Best Exercise Equipment for Dogs: Four-Legged Fitness



Kelsey Leicht

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Canine Exercise Equipment

We put ourselves through all sorts of torture — er, I mean exercise — for the sake of fitness, but you may be forgetting about something: Your pooch needs to stay fit too! Dogs need regular exercise and activity to maintain optimal health.

Exercise requirements will vary as your pup ages, but keeping your dog moving is vital for lifelong well-being.

You can encourage four-legged fitness in a variety of ways, as there are dozens of options that go beyond a daily walk, keep your pupper guessing, and provide plenty of fun in the process.  

Read on to learn more about canine exercise equipment and check out 19 different products we recommend. But — if you’re in a hurry — just check out our three favorites below!

Best Dog Exercise Equipment: Quick Picks

  • Best Overall Exercise Tool: The dogPACER LF 3.1 Dog Pacer Treadmill — It’s certainly not cheap, but the dogPACER is a treadmill designed to specifically help canines get some extra exercise. It comes with built-in dog-safety features and comes with a super-quiet motor that won’t spook your pooch.
  • Best for Solo Play: VARRAM Pet Fitness Robot — If you need to keep your dog moving while you’re busy doing other things, this treat-dispensing, phone-controllable device can keep your canine busy for up to four hours at a time.
  • Best Affordable Tool for Extra Exercise: Starmark Treat Dispensing Chew Ball — You don’t always need expensive or elaborate tools to get your dog moving, and the Starmark Chew Ball is a great example. Just fill it with treats and watch your dog wrestle, chew, and chase it around to get the tasty morsels inside.
Exercise toys for dogs

The Importance of Exercise for Dogs

Everyday exercise stimulates more than just your pup’s muscles and joints. It is vital in keeping your dog looking and feeling great — physically and mentally. 

Canine Exercise Helps Address Behavior Problems

Pent-up energy and mischief go hand-in-hand. From shredded throw pillows to nuisance barking, your dog can get into all sorts of trouble when he lacks daily exercise.

As the old adage goes: A tired dog is a good dog. If your four-footer tends to get into trouble, try incorporating more exercise into his routine.

Exercise Helps maintain Good Body Weight/Condition

As we all know, a chunky monkey of a pup can experience a multitude of health problems, including arthritis and diabetes.


While a switch to a weight loss dog food formula can help, you still need to encourage your dog to exercise to maintain optimal movement and circulation.

Of course, this doesn’t mean taking your couch potato Cocker Spaniel on a marathon run suddenly one day. Start slow and work up to an exercise routine that works for you and your dog.

Exercise Helps Support Your Dog’s Mental Health  

Laying around all day would make anyone a little mopey, right? Your dog is no different. Simply put, your canine needs to keep his mind engaged to avoid the doggo blues.

Regular exercise not only helps him burn calories, but it keeps his brain buzzing too. For additional brain training, try out a puzzle toy to help flex his brain and his brawn. 

Do You Need Exercise Equipment for Your Dog?

In some cases, you may be able to get your dog sufficient exercise by simply running around at the park with him, going on very long walks (while incorporating some walking games), or taking your pooch to swim.

And none of these activities require anything more than minimal equipment.

exercise equipment for dogs

However, some owners may be limited by time, and others simply may not be able to keep up with the vigorous demands of certain high-energy breeds like huskies, Aussie shepherds, or Malinoises.

Fo these owners, purchasing a bit of equipment may be helpful for ensuring that you get your pup enough exercise.

Some of the reasons exercise equipment may be valuable include:

You Are Elderly or Suffer from Limited Mobility

Sometimes, physical limitations prevent us from doing the things we once used to, like walking our dogs.

It may be a temporary injury or something more long-term, but investing in the proper tools will make it easier to get your pooch some exercise, keep your dog happy, and create a new way to bond.

You Live in a Place with Long Winters or Inclement Weather

I don’t know about you, but walking my pooch in two feet of snow simply isn’t possible. In colder climates, investing in a doggy treadmill or other indoor equipment is a game-changer during the winter months.

Even if you live somewhere with fabulous weather, having a backup is ideal for when heat waves or rainy weather strikes.

De-Icer Safe for Dogs

You Have a Very Busy Schedule

There are only so many hours in a day, and with the demands of work, school, and family piling up, sometimes you run out of time. This often leads us to neglect our dog’s exercise needs.

But by having tools around that your dog can use himself to burn off energy, you’ll be able to keep you and your canine happy. 

Don’t forget: Fitness aside, many types of canine exercise equipment are a blast for your pooch. And that’s always a good thing!

19 Best Pieces of Exercise Equipment for Dogs

Below, we’ve fetched some awesome tools to get dogs of all shapes and sizes moving. There’s something for every pooch, whether you have an all-star athlete or happy house hippo. 

 1. Ricochet Dog Toy 

About: The Ricochet is an interactive game that promotes mental and physical activity in your dog.

Sold as a two-toy set, the Ricochet encourages your dog to bounce from one ball to the other with its series of squeaks and sounds.

PetSafe Ricochet - Electronic Squeaking Dog Toy - 2 Paired Toys Squeak to Keep Dogs Busy - Engaging Puzzle for Bored, Anxious or Energetic Pets, Multicolor, 4.2" x 3.4" (Set of 2), All Breed Sizes
  • Hide and Squeak - The PetSafe Ricochet Electronic Dog Toy features 2 paired toys that will have your...
  • Surprise Sound - The PetSafe Ricochet is perfect for single-dog households; when your dog interacts...
  • Automatic Exercise - Dogs will love to chase the squeak between the toys, and you will love knowing...
  • Mental Stimulation - The moving squeak provides a fun puzzle for your dog, as the sound is never...

Features: The duo of oblong balls emit a series of echoing squeaks back and forth that keeps your pooch guessing as he ricochets between them.

With a range of up to 30 feet, you can allow your dog to ping-pong between the pieces, or up the ante by stashing one out of sight, so your pup can play hide and seek. 

Stuffing-free, the soft rubber coating is gentle enough to mouth without injury but durable enough to provide hours of fun supervised play.

The duo automatically shuts off after sixty minutes of inactivity to preserve battery life (the toy requires six AAAs, which are not included).

Want to read more? Check out our full review of the Ricochet Dog Toy!


Squeak lovers rejoice — this is the toy for you! The constant guessing game keeps pups engaged, while the rubber material allows for mess-free fun. It’s the perfect toy set for entertaining high-energy dogs inside on rainy days, and it is small enough to store anywhere. 


Some pooches may not like the rubberized material of this toy, and the size of the set is too large for smaller dogs. A few reviewers also noted that their pooch lost interest quickly or was frightened by the sounds, which is a bummer. If you or your dog aren’t big on squeaks, this isn’t the toy to buy.

2. GOPET Treadwheel 

About: The GOPET Treadwheel is a fun and functional exercise machine that lets your dog run at his own pace in a pup-sized “hamster” wheel.

This pup-powered device doesn’t need electricity, making it portable and easy to set up.

GoPet Treadwheel for Small Dogs
  • For Dogs up to 25 pounds. Running Area: 40 D X12 W. Easy to clean. GoPet TreadWheels give your...
  • Training Door Included. Running Mat for added comfort. Many dogs will use the treadwheel to...
  • off-leash exercise so your dog can run at his ownnatural pace.
  • Can be used anytime - even if your dog is home alone. Secure and Stable.

Features: This free-standing piece of equipment lets your dog run on the wild side, literally, within an enclosed wheel.

There’s a door included that allows your pup to use it as he pleases, and the comfort mat base protects his paws while he chases his dreams in the wheel.

This is a versatile piece of equipment that can be used for indoor dog exercise or outdoors, and the smaller version can also be used by fitness-freak felines, too.

Options: The GOPET Treadwheel is available in a small/toy option for dogs up to 25 pounds and a medium/large version for dogs up to 150 pounds.


If you don’t have a fenced-in yard or have a dog that’s prone to zoomies, this treadwheel is excellent for burning off excess energy. It’s a solid pick for high-energy dogs, as they can keep jogging to their heart’s content without running up your electric bill or dragging you along behind them.


There’s no way around it: Some dogs may be too scared to use this treadwheel. This device is also pretty expensive, and the size can be an issue in smaller homes.

3. dogPACER LF 3.1 Dog Pacer Treadmill

About: The dogPACER LF 3.1 Dog Treadmill is a convenient way to raise your dog’s step count and alleviate boredom.

Built like a traditional human treadmill, your dog just has to hop aboard and run or walk to his heart’s content.

dogPACER 91641 LF 3.1 Full Size Dog Pacer Treadmill, Black and Red
  • SPECIFICATIONS - Dimensions folded: L-42.28" W-22" H-8.5" | Dimensions open: L-76.77" W-27.16"...
  • HEALTHY WEIGHT – A consistent regiment of exercise and diet will lead to a healthier, happier and...
  • TIME – Because of busy and hectic schedules, we often find it a challenge to walk our dogs after a...
  • SAFETY – No worries about walking your dog at dawn or late at night or on a busy street....

Features: This heavy-duty machine can handle dogs up to 180 pounds, which covers the vast majority of breeds.

Perfect for conditioning athletic dogs or exercising during inclement weather, the Dog Pacer treadmill can be used for a leisurely stroll or a quick sprint to burn off extra energy.

This device features a pretty compact design for a dog treadmill, so it should fit in most homes.

For safety’s sake, it comes with side rails to keep your pup from falling off. The motor is also made with pups in mind and runs quietly to avoid scaring your fur friend.


Reviews praise the pre-set workout routines that take the guesswork out of conditioning your pooch. The product’s ease of use and quality construction also won over pawrents, with the quiet operation pleasing even the most nervous of pups.


Price is cause for concern for some owners, and the constant motion may not be the best option for dogs with arthritis or other joint problems. Some customers did experience mechanical and tread issues out of the box, though this appears to be a rarity. 

4. PAW5: Wooly Snuffle Mat

About: PAW5’s Wooly Snuffle Mat encourages your pup to use his brain and his nose to sniff out treats hidden within the textured mat.

A clever option for voracious eaters, it’s also a fun way to slow down chow time and force your dog to work for his meal

Paw 5 Dog Snuffle Mat for All-Sized Dogs 11"x17" - Interactive Dog Toys - Premium Feeding Mat for Slow Eating & Smell Training - Reduces Boredom & Anxiety - Dog Brain Stimulating Toys
  • Happy Dog Promise: Our premium snuffle mat for dogs will keep your puppy calm & occupied, fulfilling...
  • Improves Metal Health: Ideal for all-sized dogs, Paw 5 dog enrichment toys make mealtimes fun &...
  • Pet Safe 100% - 7 years of R&D: Paw 5 is Handmade from soft organic cotton fibers. Our high-quality,...
  • Stops Destructive Behavior: Keep your dog occupied & entertained for hours when left alone, by...

Features: The Wooly’s denim-like bristles are made with non-toxic materials and are designed to mimic natural canine foraging habits.

Your pup will have to work through them to find the goods, stimulating his mind all the while.

The snuffle mat is machine-washable, allowing you to keep it fresh and clean between uses. Its size and design are suitable for breeds of all sizes.


Owners were impressed with how busy this mat keeps pups. Ease of cleanup is another win among reviews. It’s especially beneficial for older dogs who may not get as much of a mental workout as they used to.


This is not a toy for shredders or chewers, as many will simply choose to shake or destroy the mat, defeating its purpose. While mental games can wear out your dog, you’ll likely need some more physical activity too.

5. Starmark Treat Dispensing Chew Ball 

About: The Starmark Chew Ball adds incentive to a traditional game of chase by gifting your pooch with a tasty reward as he pushes and plays. It’s hard for your pooch to get bored with treats to be had!

Treat Dispensing Chew Ball, Medium
  • Extremely durable
  • Can be filled with treats or dog food
  • Bounces and floats
  • Dishwasher safe

Features: Using the Starmark Treat Ball is a breeze, as you only have to fill it up with your pup’s kibble or a few treats and let the fun begin. It stores a decent amount of treats, keeping your pooch engaged for hours of play. 

This treat-dispensing ball is made with durable rubberized material bounces and floats. It’s also completely dishwasher safe, making it easy to keep clean.

Options: Available in medium and large, this treat-dispensing ball works best for medium-sized breeds and larger pups.

Be sure to check out our review of the Starmark ball (along with a few other awesome treat-dispensing balls) below:


This ball sure packs a bunch of fun in a small package, encouraging your dog to keep thinking (and chewing) to get to the treats inside. Reviews highlight the ball’s design as well, as it requires dogs to invest quite a bit of effort to dislodge them, unlike some similarly styled pieces, which are too easy to keep dogs interested.


Durability was an issue reported by some owners, so if you have a heavy-duty chewer, you may want to keep looking. A few others reported that pups disliked the texture, a common issue with rubberized products.

6. Babble Ball

About: Your pup will certainly think tennis balls are yesterday’s news once he gets to try the Babble Ballan interactive dog toy that stimulates your dog’s curiosity with a variety of alternating flashes and sounds.

Combining physical play with audible and visual rewards, it’s an exciting toy that most dogs will adore. 

Pet Qwerks Blinky Babble Ball - Flashing Interactive Dog Toy - Large
  • Interactive Dog Toy: The Blinky Babble Ball is motion activated, flashes and makes sounds; A great...
  • Keep Them Busy: As your pet breathes on it or walks past it, the bright light starts blinking and...
  • Healthy Outlet: Helps reduce anxiety and prevents boredom by encouraging them to actively play; when...
  • Strong And Durable: Made with high impact ABS construction. From your tiny teacup to your goliath...

Features: The Babble Ball is chock full of playtime options, with 18 different sounds and a motion-activated light to occupy your pooch.

Ranging from whistles to squeaks, there is a sound to pique every pup’s interest.

Made to the last, the Babble Ball can withstand chewing and indoor play, though you should always supervise your pup while in use.

This battery-operated ball comes with batteries that last for up to 15,000 interactions.

Options: There are three sizes to choose from: small, medium, and large. Multi-packs are also available for multi-dog households.


The value of this ball lies in its entertainment, as it engages pups in continuous play. Its durability won over many pupper parents, with its tough plastic finish holding up to paws and chompers.


The various sounds aren’t for everyone, so if you’re seeking something quiet, this isn’t the toy for you. On the same note, some pooches may find the sounds the toy makes frightening. 

7. VARRAM Pet Fitness Robot

About: Peek in on your dog and play even when you’re away with the VARRAM Pet Fitness Robot. This interactive robot moves around and disburses treats, breaking up the monotony of the day for your pooch.

VARRAM Pet Fitness Robot: Interactive Treat Dispenser & Companion for Dogs & Cats, Automated Play & Activity Monitoring
  • STAY INTERACTIVE WITH TREAT REWARDING AND FUN ACTIVITIES: Take care of your pet like pro even when...
  • IMPROVE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH: Physical activities for your pet is essential to keep their mind...
  • Durable Design: Our pet fitness robot is durable and built to last. It is made of poly-carbonate...
  • CONVENIENT AUTO SCHEDULING & EASY TO MANAGE APP: You can simply access our app to schedule and...

Features: You can control the robot from its smartphone app or activate one of the pre-set functions to give your pup a chance to play when you’re busy or away.

You could even schedule treat breaks or play sessions to keep your pup moving throughout the day. 

The VARRAM robot is made for #petlife, with a water-resistant poly-carbonate finish and a protective case that holds up to curious paws or wayward teeth.

The battery life varies by use, and it can run continuously for up to four hours


Reviewers loved that — unlike some similar toys — most pups were unafraid of the VARRAM Fitness Robot, as it is pretty quiet compared to other autonomous dog toys. The ease of use is another winning perk. The nature of this robot is ideal for older dogs who need a little extra motivation to stir during the day.


This isn’t the most affordable product on our list, and some reviewers found the technology was not worth the money as they found it slow or laggy. Durability is also a concern with larger dogs, who seem to have no problem damaging it. 

8. Hyper Pet Doggie Tail

About: The Hyper Pet Doggie Tail is an interactive toy that wiggles, barks, vibrates and more. It’s designed to be too tempting for your pooch to ignore, leading to play sessions that will keep him thinking and moving.

Hyper Pet Doggie Tail & Pal Interactive Plush Dog Toys (Wiggles, Vibrates & Barks – Dog Ball for Stimulating Play) Interactive Dog Toys, Dog Squeaky Toys- Colors May Vary
  • PLUSH SQUEAKY DOG TOY THAT WIGGLES, VIBRATES, & BARKS – Entice your dog to run, chase, play, and...
  • REDUCE ANXIETY AND BOREDOM – With funny sounds and erratic movements, these funny dog toys & plush...
  • TIPS TO ACTIVATE: Pull out tab and give hard shake. If toy does not turn on, feel around for ON/OFF...
  • BATTERY OPERATED PROLONGED PLAY – To change batteries, remove the plastic ball from plush toy...

Features: This multifaceted device stimulates your dog in multiple ways. He will be visibly drawn to its prey-like appearance, while he’s audibly intrigued by the squeaks and barks.

Once retrieved, the interior crinkle material is rewarding, while the toy’s vibration adds another layer of fun.

This battery-operated toy can be turned on and off to prolong play. As your dog plays, he’ll continue to activate a new reaction.

Options: You can get the Hyper Pet in one of two versions: One looks like a puppy’s tail and the other is designed to look like an adorable monster


This is a toy that stimulates your dog’s prey drive by design, yet allows him to scratch this itch it in a squirrel-saving way. Reviewers praised how entertaining and interactive this toy is and loved its battery life.  


Chew champions will make quick work of these plush toys, so you should pick something else if your dog has a stuffed toy cemetery. Owners also found replacing the batteries to be quite difficult.

9. The Classic KONG

About: The Classic KONG Dog Toy is a traditional, treat-holding chew toy that doubles as a bouncy buddy for games of fetch.

This made-in-the-USA dog toy is not only mentally-stimulating, but it satisfies your pup’s instinct to chew, making it an excellent choice for puppies.

KONG 41938 Classic Dog Toy, Large, Red, KONG Classic Large
86,579 Reviews
KONG 41938 Classic Dog Toy, Large, Red, KONG Classic Large
  • Large Dogs (Up to 65 lbs): The KONG Classic red rubber toy is 2.75" by 4"; it helps satisfy dogs'...
  • Fetch and Chew Toy: The KONG Classic's unpredictable bounce makes for exciting games of fetch and...
  • Stuffing: The stuffable KONG Classic is even more enticing when treat filled with bits of kibble,...
  • Vet Recommended: Veterinarians and trainers worldwide recommend the KONG Classic as one of the best...

Features: The Classic KONG Toy is made of chewable yet firm rubber that’s made to withstand your dog’s chompers and prevent your pet from injuring his teeth or gums. Its hollow center is perfect for stuffing with your doggo’s favorite delicacies

The KONG is dishwasher safe, making cleanup effortless. A word of caution, though: because they’re made of rubber, these can scuff walls, so avoid throwing this around the house.

Options: Kong has some of the widest range of sizes and strengths on the market, with six sizes ranging from X-small to XX-large, and four color-coded chew strengths from puppy to extreme. 


KONGs are some of the most versatile dog toys available, as they can be filled with hard treats, such as biscuits, or longer-lasting picks like spray cheese or peanut butter. You can freeze them, too, to provide a warm-weather treat. They can also be very useful in training contexts.


The only real issue with KONGs is that it may be tricky to pick the best chew-strength rating. Pick one that’s not durable enough and your dog will destroy it; pick one that’s too tough and your pup may not enjoy chewing it. The rubber material isn’t a favorite for every dog, either.

10. Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball

About: The PetZone IQ Treat Ball lets the good times roll, literally, as it dispenses treats or kibble as your pup plays.

Rather than just chewing like some designs, your dog actually has to manipulate the ball to get the good stuff, forcing him to think and move on the go.

Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball Dog Treat Ball - 3' Puzzle Treat Dispenser as Interactive Dog Toy, Durable, Slow Feeder, for All Dog Breeds, Toys to Keep The Busy and Enrichment
26,905 Reviews
Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball Dog Treat Ball - 3" Puzzle Treat Dispenser as Interactive Dog Toy, Durable, Slow Feeder, for All Dog Breeds, Toys to Keep The Busy and Enrichment
  • Mentally Stimulating Toys for Dogs: This dog treat toy keeps dogs mentally and physically active...
  • Treat Dispensing Dog Toys: Your furry friend gets smarter as they play with this interactive dog...
  • Easy To Use And Clean: Our dog mental stimulation toys conveniently use your dog's favorite dry...
  • Slower Healthier Feeding: This treat ball for dogs encourages slower active eating and is a great...

Features: Your dog can both see and hear the treats inside, giving him a visual and audio incentive in addition to a tasty treat each time.

As time goes on, he’ll learn better ways to shake out treats, but you can adjust the difficulty level inside to keep him on his toes.

The hard plastic is designed for play, and it disassembles easily for hand washing and drying. As with all toys, you should supervise your pooch during use. 

Options: Available in 3- and 4-inch sizes, this ball is suited for most dog breeds.


Reviewers praised the durability of this ball, as its hard plastic shell handles the bumps and tumbles of pupper playtime. It’s also more challenging than your standard treat dispensing ball and keeps dogs engaged for a healthy portion of time.


Some found the toy to be a bit too noisy for their liking. A handful of reviews also noted an issue with toy breeds getting their jaw stuck in the treat dispensing portion, so you may want to steer clear if you have a tiny pooch.

11. IDOGMATE Ball Launcher 

About: Give your arm a break with the IDOGMATE Ball Launcher, an interactive device that throws your dog’s ball for you!

Designed for big dogs, this ball launcher gets your doggo moving by rocketing balls up to 40 feet.

IDOGMATE Automatic Dog Ball Launcher,Tennis Ball Launchers for Most Sized Dogs who Could Carry 2.5" Balls,Interactive Toys Dogs, Rechargeable,Remote Control
  • Made For BIG DOG -- The big ball launcher is suitable for mid sized and big dogs with 3 pieces...
  • Money saving -- IDOGMATE is powered by AC Adapter or Rechargeable Batteries, Li-ion Battery support...
  • Remote Control -- Adjust speed options by a remote controller or click the machine button...
  • Creative and Programmable SPEED Setting --Programmable RANDOM speed setting; Remote controller with...

Features: The IDOGMATE Launcher is powered by the included rechargeable ion battery or via AC adapter, making it suitable for indoor or outdoor use.

This is a very flexible toy, which your dog can learn to use by himself thanks to the self-loader, or you can trigger it manually with the included remote.

Its plastic design is perfect for spot-cleaning on the go, and its height is suitable for most dogs to load with ease. The machine should only be used with IDOGMATE approved balls to avoid jams.


Owners found the wide hopper to be easy for dogs to learn to load, and its battery life was a hit with most. The noise didn’t seem to bother most dogs, either, which is a common problem among other automatic ball launchers.


Reviews were mixed about the durability of this device, as some experienced power failures rather quickly. Another complaint was the overall design, as brainy pooches were capable of outsmarting it and just snatching the ball before it could be launched.

12. Playball by Couch Potato

About: Couch Potato’s Playball is an automatic ball launcher for small dogs that tosses tennis balls specially-made for petite pooches.

You can either load it yourself or teach your dog how to do so for solo playtime. This keeps the fun going for hours for fetch maniac dogs.

Felix & Fido Playball! Automatic Ball Launcher for Dogs. 3 Throwing Distance Settings, 3 Small Durable Tennis Balls Included, Launches Up to 20 Feet,for Indoor and Outdoor Play.for Small Dogs ONLY
  • EASY TO USE- Our automatic tennis ball launcher for dogs has 3 THROW DISTANCE SETTINGS. Lights on...
  • GREAT FOR EXERCISE! Train your pet to play fetch on its own with the Playball auto ball launcher for...
  • SUITABLE FOR INDOOR AND OUTDOOR USE! Our automatic ball thrower for dogs can run on both an electric...
  • What's in the box? This product contains a tennis ball launcher, power plug, and 3 HIGHLY DURABLE...

Features: This ball launcher comes with three pre-set throwing distances to choose from and is appropriate for indoor and outdoor use.

Since it’s made for smaller dogs, it doesn’t shoot terribly far, though it’s adequate for little legs.

Made of durable plastic, this device allows for stress-free cleanup to keep it slobber-free and looking good. Owners can choose from a wall plug power source indoors or the use of 6 C batteries outdoors


Reviews praise the overall workmanship of this ball launcher as it is quite sturdy compared to similar designs. The launch sound also earned high marks, as it lacks the scary thunk heard with some other launchers.


The biggest drawback is that this ball launcher is only for small dogs. The size of the balls may not be ideal for multi-dog households, either, as they are a choking hazard for larger breeds. A few reviewers found the included balls to be inferior, too.

13. PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher

About: The PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher is a device that repeatedly throws your dog tennis balls, freeing up your hands and time.

Loaded by a top hopper, you can train your dog to drop the balls in himself, leading to an adorable game of independent fetch. 

PetSafe Automatic Tennis Ball Launcher – Interactive Dog Thrower Adjustable Range Motion Sensor Indoor & Outdoor Toy A/C Power or Batteries Fetch Machine for Small to Large Dogs , Gray
  • SAFETY: Multiple sensors keep you and your dog safe; a FRONT MOTION SENSOR protects pets and people...
  • DISTANCE: Launcher throws between 8-30 feet; has 9 distance settings and 6 angle settings; pull out...
  • PAUSE: The Automatic Ball Launcher features a 15 minute rest interval after 15 minutes of play; the...
  • OPTIONS: The PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher can be used both indoors and outside to entertain and...

Features: Equipped with a timer to prevent your dog from playing to exhaustion, this is a handy piece of equipment for occupying your pup.

With the ability to set the firing angle and distance from 8 to 30 feet, it can be used indoors or outdoors, and its durable plastic shell is water-resistant and easy to wipe clean of stray drool.

The included front safety sensor prevents the ball from firing when something is right in front of the device. This keeps you or your pup from catching an errant ball in passing. There are two power source options for the toy: a power cord or six D batteries.


Provided your dog is trained to drop the ball directly into the hopper, this is a great hands-free way to keep your pooch busy. Its size is great for both large and small pups, and reviewers report that dogs are quick to adapt to the chimes, allowing for fur-flying fun.


Some dogs may be frightened by the sound of the launcher. Durability seems to be an issue among some reviewers who found the launch distance shortened over time.

14. iDig Digging Toy by iFetch

About: Protect your yard and couch cushions with the iDig Digging Toy by iFetch, a toy that satisfies your dog’s natural digging instincts in a safe, constructive way.

You hide treats, toys, or other goodies between the included layers, and your pup digs until he uncovers each in a fun game of hide-and-go-treats.

iFetch iDig Stay Dog Digging Toy, Interactive Sniff Mat for Dogs, Activity Treat Puzzle for Mental Stimulation and Enrichment
638 Reviews
iFetch iDig Stay Dog Digging Toy, Interactive Sniff Mat for Dogs, Activity Treat Puzzle for Mental Stimulation and Enrichment
  • DOG DIGGING PIT: Save your couch cushions and outdoor garden, and let your dogs dig to their hearts'...
  • VERSATILE DIGGING CHALLENGES: Load the flaps of the dog brain game with your pup's favorite treats...
  • STIMULATE YOUR DOG'S MIND: Our dog sniffing mats provide an excellent way to stimulate your dog or...
  • BUILT FOR ALL DOGS: This dog toy is built with a strong and sturdy plastic base, making this hide...

Features: Resembling a round bed, the iDig encourages your pup to think and best of all — dig! The layered fabric design allows you to hide treats in varying levels of difficulty, keeping your dog engaged in an epic battle of sniff and dig.

The fabric pieces of the iDig are machine-washable, and the popup shell of the iDig Go or base of the iDig Stay can be spot cleaned for ongoing upkeep.

Options: There are two varieties to pick from: the iDig Go and iDig Stay.

The iDig Go is a popup version with thin layers that easily comes and “goes” for quick play and storage, while the iDig Stay is a less compact version with a firm plastic base that doesn’t fold flat.


For blanket burrowers and doggy diggers, this is a dream come true that provides endless fun. It might not be as physically demanding as some toys, but it is a doggy puzzle that keeps your pup’s brain and nose going a mile a minute, making it an excellent pick for older dogs, who can’t run around as much anymore.


Several reviewers found that the material did not stand up to heavy-duty digging. Because of its design, it can be more of a mental workout than a physical one for some pups, so it may not be the best option for every dog, as some may make quick work of it and get bored.

15. Tumbo Tugger Tug-Of-War Toy

About: Fido’s fitness is fun and interactive with the Tumbo Tugger, a high-octane tug-of-war device that sends the fur (and your dog) flying as they wrestle with a dangling toy.

With options available for both small fries and big bites, it’s a versatile pick for any fur family.

Tumbo Tugger - Dog Tree Hanging Bungee Tug Toy for Exercise - Outdoor Play Cord & Tether Tug - Tree Tugger Spring Pole Rope Dog Toy - Dog Playground for Backyard - Tugger Chew Rope Toy
  • ENTERTAINS YOUR DOGS - The Tumbo Tugger is your doggies new best friend when it comes to solo...
  • EASY TO HANG - Our easy “no knot” design help you hang this sturdy toy easily by yourself in...
  • IT’S TUMBO TOUGH - We strive to make our pet products tough to withstand the use of the active and...
  • SAFETY FIRST - Rest assured safety is our top concern. We love our pets! After testing and testing...

Features: The ultimate tug toy for solo play, the Tumbo Tugger “plays” with your dog as its bungee gives the resistance you typically do during tug, and when they let go, it springs away to keep them coming back for more.

The inner bungee is enclosed in a durable cover to keep it protected and your dog safe, and its no-metal design keeps your pup’s teeth out of harm’s way.

Setup is a breeze, as you only need to attach the bungee around a branch or beam in a loop design, eliminating the need for tools.

You can adjust the height as needed, keeping it just out of reach for chewers who will want to sit and gnaw rather than jump and chase.

Options: This bungee toy is offered in four types: small, indoor ceiling for small dogs, outdoor for small dogs, and outdoor for large dogs.


The number of size options make it small and large dog-friendly, which is hard to find in spring pole-type toys. Reviewers love the ability to adjust the height, keeping the toy fun and challenging as their pup grows.


A few reviewers found that the included dangler toy did not withstand their pup’s bite. The bungee was also an issue for some, as several dogs were able to damage it considerably during play. For more powerful pups, a metal spring pole design may be a better option.

16. SwiftPaws Lure Course

About: The SwiftPaws Lure Course is designed for canines who like to chase things.

By pulling a tempting flag through a customizable course, your dog has a safe way to satisfy his natural instincts.

exercise toy for dogs

Features: This lure course uses pulleys and a length of cord to drag a flag or animal design along a track that you can customize to your backyard.

Reaching speeds up to 30 miles per hour(!), it’s ideal for dogs who get a case of the zoomies and need a way to burn off that urge to run. 

Setup takes a bit, but as long as there are clear skies overhead, it’s worth the time, and once you put the system together, it’s much easier to use the next time around. Stake out your chosen course, load the line into the pulleys, and presto — frenzied four-footed fun!  

Options: The system is offered in a highly-customizable base package that extends up to 200 feet and is intended for the backyard. You can also purchase additional line and pulley packs to extend the course if you would like.


If your dog is a bunny-chasing legend, this is the toy for him. It stimulates his chase instinct in a positive manner, and because it’s customizable in layout, you can keep him entertained time and time again.


Because it’s a course, it requires a great deal of outdoor space, which isn’t ideal for some dog owners. It is a little pricey, too, and setup can be time-consuming.

17. SoCal Bungee Spring Pole

About: Burning off excess energy is fun with the SoCal Bungee Spring Pole, a device that tempts your dog into springing into the air to grab at a rope.

Simply install the spring pole onto a thick branch or beam, and watch your dog go to town with his new buddy.

SoCal Bully HD Spring Pole Dog Rope Toys Muscle Builder a Big Spring Pole Kit, Strong Dog Rope Toy and a for Pitbull & Medium to Large Dogs Outdoor Hanging Exercise Rope Pull & Tug of War Toy
  • ✅️ HOW DO I KNOW IF MY DOG WILL LIKE THE SRING POLE? If your dog likes to play tug of war and/or...
  • ✅ DEVELOP OBEDIENCE AND IMPULSE CONTROL #1 muscle builder and conditioner providing countless...
  • ✅ HANG FROM TREE + RAFTER + PORCH BEAM- Heavy Duty 100 Lb.+ Capacity. Easy to swap out or replace...
  • ✅ NOT A BUNGEE. The Spring Poles action is that of a “shock absorber” and not a bouncy...

Features: Rather than punish your arms for hours during tug-of-war, this device lets your pup play the game solo with the spring above taking all the powerful pulls you used to.

You can swap the included spring out for something with a little more give as well if you have smaller breeds or puppies.

The included rope is thick and durable, but your dog should always be supervised during play with this device. You can also swap this out for something smaller if your pup has a hard time biting the thick braiding.


If you have a high-energy breed who loves to play tug, this spring pole is a game-changer. It wears away excess energy and frustration quickly, as your dog is engaging in full-body play that also stimulates the mind as it swings back and forth.


Because of its design, this device is not particularly useful for older or mobility-challenged pooches. Also, if your dog suffers from any hip, knee, or other joint issues, we wouldn’t recommend a spring pole.

18. DMY Interactive 7-in-1 Function Laser Chaser Toy

About: Keep your pupper on the move with the DMY 7-in-1 Laser Chaser Toy. With its multitude of settings and features, this goes beyond the laser toys you’re used to, leading to hours of fun, interactive play.

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Features: The 7-in-1 design of this laser chaser contains four patterns and two colored dots for your pooch to chase, as well as a UV light that may be handy for your own hobbies.

Just point and click to display the pattern of your choice, and move around to start the epic game of chase the light with your pooch.

This laser pointer is rechargeable, keeping the fun going again and again and eliminating the need for pesky batteries. Its stainless steel housing is another perk, as it can withstand the occasional drop without snapping like plastic devices.


This device is as no-fuss as they come, as you don’t have to worry about storing large equipment or cleaning something after every slobbery use. This device goes beyond a traditional laser pointer by keeping pets entertained with a variety of patterns and features — it will even keep the light pattern displayed without requiring you to hold a button down, which reviewers found to be worth its weight in gold.


Not all dogs will chase a laser, unfortunately, and some will grow bored with the action quickly. A handful of reviewers had an issue with quality, too, though this appears to be a rare manufacturing issue.

19. Outward Hound Tail Teaser Flirt Pole

About: Your pup can run and jump to his heart’s content with the Outward Hound Tail Teaser Flirt Pole.

Featuring a plush toy dangling from a sturdy lead, it temps your pooch into play as you swing it around.

Outward Hound Tail Teaser Durable Dog Wand with Soft Plush Toys
  • DURABLE DOG TRAINING & PLAY WAND: The Tail Teaser dog wand is made of durable nylon cord that's also...
  • INDOOR & OUTDOOR FUN: The Tail Teaser is a compact toy that you can bring with you to the park or...
  • PLUSH TOYS SQUEAK & RATTLE: This durable nylon dog lure wand comes with two faux fur plush toys that...
  • PAIRS WITH ZIP & ZOOM AGILITY KITS: The Tail Teaser teasing pole is a perfect companion to the...

Features: The flirt pole keeps your hands away from the bite zone and slobbery toys while you and your pup engage in a spirited game of chase and tug.

Since your hands are away from the dog’s chompers, it’s a great toy for children to use when playing with Fido!

Using a flirt pole is easy — just hold onto the handle and wriggle the toy suspended from the nylon cord. 

With two irresistible end attachments to choose from that squeak and rattle, your dog can’t help but come running anytime you break out this toy. It’s versatile enough for indoor or outdoor play, though we suggest heading outside if you have a larger pooch who loves air aerobics.


If you have a dog with a strong prey drive, this flirt pole will keep them entertained for hours. It’s a toy that doesn’t get old, keeping your pup interested for more than just one play session. This isn’t only for spring chickens, either, as it’s wonderful for older or mobility-challenged pets, as you can dance it around their bed for stimulating play.


This flirt pole is fine for medium to small breeds, but large, powerful breeds are simply too strong for its design, with some reviewers noting the toy attachments didn’t last long. This also isn’t the best toy for owners who aren’t in good physical shape, as you have to move it around quickly, and your arm absorbs a good bit of tugging during play.


Do you have any of these items in your doggy’s home gym? What do you do to keep your four-footer fit? Tell us below in the comments! 

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Written by

Kelsey Leicht

Kelsey is a lover of words and woofs. She worked hands-on with dogs for several years at a boarding kennel as a shift runner and office manager before venturing into the world of writing. She lives in New Jersey with her crew of crazy canines.

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  1. Sachin Avatar

    Please send me this type of informaton