Balls are the perfect dog toy. They’re so simple and perfect in design. Artemis enjoys a game of fetch with me, but she enjoys tossing the ball on her own even more. Did you or your dog lose a ball? Maybe your dog is a super chewer and ate right through it. That’s okay—it is very easy to procure another one. They also make excellent stocking stuffers for your dog this holiday season. I don’t know what it is about getting a new ball that excites Artemis—I mean, it’s the exact same shape as the other balls! She gets bored of plush toys very easily and is uninterested in squeaky toys, but the ball is eternal. Ball is life.
“Ball is life.”
That said, the ubiquitous fluorescent yellow tennis balls look better at Wimbledon. For home, you and your dog deserve a chicer-looking ball. Luckily, there have been an influx of redesigned and reinvented balls for dogs lately. They have new features that you won’t find on your usual tennis ball, but don’t worry—every ball on this list bounces and works well for a game of fetch. The basics are essential, of course.
Good for: dogs who like to chase their prey, and dogs with small or delicate mouths.
Features: crafted in 100 percent merino wool, which contains natural lanolin and creates a satisfying whole-mouth feel when chewed and helps clean teeth, available in two sizes, and shaped with adorable (or devilish) ears.
Good for: dogs who like to play fetch by themselves, and dogs who are food-motivated.
Features: made with 100 percent dishwasher-safe natural rubber, shaped to bounce unpredictably to keep your dog amused, and hollow in the center like a Kong so you can fill with peanut butter and freeze for a good time.
Good for: dogs who love squeaky toys.
Features: contains several surface textures to entertain chewers, squeaks when squeezed, makes a whistling sound when tossed to help your dog track movement, compatible with ball launchers, and floats in water.
Good for: dogs who chew through all their tennis balls.
Features: made with natural rubber core and pet-safe felt material, more durable than generic tennis balls for heavy chewers and more rounds of fetch.
Studio photography by Tayler Smith