There are many new videos on Tik Tok and Instagram that go viral promoting new revolutionary dog toys and accessories. Some of these are fantastic new innovations, others go viral due to savvy e-commerce marketers and their tactics.
A very popular viral dog toy in the past 2 months has been the "Flying Saucer Ball" which has been particularly viral on Tik Tok. The videos generally show the ball being compressed into a flat disc on the ground and then springing into the air exciting dogs of all shapes and sizes. Of course, we had to check it out and run it by our Dog Approved Testers.
It took us a little while to track a supplier down for this product as it is a Chinese product designed for small children. A clever marketer has seen dogs’ excitement and marketed it on social media as a dog toy.
The product is sold as a pair of UFO balls and comes compressed flat, tightly wrapped in transparent plastic. It has a tight piece of string around its centre to keep it tightly compressed. This minimises postage and waste and is a tidy product on arrival.
Compressed the ball is approximately 25cm across. Unwrapped and in ball form it is approx15-16cm.
The ball works by pushing it down flat. Within a few seconds, the ball springs up in the air. See this in slow motion in the video below.
A close inspection of the ball’s mechanism reveals a large metal spring in the centre of the ball. This is used to launch the ball through rapid decompression. At the top of the ball is a large suction cup that sticks to a plastic plate at the other end of the ball. The pressure of the spring forces the suction cap to release and opens the ball with enough force to launch it into the air.
Key Observations of the Flying Saucer Dog Toy
A strong set of jaws like our tester Woody makes short work of the plastic exterior when the dog places a little pressure on the ball to compress it slightly. Teeth easily get into the joints at either end of the ball and can expose the metal spring.
The metal spring is not glued in or secured so is easily removed (note the toy was removed from Woody once it was open for safety, I dislodged the spring)
- The bouncing action and anticipation of the bounce is very exciting and entertaining for a doggo
- Reasonably cheap toy, available from major marketplaces like Catch and Amazon for approx $20.
- The models we tested sprung up/bounced up very quickly after being compressed (within a few seconds). The owner needs to be right there actively using this toy with the doggo. It is not independent like the Tik Tok videos would have you believe.
- The spring mechanism is easily accessed by a determined doggo. It only takes a bit of compression from a paw to expose the inside mechanism and the plastic joints.
- The construction is plastic and a typically tough chewing breed or repeat toy destroyer will make short work of the joints breaking the toy.
Final Verdict - it is not Dog Approved 😞
The Flying Saucer Dog Toy is not good value. For small dogs with close supervision, it may be viable and fun, but for chewers and larger-jawed breeds, this will fail quickly and may pose a risk to the dog.