Very few images portray the relationship between man and his dog like that of them playing frisbee together. It’s bonding time and play time and much-needed exercise for the both of you. But not all frisbees are created equal; some break pretty quickly while others don’t seem to get much distance or lift.
Also called flying discs, throwing discs, discs, fliers, and dog discs, there are loads of frisbees to choose from, whether you’re mucking around in the backyard or the local park; for newbies and dog disc pros. To make things easier for you, we’ve provided a list of what to look for, taking the guesswork out of what to look for and we give our top 7 recommendations for the best dog frisbee.
The ChuckIt! Paraflight Max Glow Dog Toy does what it says; it flies and it glows in the dark. The frisbee is made of nylon with a rubber edge and it’s suitable for indoor and outdoor play. The lights mean it can be seen, regardless of the terrain, and it works in water, so it won’t get lost. It recharges under a bright light or flashlight, and a 5 to 10-minute charge gives you up to 30 minutes of light.
The Paraflight from Chuckit! soars like a bird, giving your pup enough time to chase it down. In our opinion, it’s a great frisbee for dogs of all sizes and is indestructible unless it’s used as a chew toy.
KONG is a trusted name when it comes to pet products and their frisbees are no different. The Rubber Flyer is available in small and large sizes and in red and black. It’s soft and durable and doesn’t become brittle over time. The non-toxic disc can be folded for easy storage and it’s easy to keep clean.
The frisbee flies accurately and far, and even though it can withstand hours of play, it’s soft and won’t hurt your dog. We like that it’s easy to find (for humans) and to pick up from a flat surface (for dogs). Unlike some frisbees, the KONG Rubber Flyer doesn’t float but that shouldn’t put you off. It’s well-priced and well-made and comes highly recommended as one of the best dog frisbees.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a flying squirrel with a dog in hot pursuit. The Flying Squirrel flyer, from Chuckit! looks like a flying mammal, except for the blue and red colors and glow-in-the-dark paws. The flying toy has raised edges that makes it easy for dogs to pick up, and it flies high and far, like really far.
The bright colors and glow paws make it easy to find and it floats on water. It also won’t sink in the snow. It’s great for indoor and outdoor play and because it’s made of fabric, even the smallest of pups enjoy playing with it. There have been some complaints about the award-winning toy not flying properly, but we think that’s more to do with the way people are throwing it. It’s an absolute must for any doggy toy box.
The Hyper Pet Flippy Flopper is another soft frisbee that comes highly recommended. It’s light enough to hover so your dog can grab it while it’s still airborne and because it’s made of a durable fabric, it won’t hurt his teeth or gums.
The Flippy Flopper is a great choice for smaller dogs and floats on water. It comes in a variety of colors that are bright and easy to spot, which is a good thing because this frisbee gets a lot of distance. Your dog will love it.
One of the best things about the Tail-Spin Flyer from Booda is that it comes in three different sizes, which means your dog, no matter how small or large, will enjoy frisbee time. It’s durable, can fly and float and we’ve even seen people use it as a water bowl for when their pup gets thirsty.
Unlike hard discs, the Booda is soft and won’t hurt your dog or damage their teeth. It’s perfect for the beach and park, and because of the bright colors you can play with it in woody areas and in the snow. It’s lightweight, FDA compliant and perfect for small to medium sized pooches. Larger dogs can certainly play with it, but if they like to mix things up with some tug-of-war, the fabric might not hold up. As with all frisbees, while they’re durable, not too many will last if they’re used as a chew toy.
You can’t go wrong with the Zogoflex Zisc Tough Dog Frisbee from West Paw Design. Like all their products, the Zisc is made in the States, is certified-safe, BPA and Phthalate-free, non-toxic and FDA compliant. The Zogoflex Zisc costs a little more than other frisbees, but it’s money well spent.
They’re available in bright colors and are perfect to use in water, snow and on grass. And they come with 100% guarantee. There are two sizes to choose from – 6.5 inches and 8.5 inches – with the smaller one flying a lot faster and for longer.
The Zogoflex Zisc is made from recycled materials and is eco-friendly. The manufacturer’s guarantee gives you absolute confidence in the product and it’s definitely one of the best frisbees available on the market.
The Dog Frisbee Toy is available in blue, and while you think the color choice is limited, there’s a reason for it. Humans notice colors differently to dogs, and for us green, orange, yellow and red stand out. But for a dog the most distinct color is blue. Give it a try and you’ll see what we mean.
The frisbee doubles up as a drinking bowl and the aerodynamic design ensures hours of fun with your best friend. It’s made of a soft rubber that won’t break or splinter, and it comes with an “all chewed up” guarantee.
We wouldn’t recommend it for smaller dogs because of its weight, but bigger dogs will love it.
What to Look for When Choosing a Dog Frisbee
Frisbees are available in different designs, sizes, weight, and material and these factors all play a role in their performance. So how do you know which is the right one for you and your canine companion? Let’s take a look at what differentiates a good frisbee from a great one.
- Easy to use
To get the most use out of a frisbee it needs to be easy to throw and it must fly well. If you’re battling to throw it, your dog’s not going to learn to catch it and the two of you will lose interest pretty quickly.
Usually, a weighted frisbee for dogs will get more lift and distance and fly in a straight line. That’s the upside. The downside is the heavier it is the harder it will be to catch. And smaller breeds will have a hard time carrying it.
The best Frisbees are durable and can handle wear and tear, whether it’s made of plastic or fabric. An enthusiastic catcher will break any frisbee within a few minutes if it’s used as a chew toy. It’s a good idea to look for ones that are ‘bite-resistant’.
A good throwing disc is designed in such a way it’s easy for your pup to grip. Also, lipped frisbees are easier to pick up from the ground.
The Characteristics of Frisbee Crazy Canines
Not all humans will like the idea of throwing a plastic disc around, and neither do all dogs. There are certain characteristics that make a dog more suited to the game. These include:
- Dogs that are small to medium in size usually do really well with a frisbee and are especially good at freestyle contests and games. Larger breeds will have fun but their size means their joints can take strain.
- Breeds with retrieving instincts often take to playing frisbee fairly quickly or with a little prompting. Otherwise, you can teach your pup to catch and bring it back. Playing frisbee on your own gets old pretty quickly.
- Pups with a lot of energy and endurance make better disc partners than those who prefer lying around.
- To catch a frisbee a dog needs to jump. This means dogs with a spring in their step will enjoy it more than heavier set dogs who prefer being on terra firma.
- If you have a dog that learns quickly, you have a frisbee partner. Also, dogs that score a little higher on the obedience scale and are trained will get the hang of flying disc games quickly.
Training Your Dog to Play with a Frisbee
Contrary to popular belief, a dog doesn’t instinctively know how to play with a frisbee. Like walking on a leash, or sitting for his food, he needs to be trained and encouraged. Here are a few quick and easy-to-follow tips to get your pooch interested.
Turn the frisbee into a food bowl
Yup, for a week or so feed your dog on the disc, then pick it up to stop it being chewed. Hide it away until the next meal.
Start off with inside play
Teach your pup to ‘get’ the frisbee. When he’s got it in his mouth tug at it lightly so he has to grip it. Use praise (or a treat) to get him to release the toy.
Play with your pup and the frisbee
Make sure your pup can see the frisbee and then run away from him, not too far and not too fast. See if he shows any interest. Then turn it over and slide it away from you, if he runs after the frisbee and grabs it, make a big fuss, telling him how clever he is.
Play with a new frisbee
Play the same game as above but with a new frisbee that hasn’t been used as a food bowl. Keep praising him every time he grabs it.
Don’t throw the frisbee just yet; roll it away rather and let him grab it while it’s still moving. Continue to do this. As soon as he is addicted to the game and the frisbee, you can move on to showing him how to catch it when it’s in the air.
Keep in mind not all dogs will be interested. If this is the case with your dog, leave it at that. You can try another time, or you can always use the frisbee as a bowl.
Watch this little pup getting acquainted with a flying disc.
Playing it Safe with a Frisbee for Dogs
When it comes to playing with your pooch, there’s nothing that beats throwing a frisbee. It’s an excellent way for the two of you to bond and it stimulates your dog, mentally and physically. But, like most activities, it can be dangerous if you don’t use common-sense.
Be sure to follow our guidelines to keep you and especially your pet, safe.
- Make sure the area is safe and suitable. You should only play with a frisbee in fenced-off areas or places where there aren’t too many distractions. The last thing you want is your pup chasing after a flying disc into a busy road.
- It’s a good idea to not give your pup the frisbee when he’s relaxing. Remember it’s not a chew toy, and shouldn’t be used as such. Any frisbee, no matter how durable, won’t last very long.
- Don’t be tempted to play disc games on hard surfaces as this will damage your pet’s paws. Ideally, soft beach sand and grass are the best surfaces to play on. Make sure he’s landing on all four legs as it helps distribute the weight better, reducing impact and strain on his joints and feet.
- As with any physical activity, make sure you slowly build up the frisbee sessions, especially if your pup isn’t used to this type of exercise. Let him rest as often as he needs and always have water for him to drink. For your convenience, and your pup’s comfort, some frisbees double up as water bowls.
- If your dog gets hurt, stop the game immediately. It can be anything from a sprained leg or cut up pads on his feet and even if it doesn’t seem that serious, be sure to treat it, or get it treated as soon as possible.
- Before you set off for a serious disc-dog training session, check with your vet that your pup is in good health. His size might not allow for it, or his weight and build could mean it’s not the best activity for him.
Right, the weather’s great, you and your pooch are rearing to go, but which frisbee should you buy? Take a look at our list that includes hard and soft options, as well as different sized ones. If we’ve left your favorite frisbee off the list let us know which one it is by leaving a comment below.
Nothing beats a session of frisbee throwing with your furry friend. It gets rid of all his pent-up energy, gets you out in the fresh air and allows the two of you to bond. Our list of the best frisbees for dogs is by no means a definitive list, but it’s a good starting point if you’re looking to buy one of these popular toys for the first time.
When it comes to the best dog frisbee, you can keep it as casual as you like or you might discover you have a disc-dog champion in the making. Whichever one it is, we’d love to see any pics you might have.