Dog Orbee Tuff Squeak Ball at Amazon
Best on a Bumper/Dummy for Hunting Training:SportDOG Plastic Dummies at Amazon

Best Overall Chuckit! Classic Ball Launcher

Chuckit! Classic Ball Launcher

Amazon : View On Amazon

What We Like

  • Easy to use
  • Ergonomic design
  • Made in the U.S.
  • Compatible with standard tennis balls

What We Don’t Like

  • Cup stretches over time; won’t hold ball
  • Ball may not survive heavy chewers

The Petmate Chuckit! Classic Ball Launcher is highly recommended due to its durability, reasonable price, safety features, and ease of use. It features an ergonomic handle and can launch the ball two to three times farther than you could throw it on your own, ensuring a good workout for your dog without exhausting you. The launcher is constructed from durable and flexible plastic, and it is available in different sizes to suit your preferences. Longer lengths are suitable for throwing extra-long distances, while shorter lengths offer convenience for travel. Additionally, the launcher can be used to retrieve the ball from various terrains, including bushes, mud, and water bodies.

The included rubber ball is designed with a high bounce, bright colors for excellent visibility (blue and orange options), and the ability to float, making it suitable for water play. It is worth noting that the ball is free from latex, bisphenol A (BPA), and phthalates, ensuring a safe chewing experience for your dog. However, if your dog is an aggressive chewer, you may need to replace the ball over time. Fortunately, the brand offers replacement balls separately, or you can opt for standard tennis balls as a more cost-effective alternative. Many dogs, including the reviewer’s pit bull mix, enjoy extended fetch sessions with this toy, providing a great exercise opportunity within a short period of time and helping to calm them down in the evenings or when visitors are present.

Price at time of publish: $9

Sizes: 12-, 14-, 18-, 25- and 26-inch; 25-inch (foldable launcher) | Colors: Blue and orange | Materials: Flexible plastic

Best Flying Disc KONG Classic Flyer Frisbee Dog Toy

KONG Classic Flyer Frisbee Dog Toy

Amazon: View On Amazon

What We Like

  • Made in the U.S.
  • Affordable
  • Gentle on teeth and gums

What We Don’t Like

  • Heavier than other flying discs
  • May not survive heavy chewers

According to Dr. Dunham’s expert advice, traditional frisbees can pose risks to your dog’s teeth and overall safety. Rigid frisbees can increase the risk of tooth fracture, and if they break, they can create sharp pieces that may be swallowed or cause injury. To address these concerns, there are safer alternatives available on the market, such as rubber, silicone, and fabric dog frisbees.

For a reliable option, we recommend the Kong Flyer. This frisbee is made of rubber, providing a soft catch and protecting your dog’s teeth and gums. While the rubber material is durable, it is not intended as a chew toy and may not withstand heavy chewing from super chewers. It’s important to note that if left unattended, the frisbee may be destroyed quickly by dogs like the pit bull mix mentioned in the review.

The Kong Flyer is designed to fly straight and level when thrown correctly, although it may require some adjustment as it is slightly heavier than traditional flying discs. It is available in small and large sizes to accommodate different dog breeds, and both sizes weigh less than 1 pound. The frisbee is priced under $15 and comes in a bright red color for easy visibility. Additionally, the smaller size is also available in pink and blue options.

Price at time of publish: $12

Sizes: 7 inches for dogs up to 20 pounds (small); 9 inches for dogs 30 to 65 pounds (large) | Colors: Red, pink, blue (small); red (large) | Materials: Rubber

Best Indoor/Outdoor Automated Launcher iFetch Too Interactive Ball Launcher


iFetch Too Interactive Ball Launcher

Amazon : View On Amazon

What We Like

  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Standby mode preserves battery

What We Don’t Like

  • Risks hitting dog in the eye
  • Smaller size isn’t rechargeable

For individuals with shoulder issues or dogs that require extensive exercise, an interactive, on-demand ball launcher can be a suitable choice. This automated device is available in two sizes to cater to smaller and larger dogs and comes with three “dog-safe” tennis balls measuring 1.6 inches or 2.5 inches in diameter. These balls are made with nonabrasive materials, ensuring they are safe for your dog to bite and chew.

The smaller version of the ball launcher can be powered using a wall plug or six C batteries (not included), while the larger version operates on a rechargeable built-in battery. The larger version takes approximately eight hours to fully charge using the provided plug-in adapter. It’s important to note that the entire system weighs 8.5 pounds, so consider this when moving it between storage and play areas.

The iFetch ball launcher, invented by a small family-owned business in Austin, Texas, is user-friendly and programmable. You can adjust the distance at which the balls are thrown, with a safety setting of 10 feet for indoor use and 25 to 40 feet for outdoor use. There is also a random setting to keep your dog engaged and challenged. When your dog drops a ball into the receiving area, it will launch immediately, reinforcing their effort. However, it is crucial to teach your dog not to block the launch area to prevent them from getting hit by the launching ball. The manufacturers recommend not letting your dog use the device unsupervised. Additionally, the ball launcher goes into standby mode between throws to preserve battery life. Cleaning the device is as simple as wiping it down with a damp cloth.

While this option may be more expensive compared to others on the list, it provides the convenience of automatic ball launching, making fetch play easier for both you and your dog.

Price at time of publish: $230

Sizes: Small for small and medium breeds; large (iFetch Too) for medium and large breeds | Colors: Blue and white | Materials: Plastic exterior, blue fuzzy tennis-style balls

Best for Night Chew King Glowing Fetch Balls

Chew King Glowing Fetch Balls

Amazon: View On Amazon

What We Like

  • Excellent bounce
  • Easy to clean
  • Affordable

What We Don’t Like

  • May not survive heavy chewers
  • Made in China

The glow-in-the-dark fetch ball is a highly visible option designed for night-time fetch sessions. This ball is easy to locate in low-light conditions, making it ideal for nighttime play. In daylight, the ball appears white and requires a small amount of light to charge up, such as the light from a cell phone flashlight. The longer the ball is exposed to light, the brighter and longer it glows in the dark.

Available in packs of two, four, or eight, and in various sizes ranging from 2.5 to 4.5 inches, this ball is priced under $25. The 2.5- and 3-inch balls are compatible with the brand’s ball launcher, similar to our best overall pick.

Each ball features two air vents to allow airflow, reducing the risk of the ball getting stuck in a dog’s tongue or throat. It is made from pet-safe rubber, providing excellent bounce. However, it’s important to note that this ball is not intended for chewing and may not be durable enough to withstand heavy chewing.

For safety reasons, the manufacturers recommend supervising your dog while they play with this toy. If the ball becomes excessively dirty, it can be cleaned and disinfected by placing it in the dishwasher’s top rack.

Price at time of publish: $6

Sizes: 2.5 inches, 3 inches, 3.5 inches, and 4.5 inches | Colors: White | Materials: Thermoplastic rubber (TPR), an injection molded mix of plastic and rubber resin

Best for Water Kurgo Floating Skipping Stones Dog Toy

Kurgo Floating Skipping Stones Dog Toy

Amazon: View On Amazon

What We Like

  • Lightweight
  • Continues to float well over time
  • Easy to clean
  • Affordable

What We Don’t Like

  • May not survive heavy chewers
  • Possible choking hazard for giant breeds
  • Made in China

These stone-shaped dog toys are specifically designed for water play, making them ideal for pool, lake, or creek activities. Their realistic stone shape allows them to skip across the water surface and then float, making it easy for your dog to retrieve them.

Constructed from PVC- and BPA-free foam plastic, these toys are durable and capable of maintaining their shape and floating abilities over a long period of time. They are available in three sizes, similar to standard tennis balls. However, it’s important to note that for larger dogs who tend to chew and gulp, these toys can pose a choking hazard. The manufacturers emphasize that these toys are intended for fetch and not for dedicated chewing. Therefore, supervised use is highly recommended to ensure safety.

One of the notable features of these toys is their bright colors, including orange, green, and purple, which enhance visibility for both you and your dog. The colors are randomly assigned and may vary in each purchase. Each stone toy weighs less than 1 pound, making them lightweight and easy to throw and travel with. Additionally, they are affordably priced, allowing you to stock up on them if desired. In case the toys become dirty during playtime, they can be conveniently cleaned by placing them in the dishwasher.

Price at time of publish: $14

Sizes: 3.5 x 2.75 x 1.25 inches (small/tiny); 4 x 2.5 x 1 inches (medium/easy rider); 3.5 x 2.5 x 1 inches (large/fat bob) | Colors: Orange, green, purple | Materials: BPA-free foam plastic

Best Launcher Hyper Pet Hyper Pet K9 Kannon Ball Launcher

Hyper Pet Hyper Pet K9 Kannon Ball Launcher

Amazon : View On Amazon

What We Like

  • Shoots ball up to 75 feet
  • Hands-free ball pickup
  • Storage for extra balls

What We Don’t Like

  • Extra balls sold separately
  • Loud operation

This easy-to-use launcher is a great choice for active dogs that never seem to tire. With this launcher, you can pick up the included ball hands-free and then pull back the lever to launch it. The distance the ball travels depends on how far you pull back the lever, with a maximum range of up to 75 feet. The launcher is available in two sizes to accommodate smaller and larger dogs, and it is made of durable plastic that weighs less than 2 pounds, making it portable and convenient to carry around. Additionally, the launcher features two openings in front of the trigger where you can store two extra balls, providing backup options in case one is lost. However, please note that the launcher only comes with one ball, and you’ll need to purchase additional balls separately.

The included ball is specifically designed for dogs and is made of grade A rubber, ensuring it is safe for their teeth. Unlike traditional tennis balls, it doesn’t contain harmful coatings or gases. The balls are available in two sizes: 1.9-inch for the small launcher and 2.5-inch for the large launcher. If you wish to purchase extra balls, they come in packs of four and are available in orange and pink colors, providing alternatives to the standard tennis ball yellow/green. As a bonus, the entire system is priced under $25, making it a budget-friendly option.

Price at time of publish: $23

Sizes: 16.25-inch launcher with 1.9-inch ball (mini); 24-inch launcher with 2.5-inch ball (large) | Colors: Neon yellow | Materials: Lightweight plastic and grade A rubber

Best Bounce West Paw Zogoflex Jive Ball

West Paw Zogoflex Jive Ball

Amazon: View On Amazon

What We Like

  • Easy to clean
  • Recyclable in their Join the Loop program
  • Made in the U.S.
  • Durable
  • Affordable

What We Don’t Like

  • Heavy; more tiring to throw
  • Not available in multi-packs

This unique ball features a robust and unpredictable bounce, providing an extra challenge for your dog’s playtime. It is made from plastic that is free from BPA, phthalates, and latex, striking a balance between being soft on dogs’ teeth and gums while also being durable enough to withstand heavy chewers. The large size of the ball weighs a little over half a pound and may require more effort to throw compared to some other options. However, it is safe for both indoor and outdoor use, including in water bodies such as pools, lakes, or streams.

The ball is available in three sizes and colors, allowing you to choose the option that suits your dog’s size and life stage. These balls are FDA-compliant and domestically made by a family-owned business that is also a certified B Corporation. This certification signifies that the company meets rigorous standards of verified social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency, covering various aspects from employee benefits and charitable giving to supply chain practices and input materials. The ball is also dishwasher-safe, making it convenient to clean. Please note that the ball is sold individually, but it remains an affordable choice priced under $20.

Price at time of publish: $19

Sizes: 2 inches (mini); 2.6 inches (small); 3.25 inches (large) | Colors: Yellow, orange, and blue | Materials: BPA-, phthalate- and latex-free plastic

Best Squeak Planet Dog Orbee Tuff Squeak Ball

Planet Dog Orbee Tuff Squeak Ball

Amazon : View On Amazon

What We Like

  • Bounces well
  • Can use in water
  • Made in the U.S.
  • Durable

What We Don’t Like

  • Squeak is inconsistent
  • Not available in multi-packs

If you’re in search of a squeaking ball that provides a moderate level of noise, the option from Planet Dog is worth considering. This domestically made ball incorporates the squeak mechanism directly into its molding, eliminating the need for harmful glue or adhesives. It is crafted from durable thermoplastic elastomer rubber that is free from latex, lead, BPA, and phthalates, ensuring it can withstand extensive chew sessions from heavy chewers. However, due to its toughness, the squeaking sound may be inconsistent. Additionally, each ball is infused with peppermint oil, offering a pleasant scent and potentially helping to improve bad breath.

With a diameter of approximately 3 inches, this ball is available in various colors, although certain colors may be exclusive to specific retailers. Priced at around $20, it is slightly more expensive compared to fetch balls sold in multi-packs. However, it’s worth noting that every Planet Dog purchase contributes to funding canine service programs, making it a great choice if you want to support a cause. The Kong Squeezz Ball is also a notable contender in this category.

Price at time of publish: $13

Sizes: 3 inches | Colors: Blue, yellow, pink, and orange (depending on where you buy) | Materials: 100% latex-, lead-, BPA- and phthalate-free thermoplastic elastomer rubber

Best on a Bumper/Dummy for Hunting Training SportDOG Plastic Dummies

SportDOG Plastic Dummies

Amazon : View On Amazon

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Adjustable buoyancy and weight
  • Different colors teach different skills

What We Don’t Like

  • Rope not included
  • Made in China

For hunters or those with sporting breeds, plastic dummies or bumpers are commonly used as training tools for dogs. The bumpers from SportDog are a recommended choice in this category. Designed to mimic the floating behavior of fallen birds, these bumpers feature a loop for attaching a throw rope, allowing for easy throwing, and knobs that discourage hard mouthing. They also include a valve, enabling you to adjust the buoyancy and weight using air or water as your dog progresses in training and learns to differentiate between different types of prey. The bumpers are available in regular and jumbo sizes, facilitating the introduction and transition of dogs from practice to live hunting scenarios.

SportDog bumpers are offered in three different colors, each serving a specific training purpose. White bumpers are highly visible against dark backgrounds, teaching young dogs to rely on their eyes over land or water. Black/white bumpers are suitable for throwing against various backgrounds and are easily visible in the air. Orange bumpers help train dogs to use their sense of smell to locate the bumper once they have reached the area, while allowing handlers to easily locate it. Constructed from soft yet durable vinyl, it’s important to note that these bumpers are not intended for chewing and should be supervised during training sessions. They are reasonably priced at under $10 per bumper and can be found at local pet stores and online retailers. Additionally, SportDog actively supports conservation efforts, contributing time and funding to projects that ensure the preservation of wild places and game for future generations of hunters.

Price at time of publish: $10

Sizes: 12 x 2 inches (regular); 12 x 3 inches (jumbo) | Colors: Black/white, orange, white| Materials: BPA-free vinyl plastic

What to Look for in Dog Fetch Balls and Toys

When it comes to training your dog to play fetch, there are several factors to consider, including toy safety, training techniques, and toy storage. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

  1. Toy Selection: Choose toys that are safe for your dog to use and made of durable materials. Look for options made of rubber or plastic that won’t easily break or shed small pieces that could be swallowed. Opt for toys that are free of latex, BPA, phthalates, and lead for added safety.
  2. Training Techniques: Follow the “three Ds” of training, which are distance, distraction, and duration. Work on only two of these aspects at a time to reduce stress and frustration for both you and your dog. Use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats, praise, and encouragement, to motivate and reward your dog during training sessions.
  3. Toy Storage: If your dog is a powerful chewer, avoid leaving fetch toys within their reach unless you are supervising. Dogs may become bored and destroy the toy, potentially leading to digestive problems if they swallow pieces. Store fetch toys safely when not in use to prevent accidental chewing.
  4. Size and Weight: Choose a fetch toy that is appropriately sized for your dog. It should be large enough to fit comfortably in their mouth without posing a choking hazard. Consider the weight of the toy as well, ensuring that it is lightweight enough for you to throw consistently without straining yourself.
  5. Automatic Ball Launchers: If you have shoulder or back issues or simply want an alternative to manual throwing, consider an automatic ball launcher. Look for options with rechargeable batteries to minimize battery waste. Keep in mind that some automated launchers can be heavy to move, so consider your playing area and storage needs.

By considering these factors, you can select a safe and suitable fetch toy for your dog and use effective training techniques to ensure an enjoyable and rewarding playtime experience.


  • Teaching a dog to fetch:

    To teach a dog to fetch, you can follow the American Kennel Club’s step-by-step guide on how to teach your dog to fetch. It’s important to be patient, practice consistently and regularly, and use treats as positive reinforcement during training sessions.

  • Why dogs like to play fetch:

    Dogs have a natural inclination to run, chase, and catch objects, which they inherited from their wild ancestors. Certain breeds, especially working breeds like Labradors, golden retrievers, spaniels, hounds, and pointers, were selectively bred for their retrieving abilities. Playing fetch taps into their innate instincts and provides them with mental and physical stimulation. Additionally, dogs enjoy the positive reinforcement and praise they receive from their owners during fetch play.

  • Safety of tennis balls for dogs:

    Tennis balls can be used without issue until they start to become fluffy or frayed. It’s important to monitor the condition of the tennis ball and replace it when it shows signs of wear. Frayed or fluffy tennis balls can pose a risk to a dog’s teeth. The fibers can catch on their teeth, potentially leading to breaks or fractures, particularly of the canines. To reduce the risk, avoid allowing your dog to chew on or play with tennis balls that are in poor condition.

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