Category Archives for Dog Toys

Best Dog Treat Ball (2021 Buyers Guide)

Best Dog Treat Balls Australia -
The Interactive Options

Our #1 Pick

The Best Value for Money

Chew King Fetch Balls

  • Elastic but durable
  • Made with natural rubber
  • Features a safety air vent
  • Available in 3 sizes

For some canines, the ball is the centre of their world, the greatest toy known to canine kind.

What could possibly be better than a ball to fetch? Only a ball stuffed with treats! 

Using a dog treat ball is just a great way to keep your dog stimulated, and these balls are exactly what we are going to talk about today.


How to Choose the Right Dog Treat Ball

Games that involve treats, no matter if in the form of a ball or another puzzle, have many benefits for dogs. First of all, solving the challenge requires the dog to use the sense of smell, sight, as well as spatial orientation, which provides the mental stimulation every dog needs [1]. In addition, these toys can be a great way to calm dogs who seem always to be in search of food and gobble down everything too fast [2].

A dog treat ball is well, any ball that you can stuff with treats. But what makes some balls better than others? Here is what to think about:

Material

When it comes to dog toys, the quality of the material they are made of is always the most important factor. You always want to make sure that the things your dog chews on are safe to use - and not everything is.

When it comes to treat balls, they need to be tough. After all, the point of the game is to get the dog to try and reach the treats. Inevitably, this will involve some chewing attempts and you want the ball to be able to withstand that [3]. Using a ball that is too soft would make it easy for the canines to chew it apart and the small bits can be a choking hazard.

So what kind of material should you look for when it comes to treat balls? In most cases, rubber is the safest option and preferably natural rubber. Rubber simply has the perfect texture for a toy that can be thrown around and lightly chewed on. It’s fairly elastic, so the surface isn’t too hard, but at the same time doesn’t break apart easily.

Safety

With any kind of toy (or object, for that matter) that goes inside your dog’s mouth, it’s important to pay attention to the safety of materials used. Unfortunately, the regulations regarding dog toy safety in Australia are very lax [4], and the regulation of the industry is generally neglected pretty much everywhere in the world.

This leaves you and your common sense as the only thing standing between your dog and toxic or otherwise harmful toys. Toys made of various forms of plastic or vinyl, for example, can contain various toxic additives [5]. One of the most ubiquitous substances is Bisphenol-A or BPA. While there are differing opinions on the level of toxicity of BPA for dogs, newer studies do show that higher levels of BPA do have an impact on the dog’s microbiome [6], and that certainly doesn’t sound like good news.

The best course of action? Stick with trusted manufacturers and toys made of familiar materials - such as natural rubber. If the toy claims on the package to be BPA-free, that’s a good sign, but not definitive proof about its safety.

Size

When it comes to buying balls for dogs, choosing the right size is extremely important, so make sure to check that before buying a ball online. If a ball is way too small, for example, your dog might swallow it accidentally and you certainly do not want that. Balls that are too large, on the other hand, could appear interesting to smaller dogs. Unfortunately, there is no certain way to know which size is perfect for your dog. One just needs to make a guess and learn from experience.

Treats and Cleaning

Finally, we come to the interesting part - the treats hiding function. Most treat balls will have a single hole that goes through the middle of the ball. These tend to work quite well, although you might need to experiment a bit to find treats that are the perfect size to hide inside without having them fall out immediately.

Some balls are designed to create an extra challenge, though. A popular example are the balls with rubber teeth on the sides, where you can hide the treats all over the surface of the ball as well as in the centre. For dogs that need a boredom reliever, this extra challenge can be very welcome.


Best Treat Ball for Dogs 2021: Our Top Picks

#1: Best Overall: Chew King Fetch Balls

What sets this product apart from the rest?

  • Elastic but durable
  • Made with natural rubber
  • Features a safety air vent
  • Available in 3 sizes

The Chew King Fetch Balls are among the most popular dog toys on Amazon, so there must be some reason behind their popularity. Well, there is not that much to say about it: these balls are simply very well made.

Made with only natural rubber, these balls are elastic and bouncy, but still very durable. There is a hole that goes right through the middle of the ball that you can stuff with treats. There are openings on both sides, which is also a good thing. When there is only one opening on the ball, there is a possibility of a dog’s tongue getting stuck by creating a vacuum seal while trying to get hold of the treat. When there is an opening on the other side, like on the Chew King balls, something like this can’t happen.

No matter if you decide to add treats or not, these balls are also great for playing fetch. If the ball is left empty the holes will produce a whistling sound while flying through the air which some dogs find super entertaining.

Additionally, these balls are available in 3 different sizes. Getting the ball in the right size can be very important for keeping your dog interested in their new toy, so that’s definitely a plus. 

Verified Review - 13/10/2021
Dogs Favorite Chew Toy
"I have a golden retriever and a golden doodle who both LOVE to chew up and rip tennis balls into a million pieces! These are the most durable toys I have found for them. They both love them! Great for fetch and for chewing. The ball is a little heavy but still have a fun bounce! Love that it comes in a pack of 2 as well!"

Pros

Cons

  • Elastic but durable
  • Not indestructible
  • Made with natural rubber
  • List Element
  • Features a safety air vent
Cell
  • Available in 3 sizes
Cell

  • Bouncy
  • Durable
  • Holes on 2 sides
  • Available in 3 different sizes

The Kazoo Rubber Treat Ball is another classic. What is there to say about it? It’s a high-quality rubber ball with space inside for hiding treats.

The ball is made of rubber, as the name suggests, which is somewhat soft and therefore gentle on the dog’s teeth and gums while also being elastic which allows it to resist chewing attacks for quite a long time.

The ball is available in 3 different sizes so there is a good fit for most dogs. Choosing the right size is important since a ball that’s too small can pose a choking hazard. These balls come in bright colours too so it’s easier to find them if your pooch decides to tuck the ball away in some weird corner of your garden.

Some pet parents have found that their canine companions tend to empty this ball too easily, after which the toy stops being interesting. However, there are ways to make the game more difficult, like filling the opening with something sticky, like peanut butter.

Verified Review - 4/01/2019
Clever and safe treat ball
"We bought this Rubber Treat ball about a month ago. Molly loves it! She is a border collie cross and loves stimulation. She can roll the ball to get the treats out, not particularly challenging for our girl, but after she can chew on it safely (supervised of course) and she tosses it and plays with it as well."

Pros

Cons

  • Bouncy
  • Some dogs find it easy to empty the ball
  • Durable
  • List Element
  • Holes on 2 sides
Cell
  • Available in 3 different sizes
Cell

#3: Best Dog Treat Ball With Teeth: Zenify Dog Treat Puzzle

  • Non-toxic
  • Helps with oral hygiene
  • Long-lasting challenge
  • Can be used for playing fetch

For some dogs, regular treat balls can provide endless fun, but others figure them out all too quickly. They get the treats out in no time and then they get bored with the ball and leave it aside.

The solution? A ball that will provide a bit more of a challenge. The Zenify Dog Treat Puzzle Ball has a hole through the middle just like most treat balls out there. However, that’s not the only spot where you can hide treats.

The Zenify ball has creases down the sides all around the ball that are closed with rubber teeth. You simply need to take your dog’s favourite treats (it works better if they are smaller in size) and stick lots of them inside these crevices. It’s almost impossible for a dog to get all those treats out of the ball quickly so the ball will keep any canine entertained for quite some time. That makes the Zenify ball the perfect choice for keeping your dog entertained when you just don’t have time to play and they want it so much.

Verified Review - 16/08/2021
The small size is VERY small
"We have a puppy and thought a small size would be perfect - we just didn't realise how small it would be. I would recommend buying the bigger size so it lasts longer while your puppy grows. We normally just put kibble in it and he easily gets it out so not a lasting entertaining toy, but it works."

Pros

Cons

  • Non-toxic
  • Power-chewers will tear them apart
  • Helps with oral hygiene
  • List Element
  • Long-lasting challenge
Cell
  • Can be used for playing fetch
Cell

#4: Cutest Treat Ball: Planet Dog Orbee Tuff Raspberry

  • Gentle and fun texture
  • Certified BPA-free
  • Easy to rinse out
  • Good value for money
  • Great for playing fetch

The Orbee Tuff Raspberry puts a cute twist on the old treat ball game. The ‘ball’ is actually in the shape of a raspberry. The raspberry form is not only cute to the eyes, though. The knobby texture makes it especially fun for dogs to gnaw on.

The raspberry has openings on two sides (which is important for safety) and ample space inside for you to hide the treats. The opening on one side is quite large, but the shape of the treat makes the task of getting the treats out extra challenging.

The ball is fairly soft but still durable. It is approximately the size of a golf ball, which makes it perfect for playing fetch. Keep in mind that this size is perfect for small to medium dogs, but it might be too small for larger canines. If your pooch is on the larger side, make sure to check out the other fruit shapes from the Planet Dog Orbee Tuff collection which come in different sizes.

Another thing we loved about the raspberry is that it’s bright pink in colour which makes it always easy to find.

Verified Review - 4/07/2021
Great toy, just a bit small
"Since Planet Dog stopped making the lil pup balls I’ve been trying to find something that gives her the fun of fetch and soothing of chewing. She has OCD and anxiety and these balls have been perfect. I wish they would start making them again. Anyway, I thought I’d give this a try and it’s great for play and a bit of a chew but it’s just a bit too small and always pops out of her mouth (she is an Am Staff x). So if you’re looking for a ball that ticks all the boxes of pooch happiness then look no further. Added bonus: no dog breath."

Pros

Cons

  • Gentle and fun texture
  • Not suitable for large dogs
  • Certified BPA-free
  • Not indestructible
  • Easy to rinse out
Cell
  • Good value for money
Cell
  • Great for playing fetch
Cell

#5: Indestructible Treat Toy: Kong Extreme Dog Toy

  • Stands up to power chewers
  • High-quality rubber
  • Perfect for stuffing with treats
  • Dishwasher-safe

This final pick is not really a ball, but it does perform all of the same functions! This weirdly shaped rubber toy is not only great for playing fetch, but it’s also perfect for stuffing with treats.

Kong is among the most well-known names in the world of dog toys, and there are good reasons behind that. They take great care when creating their rubber toys to achieve the right texture by using rubber with different densities. Their toys are available in softer and tougher versions, and this one is the most indestructible of all.

Related: What To Put In A Kong.

While still elastic and bouncy (which makes playing fetch more fun), this toy is also very difficult to chew apart. Keep in mind that rubber that’s so strong needs to be heavy too. As a result, this toy weighs almost 400 grams. The weight is usually not a problem for the power chewers, though, and that's who the Extreme Kong was made for.

When it comes to treats, the elongated shape of this toy makes the challenge extra interesting. And when the game is over, you can simply throw your Kong into the dishwasher.

Verified Review - 4/01/2021
Most durable chew toy I can find for my dogs
"My dogs go through 4-6 per year but it's still the most terrible thing I can find for them to chew on. But only the extreme because they'll eat the red one in a day."

Pros

Cons

  • Stands up to power chewers
  • Quite heavy
  • High-quality rubber
  • List Element
  • Perfect for stuffing with treats
Cell
  • Dishwasher-safe
Cell

Final Verdict

What is the best dog treat ball? If you are looking for the classic treat ball, the Chew King Fetch Balls are definitely our favourite. They are simple but well-made and come in different sizes so there is something available for every dog.

 If there are some extra features you want your treat toy to have, then have a look through the rest of the selections on our list. The Zenify Dog Treat Puzzle is a great choice if you are looking to tuck in more treats, and the Kong Extreme is perfect for power chewers.

FAQ

What can I put in my dog’s treat ball?

You have a lot of freedom when it comes to what you stuff the treat ball with. You can put anything, from regular kibble to different kinds of treats to various creamy foods. The trick is making the food attainable, but not too easy to get. To keep the game interesting, you might as well change the stuffing from time to time. For an extra challenge, you can stuff the treat ball with peanut butter, greek yoghurt, or something similar and then freeze it.

Are rubber balls safe for dogs?

Yes, rubber is generally considered one of the safer materials for dog balls (compared to, for example, tennis balls, which can be dangerous if chewed apart). While rubber is generally safe, it’s still important to pay attention to your dog while they are playing.

What size ball should I get for my dog?

This one can be a bit difficult to figure out when first buying balls for your dog, but you’ll easily figure it out over time. A good ball should be small enough to fit into the dog’s mouth - if they can’t pick it up, that kind of beats the point. On the other hand, you don’t want the ball to be so small that a dog can swallow it.

References

  1. Helmer, Jodi. “Brain Games: Mental Stimulation Keeps Dogs’ Minds Sharp”. FETCH by WebMD. Retrieved October 13, 2021. https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/features/mental-stimulation-sharpens-dogs-minds
  2. Coates, Jennifer. August 14, 2015. “How to Get Dogs to Eat Slower”. PetMD. Retrieved October 13, 2021. https://www.petmd.com/blogs/nutritionnuggets/dr-coates/2015/august/how-get-dogs-eat-slower-33018
  3. PetMD Editorial. December 17, 2013. “5 Must-Read Tips Before Buying a Food-Dispensing Dog Toy”. PetMD. Retrieved October 12, 2021.
    https://www.petmd.com/dog/centers/nutrition/slideshows/tips-before-buying-food-dispensing-dog-toy#slide-1
  4. RSPCA Australia. February 20, 2019. “Making playtime a good time for you and your pet”. Retrieved October 13, 2021. https://www.rspca.org.au/blog/2019/making-playtime-good-time-you-and-your-pet
  5. Weinstein, Susan. March 14, 2001. “The Dangers of Vinyl Dog Toys”. Whole Dog Journal. Retrieved October 13, 2021. https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/care/dog-toys/the-dangers-of-vinyl-dog-toys/
  6. Koestel, Zoe L., et al. "Bisphenol A (BPA) in the serum of pet dogs following short-term consumption of canned dog food and potential health consequences of exposure to BPA." Science of the Total Environment 579 (2017): 1804-1814.

Best Dog Frisbee (2021 Buyers Guide)

The Best Dog Frisbee In Australia - The Overview

Our #1 Pick

The Best Value for Money

Aussie Dog Fly It Blue

  • Non-toxic and safe to use
  • Soft but fairly durable
  • Perfect for small and medium dogs
  • Floats on water

Playing fetch is an important part of life for many dogs.

For some canines, though, chasing the ball can become boring quickly. They are simply too fast, and the ball just doesn’t fly far enough. What to do in that case? Get a dog frisbee!

In all seriousness, frisbees are a great way to bring the game of fetch to the next level and are one of the best dog toys you can get.

Today’s guide will help you find the best flying disc for your dog available in Australia.


How to Choose the Best Frisbee for Dogs

What makes one frisbee better than the other? Aren’t they all the same? Well, if you look at the options there are online, you’ll quickly realise there are plenty of different options. Here is what to consider in order to make the right choice:

Soft or Hard Frisbee?

Many toy manufacturers differentiate between ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ disks for dogs. So, which one is right for your dog?

Well, let’s get one thing out of the way first: a frisbee that’s made for dogs should never be completely hard. If the material the frisbee is made of is too rigid, it will also be brittle. It happens often those dogs end up chewing on their frisbee’s and breaking off a part or two. When the material is too rigid, the broken pieces will create sharp edges - and that’s what we don’t want for our dogs. Sharp plastic edges can lead to uncomfortable injuries.

This is the reason why most frisbees made for humans are not the best choice for dogs. A disc for dogs needs to be soft enough not to break apart like that.

You still have the choice between softer and harder frisbees. Frisbees that are softer are gentler to the dog’s teeth and gums, which is why they are usually recommended for puppies and sensitive dogs. At the same time, soft frisbees are floppier which means it’s more difficult to throw them very far.

Frisbees that are soft are also much easier to chew apart. Therefore, harder frisbees are sometimes recommended for power-chewers who love to tear apart their toys. Keep in mind that a frisbee is not a chewing toy in any case - it should only be used for playing fetch. Still, a frisbee that’s harder in texture might last longer if you have a chewer on your hands.

Size, Shape and Aerodynamics

If you start looking at dog frisbees, you’ll notice that they come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Some are made from rubber, some from rope, and some from fabric. Some don’t even look like a frisbee that much.

What kind works best? Well, this is something you can only learn by trial and error. Some flying discs will be easier to throw, some will be easier for the dog to catch, and these two features don’t always coincide.

However, there seems to always be a trade-off there. Frisbees that are more lightweight and have a larger surface area will fly better, but they will also be easy to destroy. Heavier frisbees can last a long time (and sometimes can even be used to play tug of war with your doggo), but they are quite clumsy when it comes to throwing.

In the end, you won’t really know what you or your canine companion prefer before you try out a couple of frisbees.

Safety Concerns

One thing to think about when shopping for dog frisbees is how safe the material is. In Australia (as in most other parts of the world), regulatory oversight regarding pet toys is pretty much non-existent (1). This means it’s up to the owner to decide whether the toy is good enough for their pet.

As we mentioned above, when it comes to frisbees, it’s best to avoid material that is too brittle as the sharp edges could cause injury to a dog’s mouth.

There is another major safety concern when it comes to dog toys that is caused by the lack of regulatory oversight: the chemicals that are hidden in those toys. Independent research, like the study conducted by Michigan-based Ecology Center in 2009, often leads to discovering concerning levels of unreported chemicals in dog toys. The study in question discovered detectable levels of lead in 48% of tennis balls that were tested (2). 

“Pets, like children, have higher exposure to chemical hazards, and our data show that pet products are far more likely to have hazardous chemicals than children’s toys.” - Jeff Gearhart, Ecology Center for Bark

Another problematic material for dog toys is vinyl. Vinyl can contain a variety of additives that are known to be detrimental to human and dog health like lead, Bisphenol-A, or phthalates (3). Because of these risks, frisbees made with vinyl are best avoided.

Other than that, how do you know which toys are safe? While it’s very hard to be certain, your best bet is to buy from trusted manufacturers or at least those that seem to describe what their toys are made of with honesty.


Best Dog Frisbee Australia 2021: Our Top Picks

Ready to dive into the world of flying discs for dogs? Here we go!

#1: Best Overall: Aussie Dog Fly It Blue

What sets this product apart from the rest?

  • Non-toxic and safe to use
  • Soft but fairly durable
  • Perfect for small and medium dogs
  • Floats on water

Aussie Dog is an Australian (obviously) focused on making high quality toys for dogs. Their toys are tough, durable, and designed to fit a dog’s needs. You won’t find cute stuffed animals or sparkly toys in the Aussie Dog line, and that’s because that’s not what dogs want or care about. Instead, the Aussie Dog toys are designed to make playtime fun and safe for our canine companions.

The Aussie Dog Fly It Blue is basically a soft rubber frisbee. The rubber is soft which is why we find this frisbee to be perfect for most dogs. The problem with frisbees made of hard and brittle materials is that they can break and create sharp edges that can hurt your dog. With the Aussie Dog Fly It, this will never happen. It is made of rubber that is non-toxic and completely safe for dogs.

This disc measures 24 centimetres in diameter which makes it perfect for all small and medium dogs. The disc has a pointed part in the middle that always keeps the sides lifted a bit off the ground so the dog can easily pick the toy up. Finally, the Fly It is also quite lightweight which allows it to float on water. - perfect for beach days!

Overall, this is a great, high-quality toy and we recommend it as the first frisbee for your dog (or even puppy). The only case where we don’t recommend getting the Fly It Blue from Aussie Dog is if you have a power chewer on your hands. In that case, you might want to choose some of the options with a tougher texture. 

Pros

Cons

  • Non-toxic and safe to use
  • Can’t withstand the attacks of power-chewers
  • Soft but fairly durable
  • Does not fly very far
  • Perfect for small and medium dogs
Cell
  • Floats on water
Cell

  • 4 training modes
  • 4 training modes
  • 4 training modes
  • 4 training modes
  • 4 training modes

The Chuckit! Paraflight Flyer Dog Frisbee is one of those toys that are exceptionally simple but also simply genius. This frisbee-like toy consists of polyester fabric stretched over a soft rubber hoop.

The fabric used to make this frisbee and the rubber hoop are very lightweight (127 grams total) thus allowing the frisbee to fly very far, even if you are not the most skilled thrower. This offers enough entertainment even for hyperactive dogs that find the regular game of fetch simply too easy. In addition, the rubber hoop that forms the edge of this toy also makes it easier for dogs to pick Chuckit! Paraflight up from the ground.

It’s probably obvious from the description above that this lightweight fetch toy also floats on water. There is another cool feature, though: this frisbee will also glow in the dark. It’s truly a toy for all situations.

The only downside of the Chuckit! Paraflight is that it will always get bitten apart sooner or later due to the lightweight fabric construction. However, since making a frisbee that is both aerodynamic and indestructible seems to be pretty much impossible, it might be best to simply accept this flaw and get a couple of Chuckit!-s at once.

Verified Review - 23/08/2021
Fairly Durable
"My dog loves this. We play for 15 minutes probably 3 + times a day. That’s probably heavier use than most. It lasts for quite a while, but eventually the seams break because it is caught differently every time and a canine is bound to get caught. But I’d say it’s well worth buying and replacing occasionally."

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to throw far
  • Easy to destroy
  • Aerodynamic
  • List Element
  • Floats on water
Cell
  • Soft rubber edge for easier catching
Cell
  • Glows in the dark
Cell

#3: Budget Pick: Mob 9 Flying Ring 

  • Affordable
  • Easy to throw and catch
  • Lightweight
  • Flexible

Your dog keeps destroying your frisbees and fetch toys? How about a change of strategy - instead of searching for an indestructible toy (determined dogs can destroy almost anything) - simply get lots of cheap ones.

In all seriousness, this affordable flying ring might not have been made specifically for dogs, but it’s a great toy for dogs and children alike. Due to the streamlined design, this ring is easy to throw and easy for dogs to catch.

This flying ring might not be the fanciest toy in the world, but it will surely do the job of keeping a dog entertained.

Pros

Cons

  • Affordable
  • Not very durable
  • Easy to throw and catch
  • List Element
  • Lightweight
Cell
  • Flexible
Cell

#4: Best Soft Dog Frisbee: Kong Classic Flyer Large

  • Made with durable rubber
  • Soft enough to be safe for the teeth and gums
  • Tough enough to last a long time
  • You can fold it in half

Kong is another company that made a name for themselves for producing toys that are almost indestructible. While they might be better known for their chewing toys, the Kong Classic Flyer is another great product from this company.

This flying disc is made from rubber that’s completely safe for dogs. The texture of the rubber is optimized for the canine bite - it’s soft but still strong enough to withstand the chewing attacks. This frisbee is a bit peculiar. Perhaps it shouldn’t even be called a frisbee. That’s because it’s quite heavy and floppy due to the nature of the rubber.

What this means is that it will be a bit difficult to throw the Flyer very far - but it’s doable once you get used to it. However, dogs tend to love carrying the floppy disc and waving around with it. As a plus, the rubber gives this disc a bit of a bouncing ability, so it will bounce off the ground a little bit, ma