My dog Gracie loves to swim and will do it for hours if there’s a water toy involved. Water toys are immensely fun for dogs that thrive in water. Today, we will discuss our favorite water toy, the Chuckit! Ultra Ball, and others we recommend, as well as factors you should consider when buying a water toy.
Ok, ok. I know some of you might not want to read this entire review, so here’s the list of our favorites. Check them out!
What Things to Look For in a Water Toy
It’s safe to say that there’s a huge market for dog toys. Pet stores often have aisles completely dedicated to dog toys. Honestly, it can be a bit overwhelming. So what do you need to look for in a water toy specifically? Below, we will discuss several factors that you will want to consider before handing a water toy to the cashier.
Is it Strong and Buoyant?
We all know as pet owners that one of the first things you look for before purchasing any kind of dog toy is durability. Will it last and survive my dog’s constant abuse? If your dog likes to chew, you’ll want a toy that is tough and not susceptible to easy wear and tear. Most water toys are made of rubber, while others are made of nylon.
Whatever material you decide to go with, pick a toy that can handle your dog’s chewing habits.
Especially for water toys, the material should also be designed to float. That may seem obvious, but I’ve personally learned that just because a toy looks like it’ll float, doesn’t mean that buoyancy was a design priority.
Make sure to check the labels to see if the toys are recommended for water use. Nothing is more disappointing than throwing a toy out into the water for your dog to fetch and then it sinking into the depths.
Is Your Dog a Strong Swimmer?
Just like us, dogs can sometimes struggle to swim for long periods of time. Some dogs just don’t take to the water, while others will swim like a tadpole. Let’s talk about my dog Gracie again. Gracie is energetic and swims well, but she isn’t the greatest floater, and when she attempts to retrieve water toys that are cylindrical in shape or flat, she’s prone to gulp in water while catching her breath.
Since Gracie tends to accidentally swallow water, I generally use toys that encourage her to keep her head up and out of the water, like a rubber ball. If your dog is anything like Gracie, you should avoid toys that sit flat against the surface of the water or invest in a life jacket so your dog can swim without tiring out.
Most importantly, dogs don’t always know when they should quit. Dogs like to pursue and successfully complete tasks. If they’re having a good time, why should they want to stop and rest? Gracie is a prime example of this. I’m pretty sure she would play fetch until her little heart gave out, so I always try to time her play sessions so she has time to recoup. Even strong swimmers can become exhausted, especially if they’ve wandered far away from shore. Supervision is critical, so no matter what water toy you end up purchasing, make sure you’re there when it’s played with.
Is it Easy to Find?
There are several reasons why you want your water toy to be easy to find. First, if your dog struggles to locate it, they’ll likely swim in exhausting circles. If your dog is anything like my dog Gracie, once she’s locked in on finding something, she won’t stop until it’s found. This can be dangerous, especially if your pup isn’t a strong swimmer. Having a toy that is bright and easy to spot will help ensure your dog’s safety.
Furthermore, water can be unpredictable and is capable of stealing your toy away forever. Even if your dog generally plays in calm water, a toy can still float off and out of your line of vision. Especially in oceans and rivers, water toys can easily get swept away. The quicker your toy is spotted, the faster it can be retrieved. If your dog misses it and is unable to locate it, you may find yourself stopping at the pet store on the way home to make another purchase.
Is it the Right Size?
Whatever water toy you add to your dog’s playtime, make sure that it fits the size of your pup. Toys that are too big may put more strain on your dog as they swim and add to their fatigue. On the flip side, if your water toy is too small, your dog may accidentally choke on it. Especially in water, your dog may panic if put in a life-threatening situation, and you may be too far away to quickly intervene. We know it’s hard to even think about, but accidents can definitely happen. You may want to start off with a few different sized toys and play in a pool or another controlled environment to get a feel of which toy is the best fit for your dog. Once you’ve gotten the appropriate size figured out, you can think less about the dangers and focus more on the fun.
Where Will You Play?
Where you and your dog tend to play is something that you should consider when buying a water toy. If your dog sticks to your backyard swimming pool, then your options are pretty endless. Swimming pools are easily controlled environments, so the chance of losing your water toy is pretty slim. However, if your dog enjoys swimming in the ocean or swimming in large bodies of water that have a lot of boat traffic, then you’re likely to be faced with some waves or choppy water. In those cases, it may be a good idea to purchase a toy that comes with a rope attachment or has the option for one. That way, you can keep a hold of the water toy while your dog enjoys their playtime. The environment your dog routinely likes to plays can be a large determining factor for the size, type, and level of visibility your toy requires.
Water toys are great tools for teaching dogs retrieving skills. If you’d like to see what training your dog with a water toy looks like you can, check out this video.
These Are Our 5 Favorite Water Toys
Our favorite, and my personal favorite, is the Chuckit! Ulta Ball. The Chuckit! Ultra Ball is perfect for in and out of water use. It’s affordable and because of its popularity, you can find it at most retail stores beyond your local pet store. They also come in a variety of sizes so you’re sure to find the one that fits your dog best. My dog Gracie can’t get enough of her Chuckit!. Besides the various sizes, there are also various styles to choose from. Gracie loves that the ball is designed with a durable rubber so she can enjoy chomping down on it without tearing it or leaving bite marks. Honestly, we can’t say enough good things about this toy.
- Designed to be ultra buoyant
- Easy to clean
- Created with extra thick durable rubber
- Has a ton of bounce for added excitement during playtime
- Available in most retail stores and pet stores
- Great indoors or outdoors
- Variety of sizes
- Various designs and styles to fit whatever type of playtime your dog most enjoys
- The regular medium size can fit in most standard ball launchers
- Highly visible due to its bright orange and blue color design
- Dirt and scratch-resistant
- Can be purchased in a multi-pack
- Compatible with the Chuckit! Dog Ball Thrower and other similarly designed products
- A few pet owners reported quick color fading if left out in the sun, though this was not a common complaint
- Since the design is made with flexible rubber, you’ll definitely hear your dog chewing away at it, so trying to ignore the noise while watching television or trying to sleep may be difficult, if not annoying
The Kurgo Skipping Stones toy is an ingenious take on an old past time. This toy is designed to skip across the water like a rock. Your dog will love fetching it and you’ll love learning a new skill. Kurgo is known for making high-quality dog products, and this toy is no exception. It is designed specifically for water and comes in a 2-pack so you’ll always have a backup. It’s affordably priced, made of durable materials, and brightly colored for easier visibility.
- Specifically designed for water
- Comes in a multi-pack
- Bright neon colors make it highly visible in the water
- Dishwasher safe
- Floats well in the water
- Non-toxic materials
- Doesn’t get waterlogged so you can play for hours
- Easy to spot clean
- Designed with durable rubber
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- Ideal for retrieval training
- Able to bounce high off the ground for out of water play
- Can only be efficiently skipped in calm water
- May be a potential choking hazard for large dog breeds
- Only available in a 2-pack
- May not be ideal for dogs who love to chew
- A few pet owners complained that the stones floated low in the water and were easy to lose in choppy water
- The irregular sides may cause it to unpredictably bounce when dropped or thrown on the ground, so be aware of your surroundings
The West Paw Design Boz Ball is an affordable option that can be purchased in two sizes, so dogs big and small can take a swim. It’s designed to float in water and to easily bounce off the ground. It’s soft and squishy with a bumpy exterior and just might become your active chewer’s favorite toy. They’ll love the textures and biting down on it to feel it squish.
- Squishy and textured for dogs who love to chew and bite down on their toys
- Small size fits any standard ball thrower
- Two size options so both small dogs and big dogs can enjoy it
- Designed to float in water
- Has a high bounce for regular outdoor play
- Made with durable materials
- Can be recycled
- Comes in three bright colors for high visibility in water
- Affordable price
- Designed to be chewed
- Easy to wash
- Great training tool
- Exterior may be susceptible to bite marks and wear
- A few pet owners complained that their dogs were able to rip large chunks out of the toy
- May be too heavy for extra small dogs
- Only comes in two sizes
The Ruff Dawg Flying Fish is another affordable option for adding some excitement to your water play dates. One great feature of this toy, in particular, is that you can tie a rope to it. By attaching a rope, you can use this toy in all types of water environments without fearing that you’ll lose it. It also gives you the advantage to control how far your dog ventures off with it. If you like to trick your dog by yanking on the rope just as they’re about to catch it, we won’t judge.
- Affordably priced
- 9.5 inches long so it’s an ideal toy for medium to large-sized dogs
- Designed specifically for water and floating
- Designed with durable rubber
- Crafted with non-toxic and recycled materials
- Bright visible colors
- Designed with the option to attach a rope or string
- Can be skipped across the water
- Great training tool
- Might not be ideal for active chewers or dogs with a history of destroying rubber toys
- May not be a great size for small dogs while playing in the water
- A few pet owners reported that their dogs had a hard time finding the toy because of its flat design
- Depending on where you purchase the toy, you may be unable to choose the color of your preference
First off, this water toy has an awesome name. The Hyper Pet Flippy Flopper Frisbee is inexpensive and great for water games. It is designed to float and is bright in color to help you see it on the surface of the water. It’s also soft and easy on your dog’s teeth, so you won’t have to worry about your dog and bleeding gums. Besides being a fun fetching toy, it’s designed with multilayer nylon to ensure that it can handle all your dog’s swimming time.
- Multilayer nylon construction for added durability and longevity
- Affordable price
- Designed to float in water
- Great for outdoor play
- An excellent retrieval training toy
- Comes in several bright fun colors for extra visibility
- Safe for your dog’s teeth and mouth
- Easy to fold and stow away
- 9-inch diameter so it can be enjoyed by any size dog
- Able to handle a fun game of tug-of-war
- Easy to throw
- Easy to clean
- Many pet owners have reported machine washing the toy without damaging it
- Great for teaching complicated tricks
- Though the majority of pet owners praised its construction, some pet owners complained that it is not ideal for active chewers or lengthy chewing time
- A few pet owners reported that the frisbee was not easy to throw and catch air, though this wasn’t a common complaint
Summing it Up
Dogs love the water and it’s not only a great form of exercise, but is a great way to bond with our pets. If you’re like me, you can think of a number of times that you’ve barely had time to shout before your dog has torpedoed their way into a lake, river, or swimming pool. Water toys help make your dog’s time in the water more engaging and stimulating. They can be great training tools and will have your dog sleeping easily after a hard day of play.
The Chuckit! Ultra Ball is not only our favorite, but the favorite of thousands of other pet owners. It’s a great toy for the water because of its buoyancy, size, and bright colors. It can handle tough hours of water time and will tire you out before it will ever tire your dog out. This toy is also perfect for indoor and outdoor play. Your dog will love the feeling of it between their teeth, and if they are anything like my dog Gracie, they’ll be chewing on it like gum for the entire day.
You may decide that our favorites are not what you’re looking for. You know your dog best and we want to help you keep your dog happy and safe. We hope that this article gives you the confidence needed to slide off those floaties and dive into the water toy deep end.
Last update on 2020-08-18 at 15:47 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API