Dogs and tennis balls are like peanut butter and jelly. My German Shepherd loves chasing them during a good game of fetch. Question: What are the best tennis balls for dogs?
Let’s review a few dog friendly tennis balls.
Chuckit! Ultra Ball
The Chuckit! Ultra Ball is an awesome dog safe tennis ball. It’s a rubber ball, which is brightly colored and easy to spot.
It comes in five sizes from small at 2″ to XX-large at 4″. For reference, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) defines the official tennis ball diameter range as 2.57–2.70 inches.
For my German Shepherd dog, large (3″) is the optimum size, which allows him to chomp on the ball and chew it like bubble-gum.
The Chuckit! ball floats and can be combined with the launcher. The launcher increases the distance I can chuck the ball. It also saves my arm from throwing the tennis ball over and over.
Because the launcher scoops up the ball, I don’t have to touch a slobbery ball. Speaking of a slobbery ball, the Chuckit! balls clean easily with their rubber exterior.
My GSD has never been able to destroy this ball. It is his and my favorite.
KONG Air Dog Squeak Air Tennis Ball Dog Toy
KONG tennis balls squeak, which is a game changer for many dogs. They can chase it and then squeak it. I like having an extra dog safe tennis ball in my pocket, which allows me to squeak it and get the dog’s attention if he strays.
The large sized ball is a bit bigger than a regular sized tennis ball. The large KONG ball has a 3″ diameter
KONG does offer an extra large, which is 4″ in diameter — about the size of a softball. Although KONG offers smaller sizes, the large and extra large are less likely to roll under the sofa.
The ball has a special non-abrasive fabric will not wear down dog’s teeth, according to KONG. The fabric can be chewed off, which reveals a rubber ball.
KONG also doesn’t recommend extended water usage. I have left these balls outside during rains. The squeaker is not the same after being water-logged.
A benefit of the KONG balls are they don’t pop like a pressurized tennis ball; however, they don’t have the same bounce as a tennis ball, though. Also, they are a bit pricey.
Penn tennis balls
My local farm store sells Penn tennis balls in three-packs for a few dollars. I have bought a few dozen of these over the last year.
The WalMart may have a better price, but I can bring my dog into the farm store, which is why I purchase them there.
These tennis balls last a long time. They lose their bounce after the dog has chomped on it a couple hundred times.
My dog has tried to skin the coating off the ball with no success. He has not been able to puncture a hole in the ball, either.
These balls work well, especially when I know I might lose a ball. I don’t mind losing one of these because they are inexpensive.
I go through many because they get muddy and full of dog slobber, which makes them disgusting to touch.
Note: These balls have a bad odor when the package is opened.
What is the best tennis ball for dogs?
The Chuckit! tennis balls offer long life, great bounce, no felt exterior to destroy, and can be cleaned easily. They are the perfect tennis ball for my dog.
The KONG ball has a squeaker, which makes it fun for the dog. I like to keep the KONG ball in my pocket and use the squeaker to get the dog’s attention if he is distracted. This is what I use this ball for. What makes the KONG great is also its downfall: the squeaker, which my dog tries to destroy.
A pressurized tennis ball is the most economical. It gets dirty too fast for my tastes and is only good for 1 or 2 outside sessions.
Although I have not seen my dog put a hole in a tennis ball, there are plenty of anecdotal experience on the web that indicates power chewers may do so.
Are tennis balls safe for dogs?
A motivated dog could destroy a tennis ball, choke on the parts, or require surgery to remove an intestinal blockage. Always supervise your pet.
A tennis ball’s slightly abrasive surface may wear down a dog’s teeth and eventually blunt them, according to a USA Today article.
The ball could act like sandpaper on a tooth, which answers the question: Are tennis balls bad for dog’s teeth?
Despite the safety concerns, I still allow my pet to have tennis balls. He only gets them when I am around and playing fetch with him, though.