7 Best Floating Toys for Dogs Who Love the Water in 2020

Playtime in the water is one of the best kinds of exercise you can give your pooch. Water play boosts your dog’s metabolism to burn calories for heart-loving aerobics while maintaining a healthy body weight. It also encourages muscle growth and low-impact joint movement, which is perfect for dogs who don’t need the extra stress on their hips and joints.

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Playing in the water can simply be fun for your dog, too, offering a new way to play outside instead of just running in the grass. In the hot summer months, especially, water play is an excellent way to get your dog outside still while beating the heat.

Many dogs are natural water enthusiasts who love to dive, prance, and play in the water. Even if your dog isn’t excited to hop in the lake or pool, you might be able to encourage him to play with a fun water toy that floats on the surface for him to see and retrieve.

Floating toys for dogs have durable designs made with tough materials that keep them safe in the water. Toys that float on the water target the interests of dogs who love to retrieve toys, encouraging them to keep playing as you toss the toy, and they swim to retrieve it and bring it back.

Our complete guide to the best floating toys for dogs who love the water can help you choose the right water toy for your dog or puppy. We’ve chosen seven top picks to give you plenty of options based on your dog’s interests.

What to Look for in a Good Floating Toy for Dogs Who Love the Water

Just like any non-water dog toy, floating toys for dogs aren’t all the same. Some are best for puppies with smaller mouths and without significant chewing habits, while others are designed for the best dog swimmers. The toy you choose should match your dog’s size, chewing habits, play interests, and swimming ability.

The durability of a floating toy is one of the most important points to consider. Many floating dog toys use durable rubber that’s both waterproof and rugged enough to withstand strong jaws. But, make sure it’s actually a floating toy. Some toys might be marked as floatable, but customer reviews reveal that they’re too heavy to float well on the water.

Next, consider the size of the toy. Puppies and small breeds have small mouths and need a smaller, lightweight toy to retrieve in the water. Bigger toys suit larger breeds well, especially if they have strong jaws and love to chew.

Floating toys come in a range of designs, from frisbees to balls to plush toys with squeakers. Your dog probably has a preference for the type of toys he enjoys, and you can likely find a floating toy to match his interests. Excellent swimmers and water enthusiasts, for example, might prefer a frisbee to a squeaky toy because of how far you can throw it, extending their time in the water.

Another point to consider is the type of water your dog will be swimming in. Calm pools won’t carry a toy away with the current, but an ocean can. If you plan to use the toy in a body of water where currents are possible, it might be a good idea to get one with an attached string or reel that prevents it from getting lost.

Overall Best Floating Dog Toys for Dogs Who Love the Water

Chuckit! Paraflight Flyer

Best Overall

Our top pick for a floating toy that your water-loving dog will adore is the Chuckit! Paraflight Flyer. This frisbee-like toy launches far into the water if you want it to soar for dogs who are excellent swimmers, but you can also toss it gently into shallow water for more timid dogs or beginner swimmers.

One of the biggest draws of this toy is the multi-layered construction that makes it incredibly durable against strong jaws and tough chewers. The toy is soft, so it’s even a good choice for pooches that prefer flexible toys.

The toy’s inner circle is made of mesh, so it’s quick to dry after your dog has finished playing. The raised outer area keeps the toy afloat while giving you a convenient spot to pick it up and toss it. Bright colors make the Paraflight Flyer easy to spot in the water, even at a distance.

Kurgo Skipping Stones

If your dog loves to chase after rocks as you skip them in the water, then this toy can appease the interests of both of you. Shaped like rocks but colorful and enticing like dog toys, this pair of toy rocks skip along the surface of the water as regular rocks do.

However, they’ll stay floating when they’re done skipping, so your dog can find them easily and retrieve them. With bright neon coloring on each set of Kurgo Skipping Stones, they stand out from the surface well.

You’ll also appreciate the durability of these “rocks,” which have non-toxic, rugged material that super chewers can exercise their jaws on without breaking through. The material is also waterproof, keeping water from seeping in and causing bacteria and mold to build up on the inner surface. A quick wipe with warm water and soap after each use is all you need to keep them clean and safe.

Frisco Floating Fetch Ball

Some dogs prefer the tossing fun that comes along with balls. If that sounds like your furry friend, you might want to try the Frisco Floating Fetch Ball, which comes in different sizes fit for small, medium, and large dog breeds. If you or your dog isn’t fond of squeaking toys, this squeakless toy can be a good option.

This fetch ball is a perfect toy to play with out of the water, too, but its buoyancy makes it an excellent choice for outdoor fun in the water. The foam rubber material makes this ball extra bouncy, giving it just the right amount of play and splash ability in the water. That material also helps the ball stay afloat on the surface and keeps it lightweight for a smooth transfer back to shore.

The ball’s size is also just the right size to fit inside many ball launchers for dogs, giving your arm a break from continuous tossing into the water.

Nerf Dog Atomic Flyer

The Nerf Dog Atomic Flyer isn’t explicitly designed to be a floating water toy for dogs, but it certainly works well for one. You use this toy just like a frisbee, giving a quick flick of your wrist as you toss it past your dog for him to fetch and retrieve. The frisbee is thin and lightweight, making it perfectly buoyant on the water.

This toy comes in multiple color options that are bright and easy to spot, whether you play on land or in the water with your dog. It’s about ten inches in diameter, making it ideal for medium or large dogs, although it’s light enough for determined smaller breeds to carry comfortably.

One perk of this frisbee is its hollowed center hole, which leaves a convenient opening for your pup to see out of when he carries it back to you, unlike other frisbees that block the dog’s line of sight.

Overall Best Floating Dog Toys for Puppies Who Love the Water

ZippyPaws Floaters

Puppies just learning to swim can benefit from brightly colored toys that look fun and enticing to encourage them to hop in the water. ZippyPaws Floaters have those characteristics, from their adorable designs (available in Duck, Shark, Turtle, and Walrus) to their upright, playful character heads that are easy to see from the shore.

Puppies also tend to love squeaking toys that give them a little reward as they chew and play. The two fun squeakers inside ZippyPaws Floaters might give your pup enough feedback to keep him playing in the water.

These lightweight, small-ish floating toys are just the right size for smaller breeds and puppies. Your pup can fetch the toy and carry it back with either the flat body or the rounded head, depending on what feels more natural to him.

Chuckit! Amphibious Bumper Floating Fetch Toy

The Chuckit! Amphibious Bumper Floating Fetch Toy includes rubber bumper ends, a lightweight foam inner tube, and a mesh covering, all of which work together to create an excellent option for a floating toy for puppies that love the water.

This water toy targets oral safety for dogs with soft, flexible materials that won’t scratch or harm sensitive puppy gums as they chew it. All materials are also easily cleanable after each use with some mild soap and warm water.

The attached rope allows for convenient tossing, but it can also double as a retrieval tool for your dog. If the main part of the toy is a bit too large for your dog to hold comfortably, he can grab the rope instead.

West Paw Hurley with Zogoflex

With X-Small through Large sizes, the West Paw Hurley with Zogoflex toy is one that you can find the right size for almost any puppy breed. Most young puppies will probably do best with an X-Small or Small, but the bigger size options allow the toy to grow with your puppy as he transitions to adulthood.

Puppies whose owners are introducing them to water play and swimming can benefit from bright-colored toys that contrast the water and show them right where they need to swim. This toy comes in bright colors, like orange and lime green, so that it won’t blend in with its surroundings.

Teething pups are no match for this durable toy, which is designed with ruggedness in mind while staying buoyant on the water. The West Paw Hurley even backs your purchase with a money-back guarantee if your dog does end up damaging it despite using it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Tips for Playing with Your Floating Toy

Floating toys designed for water play introduce a new, exciting way for your dog to play outside, especially on warm, sunny days. Water enthusiasts will enjoy splashing around while they swim to retrieve their new toy as it waits for them on the water’s surface. The following tips can keep your dog having fun and staying safe in the water:

  1. Avoid throwing the toy too far into the water, especially if you aren’t sure how well your dog swims yet. Start by tossing it in shallow water to get your dog acclimated to the water and the toy before throwing it farther.
  2. Inspect the toy throughout your period of play with your dog. Look for rips, holes, or detached pieces that could render it unsafe to continue using with your pup.
  3. Bring plenty of your dog’s favorite treats along as he plays in the water. Praise your dog each time he retrieves the toy and brings it back to you. It won’t be long before he catches on and makes it a habit.
  4. Clean the toy thoroughly after your dog has finished playing with it, and allow it to dry before using it again to prevent mold and mildew buildup.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I encourage my dog to play in the water?

Some dogs take a little more time than others to get used to the water. You can help your pup to get in the water by starting slowly. Start with a pool or lake with gentle water and gently guide your dog into a shallow area, getting just his paws wet at first. Once he seems comfortable with the water, you might toss a floating dog toy a few inches past him. When he picks it up, reward him with his favorite treat. Repetition and praise will encourage most dogs to keep playing.

How do I choose the right size toy for my dog?

It’s crucial to look at a manufacturer’s size recommendations before buying a dog toy. Toys that are too small can become choking hazards for dogs with large mouths or those that like to chew. If a toy is too big, your little dog can tire himself out trying to retrieve it in the water. Check manufacturer size charts, product descriptions, and customer reviews to assist you in your search.

How can I clean a floating toy between uses?

The manufacturer may provide suggestions for cleaning a floating toy. If not, you can usually do so with mild soap and warm water. Remember to let the toy dry thoroughly before storing it or using it again. Be sure to rinse and dry the inside of the toy, too, where water sometimes gets trapped.

What floating toys are appropriate for dogs that chew?

Dogs that love to chew on toys typically do well with heavy-duty rubber or nylon toys. Many floating toys for the water are made with this material but are still lightweight enough to float well.

Final Thoughts

Pet owners who want to explore the outdoors more with their dogs can probably benefit from introducing a floating toy to their dogs to encourage water play. The products in this buyer’s guide are highly rated toys that pet owners prefer for their dogs, which is why we recommend them to you. Through interactive owner-and-dog play and the right floating toy, you can support your dog’s love for safe and fun water play.

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