When we first got Banjo, we were living on the 3rd floor of a Brooklyn apartment building.
On the whole, Boxers aren’t very graceful when they’re playing with toys. Stuffed animals and balls get flung all over, often decorated with strings of drool.
And Boxer puppies are even worse. They generally haven’t mastered the fine art of running without crashing into anything — and everything.
Our new puppy was a clumsy, playful ball of energy. Fortunately for us, our downstairs neighbors adored her, and for Banjo’s first Christmas, they bought her a Chuckit! Indoor Ball from Petmate.
Chuckit! Indoor Ball Review: A Great Product for a Rambunctious Dog
Banjo took to the Chuckit! Indoor Ball immediately.
It’s lightweight, with a Styrofoam core and shaggy fabric exterior, meaning it’s almost silent as it bounces around the house. And since it’s so light, the ball ricochets against furniture, windows and walls without leaving a mark.
The core is semi-firm, so it holds its shape yet is soft enough that Banjo can grab it and carry it around with ease.
Since the Chuckit! Indoor Ball is 4.7 inches high, it’s too large to fit under our sofa (unlike the collection of other balls that are stuck just out of reach). If Banjo plays with one of her other toys and loses it under the furniture, she’ll return to her toy box and grab her Chuckit! Indoor Ball.
2 Drawbacks to the Chuckit! Indoor Ball
As with most dog toys, the durability of the Chuckit! Indoor Ball depends on how your dog typically plays with toys.
Banjo is not a chewer — she prefers playing fetch to gnawing on a toy. But after 19 months of regular use, Banjo’s now-raggedy ball needed replacing. The exterior fabric was unraveling and torn, exposing the core.
In the past 2.5 years, I’ve had to replace the ball twice.
2. The “Gross Factor”
I don’t know if anyone else looks at their dog’s basket of toys and judges them based on the “gross factor,” but I like to keep tabs on certain toys that get a little too grimy too quickly and make a mental note to avoid buying it again in the future.
What’s great about heavy-duty rubber toys is that they’re super easy to clean off. But soft fabric toys like the Chuckit! Indoor Ball absorb Banjo’s stinky slobber and end up smelling (and looking) foul.
To avoid handling a crusty, stinky toy every time you’re up for a little indoor fetch, you’re going to be cleaning this ball pretty often.
Other Indoor Balls and Products
The Indoor Ball isn’t the only indoor toy that Chuckit! makes.
Banjo is so taken with the Chuckit! Indoor Ball that I figured she might have just as much fun with the Roller, so I bought one. But the initial joy of a new toy was short-lived, and soon enough the Roller settled, untouched, in the bottom of her toy box.
Apparently, the fun of rolling a ball and carrying it around until someone plays fetch isn’t something that transfers to a soft, plush cylinder.
Dog toys have a shelf life, and even though that of the Chuckit! Indoor Ball is a bit shorter than some of Banjo’s more durable (and washable) toys, it’s also one of her favorites. So I will continue to replace it as it becomes tattered, and I’ll continue to clean it as it gets filthy with use.
After all, I’m getting these toys for Banjo’s entertainment and happiness, and the Chuckit! Indoor Ball provides Banjo with both.