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Dog Proof Soccer Balls: Best Soccer Balls For Playing with Fido!

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.

What Should You Look for in a Dog Proof Soccer Ball?

soccer-ball-for-your-dog

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.

Buoyancy

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.

3 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. 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.

Price: $$

Our Rating:

Features:

  • 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
  • 8-inch-diameter

PROS: 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.

CONS: 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.

2. 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.

Price: $$$$

Our Rating:

Features:

  • 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

PROS: 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.

CONS: 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.

3. LANCO Soccer Ball

About: The LANCO Soccer Ball is a small and budget-friendly soccer-style ball designed to keep your dog happy and occupied. Made of natural rubber, the LANCO Soccer Ball should safe for any chewing attacks that may occur during your game.

This is a very small ball, so you won’t be able to use it with your dog, but tiny pups will still love it. This ball can classified better as a toy than an actual soccer ball.

Price: $

Our Rating:

Features:

  • Manufactured in Spain (though imported from Japan) in accordance with European Standards for Baby Toys
  • 1-inch diameter ball is ideal for small to medium dogs
  • Weighs only 18 grams

PROS: The LANCO Soccer Ball is a great option for owners of smaller pups, who are unable to get their mouths around the bigger soccer-ball-style toys produced by most other manufacturers. Although it is not manufactured in the USA, most western European countries (such as Spain) produce toys made from safe materials and with high-quality production techniques.

CONS: There aren’t many reviews posted by dog owners who’ve tried these balls, so purchasing this toy is a bit of a gamble – it may not last very long at all, and your dog may not like the feel of the rubber. However, given its incredibly affordable price tag, it is a relatively low-risk gamble. Additionally, the middle seam appears to be raised a bit more than would be ideal.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

dog-friendly-soccer-ball

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.

I may even have to get one of these soccer balls for my pup. Of course, I’d rather give her one of these and make her wear this, but YMMV.

About the Author Ben Team

Ben is a proud dog owner and lifelong environmental educator who writes about animals, outdoor recreation, science, and environmental issues. He lives with his beautiful wife and spoiled-rotten Rottweiler JB in Atlanta, Georgia. Read more by Ben at FootstepsInTheForest.com.

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