The Best Balls for Eco-Friendly Fetch with Your Pooch


If you have a powerful chewer on your hands, your dog’s favorite fetch balls could have a short life. I recently pulled out a new dog tennis ball for my French bulldog Leo and within 24 hours he ripped it to shreds and started biting off chunks – as you can see after the jump. I should have known better than to buy a $1 ball from the big box pet store, but the death of this tennis ball provides an education and motivation to look for an eco-friendly alternative.


So what’s the problem with destructible dog balls? First of all, consider how many get tossed in the garbage. My dog can down one in a day and the Humane Society estimates that there are 77.5 million dogs in the United States, so you can imagine the potential waste from our tail-waggers.

Another reason to look for eco-friendly fetch alternatives? Many traditional dog balls, the big box pet store variety included, contain lots of nasty chemicals that you might not want your dog chewing on and you certainly don’t need to bring into your home. Many soft plastic dog balls have phthalates in them for example and found that nearly one half of the pet tennis balls they tested had detectable levels of lead – though those made for sports had none. BPA, vinyl, cadmium and mercury are all commonly found in dog toys, too.


Give your dog a break and treat him to an eco-friendly dog ball instead. Harry Barker’s Ten Championship Tennis Balls (in blue above) are tough enough to withstand powerful chompers. They’re made from 100 percent natural rubber and covered in heavy duty felt that’s dyed with azo-free eco-friendly dyes.

To guarantee your dog won’t take a bite out of his ball, try West Paw Design’s Huck (in orange above). The tennis ball-sized toy is super solid and durable made from the company’s signature Zogoflex material that’s pliable, recyclable, buoyant in water and free of toxic chemicals.

If you and your dog want to redeem yourselves for past wasteful fetch habits, go for the equally tough-to-destroy Planet Dog Orbee Tuff RecycleBALLs (in black above) made from “regrind” scraps from their non-toxic dog toy factory, that would otherwise be discarded.

Image : Hans Dekker