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If you are looking for a tennis ball alternative for dogs, we can help. Do you have a dog who goes crazy over the tennis ball and perhaps can even tennis ball obsessed? Has your veterinarian told you that too much tennis ball play will wear your dog’s teeth down? 

We went through this with first Sherlock (RIP) and now Goosey! We began searching for a tennis ball alternative for dogs recently because Goosey’s canines show blunt wear.

Tennis balls and tennis ball alternatives are some of those dog toys that your dog should actively play with while you supervise. You should not just leave balls out for dogs to play with on their own. In our house, after the fetch session, the balls are put away.

A tennis ball is abrasive and wears down a dog’s teeth little by little. Tennis balls can cause long-term damage and allow infection to set into the root. 

Are tennis balls safe for dogs? In short, the answer is no. 

One reason being is that the fuzzy yellow felt acts as abrasive sandpaper. The yellow fuzz often gets dirt, sand, and debris attached to it as well. With its accumulation of debris, this yellow fuzz acts like rough sandpaper on your dog’s teeth. 

A second reason is that they are a choking hazard. A tennis ball can split in half and become lodged in the back of your dog’s throat. 

A third reason is that there are no standards or regulations regarding the manufacturing of tennis balls. By allowing your dog to chew on a tennis ball, you are letting them ingest microdoses of unknown toxins. 

If you wonder why tennis balls are bad for dogs, these three reasons should be enough to select a different ball!

If you don’t have time to read the entire article and just want to know the best tennis ball alternatives for dogs, here you go!

#1 Pick For A Tennis Ball Alternative for Dogs


ChuckIt! Max Glow Ball, Medium

Chuckit! Max Glow Ball Dog Toy, Medium (2.5 Inch Diameter) for Dogs 20-60 Lbs, Pack Of 2
  • Glow in the Dark Dogs Balls: These glowing rubber balls for dogs the keep the game going even after the sun goes down; Your dog will love its bouncy, grip-able texture and you will love how easy to clean this Max Glow Dog Ball is
  • Nighttime Fun: 5 minutes under any bright light generates 20 to 30 minutes of glowing playtime, no batteries or cords needed; Made with safe photoluminescent material, size medium Chuckit balls for dogs fit all medium Chuckit Launchers
  • Sizing matters: Size medium measures 2.5" in diameter and is best suited for dogs weighing 20-60lbs. Dog balls should be small enough for your dog to carry, but large enough that the ball can't completely fit in their mouth. When in doubt, buy a size up
  • Make Fetch Happen: Chuckit Performance toys are designed with you and your dog in mind; Try our full range of indoor and outdoor interactive dog toys including tumblers, flyers, fetch toys, other tennis balls for dogs and more
  • ChuckIt Fetch Pet Toys: Chuckit makes indoor and outdoor dog toys that enrich the human-animal bond and helps dogs and puppies stay engaged. Try our full line of ball launchers, puppy toys, flying discs, tennis balls for dogs, dog chew toys, and more

Why is this our number one pick for the best tennis ball alternative? 

  • It is lightweight, so it is easy to throw and won’t hurt the dog if it accidentally hits them. 
  • Another plus is that you probably won’t break a window if you accidentally hit one since it is light. 
  • This excellent tennis ball alternative glows in the dark.

We often play fetch with our dog in the evening. Sometimes, when it is not dark yet, but the sun is starting to go down, Goosey has difficulty finding the ball. If she can’t find it, it is due to me throwing it in the wrong direction.  The glow-in-dark feature helps me spot it if Goosey can’t find it.

Charge the ball under bright light for 5 minutes, and you’ll get 20 minutes of glow-in-the-dark fetch time.

We only use these balls to play fetch with our dogs during a supervised fetch session. After the play session, the ball is put away in our home. We never leave the balls lying around for the dogs to play with on their own. Therefore this review is not accurate if you are the type that likes to leave the balls lying around for the dog to chew. 

My dog is a treeing walker hound and pit mix who is utterly obsessed with fetch. This glow-in-the-dark tennis ball alternative lasts for years.  Despite her strong jaw clamping on it for 1-2 hours of fetch every day, it is still going strong!

A glow in the dark tennis ball alternative. A black husky malamute playing with a glow in the dark ball.

Manufacturer specs

  • 2.5 inches
  • Glow in the dark
  • Lightweight with a hole in the middle

Does it fit in a medium Chuck It standard size ball launcher? 


What We Like

  • Glow in the dark
  • It floats (for a while) but will eventually sink.
  • The ball is washable. As you can see in the photo above it can get grimy, unlike a tennis ball the Chuck-It balls are washable!
  • Charges quickly under a bright light.
  • It’s light enough to throw even if your arm is not strong.
  • Strong but bouncy. Our main dog, who loves fetch, seems to love how this ball squishes in her mouth as she is carrying it back.

What We Don’t Like

  • This tennis ball alternative might not hold up if you allow your dog to chew it. It is not a bone – lol! If you give this to your dog to chew, the ball will probably develop a crack. On the other hand, if your dog loves to, fetch and brings the ball back every time, this is a great ball.

Lightweight Tennis Ball Alternative


The Chuckit! Whistler Ball

4 Pack Chuckit! The Whistler Size Medium / 2.5 Inch (2 Packages with 2 Balls Each)
  • 4 Pack Chuckit! The Whistler Size Medium / 2.5 Inch (2 Packages with 2 Balls Each)

The Chuck It brand makes great tennis ball alternatives for dogs. The whistler has a hole in the center, so it will not block your dog’s airway if it gets ingested. If you are looking for a solid rubber dog ball, this one is it!

Another great feature about this ball, as opposed to a standard tennis ball, is that you can wash it. We all know dogs obsessed with fetch put slobber on the ball, which attracts all kinds of dirt. This tennis ball alternative does not have a large surface area from the yellow brillo-like fuzz. It is a solid rubber dog ball with a hole!

Sometimes when I am playing fetch with Goosey, my dog who loves the game, my other three dogs are standing in the way of the ball. If this tennis ball alternative hits one of the other dogs, it will not be painful or cause damage because it is a lightweight ball.

For that reason alone, it is an excellent choice for a household with multiple dogs or if you play fetch in a dog park. 

Manufacturer specs

  • Each ball is 2.5 inches in diameter.
  • One tennis ball alternative is blue, and the other is orange
  • Each ball has a hole in the center
  • Lightweight ball

Does it fit in a medium Chuck It standard size ball launcher? 


What We Like

  • The balls will crush down when a dog bites and plays with them, but they will bounce back!
  • The slight whistle that the ball makes when thrown allows the dog to track it.
  • They can withstand the jaw of a 110 lb dog!
  • We like that this ball is light, so it won’t be painful when you throw it if it accidentally hits your dog or another dog.

What We Don’t Like

  • You can’t buy two orange balls or two blue balls. If your dog is picky and has a favorite ball color, consider donating one of them to a local dog shelter. 
  • More expensive than a standard tennis ball for dogs.

Great Solid Rubber Ball For Dogs


The Chuckit! Ultra ball

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We like how this Chuckit Ultra ball comes with four tennis ball alternatives. Sometimes if you bring this one to a dog park, you may need to kiss it goodbye. This particular ball is often the most popular ball at the dog park!  

I’ve seen some owners get upset when they bring this to a dog park to play with their dog, and another dog keeps stealing it. 

This excellent tennis ball alternative is made of natural, non-toxic rubber and will not wear your dogs teeth down! Which is an essential feature.

Manufacturer specs

  • 2.5 inches in diameter
  • Four balls
  • Orange and blue tennis ball alternatives for dogs

Does it fit in a medium Chuck It standard size ball launcher? 


What We Like

  • Bounces high.
  • Lightweight ball.
  • Long-lasting, your dog will not destroy this ball.

What We Don’t Like

  • It can be a choking hazard for a large dog. (read the manufacturer’s suggestions before purchasing this)
  • More expensive than a standard tennis ball for dogs.

A Great Tennis Ball Alternative For Extreme Chewers


KONG – CoreStrength Ball – Long Lasting Dog Dental and Chew Toy

KONG - CoreStrength Ball - Long Lasting Dog Dental and Chew Toy - for Medium Dogs
  • Durable Dog Toy: The multilayered core with reinforced layers can withstand long-lasting chew sessions
  • Chewy Dog Toy: The textured exterior aids healthy chewing habits while cleaning teeth and gums to support your dog's dental health
  • Hard Chew Toy: Made with durable materials that can withstand the toughest chewers, this hard dog toy will provide hours of entertainment
  • Dog Ball Chew Toy: Designed to extend play sessions and support healthy habits, this Kong dog toy is the perfect addition to any dog's toy collection
  • Kong Toys & Treats: All Kong dog and cat toys and treats are made in the USA using globally sourced materials; keep your pet happy and healthy

Since the Kong tennis ball alternative is a heavy ball, we suggest using caution if you often throw it around multiple dogs. If this ball hits one in the head, it won’t feel good. If you are using this ball with the Chuck It, we recommend it for a single dog household. 

The Kong ball is a great tennis ball replacement that will last a long time. You don’t have to worry about this ball wearing down your dog’s teeth as a tennis ball does. If you have an extreme chewer, this ball will last!

3 dogs playing with a Kong tennis ball alternative.

Manufacturer specs

  • The medium ball size is 2.5 inches
  • It weighs 4 ounces 

Does it fit in a medium Chuck It standard size ball launcher? 


What We Like

  • This ball has a dual purpose. It acts as a ball you can throw but also is a dental chew toy. 
  • The raised exterior words on the ball can help clean tatar from your dog’s teeth.
  • It will not get destroyed with extreme chewers.

What We Don’t Like

  • It doesn’t bounce high.
  • Since it has words with a raised surface, the ball will bounce erratically. You might not get a straight bounce. 
  • Not recommended if you have a low fence in your yard; because of the erratic bounce, it might end up over the wall one too many times.
  • Heavyweight, if you are looking for a light ball, this is not it.
  • The ball does not float.

Keep in mind that all of the things we listed under the “don’t like” section can be considered good features. It just depends on what features you are after.

Excellent Ball for Dog That Loves to Chew


West Paw Zogoflex Jive Ball Dog Chew Toy – Bouncing Toys for Dogs, Fetch, Catch, & Chewing.

WEST PAW Zogoflex Jive Ball Dog Chew Toy – Bouncing Toys for Dogs, Fetch, Catch, Chewing, Play – Floatable, Recyclable Balls – Latex-Free, Non-Toxic, Dishwasher Safe Dog Toy, Small 2.5", Tangerine
  • DURABLE DOG CHEW TOYS: More durable than a tennis ball, the West Paw Zogoflex Ball Dog Chew Toy is perfect for fetch and features a unique shape for an engaging, erratic bounce.
  • SOFT, BOUNCY DOG BALLS FOR INDOOR/OUTDOOR PLAY: Light enough for kids or adults to throw or roll, this floatable dog ball features a high bounce for your furry friend to run, fetch and chase in all terrains.
  • DOG BALL TOYS FOR WATER PLAY: Keep your friendly Fido entertained in the pool, lake or river with this dog ball chew toy from West Paw that is squishy and floatable, making it the perfect dog water toy.
  • VARIETY OF SIZES FOR DOGS OF ALL LIFE STAGES: Cater to big dogs or small dogs with the various sizes of this dog ball chew toy for fetch, available in XS, S and L. Size small fits in standard dog ball thrower.
  • DISHWASHER SAFE DOG TOYS: Easily clean this dog ball chew toy by adding it to the top rack of your dishwasher. This recyclable dog ball toy is Made in USA, FDA-Compliant, latex-free and comes with a manufacturer Love It Guarantee against damage.

Be aware that this is a hard and heavy ball, very much the opposite of the lightweight Chuck-It balls. If you like to throw a ball for your dog out in a field, this one is a winner! It will change directions after it makes the first bounce. We love how strong this tennis ball alternative is! 

In the video below you can actually hear the ball hit the ground with a thump. This should tell you how hard this ball is!

Manufacturer specs

  • Medium weighs .3 lbs
  • Latex-free
  • Non-toxic
  • BPA free
  • Made in the USA

Does it fit in a medium Chuck It standard size ball launcher? ,


What We Like

  • This amazing tennis ball alternative floats!
  • Bounces very high
  • Made in the USA
  • BPA free
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Excellent for a chewer; this ball will stay intact.

What We Don’t Like

  • If you want a ball that bounces in a straight line, this is not the ball.
  • The Zogoflex is a very hardball, so probably not suitable for small dogs.
  • Not suitable for someone with a bad arm. You might throw your arm out playing fetch with this tennis ball alternative.

What Is A Tennis Ball Alternative for Dogs And Why You Need One

A tennis ball alternative is a ball similar to a tennis ball without the adverse effects on your dog’s teeth. A hard rubber ball or a proprietary material like the Zogoflex makes a safer tennis ball that is not bad for a dog’s teeth. 

There have been traces of lead found in tennis balls. Why take the chance of harming your dog’s teeth and exposing them to lead? Use one of the safer tennis ball alternatives above. 

If your dog tends to peel a tennis ball and eat the fuzz, do not let them have tennis balls. A tennis ball is an unregulated ball that can have detrimental effects on your pup if they play with one every day. 

The yellow fuzz on a tennis ball is very bad for a dog’s teeth. The fuzzy yellow tennis ball often accumulates dirt and sand.  The dirty fuzz then acts like sandpaper wearing down your dog’s teeth. Your dog’s teeth can become very blunt, which will cause your dog to be in pain while chewing because of the inner tooth pulp becoming exposed.

The Different Types of Tennis Ball Alternatives

  • Solid Hard rubber balls
  • Zogoflex balls
  • High bounce rubber balls

 6 Benefits Of Using A Tennis Ball Alternative For Dogs

  • It’s better for your dog’s teeth and doesn’t act like sandpaper blunting each tooth of your dog.
Dog teeth that have been blunted by playing with tennis balls.
  • Balls designed for dogs to play with are regulated and made with safe rubber products, not unregulated toxins like tennis balls.
  • Your dog won’t be able to de-fuzz the ball because most tennis ball alternatives are solid rubber balls.
  • There won’t be pieces of rubber and fuzz for your dog to ingest.
  • A tennis ball alternative can be glow-in-the-dark, making an evening game of fetch easier for both the dog and the thrower.
  • A solid rubber ball does not get the awful smell that a tennis ball covered in dog slobber gets.

Just like in the video above listen to the thump this solid rubber tennis ball alternative makes when it hits the ground. It is a hard and heavy ball, that is best for a tough dog!