Dog toys for the texture snob
September 27, 2016 4:56 PM   Subscribe

I need help finding glow in the dark or light-up balls with a tennis ball texture or a floppy, sturdy glow in the dark or lighted frisbee (or good ideas for to manufacturing the same at home).

Winter is coming. Where I live, that means that it is dark by 4 PM. I need a way to get my favorite dopey dog tired quickly after dark on the afternoons I can't go for a run with him. In daylight, this involves him sprinting HARD after a ball or frisbee in the unlit dog park near our house. I would like this to be the case at night as well and am looking for lighted alternatives. BUT:

He is a ball snob and exclusively fetches balls with a tennis ball texture and size. Chuck-its? Nope. This cool glowy ball? Or this one? Giant fails. If it's not a tennis ball texture he will. not. touch. it.

He is rough on frisbees and insists on picking them up in the middle, like a giant taco. We have tried this lighted frisbee, but the battery/light cover flew off the first time he picked it up in his lunatic fashion. We have this glow in the dark one which doesn't glow strongly enough to be found (and is white, so hard to find against snow). He loves the floppy Kong frisbees and these Dogobies and if we had a way to securely attach a handful of little LEDS (where do you find those? how would we secure them?) that would be awesome.

Anyone have ideas for DIY-ing, or know of a product that might work better than what we have tried?
posted by charmedimsure to Pets & Animals (4 answers total)
DIY option 1: Tennis ball + glow-in-the-dark fabric paint + UV flashlight to help you find it
DIY option 2: Dogobie + Lily pad LED (and heavy duty foam tape) + coin cell battery?
DIY option 3: cloth frisbee + sewn on elastic loops + glow bracelet (though this isn't ideal, glow sticks are technically non-toxic but tastes so nasty your dog will be upset if he bites into it, we don't want that)
DIY option 4: cloth frisbee + pretty much any piece of tacky blinking jewelry
posted by aimedwander at 8:41 PM on September 27, 2016

How rough is he? My dog will fetch a light up collar thrown like a frisbee but he won't bite through it so that works for us. It's an LED one you charge via usb but any would do.

Other than that, what if you smear cream cheese on one of the light up options and let him mouth/lick it of? Will he be excited to play afterwards ten sessions of cheese ball?

We have a sensory ball my autistic kids love (here) which isn't round and so the different texture might not bother him as much? Only problem is that it doesn't fly well from a launcher and it doesn't flash for long so if he doesn't see it land it's lost until daylight!
posted by intergalacticvelvet at 1:44 AM on September 28, 2016

He's pretty rough; he's not going to deliberately bite through things but they're going to be shaken, picked up in great sloppy haste, sprinted a 1/4 mile around the field with in a victory lap if caught mid-air and generally handled with Extreme Prejudice. Don't think the LED collar trick would work super well for us because of its less-than-ideal aerodynamic properties; we have created a monster and to get him tired enough to not eat the house and bug us for hours at night we need to be able to lob something pretty far.

We tried the cream cheese (well: peanut butter) trick last year on alternatively-textured balls to no avail; he really will not fetch anything which displeases him, which sadly likely eliminates anything not a disc or tennis ball.
posted by charmedimsure at 8:54 AM on September 28, 2016

The Chuckit! Zipflight has been great for our girl in similar circumstances. It really glows nicely. There's a version without a hole in the middle which might better satisfy taco-ing desires.

I've never tried it but the smaller Kick Fetch ball might fight in a launcher and since it's fabric-y it might be more acceptable than the plastic ones? Ours absolutely loves hers, but she also thought that a skate guard was the best toy ever... so she's not exactly picky.

I would really hesitate to attach LEDs to anything because I know she'd find a way to ingest them, and I worry about the batteries.

PetSmart usually does an end-cap with glow-in-the-dark stuff this time of year, and we've also had some luck with nice dog toys at REI and Cabela's.
posted by charmcityblues at 10:09 PM on September 28, 2016

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