Discontinued? Nooooo! 

What do you do when your dog’s favorite toy can’t be found?


Things started devolving a few days ago, when I was busy watching my almost-2-year-old dog Boone chase a herding ball around my two-acre property. I had also been throwing Woody’s favorite ball with a Chuck-It, but the almost-8-year-old dog was panting hard, so I told him to take a break and left him laying in the damp grass with his ball. I bought a variety of herding balls to review a couple months ago, and Boone has developed some amazing skills at chasing his favorite – the 10-inch Virtually Indestructible Ball made by ht-pet.com.  

It’s fun to watch Boone as he races all over the property, pushing the ball uphill, downhill, into the ditch that bisects our property (and turns into a tiny stream when it rains hard), out of the ditch, under bushes, and WHAM! – into fences, which he loves because he can chase it even faster as it rolls along a long fence line. He is getting fit and lean from all this exercise, and clearly has a blast doing it.  

Finally, Boone rolled to a stop, panting, and plopped down on the ground near me, taking his own break. I turned around to see if Woody was ready for a few more throws and, to my dismay, realized that, while resting, he had chomped and chewed his favorite ball nearly to the point of no return. 

Woody’s all-time favorite ball is the Orbee-Tuff Squeak Ball made by Planet Dog. It has all the features he likes in a ball: It’s made of a particularly bouncy material, but it’s hollow and fairly light-weight – but heavy enough to fly far when checked with a Chuckit! Ball Launcher. It floats, so we can play fetch at the lake. And it has a squeaker inside! – not one that can be chewed and removed, but molded as an integral part inside the ball. The ball will squeak when bounced hard on the ground, or when chomped between Woody’s mighty jaws – at least for the first month or two that he works on the ball. He likes to chew them like bubblegum as he returns from fetching, and if you let him wander away from you with one in his mouth, he’ll chew and chew and chew. (And rest with his lip draped over the ball, to maintain possession. And sometimes, he will even fall asleep with one in his mouth.) 

Eventually, with enough unsupervised chewing, the squeaker will stop squeaking, and with even more unsupervised chewing, Woody can eventually cause the ball to crack. Then it’s a matter of minutes before he chews it into pieces. This process, complete with my somewhat distracted management, usually takes four to six months before I need to buy another one. There is ONE store in a nearby town that sometimes carries these, and when they have them in stock, I buy a couple. But I’ve also ordered many times from Amazon or Chewy.

Obviously, I try not to leave the ball laying around for Woody to chew. He doesn’t swallow the pieces, though if he did, that would (of course) be my main concern. Since he doesn’t swallow them, the sheer cost is my main problem to date. Replacing them even just two or three times a year adds up! I’ve probably spent hundreds of dollars on renewing our supply of these balls over Woody’s lifetime (Otto chewed up a few of these, too).  And now, because of my inattention, I need to order one or two more.  


So imagine my horror when I tried to add a couple to my next Chewy order and discovered they have none in stock.  

I switched to Amazon – and the only ones they show as available are coming from a supplier in the United Kingdom, and are twice the cost that I usually pay. Ack!! 

I went to the manufacturer’s website  – and neither the blue nor the orange version of the ball is shown. I think it’s been discontinued!  

A year or two ago, I noticed that the balls I bought didn’t smell or feel exactly the same as they always had. The maker, Planet Dog, had been purchased by another dog-toy maker, Outward Hound, and it seemed like the mold or the rubbery material used was slightly different, but only I noticed this; the change didn’t seem to bother Woody at all.  

Given that even after the company’s sale, I was able to find the ball (and other favorite Planet Dog toys, like the Snoop, I went through the maker’s website again more slowly. Now I see that they are selling a pink ball with the same name – but what if the material is not the same? It might not have the chewy mouth-feel that Woody enjoys so much, and the bounce and flying ability that I love so much! I’ve ordered a couple – and Amazon shows that it will take a month to arrive! Noooo! I’ve also called a pet supply store in a nearby town (where I’ve bought the ball several times in the past) to see if they have any of the old balls still in stock. As I write this, I am waiting for a call back! If they have some, I am going to race over and buy every one they have!

Have one of your dog’s favorite toys or chews or other items even been discontinued? How did you cope? Did you find a replacement?  


  1. I have the same situation with a particular ball (made by Kong) that one of my pups is literally in love with. He will only play with that style/model of ball, and treats it like a pacifier!

    Kong discontinued manufacturing this ball and all of the usual sources did not carry any. So I had to go to eBay. I have found as many of this ball as possible from different eBay stores and have a surplus of them, so when the ball is 75% destroyed I can swap out a new one.

    Try eBay!!

  2. Update: My favorite store called back and had three left. I asked them to save them for me and drove over the next day to buy them all – for $22 apiece! Ouch! But anything for Woody’s chewing/fetching/jumping happiness. Will report on the pink one when it’s received (next month!!).

  3. Happy for you Nancy, to find at least, three.
    My Callie just loves the tug proof medium PetSafe Dog Sheepskin Ball. She has a couple that are getting pretty worn so thought I would order a couple more. But alas, the medium is not available. Chewy & Amazon have no idea if they will ever be available again. Amazon has the small ones, but Callie is 75 lbs. and small would be an insult to her.
    I’m thinking these scarce items are being manufactured overseas, and the way the world is today, you can’t depend on shipping or availability.

  4. Just this week I found out Costco (at least our local store) discontinued my dogs’ favorite dental chews. Still available online through Costco, so I ordered two bags. Amazon has them, but they’re from third-party sellers and I’m not trusting of those. I know there are other dental chews, but these didn’t have preservatives. Hate to have to research and try out a new brand!

  5. We have bought the Outward Hound squeak ball toys (in blue & orange) recently at petswarehouse.com – $15 + $6 flat shipping (or free shipping if >$49 total). We saw them on some other sites (including ebay), but this seemed to be the best deal. So they are out there!

  6. I have a lab that loves to fetch and chew, and her (and my) favorite was the Monster K9 ring ball. It held up to her chewing and because of the shape, it would bounce in unexpected directions and she loved chasing it. One morning we were in our sunroom and looked up just as a fox trotted across the yard, picked up the toy, and went on into the woods with it. I looked later to see if the fox had dropped it close to my house but then decided later that if a fox had been chewing on it, I would be better off not giving it back. I never did find it, and when I went to order a new one, it was unavailable everywhere I looked. I saw this article and wanted to post about our disappointing toy re-order experience. I went to look up the exact name of the toy – and happy day! Sometime in the last 6 months, they started making it again. I ordered it immediately, should be here tomorrow. Thanks for the prompt to look again, I just figured it was gone forever!

  7. This happened to me a few years ago. Our Cattledog had a favorite ball that he couldn’t get enough of. It looked sort of like a soccer ball but was more squishable so he could really hold onto it. The best part (in his opinion) was that it squeaked when he pressed in on it and when he released it. Double squeak! Really annoying to me but he loved it! It was tough and lasted for a long time. Eventually he chewed a big hole in it and I had to toss it out. When I looked for one to replace it I couldn’t find it anywhere! Disaster! Nothing came close. I never found another ball as good as that one. It’s frustrating!

  8. @Mary MacLachlan: No, the yellow ones are not the precious “Squeak” ball. They have CLOSE to the right mouth-feel, according to Woody. They are not exactly the same. But thanks!

    Several friends have sent me links to smaller online sellers who have some in stock. I am awaiting the pink ones with high hopes.

  9. I’ll be tracking down all the old-generation Squeak balls that have been reported by y’all. The new pink one is NOT the same. It didn’t last two hours before Woody chewed it open. The material is thicker, less flexible, and the integrated/molded-in squeaker is not the same. Wah!