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6 Best Outdoor Dog Toys for Warm Weather Fun

Happy dog playing with outdoor dog toy
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The sun’s out, the days are longer, and after a long season of being cooped up inside your dog is more than ready to hit the grass, sand, water or all of the above! If you want to maximize your time outside with your pup consider picking up some outdoor dog toys that take fun and games to the next level. 

The following list accommodates dogs of all ages, sizes, and play styles, which means that you and your furry best friend are sure to have a good time during the dog days of summer!

How We Chose Our Top Outdoor Dog Toys

Happy dog outside with ball in summer

With over twenty years of experience as a dog trainer, six years behind the counter of my pet products store, and as a shelter volunteer and Pit Bull foster mom, I’ve seen it all when it comes to canine toy preferences. I know what dogs enjoy as well as the types of toys that can stand up to rigorous play. Plus I have an understanding of what pet parents prefer when it comes to exercising their dogs. 

The following dog toys for outdoors are well-reviewed and dog-safe, and nearly all are made in the USA. They range in price but lean towards higher dollar investment options since quality and durability come at a cost.

6 Best Outdoor Toys

All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Great Pet Care may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

While there’s no single toy that is sure to be a hit with every dog, the following options address differences in preferences and play styles to ensure a good time for all teammates.

Jolly Ball Tug n’ Toss

Jolly Pets Tug-N-Toss Dog Toy Ball with Handle

This workhorse of a toy is perfect for dogs that like to play rough (or is it “ruff”?) so it’s one of the best outdoor dog toys for larger dogs. The Jolly Ball is made of tough plastic, as in, don’t kick it unless you’re wearing closed-toe shoes! It’s built to stand up to intense chasing, biting and herding, but also means that it can be noisy on hard surfaces. (It’s probably not a good fit for wood floors.) The handle makes it easy for dogs and their people to grab it but it can also becomes a target spot for chewers. Despite the heavy duty construction, the Jolly Ball floats, so you can take your game of fetch to the beach or pool.

Highlights

  • USA-made
  • Four sizes, from small to extra large
  • Six colors
  • Rugged construction
  • Built for land or sea play

Things to Consider

  • Some dogs don’t like to play with extra hard toys
  • It’s tough but not indestructible, so supervised play is suggested for chewers
  • The edges of the handle can become jagged from teeth and pavement 

Ruff Dawg Stick Fetch Toy

Ruff Dawg Stick Dog Toy

Your fetching fanatic might like chasing down sticks in the yard, but doing so can put dogs at risk of obstructions, cuts, splinters and other injuries. A safer alternative is the Ruff Dawg Stick toy, a durable but flexible rubber that mimics the shape of a real stick without any of the hazards. This interactive outdoor dog toy is tough but not indestructible so it’s best enjoyed as a team toy for fetching or games of tug. The aerodynamic shape guarantees good loft for long-distance running, plus it floats, so your dog can enjoy it on land or in the water.

Highlights

  • USA-made
  • FDA approved material
  • Two sizes
  • Five colors
  • Can be filled with treats for indoor play

Things to Consider

  • Not chew-proof, so co-play is suggested
  • Limited size options

Chuckit Ball Launcher

ChuckIt! Sport Ball Launcher

This long-distance ball launcher is the OG of outdoor toys for dogs. The goal of a game of fetch is to get your dog really running, and the beauty of this classic is that it takes your throws three times farther, which means more doggy sprints. Even better, the launcher’s durable plastic will keep your hands clean thanks to the no mess pick-up design. And you won’t even have to bend over to grab the ball once your dog brings it back! While the ChuckIt can be used with standard tennis balls or ChuckIt brand rubber balls, you can substitute any similarly sized ball. Of course, it’s the ball that’s the focus, not the handle itself, which could become an accidental chew target if left unattended.

Highlights

  • USA made
  • Dramatically increases throwing distance
  • Three models and four lengths for dogs of all sizes
  • Fits a variety of ball types

Things to Consider

  • Not all dogs are ball motivated or enjoy retrieving
  • Some users report that the longer sizes are challenging to use
  • The handle can become uncomfortable after repeated throws

Kong Classic Flyer

KONG - Flyer - Durable Rubber Flying Disc Dog Toy

Another fun yard classic, the flying disc is a hit with dogs of all sizes. Flying discs for humans are usually made of hard plastic and can be tough on dog mouths, so a softer rubber option like the Kong Classic Flyer is the perfect choice for snatching it out of the sky. This durable model catches great air, which means your dog will get a workout chasing it down. While Kong is known for their chew-proof dog toys, this is not an indestructible outdoor dog toy. Users who allowed their dog to play with it solo reported that the disc can be ripped.

Highlights

  • USA-made
  • Two sizes
  • Durable construction 
  • Comfortable for dog mouths

Things to Consider

  • Not chew proof
  • Some dogs don’t enjoy chasing flying discs

Squishy Face Studio Flirt Pole

Squishy Face Studio Flirt Pole V2 with Lure

This unique outdoor dog toy catches many pet parents by surprise since it looks more like an overgrown cat toy than something a pup would enjoy. The beauty of a flirt pole toy is that it taps into a common canine drive—chasing small, rapidly retreating objects. This type of chase play can burn through energy quickly, and is a ton of fun for both participants! Play with a flirt pole can get intense, and it might be tempting to encourage your dog to leap up to try to snag the toy out of the air, but it’s better for both canine manners and joint health to keep the toy racing along the ground. And don’t forget to let your dog “win” occasionally by letting him grab the prey!

Highlights

  • Made in the USA
  • Lightweight but sturdy construction
  • “Prey” object can be swapped out for favorite toys
  • Most dogs enjoy games involving chase

Things to Consider

  • Not a tug toy, so dogs need to understand “drop”
  • The toy is large, ranging between 53” and 63” inches long

Sprinkler Splash Pad

VISTOP Non-Slip Splash Pad for Kids and Dog

Water dogs will love getting wet with this fun outdoor dog toy to keep them busy! While most of the other options included in this list are geared to interactive play, this unique water feature is all about solo fun. (Although if you want to jump in with your pooch that’s perfectly understandable!) With a simple set-up (just screw your hose into the connector on the pad) and adjustable pressure that sends plumes of water into the air, your pup will thank you for helping him keep his cool during the dog days of summer.

Highlights

  • Simple set-up
  • Big enough for multiple dogs
  • A great way to play during the hottest days of the summer

Things to Consider

  • The mat needs to be on flat ground
  • Dogs with sharp nails or those with a tendency to bite at flowing water might puncture the plastic
  • Some dogs might be afraid of the motion or not enjoy swimming

Outdoor Dog Toys: Buyer’s Guide

Dog catching frisbee outside

What Is An Outdoor Dog Toy?

Any dog toy can technically be an “outdoor” toy, but the best outdoor dog toys incorporate aspects of play that aren’t suited to indoor use like water, long distance throwing, noise and rigorous activity. While you can throw a toy for your dog inside the house, you probably wouldn’t want to use a ball launcher to do so! Outdoor toys for active dogs enable pups to engage in typically doggy behaviors while expending energy, which probably means napping at the end of playtime!

Outdoor dog toys may also be more durable or easier to clean than some indoor or plush dog toys. They’ll stand up to elements like the sun, rain, and dirt. 

Types of Outdoor Toys

Outdoor dog toys fall into several categories, including:

  • Rubber/Plastic: Many plastic and rubber dog toys float
  • Neoprene: Less durable than plastic or rubber, these buoyant toys are built for water fun
  • Rope: These seemingly tough toys can be chewed apart and might pose a choking hazard, so supervised play is suggested
  • Balls: The go-to option for Labradors, Goldens and any other fetch-crazy dogs
  • “Experience” toys: Water options like pools, splash mats, and sprinklers are a great way to cool off on hot days.

Outdoor Dog Toy Safety Tips

As with any dog toys, pet parents need to consider safety first. Look for outdoor dog toys that are made with dog-safe materials and are appropriately sized for your dog. Keep in mind that intense, high speed games of fetch could lead to balls accidentally getting lodged in your dog’s mouth or throat, so consider sizing up. 

No dog toy is completely indestructible no matter what the packaging says, so supervise your dog with new toys to ensure that he can’t chew off pieces that could be swallowed. Keep an eye on toy wear and tear, and consider the toy’s “clean-ability” since outdoor toys can get filthy. Finally, don’t forget to put them away after each use to prevent them from becoming a lawnmower casualty! 
If you’re playing outdoors in the warmer months, make sure to offer your dog plenty of water, take breaks in the shade, and offer cooling options as needed to prevent dehydration and heat stroke.

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