The 9 Best Dog Fetch Balls & Toys of 2022

Our favorite dog fetch toy is the Petmate Chuckit! Classic Ball Launcher

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dog playing fetch with tennis ball

Bryan Miguel / Getty Images

If you have a new dog or one that just needs more exercise, training your dog to fetch is one of the easiest ways to ensure they stay healthy, happy, and well-behaved. From balls to discs to automatic launchers, there are plenty of fetch balls and toys on the market to choose from.

“When choosing a fetch toy, be sure to pay attention to the size and the toy’s intended use,” explains Fear-Free Certified Professional Dr. Kelly Dunham, DVM, an Area Medical Director with IndeVets. “You want to be sure not to pick anything too small, as it can become a choking hazard for your pet. You want to also check the toy to make sure there are no easily detachable or breakable parts, which may be damaged during the throwing process.”

We researched and evaluated the durability, safety of materials, weight, size, and cost, of each dog fetch balls and toys available to help you find the best option for your dog. Our top pick is the Petmate Chuckit! Classic Ball Launcher because it’s easy to use, durable, and lightweight. It launches the ball further than you ever could alone and wears out your dog without wearing you out.

Here are the best dog fetch balls and toys available today.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Chuckit! Classic Ball Launcher

4.9
Chuckit! Classic Launcher Dog Toy

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

We love this launcher from Petmate because it’s durable, reasonably priced, safe, and easy to use. With an ergonomic-designed handle, it sends the ball two to three times further than you ever could alone, meaning it won’t tire you out after a few throws. It’s made from durable, flexible plastic and comes in various sizes. Choose a longer length if you’re looking to throw extra-long distances or a shorter length if you want something easy to travel with. As a plus, you can also use the launcher to recover the ball from bushes, mud and water bodies.

Meanwhile, the included rubber ball has a high bounce, high visibility with bright blue and orange color options, and floats for easy water play. We especially love that it’s made without latex, bis-phenol A (BPA), and phthalates, making it a safe option for them to bite and chew. Just keep in mind that if your dog is a voracious chewer, you may find yourself needing a replacement. Fortunately, the brand sells replacements separately or you can use standard tennis balls for a cheaper alternative. Our pitbull mix, Kuma, will fetch with this toy until she can’t stand up from tiredness. It’s great exercise in a short period of time and chills her out in the evenings and when we have visitors.

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

What We Like
  • Made in the U.S.

  • Affordable

  • Gentle on teeth and gums

What We Don't Like
  • Heavier than other frisbees

  • May not survive heavy chewers

According to Dr. Dunham, “Traditional frisbees are rigid, hard and can not only increase the risk of tooth fracture, but frisbees can fracture into sharp pieces that your pet may swallow, eat, or cut themselves on. There are a number of rubber, silicone, and fabric dog frisbees on the market that are safer for their teeth and won’t fracture or splinter.” So we recommend the Kong Flyer. Made of rubber, it has a soft catch and protects your dog’s teeth and gums. Although the rubber is durable, it is not meant as a chew toy and will not likely survive super chewers. Our pit bull mix, Kuma, loves to fetch this flexible flyer but will destroy it quickly if left unattended with it.

The disc flies straight and level when thrown correctly, but it may take some adjusting since it is heavier than traditional frisbees. The Kong Flyer is available in small and large sizes for different size dog breeds, and both of them weigh less than 1 pound. They retail for under $15 and come in a bright red color that’s easy to see. Meanwhile, the smaller flyer is also offered in pink and blue.

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

Chewy

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

If you have shoulder trouble or your dog just doesn’t get worn out, you might like this interactive, on-demand ball launcher. Available in two sizes for smaller and larger dogs, this automated unit comes with three 1.6-inch or 2.5-inch “dog-safe” tennis balls. They’re made with non-abrasive materials, so it’s safe for your dog to bite and chew them. For power, the smaller version uses a wall plug or six C batteries (not included), while the large version operates on a rechargeable, built-in battery that takes about eight hours to charge fully using an enclosed plug-in adapter. The entire system weighs 8.5 pounds, so keep this in mind since you may need to move it into place and storage when you’re done using it.

Invented by a small, family-owned business based in Austin, Texas, iFetch is easy to program. You can adjust the distance that balls are thrown with a safety setting of just 10 feet for indoor use and 25 and 40 feet for outdoors. There’s also a random setting to keep your smart dog challenged. When your dog drops a ball in the receiving area, it will launch immediately and reinforce their effort. Just be sure to teach your dog not to block the launch area, so they don’t get hit by the launching ball. The manufacturers recommend that you do not let your dog use this unsupervised. It also goes into standby mode between throws, which allows the device to preserve the battery. To clean the device, simply wipe it down with a damp cloth. While it’s more expensive than other options list, it’s a great automatic pick that makes playing fetch easier for 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

What We Like
  • Excellent bounce

  • Easy to clean

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • May not survive heavy chewers

  • Made in China

This glow-in-the-dark fetch ball is easy to find in low-light conditions, making it the ideal pick for a night fetch session. The ball appears white in daylight and requires a small amount of light to charge up—as little as the light from your cell phone flashlight—but the longer it’s exposed to light, the brighter and longer it glows in the dark. Ringing in at under $25, they’re available in two-, four- and eight-packs and come in various sizes, ranging from 2.5 to 4.5-inches. The 2.5-and 3-inch balls are also compatible with the brand’s ball launcher, similar to our best overall pick.

Each ball has two air vents to allow airflow and ensure your dog doesn’t get it stuck in their tongue or throat. It’s made with pet-safe rubber that gives excellent bounce, although it’s not durable enough for chewing. For safety, the manufacturers recommend that you supervise your dog while they play with this toy. If it gets super dirty, simply throw it in the dishwasher (top rack only) to clean and disinfect it.

Price at time of publish: $6

Sizes: 2.5-, 3-, 3.5-, and 4.5-inch | 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

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

Ideal for the pool, lake, or creek, these dog toys are shaped like real stones, so the toy skips across the water and then floats so your dog can retrieve it. They’re made from PVC- and BPA-free foam plastic and are durable enough to keep their shape and floating powers for a long time. They’re available in three sizes, similar to standard tennis balls but can still pose a choking hazard for larger dogs who tend to chew and gulp. The manufacturers caution that these toys are not for dedicated chewing, but specifically for fetch, so supervised use is highly recommended.

We also love that they come in bright colors, including orange, green, and purple, giving them high visibility for you and your dog. The colors do not correspond to a specific size and come in random pairs per purchase. Each stone toy weighs less than 1 pound, so they’re easy to throw and travel with. And, with an affordable price tag, you can stock up on them, too. If they get particularly dirty during playtime, you can throw them in the dishwasher for quick and easy cleaning.

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

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

A great option for the dog who never gets tired, this easy-to-use launcher is designed to pick up the included ball hands-free, then you pull back the lever and launch it. The further you pull it back, the further the ball launches. Available in two sizes for smaller and larger dogs, each launcher can shoot the ball up to 75 feet in total. It’s made of durable plastic and weighs under 2 pounds, so it’s easy to carry around and travel with. It also has two openings in front of the trigger to hold two extra balls in case you lose the one you’re shooting. However, the launcher only comes with one ball, so you’ll have to purchase extras separately.

The ball is designed for dogs and made of grade A rubber, so it’s safe on their teeth and doesn’t contain harmful coatings or gases like true tennis balls. They also come in two sizes—1.9-inch for the small launcher and 2.5-inch for the large launcher—so keep this in mind if you plan to purchase extra. Extra balls come in four packs and are available in orange and pink if you want something different from the standard tennis yellow/green. As a bonus, the entire system is under $25, so it’s excellent for shoppers on a budget.

Price at time of publish: $23

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

Best Bounce: West Paw Zogoflex Jive Ball

West Paw Zogoflex Jive Ball

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 ball’s unique shape means that it has a robust unpredictable bounce, so your dog will be delighted in the extra challenge. Made from BPA-, phthalate-, and latex-free plastic, it is the right balance of soft on teeth and gums while also being durable enough to last through heavy chewers. The large size weighs a little over 0.5 pounds, making it a heavier option than others and more tiring to throw. Still, it’s safe for indoor and outdoor use, including in the pool, lake, or streams.

The ball is available in three sizes and colors, so you can find an option that’s right for your dog’s size and life stage. Domestically made from a family-owned business, these balls are FDA-Compliant and Certified B Corp, meaning they meet high standards of verified social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency on factors from employee benefits and charitable giving to supply chain practices and input materials. They’re also dishwasher-safe, making them super easy to clean up. They only come in singles, however, they’re still an affordable pick at 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

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 looking for a squeaking option that isn’t too loud, look no further than this option from Planet Dog. The domestically-made ball has the squeak mechanism embedded into its molding, so no harmful glue or adhesive is keeping it in place. It’s made of food-safe, latex-, lead-, BPA- and phthalate-free thermoplastic elastomer rubber and is durable enough to withstand long chew sessions from heavy chewers. Since it is so tough and sometimes hard to bite, the squeaking sound can be inconsistent. As a plus, each ball is infused with peppermint oil for a pleasing scent that improves bad breath.

3 inches in diameter, this ball comes in several different colors (although, note that some colors are only available at specific retailers). At around $20, it is pricier than other fetch balls that come in multipacks. However, every Planet Dog purchase helps fund canine service programs, so it’s great if you’re shopping with a cause. The Kong Squeezz Ball was a close runner-up 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

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Adjustable buoyancy and weight

  • Different colors teach different skills

What We Don't Like
  • Rope not included

  • Made in China

If you are a hunter or have a sporting breed, plastic dummies (or bumpers) are the standard training tools for young and adult dogs. We’re partial to these bumpers from SportDog. The typical design is meant to float like a fallen bird and includes a loop for you to attach your own throw rope for easy throwing and knobs that prevent hard mouthing. It also includes a valve, so you can adjust the buoyancy and weight with air or water as your dog grows and learns to differentiate different types of prey. The bumpers are also offered in two different sizes, regular and jumbo, to help introduce and transition dogs from practice to live hunting.

They also come in three different colors to teach different skills to your dog. The white dummies teach young dogs to use their eyes over land or water because it’s the most visible against dark backgrounds. The black/white dummies are good for throwing against all backgrounds and are easy to see as they sail through the air. Meanwhile, the orange option teaches dogs to use their nose after reaching the area while the handler can still find it. Each bumper is constructed of soft yet durable vinyl, but they are not chew toys, so make sure to watch your dog as you train them. They cost under $10 for a single bumper and are easy to find at local pet stores and online retailers. Even better, SportDog supports conservation efforts by contributing time and funding to projects that ensure hunters will have wild places to hunt wild game for generations to come.

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

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the Petmate Chuckit! Classic Ball Launcher because this classic launches the ball two to three times further than you ever could and wears out your dog without straining your arm or making you touch a drool-covered ball ever again. If your dog has more energy than you do, try the iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher. This automatic dog ball launcher is available in two sizes, and your dog can use it on their own, saving your back and arm while helping them get the exercise they need to stay healthy and happy.

What to Look For in Dog Fetch Balls and Toys

Training

While many think playing fetch comes instinctively to dogs, most dogs will still need to learn how to do it. To train your dog, it’s important to find toys that are safe to use and employ the right teaching techniques. “A lot of people think of tennis balls or frisbees when thinking of fetch with their dog. While these aren’t necessarily bad options, there are a lot of safer and more dog-friendly options on the market these days,” says Dr. Dunham. “There are three D’s to training: distance, distraction, and duration. Make sure to work on only two of the Ds at a time to reduce stress and frustration while training for both you and your pet. The key components are lots of treats, praise, and encouragement.”

Also, keep in mind how you plan to store your fetch ball or toy. If your dog is a powerful chewer, don’t leave fetch toys in their reach unless you are supervising. They may destroy the toy when they are bored and/or eat pieces, causing digestive problems like foreign body obstruction and extra veterinary bills.

If you are just starting to train your dog, check out these Spruce Pets articles on how to train your dog to come and release.

Materials

When selecting your dog fetch toy, look for durable materials that are safe to put in their mouths. You don’t want a toy that easily breaks or sheds pieces that can be swallowed when grabbed. Common materials dog fetch balls and toys are made of include rubber and plastic. It also helps to look for options that are free of latex, BPA, phthalates, and lead for extra precaution.

Size and weight

Finally, size and weight are also important features to look for in a fetch toy. The ball or toy should be big enough to fit into your dog’s mouth without posing a choking hazard. Meanwhile, it should be lightweight enough for you to throw for an extended period. Dr. Dunham agrees, telling The Spruce Pets, “The best fetch toys are going to be something that is 1) easy for you to throw, and 2) easy for your dog to safely catch and retrieve.”

If you have shoulder or back trouble, you can also consider an automatic ball launcher, preferably one with rechargeable batteries, so you don’t create excess battery waste. Just keep in mind that some fully-involved automated options are heavy to move from place to place, depending on where you plan to play with your dog and store the launcher when it’s not in use.

FAQ
  • How do you teach a dog to fetch?

    “While many dogs seem to know how to fetch instinctively, some dogs require training,” says Dr. Dunham. “I recommend the American Kennel Club’s step-by-step guide on how to teach your dog to fetch.” You’ll have the greatest success if you are patient, practice consistently and regularly, and use treats your dog loves as positive reinforcement.

  • Why do dogs like to play fetch?

    Canines got their love of running, chasing, and catching fast-moving objects from their wild ancestors who needed those skills for survival. Once they were domesticated, many dogs, including the working breeds, like Labradors, golden retrievers, spaniels, hounds, and pointers, were specifically bred to retrieve certain items for their human owners. These dogs still have the urge and ability to fetch ingrained in their genes. That desire is reinforced when we praise them and/or offer positive reinforcement treats.

  • Are tennis balls bad for dogs?

    “Tennis balls are typically much softer and can be used without issue until they start to become fluffy or frayed,” says Dr. Dunham. “While it can be difficult to eliminate the risk of tooth fracture, we can help to reduce the risk by not allowing our dogs to chew on or play with tennis balls that have become frayed or fluffy. The fiber can catch on your dog’s teeth which can contribute to breaks or fractures commonly of the canines.”

Why Trust The Spruce Pets?

The Spruce Pets exhaustively researches and recommends a broad range of products. We also tap a network of experts and testers to help you make smarter purchases.

This piece is by Lorraine Wilde, who evaluated the cost, functionality, materials, and quality of each dog fetch ball and toy, as well as customer and expert reviews and the company’s business ethics. Her four-year-old pitbull mix, Kuma, loves to fetch using the Petmate Chuckit! Sport Fetch Ball Launcher and the Kong Rubber Flyer.

Having had at least two cats and two dogs in her home for the past 35 years, Lorraine included products she’d be willing to use in her own home. She also holds a Master’s degree in environmental science and works to help consumers make healthy, informed, and environmentally conscious choices to protect their pets, families, and our planet.

Dr. Kelly Dunham, DVM, is a Fear-Free Certified Professional and the IndieVets Area Medical Director for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. She also writes blogs to help educate pet owners to provide the best care for their pets. She graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2015.

Article Sources
The Spruce Pets uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Burton AG, Talbot CT, Kent MS. Risk factors for death in dogs treated for esophageal foreign body obstruction: A retrospective cohort study of 222 cases (1998-2017)J Vet Intern Med. 2017;31(6):1686-1690. doi:10.1111/jvim.14849

  2. Bray EE, Otto CM, Udell MAR, Hall NJ, Johnston AM, MacLean EL. Enhancing the selection and performance of working dogs [published correction appears in Front Vet Sci. 2022 Apr 08;9:898698]Front Vet Sci. 2021;8:644431. doi:10.3389/fvets.2021.644431

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