Is playing frisbee a better alternative to throwing a ball? We believe so, the sheer expression of joy our dogs display when retrieving a frisbee is all we needed to know its true.
We threw so many frisbees, are forearms hurt, and if we had a dollar for every frisbee we lost in a tree, we could afford to buy… a new frisbee! After 3 weeks of testing, we have some clear winners, and losers:
Best For Strong Chewers
West Paw Zogoflex Durable Dog Frisbee
Best All Round
Ruffwear Hydro Floating Disc for Dogs
Best For Puppies
KONG Puppy Flyer
Best For Superior Flight
Nerf Dog Tire Flyer
Best For Night Play
Nite Ize Flashflight, LED Light-Up Dog Disc
Best Hard Frisbee
Petper Dog Flying Disc
Best Product Guarantee
West Paw Zogoflex Zisc
Owners of especially rambunctious dogs or those with behavioral difficulties often find that by incorporating a 10-20 minute game of frisbee into their daily routine, they see a swift and positive shift in their dog’s behavior.
But with so many frisbees to choose from, how do you pick one that will stand the test of time (and teeth), but keeps your dogs attention? Well, that’s where we come in, by guiding you through the ins and outs of what you should look out for in a great dog frisbee!
Fun fact: Did you know dog frisbee has become such a popular pastime with dogs and their two-legged pals, that the official sport of “Frisbee Dog” now exists! What is Frisbee Dog? in theory, it’s pretty simple – and involves dog owners throwing frisbees with varying levels of difficulty and distance for their dogs to catch. In practice, it’s a heck of a lot harder!
Even if your dog — like mine! — isn’t cut out for the competitive variety, you can still pick up a frisbee and have hours of fun, not to mention it’s one of the best forms of exercise for your pup.
What Makes A Good Dog Frisbee?
Some of the key considerations you want to look out for are:
- Easy to Find: Playing at the dog park is all fun and games until Fido loses his frisbee in the bushes, and decides to leave it there! Therefore it’s a good reason to buy a brightly colored, or glow in the dark frisbee to ensure you don’t lose it.
- Chew Proof/Durable: One of the biggest challenges when buying a frisbee – is finding one that you won’t need to replace every other week. Rubber and fabric frisbees can be great options for dogs that like to chew on their toys.
- Gentle on Teeth: It’s not only the frisbee that you want to keep in tip-top shape but your dog too, and buying a frisbee that isn’t too heavy will be better for the health of your dog’s teeth and gums.
- Fits the Size of Your Pet: While it can be as cute as a button to see a tiny dog lugging around a giant frisbee, having too large of a frisbee will likely discourage your dog from playing, making buying the frisbee entirely pointless!
- Safe Materials: Did you know that some dog toys can be made from harmful materials? Most frisbees designed for human use don’t meet the same safety standards as one designed for your dog’s mouth. So it’s vital that you only ever purchase a frisbee made for dogs.
- Floats on Water: If you ever play frisbee at the beach or down by the lake, it’s a good idea to buy a dog disc that will float on top of the water. That way, if your pooch doesn’t catch it in time, it’s not going to sink to the bottom, to be lost for all of time – with all of the other heavy frisbees!
- Colors: Not that this makes much of a difference to your dog, but who doesn’t love to buy your canine accessories to coordinate with your home’s decor? Exactly! More aesthetically pleasing options for the kids include light up and glow in the dark frisbees – great for play after dark.
- Safe for Puppies: Some poorly made frisbees can splinter when chewed on, and these breakaway pieces can be especially dangerous for puppies who explore the world with their mouths.
- Easy to Clean: Keeping your dog’s toys clean is important as bacteria and parasites (or their eggs) is most often picked up from contaminated soil – which can then easily make its way from the frisbee into your dog’s mouth. Save yourself from a lot of hassle, and a pricey vet bill by cleaning your dog’s toys frequently.
- Flies Well: There are a couple of factors you want to think about when it comes to quality of flight; these are – the distance that the frisbee covers and the speed of descent. Usually, you’ll want to go with an option that offers both for a larger, high-energy breed, but you can get away with less for a smaller and slower pooch!
HARD VS. SOFT FRISBEES
Choosing between a soft and hard frisbee tends to come down to personal preference. Many owners assume that buying a soft frisbee is the safest option, but nowadays most reputable dog toy companies meet incredibly high production standards, so you could safely opt for either version.
To make the choice a little easier, we’ve jotted down a few pros and cons for each:
- Long lasting and more durable.
- Easier to throw.
- Covers a greater distance.
- Easy to Keep Clean.
- Can injure your dog if it hits him.
- Tend to be heavier.
- Less tempting for dogs that chew.
- Gentle on teeth and gums.
- Most float which makes them great for beach use.
- Lightweight and easy to travel with.
- Don’t tend to fly as far.
- Can be less durable.
Best For Strong Chewers
Some frisbees, such as those made from super flexible rubber, or fabric can work a treat for dogs that like to chew. The former because it tends to bend and stretch with your dog, and the latter as the fabric material discourages chewing. Having said that – if you have a relentless chewer, you’ll be hard pressed to find something immune to their razor-sharp teeth.
1. West Paw Zogoflex Durable Dog Frisbee:
This vibrantly colored flying disc from West Paw Design is made in the USA — big sky country (Montana) to be exact — by a pet product company that has been around for decades and was even ranked as one of the best small companies in America by Forbes back in 2016.
The Dash frisbee isn’t your regular frisbee; it can be used in a bunch of different ways, meaning that it could work especially well for dogs that get bored easily. Don’t just throw the frisbee through the air; you can also roll this across the yard, or even have a game of tug-o-war.
Made from tough, and durable materials – this heavyweight frisbee can work well for medium chewers – although, as with any toy, if you have a heavy chewer that really wants to destroy it – given time, he will.
The unique design, with a central hole, allows you and your pooch to pick the frisbee up in a number of ways, and the medium-soft materials used are gentle on your dog’s mouth.
Play by the lake, or at the beach without fear of losing the Dash as it just happens to float! And if you’re worried about the effects of the salt water, or lake mud – fear not, because this bad boy is also dishwasher safe.
- BEST FOR: Strong Chewers
- WEIGHT: 9.6 ounces
- COLORS: Currant, dandelion, and peacock
- Dishwasher safe.
- Floats on water.
- Available in multiple colors.
- Made in the USA.
- Heavy for a frisbee.
- Doesn’t fly as well as expected.
Best Soft Fabric
Fabric frisbees are just so easy to take with you anywhere. Fold it up and throw it in your pocket, and you’re good to go. Which is much better than carrying a cold frisbee to the park when you want to keep your hands firmly in your pockets.
2. Ruffwear Hydro Floating Disc for Dogs:
This weather-resistant disc for dogs is a great choice throughout the seasons, whether you want something to play in the park during spring or throw in the snow in the winter months.
Made from a sturdy fabric that not only stands up against the toughest of teeth but also discourages chewing and gnawing – which is the problem that many owners face with those temptingly chewable rubber frisbees.
Safe to use in water, this floating frisbee was not only designed with a high edge, but the inside is also filled with a buoyant foam; this smart combination ensures that it floats high on the water for clear visibility and retrieval.
Strong and durable, don’t just play a game of frisbee with the Hydro Plane – you can play tug of war too! Ruffwear recommends that you don’t leave your dog unsupervised with this disc, as it’s not designed to be a straight up chew toy.
Easy to throw, and aerodynamic, the disc travels a medium distance — so could work well for those medium-energy or medium-large canines. As it’s quite large, it wouldn’t work for toy or small breeds.
Cleaning can be done by handwashing using a mild detergent — this isn’t suitable to be cleaned in the dishwasher or washing machine — and you can leave out to air dry.
- BEST FOR: All Around Use
- WEIGHT: 8.8 ounces
- COLORS: Blue Atoll, Sockeye Red
- Brightly colored – easy to find.
- Doesn’t bounce.
- Made from abrasion resistant fabric.
- Filled with buoyant foam for use in water.
- Soft on mouths.
- A little on the heavy side.
- Doesn’t fly as far as some other options.
Best For Puppies
If looking for a frisbee for your brand new bundle of fur, consider their size – you don’t want to buy something heavy-weight as this can damage their baby teeth. Opt for a lightweight flying disk or perhaps even a flying ring (without the center section) as this will be even gentler on their young mouths.
3. KONG Puppy Flyer
This colorful and soft frisbee for puppies is not only super lightweight but made from a special rubber formula that helps to ease the teething discomfort of your little pooch.
Made in the USA by the renowned pet product company – Kong, this frisbee is available in three different sizes: small, medium, and large, so no matter what breed of dog you have; from a Jack Russell, all the way up to a St Bernard – you should be set! Although, we can’t guarantee the frisbee-catching ability of your St Bernard!
The problem with many adult dog frisbees is that they are hard to catch for puppies, and I don’t mean difficult to catch – I mean abrasive on their delicate little mouths, thus potentially causing bumps and cuts.
And with 80% of dogs suffering from a periodontal disease at some point in their lives, you don’t want to increase your pups risk. I’m also happy to report that not only is the KONG Puppy Flyer gentle on little mouths, but it even helps to keep your dog’s teeth clean and gums healthy. Not bad ey!
With such a lightweight design, every member of the family will be able to play with little Fido, from the toddlers, all the way up to Grandma – but be sure to carefully supervise when the little ones are playing with the dog as accidents can happen, even with the best intentions from both your pup and kiddo.
- BEST FOR: Puppies
- WEIGHT: 3.84 ounces
- COLORS: Blue, Pink
- Incredibly lightweight.
- Special rubber formula for teething puppies.
- Made in the USA.
- Not suitable for heavy chewers.
- Floppiness of the disc makes it more difficult to throw.
Best Flight Capability
4. Nerf Dog Tire Flyer:
Made in conjunction with the lovable Hasbro toy brand – NERF. This frisbee has all of the fun that we’ve come to expect from a NERF product but in a canine-friendly package!
Measuring ten-inches across this flying disc is best suited to larger dog breeds, or medium breeds verging on the larger side. A durable frisbee, although not suitable for use as a chew toy, and should never be left with an unattended dog – as is suggested by most dog toy manufacturers.
Made out of thermoplastic rubber, this allows the frisbee to be firm in flight – thus flying for an impressively long distance, but with enough flexibility that your dog can pick it up from the floor.
As well as flying well, the unique shape and pattern on the Tire Flyer makes for a smooth and even descent – so this could be a good option for owners wanting to train their dogs to catch the frisbee mid-air.
Easy to clean, just throw it in the sink – and use regular old dish soap, being sure to rinse thoroughly after. Can be dried using a towel or left to air dry!
- BEST FOR: Superior Flight
- WEIGHT: 9.6 ounces
- COLORS: Blue
- Easy grip tire style edge.
- The unique shape makes it especially aerodynamic.
- Floats on water.
- Made from durable thermoplastic rubber.
- Easy to clean.
- Doesn’t stand up to heavy chewers.
- One-size only, suited to large dogs.
Best Light-Up & Night
5. Nite Ize Flashflight, LED Light-Up Dog Disc
This bright light up LED dog frisbee could be an ideal choice for owners working shifts that results in pooch playtime taking place after dark. The color changing lights shine like a rainbow through the sky, with red, green, blue, yellow, turquoise, purple, and white lights.
Made out of durable yet soft plastic, this flying disc is designed for superior flight, while being malleable enough that your dog won’t hurt himself when he catches it. This is yet another great option for owners looking to get into Frisbee Dog competitions.
Powered by long-life batteries (which come with the frisbee), the battery is placed in an area that your dog won’t bite hold of when picking up the disc and covered by a battery cover for added security and peace of mind. Control the lights with a simple on/off button on the underside of the frisbee.
Nite Ize state that their dog disc is waterproof, so even though there are batteries within the toy – washing can be done using warm water and non-toxic soap.
- BEST FOR: Play After Dark
- WEIGHT: 4.06 ounces
- COLORS: Red or Green with color changing LED’s
- Color changing.
- Canine-safe battery pack.
- Perfect for nighttime use.
- Superior flight.
- Incredibly lightweight.
- Not suitable for dogs that chew.
- The shape makes it harder for your dog to pick up from the floor.
Best Hard Frisbee
Hard frisbees can be more aerodynamic than their malleable counterparts, so can work better for the highly active dog that you’ll want to throw the frisbee further for. This also makes them a good choice for owners with joint conditions such as arthritis, as less effort is required to throw.
6. Petper Dog Flying Disc:
The Petper flying disc toy comes in four vibrant colors – but unlike many dog toys that are designed for humans, this one is designed to be the most visually appealing for your dog who sees colors differently to you or me.
This large disc is covered in strategically places grooves to ensure that it flies far and high… but hopefully not too high that it will get stuck in a tree – the downfall of many a good frisbee.
Can be used as a fun tool for training search and rescue dogs to jump into the water and as it floats your dog will be able to easily retrieve it – even if it takes him a couple of minutes to work up the courage to jump in!
Cleaning is quick and easy, with soap and warm water – but be sure to pick up a separate dish brush from the store so that you can get into each of the grooves of this flying disc.
- BEST FOR: Best Hard Frisbee
- WEIGHT: 7.4 ounces
- COLORS: Blue, green, pink and yellow.
- Large grooved design for superior aerodynamics.
- Made from durable and non-toxic materials.
- Suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
- Anti-slip design for ease of catching.
- Colors designed for the dog’s color visibility spectrum.
- On the heavier side.
- Not suitable for small breeds.
Best Soft Rubber
These frisbees can work well for young dogs who are teething, the flexible material gives them some relief from their teething pains and can stand up to the associated wear and tear.
7. West Paw Zogoflex Zisc:
The Zogoflez Zisc by West Paw comes in two different sizes – 6.5 inches, and 8.5 inches – making it a great choice for multi-pet households with both medium and large canines! Why not pick up one of each? Or if you’re budget conscious here’s a top tip – it’s better to buy a frisbee that is too small for your large dog than the other way around. Your only consideration there should be whether it poses a choking hazard, but at this size, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
Choose from a whopping five color options, with one that even glows in the dark — making this another option for owners that tend to play with their dogs after dark, or for those winter days when the sun seems to set far too early.
Suitable for use down at the beach, the Zisc floats, and with such bright colors – your dog will have no trouble finding and retrieving it from the water. Speaking of water, don’t worry about getting out a bucket of soapy water to clean it off – just throw it in the dishwasher, and you can rest easy in the knowledge that you’re keeping Fido safe from unwanted bacteria and parasites. What a good pet parent you are!
Should the time come that you want to retire your Zisc, you’ll be pleased to hear that it’s 100% recyclable. But that shouldn’t come any time soon, as West Paw offers a “Love It” guarantee, saying that – if for some reason you’re not happy with the performance of one of their products, they’ll make it right.
- BEST FOR: Best Product Guarantee
- WEIGHT: 4.2 ounces
- COLORS: Tangerine, aqua, granny smith, ruby red, and glow.
- Available in two sizes, mini and large.
- Made in the USA.
- BPA free.
- The manufacturer offers a 100% guarantee against dog damage.
- Dishwasher safe.
- Can tear when used by heavy chewers.
- Doesn’t fly as well as others on the market.
WHY Use A Frisbee?
Playing frisbee is one of the greatest forms of exercise for your dog, and helps to burn off masses of energy. For owners with active dogs, this could be your ticket to fitting in enough exercise to tire out Mr. Energy Paws – without being late for work.
When you first bring your new dog home and welcome him into the family, it can take him a little time to adjust and feel as though he belongs. This is the case for puppies, and especially for older or rescued dogs. Encouraging play helps to break down those walls and build up a lasting bond and friendship.
If you’ve ever arrived home to some kind of destruction, I’m talking anything from a shredded couch to scratch marks all over the door – then the chances are that your dog is super duper bored. Who can blame him? If I were to leave you alone in a room with no technology, or books to keep you occupied – you might get fed up too.
So here’s the trick, scheduling in frisbee time before and after work so that he’s tired out and just wants to sleep the day away, it also gives him something to look forward to upon your return – dogs are great at learning their routine!
Some owners are confused as to why their dog acts up when they take them for a walk around the block for two hours every day – so here’s the deal – mindless exercise can only do so much. After all – haven’t you ever had one of those nights where you can’t sleep because your mind is going a hundred miles an hour?
Well wouldn’t you know it, that’s what often happens to our dogs. The solution to this is to change up their routine and challenge them. Frisbee is genuinely one of the greatest gifts you can give a dog that needs more mental stimulation.
If you want to make things even more interesting – why not mix it up in your frisbee game by taking two frisbees to the park?! Throw one for him to retrieve, and as soon as he is on his way back, you should be waving the next frisbee for him to see – then throw it as soon as he has dropped the first one – trust me, this exercise works a treat!
Win Some Competitions
OK, so enough about the practical reasons that you should buy your dog a frisbee, let’s talk about the frivolous and fun reason. Um hello – dog frisbee competitions are a thing, and you and Fido could be in for the chance of winning not just ribbons and trophies – but in some cases. Cold. Hard… Packets of dog treats!
FRISBEE PLAYING TIPS AND TRICKS
- Which Breeds Love it: Certain breeds are known for their affinity for frisbee; these tend to be the more athletic, and intelligent ones, including Border Collies, Australian Cattle Dogs, Belgian Malinois, and Golden Retrievers. But that doesn’t mean that your beloved crossbreed or big goofy Dalmatian will be any less keen!
- When Not to Play: If you’re the proud owner of a Chihuahua or Dachshund – you should know that not only do these breeds tend to be hilariously bad at the game — seriously take a look at some videos on YouTube — but because of their physique, it can be bad for their health, and puts them at a higher risk of injury.
- Health Concerns: Have you tried encouraging your dog to play frisbee but he’s just not feeling it? It could be due to hip dysplasia, a common canine ailment that reduces mobility and causes pain in the hip joints. If you think that your dog may be suffering from this, seek veterinary advice immediately – as treatment is likely necessary.
- Teaching Frisbee: Some dogs instinctively chase after a frisbee, and others have no idea what’s happening! But fear not, you frisbee-loving dog owner, because you can teach your dog to play the game. We’ll be putting together a whole training guide in the not so distant future – so watch this space!
- Building up Fitness: A great game for building up fitness, but don’t go all in from the first day – if your dog is overweight, you’ll want to start by playing the game for a few minutes until you build up his fitness and stamina. The reason that you want to take it slow; is as a dog playing frisbee when exhausted is far more likely to injure himself.
As a dog owner, you get to see your big galumphing pooch go through life with such vim and vigor, with such joy and innocence that only kids and dogs share – but doesn’t it stop and make you appreciate the simple things in life more?
For that reason, you owe it to your dog to be the best owner he could ask for, and I’ll be totally honest here – I’m pretty sure the best owners buy their pooches little presents like frisbees every now and again.