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Water toys for dogs, our favorite picks

Updated October 2, 2023

From splash pads to crustacean-shaped floating toys, we’ve got the perfect water toys for your dogs. Keep reading to learn more about our top ten picks.

Our 10 favorite dog water toys

#1 Our top pick: Chuckit! Ultra Ball

Why we recommend it

Sometimes, simple is the best. The Chuckit! Ultra Ball is known for its durability and high bounce, making it a favorite among dogs and their owners.

Pros Cons
✓ Durable ✗ Potential choking risk for larger breeds
✓ High bounce
✓ Easy to spot

#2 Best splash pad: Peteast Dog Splash Pad

Why we recommend it

The Peteast Dog Splash Pad offers a large play area and is made from BPA-free materials. It’s large enough to accommodate bigger dogs, but owners will want to watch out for the nozzles and inflated sides.

Pros Cons
✓ Anti-slip ✗ Larger dogs can pop the pool easily during rambunctious play
✓ Sprinkler system
✓ Suitable for large dogs

#3 Most durable floating dog water toy: KONG Belly Flops Lobster Dog Toy

Why we recommend it

The KONG Belly Flops Lobster Dog Toy is not only fun for water play but also great for indoor play. Its unique design – which allows the lobster to spin on its belly –  adds excitement to fetch games.

Pros Cons
✓ Floats on water ✗ Strong chewers may be able to rip the seams quickly
✓ Has a squeaker
✓ Suitable for indoor play

#4 Splash pad runner-up: Raxurt Dog Splash Pad

Why we recommend it

Like the Peteast splash pad, the Raxurt version is portable and foldable, making it convenient for travel. It’s available in different sizes to accommodate dogs of all sizes.

Pros Cons
✓ Portable and foldable ✗ Splash pad area may be susceptible to tearing by your dog’s nails
✓ Sturdy PVC material
✓ Available in different sizes

#5 Durable floating dog water toy runner-up: SuperChewy Tough Floating Dog Water Toy

Why we recommend it

The SuperChewy Tough Floating Dog Water Toy is super bouncy and it floats, so you can play with your dog in any environment.

Pros Cons
✓ Tough natural rubber ✗ “Lifetime replacement guarantee”’ is for defects in product or workmanship, not for destructive play
✓ Comes in different shapes
✓ Great for active chewers

#6 Floating squeaky water toy: Outward Hound Floatiez Dog Toy

Why we recommend it

The Outward Hound Floatiez Dog Toy is entertaining and engaging, thanks to its squeaky feature. It keeps dogs entertained while in the water and is available as a turtle, octopus, stingray, narwhal, and more.

Pros Cons
✓ Squeaky toy ✗ Not as durable as other options
✓ Entertaining and engaging
✓ Floats on water

#7 Great for fetch and tug in the water: KONG Wubba Wet Dog Toy

Why we recommend it

The KONG Wubba Wet Dog Toy provides hours of fun for dogs who love water play. Its long tails make it easy to grab and retrieve.

Pros Cons
✓ Comes in multiple colors ✗ The long tails are easy to chew off
✓ Suitable for fetching and tugging
✓ Suitable for large dogs

#8 Best water fetch toy: Kurgo Skipping Stones Fetch Toy

Why we recommend it

The Kurgo Skipping Stone Fetch Toy comes as a two-pack of brightly colored, stone-shaped toys that skip over the water just like real stones. The “stones” are reliable, safe, and buoyant, and the bright colors make it easy for both you and your dog to find them in the water.

Pros Cons
✓ Non-toxic ✗ Currently out of stock
✓ Floats on water
✓ Perfect for fetch games

#9 Great for play on land and water: Ruff Dawg Flying Fish Dog Toy

Why we recommend it

The Ruff Dawg Flying Fish Dog Toy is rugged, yet gentle on teeth. It comes in a variety of colors and the hole in the front is so you can attach a rope, making it even easier for your dog to retrieve.

Pros Cons
✓ Floats on water ✗ Not durable for active chewers
✓ Brightly colored
✓ Suitable for all sizes

#10 Folding dog pool: FrontPet Folding Dog Pool

Why we recommend it

The FrontPet Folding Dog Pool is portable and convenient for travel. It’s unique accordion-style design means there’s no inflation required, plus it’s large enough to accommodate dogs of different sizes.

Pros Cons
✓ Portable ✗ May not stand up to long, sharp nails
✓ Spacious
✓ Easy setup

Types of water toys for dogs

Water toys are a great way to keep your dog entertained, engaged, and cool, especially during the hot summer months. Let’s delve into the different types of water toys available and how they can benefit your furry friend.

Water fetch toys for dogs

Water fetch toys are designed to float on water, making them perfect for games of fetch at the beach, pool, or lake. These toys often come in bright colors, making them easy for you and your dog to spot in the water. They’re ideal for dogs that love to swim and retrieve, offering an exciting twist on traditional fetch games.

Floating and sinking water toys

Floating toys are great for dogs who enjoy swimming, as they encourage them to paddle and stay afloat. On the other hand, sinking toys can provide a fun challenge for more adventurous dogs, encouraging them to dive underwater. Both types of toys provide excellent physical exercise and mental stimulation.

These toys should only be within reach of dogs when an owner can closely supervise them. Take breaks often to make sure the pup isn’t swallowing of lot of water as well.

Erica Irish, DVM

Water sprinkler toys for dogs

Water sprinklers aren’t just for kids. Many dogs love playing with sprinkler toys, which shoot out water when activated. These toys can be a fun way to hydrate a parched pooch and keep them cool on hot days while also providing a unique play experience.

Interactive water toys

Interactive water toys are designed to stimulate your dog’s mind as well as their body. These toys might squirt water when bitten or feature compartments to hide treats, giving your dog a reward for their play.

👉Breeds that benefit from this type of stimulation are the highly intelligent border collie, the hard-working German shepherd, and the popular Labrador retriever, which all make great therapy dogs.

Features to consider when buying water toys for dogs

When selecting the perfect water toy for your dog, there are a few key features to consider.

  • Durability and safety. The durability of a dog toy is paramount. Look for toys made from durable, non-toxic materials that can withstand your dog’s bites and scratches without breaking apart. Additionally, ensure the toy is safe for your pet and doesn’t contain small parts that could be a choking hazard.
  • Size and shape. The size and shape of the toy should be appropriate for your dog’s breed and size. Smaller dogs may struggle with large toys, while bigger dogs might quickly destroy toys that are too small.
  • Material and maintenance. Consider the material of the toy. Some materials are easier to clean than others, which is important if the toy will often be used in water. Also, check if the toy requires any special maintenance.
  • Brand and price. While brand reputation can be a good indicator of quality, it’s not always the case. Balance quality with affordability, and remember that the most expensive toy isn’t necessarily the best one for your dog.

How to teach your dog to play with water toys

Introducing your dog to water toys should be a fun and positive experience. Begin by allowing your dog to explore the toy in a safe, dry environment before slowly introducing it to water play.

Start small – Begin by introducing the water toy to your dog in a familiar, non-threatening environment. Let them sniff it, paw at it, and get used to its presence. This step is crucial for making your dog feel comfortable and ensuring they associate the toy with fun, positive experiences.

Associate the toy with playtime – Once your dog is comfortable with the new toy, start incorporating it into their regular playtime. Toss the toy around on dry land first before introducing it to water. The goal here is to help your dog understand that this new object is a fun addition to their play routine.

Gradually add the water element – Start with shallow water, such as a kiddie pool or a bathtub. Encourage your dog to retrieve the toy from the water, rewarding them with praise or treats when they do. Gradually increase the water depth as your dog becomes more confident.

Provide supervision – Always supervise your dog while they’re playing with water toys, especially in deeper water. Their safety is paramount, and being present also gives you the opportunity to engage with them, reinforcing the fun and positive nature of the activity.

👉If your dog doesn’t want to play in the water even with a slow introduction, don’t force it. Not all dogs are keen on playing in water. And, if they are, also consider location. Tropical and sub-tropical regions may have dangerous pathogens in rivers and lakes.

The benefits of water play for dogs

Playing with water toys not only keep your pup entertained but also offers several health benefits.

Physical health benefits

Water play is a great form of exercise, helping to keep your dog healthy and fit. It’s particularly beneficial for dogs with joint issues, as the water provides a low-impact environment for them to move around in. Adding a joint supplement to your dog’s diet can help increase these benefits.

Mental health benefits

Water play can also provide mental stimulation for your dog. Figuring out how to retrieve a sinking toy or interact with a new water toy can challenge your dog’s problem-solving skills, keeping their mind sharp.

Cautions and Considerations While Using Water Toys

While water play can be a lot of fun, it’s important to keep some safety considerations in mind.

Supervision during playtime

Always supervise your dog while they’re playing in the water to prevent accidents or injuries. Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, they can still get into trouble in the water.

Grooming and skin care after water play

After a day of water play, make sure to rinse off your dog to remove any chlorine, salt, or dirt that could irritate their skin. Dry them thoroughly to prevent any fungal infections.

Post-play care for water toys

After playtime, rinse off the toys and either let them air dry or put them in the dryer on the air dry setting to prevent any mold or mildew. Regularly inspect them for any damage and replace them as needed to ensure your dog’s safety.

🚨Even fabric dog toys may contain plastic which can melt if exposed to heat. If you opt to use the dryer for your dog’s toys, stick with the air dry setting. 

Frequently asked questions

Is a water bottle a good dog toy?

While it can be tempting to use a simple water bottle as a makeshift toy, it’s not recommended. Water bottles can break easily under a dog’s powerful jaws, creating sharp edges that may harm your furry friend. They may also ingest small plastic pieces, which can lead to health issues. Always opt for specially designed dog toys that prioritize safety and durability.

What types of water toys are available for dogs?

There’s a wide variety of water toys available for dogs! These include water fetch toys, floating and sinking toys, water sprinkler toys, and interactive water toys. Each type offers unique features and benefits, so there’s something for every dog’s play preference and style.

How do I choose the right water toy for my dog?

Choosing the right water toy for your dog involves considering their size, breed, play style, and personal preferences. Look for toys made from durable, non-toxic materials, and choose the appropriate size and shape for your dog. Also, consider the toy’s maintenance requirements and the reputation of the brand.

How do I maintain and clean dog water toys?

Maintaining and cleaning dog water toys is essential to ensure their longevity and your dog’s health. After each play session, rinse the toys off with clean water to remove any dirt or debris. Put toys in the dryer on the air dry setting, or allow them to air dry completely before storing them to prevent mold and mildew growth. Regularly inspect the toys for any damage and replace them as needed.

Can dog water toys be used indoors as well?

Many dog water toys can be used both indoors and outdoors. However, be mindful of the type of toy and the potential mess it could create. For instance, water sprinkler toys are best used outdoors, but floating or fetch toys can be used indoors, as long as you have enough space for safe play.