There is nothing better on a hot day than hopping in the water to cool off. Although this is probably your thought, it is also the thought running through your pooch’s head, as well. Most dogs love to play in the water, and there is nothing better than a water toy to make the day complete.
If you and your pet love to hang on the beach, you have probably lost a toy or two to Davy Jones or the Loch Ness. Either way, it is hard to explain the situation to those sad eyes as they scan the water for their favorite (yet sinkable) toy.
To keep the good times rolling, we have come up with a list of the ten best water toys for dogs. We have reviewed the toys for durability, buoyancy, fun level, and much more. We will also share our shopping guide, along with some tips for getting a reluctant pooch into the water!
Comparison of our Favorites (updated in 2022)
The 10 Best Dog Water Toys
1. ChuckIt! Bumper Floating Fetch Toy – Best Overall
Our first choice is a bone-like toy with a rope attached for easy throwing, catching, tugging, and fetching fun. The ChuckIt! Amphibious Bumper Floating Fetch Toy comes in a small or medium size, and you can pick from a single, two, three, four or five-pack.
The bright green color with blue accents will catch your pup’s attention, plus make the toy easy to see in the water and low light. The rope handle is slip-resistant and has a knotted end so you can launch it out as far as you like.
This option is made of memory foam, rubber, and nylon. Not only is it durable and stands up to aggressive chewers, but it is also light enough to float on top of the water. What’s more, the overall construction is soft on your pet’s mouth.
You and your pup will have fun in the water for a long time with this hearty option from ChuckIt!. It wipes clean, plus it’s resistant to slobber and dirt. Overall, this is the best water toy for dogs.
2. Outward Hound Floatiez – Best Value
Outward Hound Floatiez is the best dog water toy for the money. Your pup will love this fish-shaped floater that comes in eleven colors and styles. It is made with a foam noodle interior that allows it to float upright in the water, plus the nylon exterior is quick-drying and easy to clean.
The entire structure of this model is durable, yet still soft for your pet’s mouth. The bright colors are eye-catching in the water or low light. What’s more, each toy has two squeaks inside that will add to your pal’s enjoyment.
This is a great beach day accessory that can be tossed, tugged, and it’s great for playing catch. The only notable drawback is the construction is very light so it can easily blow away on a windy day. This is also true in the water, as well.
3. RUFFWEAR Lunker Floating Toy – Premium Choice
Moving along, we have the RUFFWEAR Lunker Durable Floating Toy, another bone-like toy with the attached rope. You will be able to launch, throw, catch, fetch, and play tug of war with your pup using this option. As a bonus, this brand uses recycled PLUS foam, and the toy itself is 100 percent recyclable.
You can choose from either a blue or red color, although you should note it only comes in one size recommended for medium to large dogs. That being said, the foam core allows this model to float on top of the water, and the abrasion-resistant material is strong and won’t rip.
Beyond that, the RUFFWEAR is a safe floater for your pup to carry around in their mouths as it won’t cause any cuts or sores. The bright blue and red design is easily spotted in the water, not to mention, this toy can be used in the snow and other outdoor areas.
You should keep in mind that this toy is more costly than others, and it takes our “premium” spot. Other than that, this product reduces the amount of slobber, is easily cleaned, and the rope is slip-resistant with a durable knot for launching power.
4. ZippyPaws Floating Squeaker Dog Toy
In the number four spot, we have a super cute Frisbee-like inner tube toy designed in animal shapes. The ZippyPaws Outdoor Floating Squeaker Dog Toy comes in your choice of a duck, shark, turtle, or walrus. You can toss or frisbee throw this model to your pal, plus it has two squeaks inside to keep your pup intrigued.
The bright animal shapes will hold your pet’s attention, plus allow you to keep an eye on it. With that being said, although this toy floats, it sits lower in the water than our top three reviews. You also want to keep in mind that the 7” X 7” X 4” is meant for small and medium-size dogs.
Beyond that, the material of this toy is durable and easy to clean, not to mention, it is safe for their mouths. You should also note, however, that although this option has a middle hole, it is not meant to be a floatation device for your pup.
5. StarMark Fantastic Ball Rope Dog Toy
The StarMark is a traditional ball on a rope toy that is great for launching, catching, playing fetch, or tug of war. The bright yellow ball is easy to spot in the water, low light, and will hold your pup’s attention.
This brand uses heavy-duty foam in its construction to create a durable, virtually indestructible toy. That being said, be aware that this option is heavier than others and can hurt your pet if it bounces back. On the same idea, this is a floater recommended for medium to large dogs.
You will have a choice of a medium or large size that is three or four inches respectively. The ball also floats, although it is low in the water. It also bounces, however, for extra fun play. Finally, the rope is slip-resistant, and the toy itself is easy to clean.
6. KONG Aqua Dog Toy
Our next pick is the Kong floating toy that comes with a foam middle core, and a rope for launching and tossing. This is a great option to keep your pup running, fetching, and catching in the water. The bright orange color is also great for low light and spotting it in the water.
There are a few things you want to consider with this option, however. First, the foam insert can come unattached making the heavy rubber toy sink. Also, the rope attachment is rough on your hands and can hurt your pup’s mouth during play.
Beyond that, this model is made with non-toxic material, plus it is easy to clean. It is recommended for medium and large size dogs, although, you want to keep it away from heavy chewers as the construction is not as durable.
7. Kurgo Dog Floating Water Toys
If you have ever skipped stones across the water, you can appreciate Kurgo Dog Floating Water Toys. This toy comes in a two-pack of bright orange and magenta skipping stones for dogs. They are made of non-toxic BPA-free material, although the construction is not durable.
The point of this model is to skip the stones and allow your pup to retrieve them. The only problem is the toy is slippery and awkward to hold and throw, not to mention, it does limit the number of ways you can play with your pet.
Besides that, you want to keep in mind this model is meant for medium size dogs. They are too big for smaller dogs and large breeds will destroy them quickly. On a good note, though, they are dishwasher safe.
8. BINGPET Dog Retrieving Pool Toy
Moving down the line is a red bumper toy complete with ridges and a strong rope for tossing and launching. This floating option from BINGPET is harder on your pup’s mouth due to the knobs around the design, and the red color is not as visible in low light.
This toy comes in one 10.2-inch size that is better suited to larger breeds. That being said, you can play fetch, tug of war, or simply play catch with this model. You should note that it is not as durable as other products, however.
As mentioned, this toy can be rough on your pal’s mouth, but you should also be aware of the hard rubber design that can be a choking hazard if it’s ripped apart. Although it is a lightweight option, it is not the easiest model to clean.
9. Nerf Dog Rubber Tire Dog Toy
In the second to last spot, we have the Nerf tire flyer. This is a blue frisbee-like option that has the construction of a tire. Unfortunately, the thermoplastic and rubber design is not durable and can be rather sharp when it tears apart.
On a brighter note, the blue color is easy to spot, however, the limited strength of the toy makes the use limited. You do have the choice of a medium or large size, although it is meant to be used by medium size dogs. Furthermore, you should not give it to pups who are aggressive chewers.
Beyond that, the tire-like ridges are not comfortable for your pet to carry around, and it is difficult to get the dirt out of the grooves. Even though it is a lightweight option, it can hurt if it bounces back.
10. Tuff Pupper Floating Dog Ring Toy
The Tuff Pupper Floating Dog Ring Toy is another Frisbee-like option that is also blue for visibility in low light. One major drawback of this option is that it does not float well in the water. More often than not, in sinks.
This is a one size toy recommended for medium or large size breeds. The cotton stuffed rubber construction is not durable, nor is it comfortable for your pet to catch or even carry around in their mouth. On a side note, this model does bounce, although it can hurt if your pet was to be hit in the face.
Besides that, the material is hard to keep clean, and there is a strong rubber odor that is hard to get rid of even after washing. Overall, the Tuff Pupper is our least favorite option, and your pup will benefit more from one of the other choices above.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Dog Water Toys
What Makes A Good Toy In This Category
When it comes to water toys, there are a few features that set the great toys apart from the rest. Let’s take a look at these key elements so you will never have to wrestle with the decision of taking a cold dip for a lost toy again.
- Buoyancy: You want to look for a toy that is made of foam or other buoyant materials. A bonus is if you can find a product that sits high on the water.
- Vibrancy: Brighter colors make them easier to see in low light and in the water. Try to stick to bright colors that will clash against the blues and greens of the water. Even bright baby blue, for example, will work unless you are on a Carribean Island…
- Durability: Many pups can get quite excited and rambunctious during outdoor games. This is also true for the water, so you want to make sure you have a toy that is going to hold up for many play sessions.
- Safety: It’s important to keep in mind that your pet will be carrying this item around in their mouths. Make sure it is soft, and will not hurt their teeth or gums.
- Size: If you get a floater that is the same size as your pet, they can potentially pull it through the water, but they will not be as successful on the shore. Furthermore, you want to make sure your pet is not getting too tired while trying to pull it through the water.
There are other considerations such as how easily they are to clean, and the type of play you can use the toy for, but these few features are the mark of a great water toy for your pup.
Need a toy for your pitbull? Check out our list of top ten pit bull toys that will keep them running and entertained for hours!
Tips For A Water Shy Pup
Some dogs are not as eager to get into the water as others. Although this may be hard to believe if you have a fish-like mutt, it is true nonetheless. Here are a few tips to get your pal frolicking in the waves:
- Start Small: Use a children’s pool or only go ankle deep at first to get them used to the water.
- Bribe: Yes, you heard that right. Try tossing a favorite toy in shallow water, or use a delicious treat to coax them into the water.
- Examples: If there is a pond or beach nearby where other dogs like to swim and play, bring your pet to that spot so they can see other dogs in the water. If they have furry-friends swimming there-even better.
- Have Fun: Play on the shoreline with your pooch. Let them chase you down to the waterline, and let them get their paws wet. They will be having so much fun that they won’t realize they are in the water.
- Be Safe: If your pup is still reluctant, don’t force it. Just keep doing the same steps over and over until they become used to the water. Also, make sure you are starting in a body of water that has no currents and does not drop off sharply. Finally, consider a life jacket to help your pal feel secure, and if you are using a pool, the first thing to teach your pet is how to get out of the water.
Although it can take some time, getting your pal used to the water, especially if you are a beach person, is well worth the effort.
We hope you have enjoyed the reviews above, and it has helped you narrow down your options for a fun beach toy. With so many options available, the possibilities are endless, and choosing the right one can be difficult.
On the other hand, if you are ready to dive in with the very best water toy for your dog, go with the ChuckIt! 18300 Amphibious Bumper Floating Fetch Toy. This is a durable and colorful option your pooch will love. If you need to save some coin, but still want to have fun, try the Outward Hound 68440 Floatiez which is the best water toy for the money.