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The 9 Best Dog Water Toys for the Pool, Lake, or Ocean


May 22, 2024

A dog on at the ocean carrying a dog water toy.

Whether it’s a splash in the pool or a game of fetch in the lake, water play can be a refreshing and invigorating experience for dogs. The right water toys spice up your dog’s playtime and offer health and safety benefits, making them indispensable for water-loving canines.

Join us as we dive into what makes these toys a must-have for any dog’s water play toolkit.

Why choose water toys for your dog?

Water toys are more than just fun accessories. They’re tools for enhancing your dog’s physical health and emotional well-being.

  • Exercise: Water play is a fantastic way for dogs to get their daily exercise. Swimming involves multiple muscle groups (often more than land-based activities) without putting excessive stress on joints.
  • Cooling off: Water toys provide dogs with a fun and effective way to manage their body temperature, especially during the summer heat.
  • Joint-friendly workouts: Unlike running or jumping, swimming is a low-impact activity that minimizes stress on your dog’s bones and joints. This is particularly beneficial for older dogs, overweight dogs, or those recovering from injury.
  • Enhanced safety: The right water toys can significantly improve safety during water play. Water toys are typically made from buoyant, visible materials that encourage dogs to swim rather than sink.

Key Features to Look for in Dog Water Toys

A black dog carrying a Chuck It water toy near a lake.

When selecting the perfect water toy for your dog, there are several key features to consider that ensure both the toy’s durability and your pet’s safety. Here’s what to keep an eye out for:

Durability in Water

Water toys must withstand the usual wear and tear from play and the challenges posed by water exposure.

  • Look for toys made from materials resistant to water damage, such as mold, mildew, and rust.
  • Rubber and certain synthetic fibers are excellent choices since they maintain their integrity even after repeated dunks in water.

Visibility and Floatation

The best water toys are easy for dogs to see and retrieve.

  • Bright colors like neon yellow, lime green, or orange stand out against natural water settings.
  • Ensure the toy you select is buoyant enough to float on the surface.

Non-Toxic Materials and Size Appropriate

Safety is paramount when choosing any toy for your pet.

  • Water toys should be made from non-toxic materials so that they’re safe for your dog to chew on and carry in their mouth.
  • The size and shape of the toy should be large enough not to be swallowed but manageable for your dog to carry comfortably.

Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance

Dog water toys often collect sand, mud, and other debris during play, which can lead to bacteria growth if they are not properly maintained.

  • Look for toys that are dishwasher safe or easy to rinse off under a tap. The easier a toy is to clean, the longer it will last, and the healthier it will be for your dog to use.

9 Top Dog Water Toys

A white and brown dog in the water with a dog water toy from Wilco Farm Store.

When choosing the best water toys for your dog, selecting the right toy can make all the difference. Here’s a closer look at some of the top products we recommend for ultimate water fun:

Chuckit!

  • Amphibious Balls: Perfect for fetching, this ball floats high on the water, making it easy for dogs to spot.
    • This ball comes in multiple sizes (check out Chuckit! size chart here), so choose a size that it’s small enough for your dog to carry but large enough they can’t completely fit it in their mouth.

Chuckit! Amphibious Balls

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  • Amphibious Bumper: Designed to be unsinkable and easy to grab, this toy is ideal for training and fun in all types of water environments.

Chuckit! Rugged Bumper Dog Toy

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  • Large Kick Fetch Toy: The unique grooved design makes it easy for dogs of all sizes to pick up and carry, ensuring it won’t get lost during vigorous play at the lake, in the pool, or on land.

Chuckit!, Large Kick Fetch Dog Toy

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  • Rugged Bumper Toy: Its rugged construction features a tough core covered with durable material that withstands chewing and the elements and floats prominently on the water’s surface.

Chuckit! Rugged Bumper Dog Toy

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Water & Woods

  • Floating Retrieval Toys: These are robust and designed for long throws and easy retrieval, helping to train dogs in water retrieval.
  • Training Dummies: Specifically designed for training hunting dogs in water environments, these dummies are practical and durable.

Coastal Pet Products, Water & Woods Vinyl Training Dummies Dog Toy

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ProFit Foam

  • Form Ring: This ring-shaped toy is brightly colored and crafted from foam that ensures it stays afloat.

ProFit, Yellow Foam Ring Dog Toy

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  • Flying Jack: These lightweight toys float well, making them perfect for fetch games in the pool or lake.

ProFit, Blue Foam Flying Jack Dog Toy

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  • Foam Stick: The high buoyancy of these water toys makes them ideal for swimming exercises.

ProFit, Blue Foam Stick Dog Toy

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Kiddie Pool Option

A dog sitting in a kiddie pool from Wilco Farm Store.

A kiddie pool can be an excellent option for dogs that prefer less adventurous water play or just need to cool down.

42" Round Wading Pool

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Round Wading Pool, 59 in.

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Safety Tips for Water Play

A dog in a water safety vest in the pool.

Whether it’s a day at the coast or an afternoon by the pool, a few safety tips can help make water play enjoyable and safe for your dog.

  • Keep constant supervision: Always keep a watchful eye on your dog while they’re playing in or around water. Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, unexpected situations, such as strong currents or fatigue, can arise.
  • Check toys for wear and tear: Damaged toys can pose choking hazards or introduce sharp edges that could lead to injury.
  • Gradually introduce them to water: Not all dogs naturally take to water, and even those that do can benefit from a gradual introduction. This approach helps build confidence and ensures that water play remains a positive experience.
    • Start in shallow, calm waters or with a small amount of water in a kiddie pool.
    • Encourage your dog with toys and treats, allowing them to explore and become comfortable at their own pace.
  • Use life vests: Consider fitting your dog with a life vest because even strong swimmers get tired. Life vests provide buoyancy, help keep your dog afloat, and are particularly useful for dogs that are not strong swimmers or are new to water activities.
  • Bring fresh water: Always bring a supply of fresh drinking water for your dog. Salt from ocean water, chemicals from pools, and parasites or bacteria can be harmful if ingested. Also, be mindful of standing water since it can put your dog at risk for giardia.
  • Avoid areas with blue-green algae: Blue-green algae can be toxic to dogs if ingested. These algae blooms can appear in both fresh and saltwater and often look like foam or scum on the surface of water with a blue-green hue. If you suspect the presence of blue-green algae, prevent your dog from entering or drinking the water.

Dive Into Fun with the Perfect Dog Water Toys

Two white dogs at the lake playing with one of the best dog water toys.

Water play with the right toys is an excellent way for your dog to stay active, cool, and happy. Get ready to make a splash and see your dog’s joy as they dive into their next water adventure.

Happy swimming!

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