Foam Dog Balls for the Win: A Review

Foam Dog Balls for the Win: A Review

A white dog with brown ears and ticking and a curled tail stands in profile, with his head turned toward the camera. He is holding a blue ball with a bright orange BioThane strap dangling from it

This is an unsolicited review with no affiliate links. I purchased two balls from this company and Lewis and I both think they are great.Shoutout to a company with a great product and customer service.

I’m always looking for sturdy, throwable tug toys for Lewis. I think I saw an ad for these, or perhaps a friend shared them. In any case, the toys at Foam Dog Balls looked perfect.

They have two sizes of balls and a remarkable variety of color combinations (12 ball colors and 4 strap colors that you can mix and match). The larger size is 3.25 inches in diameter and the smaller is 2.75 inches. I believe they are working on an even smaller one as well. I chose a color combo that passed the “dog vision” test and also seemed like it would look good with Mr. Photogenic.

A blue textured ball with a bright orange biothane strap attached

Unfortunately, I guessed the wrong size, and the large ones I ordered were too big for Lewis. I emailed their customer service and got a prompt email response from an actual person (thanks Greg!) with a return authorization number. After I sent the balls back, I got an email saying that rather than issuing a refund and requiring another purchase, they would just send me the smaller size (same price). They did this even though it had been my mistake. This saved me the second shipping costs. It made a big difference to me because I had been waffling about the hassle of sending them back. I’m so glad I did!

I also like their website. Professional, but not glitzy or manipulative. And a miracle: no popups or other annoyances. These characteristics say to me, “Hey, we have a good product and are confident about it. Take a look.”

The Balls

Lewis clearly likes the feel of them. The weight of the ball is just right, and with the long strap, I actually had to be careful not to overthrow it (into my neighbor’s yard). Very different from his Jolly Ball, another favorite but awkward for me to toss. These feel great to throw; the balance is perfect for me. I’m late to the BioThane® party but oh my, do I love the strap!

For people who play with their dogs in and around water—the balls float like bobbers!

I bought two because for a long time I have needed two identical throwables to get one back. But Fetching Boy needed only one. He thinks it’s worth it to bring things back to me, which makes me feel warm and happy. When you have mutts, it’s the holy grail to get a fetcher, and I love it that my dog thinks I’m fun!

Product Comparison

I have a number of varieties of this style of toy. I used to buy the KONG Squeakair balls on a rope for Zani. They are cheaper, but very light weight with nylon ropes that I never want to touch again after the BioThane® straps on Foam Dog Balls. The KONG balls are also fairly easy to rip and can be pulled off the rope. I have a couple of heavier plastic balls on braided handles (as in this header photo). Lewis and I both like them, but one time I threw one and hit him in the eye with the ball end and it obviously hurt! They are heavy and fairly hard rubber or plastic. I have yet more balls and other toys on ropes but Foam Dog Balls hit the Goldilocks spot.

Safety

The company warns, appropriately, that their balls are not chew toys. I could tell that Lewis and Clara were both ready to chew them up, given a chance. So these go in the “for playing with a human only” box. I appreciate the company’s transparency. I recently got ripped off by yet another company that advertised that their toy was for “super chewers” but was immediately destroyed.

Lewis’ Review

I’ll let Lewis show you his response. These clips are from his very first session with the foam ball.

Critique

My goal is always to give a true assessment of the pros and cons of items I write about. But there’s little to criticize here.

I thought of one small thing, but it’s a matter of taste. The packaging is sleek and pricy looking, with a sturdy plastic zipper bag (also BioThane® maybe?) for each toy. They are spending some money on it. The zipper bags are nice enough that you hate to throw them away, but I don’t need individual plastic pouches for dog toys. But maybe they are perfect for some people. I’ll use them for something else. And I have to admit, opening the brightly colored mailer and taking out these sleek bags was fun. The balls, at $16–20 each (depending on occasional discounts), are priced just fine, considering the quality.

Summary

This is a well designed toy that’s a pleasure for both members of the team. Lovely for me to handle and throw, and Lewis basically wants to keep it in his mouth forever, with short breaks to chase it.

Thumbs and paws up!

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Copyright 2024 Eileen Anderson

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