Although it pains my red-blooded, NFL-loving, ‘Murican heart to say it, soccer is the world’s most popular sport. So, perhaps it isn’t surprising that many of our pups love to play with soccer balls.
But the problem is, you don’t want to give your pup a regular soccer ball to play with – at least not while unsupervised. Most dogs big enough to get a regulation soccer ball into their jaws have the strength and dental daggers needed to rip it apart pretty easily.
Instead, you need to give your dog a soccer ball built especially for dogs – these balls are extra tough and will be more liable to withstand your pup’s tough teeth.
While you’ll still need to exercise good judgement when letting your dog play with any toy, most of the soccer balls designed for pups are relatively durable and likely to stand up to your dog’s destructive instincts.
Quick Picks: Dog-Proof Soccer Balls
- Pick #1: OneWorld UnPoppable Soccer Ball. Insanely durable, non-toxic, and pop/deflate-proof. On the pricey side, but just the thing for owners who are serious about soccer. Available in regulation sizes.
- Pick #2: Jolly Pets Soccer Ball. Fun, durable, pop-proof soccer ball great for playing with pooches.
- Pick #3: Hyper Pet Grab Tabs Soccer Ball. This soccer ball has built-in nylon tabs that allows your dog to easily grab and carry the ball around without needing to dig teeth into the skin.
What Should You Look for in a Dog Proof Soccer Ball?
It can be hard to tell whether a given toy will hold up to your dog’s teeth, and you’ll never be certain until you toss her the ball and see how it goes.
Nevertheless, there are a few characteristics that normally indicate that a given toy is well-built, safe, durable and fun.
Made With Safe Materials
Most dog toys manufactured by reputable companies are made from non-toxic plastic or rubber. But because many of these companies use proprietary plastic blends, it can be difficult to determine what these materials are and to verify their safety yourself.
The best way to stay safe is by selecting toys made in the USA, Canada or Western Europe, where safety standards are high.
Crafted From Durable Materials
If you purchase a flimsy ball (or any other toy) it simply won’t last – even if your dog is a mild-mannered Maltese.
So, you’ll want to make sure the plastic or rubber used to make the ball is durable. This can be difficult to determine when making an online purchase, so be sure to review the experiences of other dog owners before making your decision.
Has a Smooth Exterior
Toys that have rough seams, raised panels, or other types of imperfections are often easy for dogs to rip apart.
Accordingly, you’ll want to select balls that are as smooth and uniform as possible. Balls with very thin or non-existent seams will mean your dog won’t have any spot for easy teeth leverage. This alone will help ensure any toy you purchase lasts longer.
If your dog loves to play in the water, you’ll want to be sure to pick toys that float; otherwise, they’ll quickly end up lost at the bottom of the lake. Most toy soccer balls will float, but you shouldn’t assume that they will unless the manufacturer specifically claims such. Of course, if your dog isn’t aquatically inclined, you needn’t pick a ball that floats.
4 Best Soccer Balls for Dogs
If you are on the hunt for a good soccer ball toy for your pooch, consider the three detailed below (particularly the first two). Each should provide your dog with plenty of ball-chasing and ball-chewing fun.
1. Hyper Pet Grab Tabs Soccer Ball
The Hypet Pet Grab Tabs Soccer Ball is a rubber soccer ball featuring unique nylon tabs sewn into the ball seams that allow your dog an easy way to grab the ball.
These tabs allow your dog to pick up the ball without digging his teeth into the skin of the rubber, preventing puncturing and deflated ball issues common with canine play.
This ball is available in a 5″ and 7.5″ version, perfect for kicking around the yard.
- Available in two sizes – 5 inches and 7.5 inches
- Made in the USA
- Floats in the water
- Made of recycled & natural rubber, nylon, and polyester fabric
Owners love that the built-in tabs make it so easy for their pups to grab and carry the soccer ball around!
At 7.5″ it’s a bit smaller than a standard soccer ball, so some might not find it adequate for a pick-up game. Owners note it’s not ideal for heavy chewers – ball is intended for playing with your dog – if left alone with it, they’ll probably destroy it.
2. Jolly Pets Soccer Ball
About: The Jolly Pets Soccer Ball is a US-made toy, designed to give your dog hours of ball-playing enjoyment, while still being tough enough to last for a long time and withstand canine teeth.
Although they are not colored in the traditional black-and-white color scheme that most soccer balls are, your dogs won’t mind.
This is a great option for owners of big dogs who want to play alongside their pooch, as the ball is nearly regulation size.
- Available in three colors (Ocean Blue, Green Apple and Orange)
- Made in the USA
- Floats in the water for pool-time fun
- Designed to remain inflated, even when your dog squeezes it
Most owners were very pleased with the Jolly Pets Soccer Ball and noted that it held up to their dog’s teeth much better than most other toys. Dogs appear to love the way it bounces and the way that it feels when they squeeze it in their jaws. The Jolly Pets Soccer Ball is also the only toy in our review that is approximately the same size as a regulation soccer ball, which makes it a great choice for big dogs.
Complaints about the Jolly Pets Soccer Ball were very rare. A few owners reported that their dog was able to destroy the ball, and a few explained that the ball will occasionally stick to their dog’s teeth. However, most dogs appear to figure out how to free themselves quickly.
3. Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Soccer Ball
About: The Planet Dog Orbee Soccer Ball is a super-durable toy, that not only has just enough give to make it fun for dogs to chew, it is a little smaller than a regulation, Size 5 soccer ball is.
This helps many medium-sized dogs get the ball into their mouth better, where they can chew to their heart’s content without decimating the ball.
The Planet Dog Soccer Ball is a bit small for adults to use, but your kids will probably love kicking it around with the pooch.
- Bounces very well and gives your dog something fun to chase and corral
- Floats in water, making it a great toy for the pool, lake or beach
- Backed by 100% satisfaction guarantee
- 5-inch diameter
- Made in the USA
Most owners who tried out the Planet Dog Soccer Ball were pleased with their purchase and noted that their dog appeared to love the toy. Many reported that the Planet Dog Soccer Ball proved quite durable, even for dogs who had destroyed other toys.
Although most dog owners praised the durability of the Planet Dog Soccer Ball, a few reported that their dog was able to tear it apart in short order. Additionally, a very small number of owners experienced shipping problems, but this can occur with any online purchase.
4. OneWorld Non-Deflating Soccer Ball
About: The OneWorld Non-Deflating Soccer Ball is a pricey soccer ball with big promises. This ball is designed to be un-poppable, unbreakable, and non-deflating. These balls are non-toxic and promise to withstand even the toughest chewing canines!
This ball is available in blue, green, and orange colors.
- Designed to be deflate, pop, and break-proof!
- Available in regulation sizes 4 and 5
- Ethically produced + non toxic
- A portion of the proceeds from this item go to providing play equipment to communities in need.
Several owners proclaim that the OneWorld soccer ball is the best ball for dogs ever! Even owners of chomping dogs are impressed at how this soccer ball can withstand sharp teeth.
There’s no denying this soccer ball is expensive, especially if you’re just looking to kick something around with Fido once in a while.
Basic Safety Rules for Any Dog Toy
No matter what type of toy your dog likes to play with and gnaw on, you’ll want to be sure she remains safe while doing so.
There are a two primary ways chew toys can become dangerous:
- Your dog could swallow the toy or some portion of it. The object may become lodged in your dog’s throat, windpipe or intestinal tract, leading to a life-threatening medical emergency and a several-thousand-dollar vet bill.
- Your dog may get her muzzle or paws stuck inside the gaps present in some toys (such as ring toys). This may make it difficult for your dog to breath or swallow, and it may be painful too. Being stuck in this manner may also cause your dog to panic, which may lead to frantic activity and additional injuries.
Heed the advice below to help avoid problems:
- Never leave your dog unattended with a new toy. Don’t bring home a new toy, toss it to your dog and then head back out of the house – you want to be able to monitor her in case something bad happens. If your dog has been playing with the same toy for a month and hasn’t yet damaged it with her mouth or become stuck, it is probably alright to consider the toy safe for unattended use – just be sure to inspect it periodically.
- Always take away broken or punctured toys. Once a dog compromises the integrity of a toy, total destruction is rarely far away. Only allow your dog to play with intact toys.
- Buy toys of the proper size. Obviously, you never want to give your dog a toy that is small enough to be swallowed. Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines whenever buying a new toy, but be sure to err on the big side, if there is any ambiguity.
- Stay safe during play time. Dogs often get tunnel vision when immersed in play, which can cause cars and other dangers to go unnoticed. Always keep your dog on a leash when not in an enclosed space and be extra vigilant while supervising your lost-in-the-moment pooch.
- Use caution bringing toys to the dog park. Some dogs can become aggressive when forced to share their toys with other dogs, so tread carefully in this regard. Watch for signs of aggression and don’t be afraid to remove the toy (or your dog) from the equation if canine conflict appears imminent.
Have you come across a soccer ball that has worked well and stood up to your pup’s teeth? There aren’t a ton of different models on the market, and we’d love to hear about any we may have missed. Tell us all about it in the comments below!
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