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Is Frisbee Bad For Dogs? (+ 5 Safety Exercise Tips)

As dog owners, we always are looking for new ways to exercise our companions. Daily walks and free running time can be not enough physical activity for many dogs. Other more interactive games like fetch can be an awesome way to spend your companion’s energy quite fast, but it can become boring after a while. Therefore, activities such as playing Frisbee could be an interesting source of exercise! (But can it be bad for dogs?)

Frisbee Bad For Dogs

Do you ever see other dogs catching a frisbee in flight? It’s impressive to see how much these furry pets can be good at this sport. However, some people (including me) could wonder if Frisbee is really good or can be bad for them. That’s why I did some research about that intense canine activity. Let me share with you what I’ve found about the risks of playing Frisbee with your dog!

Is Frisbee Bad For Dogs?

Unfortunately, Frisbee can be bad for some specific dogs. This activity could affect your pooch’s lumbar spine, hind legs, and knee joints. For example, dogs with hip dysplasia won’t be able to play Frisbee safely. Many other fragile companions (Arthritis, Overweight…) could hurt themselves with too intense activities like fetch games!

You probably wonder if Frisbee is good or bad for your dog. At the end of your reading, you should be able to determine that. However, it’s not always easy to understand the dangers of fetch games. Let’s see what you should know before considering playing Frisbee with your dog!

Is Frisbee Good Exercise or Bad For Dogs?

There’s no clear answer to this question. Frisbee is a great source of exercise for most healthy dogs. However, it can cause them serious injuries or bad consequences over the long term. That’s why it’s always important to know the risks of a dog sport before enjoying it!

By the way, every physical activity has some risks, but that’s not a good reason to do nothing with your pooch. He will always need mental stimulation and regular exercise. Frisbee can be interesting especially for high-energy dogs to provide them with proper vigorous activity!

Dog Jump Catch Frisbee

Nevertheless, you will need to make sure your companion is suitable for this sport. Some canine types are more likely to hurt or injure themselves with high-impact activities. That’s always important to respect your dog’s limits and conditions. Let’s understand how Frisbee could be bad for him!

How Can Frisbee Be Bad For Dogs?

There are many ways that this sport can be dangerous for dogs. The first possibility of risk would be that your dog is simply not suitable for that sport. The second danger option would be that you didn’t prepare him well for intense activities. The third explanation of the risks would be the way that you practice this sport (not safely or the wrong way!). The last possibility why Frisbee could be bad for dogs would be to play too much or too intensely this game!

As you probably know, it’s not always easy to start a new activity safely. Happily, Frisbee is relatively less dangerous than other sports like biking, swimming, running, etc. Nonetheless, it’s not a good reason to neglect your dog’s safety. Always assure you to decrease the risks of any canine sport as much as you can to avoid unnecessary pain or injuries!

Is Frisbee Bad Dogs

Risks To Play Frisbee With Your Dog!

Before understanding how Frisbee can be bad for dogs with more details, you should be aware of the susceptible dangers. Besides, it’s also interesting to understand that these animals weren’t bred to chase something (Frisbees) for more than 15 minutes. Most of the time, they were hunting their prey for a few seconds. Therefore, chasing flying discs isn’t innate for dogs!

Frisbee is an awesome sport that many dog owners should try with their buddies. However, the risks are always there. Whether it’s while walking, surfing or playing Frisbee with your companion, it isn’t 100% safe. Here are the dangers that you should understand before you pitch your first disc to your buddy!

Short Term Dangers of Frisbee:

  • Over-Heat.
  • Over-Exercise.
  • Injured Knees.
  • Strain.
  • Joints Injuries.
  • Etc.

Long Term Risks of Frisbee:

  • Disc Disease
  • Lumbar Back Pain.
  • Ligament Injuries.
  • Joint Issues
  • Lameness.
  • Severe Injuries.
  • Stiffness or Immobility.
  • Arthritis.
  • Etc.

How To Avoid Bad Repercussions Of Frisbee?

Fortunately, there are many solutions to decrease the bad repercussions of Frisbee on dogs. By taking some precautions, this activity can be very good for them. There are almost always interesting solutions to enjoy any dog sport safely. Nevertheless, sometimes it will be better to find another activity than Frisbee to enjoy. Here are the best ways to avoid the worst consequences of this intense sport!

Dog Running With Frisbee

Can All Dogs Exercise With Frisbee Safely?

Unfortunately, some types of canines won’t be suitable to enjoy high-impact games safely. This is why observing your dog’s physical abilities is essential. Once you have made that analysis, it will be way easier to know if sports like Frisbee can be bad for him. Let’s see what you should look at to make sure that your dog is suitable to play frisbee!


Normally, the breed is interesting to understand what these dogs were bred for and their general characteristics. Therefore, your companion’s breed will help you to know what type of activity he’s suitable for. However, his breed rarely makes him unable to do sports!

For example, Bulldogs aren’t the best pick to play Frisbee. They should be able to catch discs with some practice, but it could be bad for them. They are simply too small, not active enough, too heavy, have respiratory issues, etc. High-impact activities could hurt or injure them seriously, dogs such as Labradors or Collies would be more likely to enjoy these sports!


Your dog’s health is the most important element to analyze. Too many people stereotype their companions because of their breed. For example, not every Labrador will be suitable to play Frisbee. It can be bad for some of these dogs with hip dysplasia or other structural issues. That’s why it’s highly recommended to visit your vet before starting any new physical activity!

Overall Shape.

Finally, it’s all about common sense to not overestimate your dog’s capacities. He doesn’t need to be one of the best furry athletes in the world to catch flying discs. However, Frisbee could be bad for dogs that aren’t in good shape. In general, those that can run and jump without any problem or difficulty should be suitable to play to this fetch game!

Be Careful With These Companions!

It could be difficult to know if Frisbee can be bad for dogs especially because they love this sport. These furry pets enjoy so much spending time with their owners that they could continue doing it even if it’s hurt them. That’s why you need to be careful with some specific types of companions. Here are some dogs that you should be very careful to start any kind of high-impact sport!

Too Old or Young Dogs.

Puppies’ bones and joints are too fragile to run and jump safely. You could start playing Frisbee with your pup around 1 year of age. You should wait until he’s fully grown to do any intense activity. Therefore, you could wait longer than 12 months for large breeds or start a little bit sooner for small dogs. Puppies will only need short brisk walks and a lot of free playtimes to stay healthy and happy!

Puppy With Frisbee

Frisbee could also be bad for senior dogs. Some of them that are very healthy and athletic could probably play this game safely. Nevertheless, they are always more likely to injure themselves with intense sports than active young dogs. That’s why you should always decrease the intensity of your buddy’s exercise routine around 7 or 8 years of age!

Companions With Structural Issues.

The structure of your dog is crucial to enjoying high-impact sports. Pooches with hip/elbow dysplasia, arthritis or other joint issues shouldn’t play Frisbee. This sport can be very bad for them by worsening their structural problem or injuring them seriously. Moreover, too much pressure on their joints could be extremely painful! (Sports like swimming or walking are safer for these dogs!)

Overweight Dogs.

Exercise is indeed ideal to lose weight both for humans and dogs. However, too intense activities will put a lot of pressure on their joints especially with their extra pounds (or kg). Therefore, you should start by putting your obese dog on a diet and do some «Joint-Friendly» activities. Things like daily walks, free running, chase or swimming could be awesome to exercise overweight dogs!

Ultra-Small or Giant Breeds.

Normally, small dogs are more fragile and less suitable for intense sports. That’s why you should avoid high-impact things like running, biking or Frisbee. For large dogs, their problem is more the massive weight that they have to carry. So giant companions are more likely to hurt themselves with too intense sports!

Brachycephalic Dogs.

Short-nosed (or brachycephalic) breeds normally won’t be suitable for high-energy physical activity. They can struggle to breathe and regulate their temperature well. That makes them more likely to overheat while exercising. For that reason, playing Frisbee can be bad for these dogs!

Brachycephalic Breeds: Bulldogs, Pugs, Pitbulls, Boxers, Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, Chow Chows, Pekingese Dogs, etc.

How To Prepare Your Dog To Play Frisbee?

Dog Prepare To Play Frisbee

Like every sport, Frisbee could be safer with some preparation. With some time, practice and training, almost any dog can enjoy this activity safely. There are solutions to avoid many risks of this sport by conditioning your buddy to catch some discs. Here are some ways to prepare your dog to become a Frisbee Superstar!


For all outdoor sports, it’s essential to confront your dog with the outdoor world when he’s still young. For example, you could desensitize him from loud noises, wild animals, strangers, etc. In other words, puppies should become comfortable with every distraction that you can find out there. That will prevent them from being distracted and hurt themselves while playing Frisbee!

Physical Conditioning.

To get your dog in good shape, there are many things to do. First, his nutrition is essential to keep him at a healthy weight. Providing him with proper exercise is also crucial to help him build muscle and endurance. Depending on your dog’s exercise needs, you will need to offer him things like daily walks, playtime, fun games and maybe intense activities. Healthy habits are perfect to prepare your dog physically to enjoy Frisbee!

Dog Training.

Basic commands are always crucial to teach your dog how to play Frisbee safely. Furthermore, it will be way less discouraging and easier for you. Teaching new activities isn’t always simple, so you should have some control over your dog to succeed more quickly. More advanced cues like «Leave It» or «Go Get It» can be taught easily while introducing your dog to Frisbee!

Dogs Running Frisbee At Beach

What Is The Right Way To Play Frisbee?

Once you know that your dog is suitable for this game and you prepare him well, it’s almost time to get started. Many canine owners probably don’t play Frisbee the safest way. Most of the time, whether they play it too intensely or too regularly!

You should not do too much or too often high-impact sports like Frisbee. Even extremely active and athletic dogs can suffer from the long-term risks of this game. Some of the common injuries due to too frequent or vigorous disc chasing are disc disease, lumbar back pain, and ligament injuries. That’s why it’s important to enjoy this sport with moderation!

Read more about long term risks of Frisbee here! [Open In a New Tab]

Just make sure to play Frisbee for short periods and not push your dog’s limits. Furthermore, you should consider other fun canine activities to avoid excessive pressure on his joints!

Some Dog Activities To Balance The Injuries of Frisbee!

Finding new fun activities isn’t easy at all. Frisbee can be good exercise, but bad in the long term for dogs. Therefore, you should find alternatives to provide your buddy with proper physical activity without hurting him. Here are some fun sports or activities to alternate with Frisbee!

  • Walking.
  • Swimming.
  • Fetch.
  • Tag.
  • Running.
  • Go To The Beach.
  • Play In Water, Leaves or Snow.
  • Etc.

5 Tips To Play Frisbee With Dogs Avoiding Bad Consequences!

Before enjoying that awesome sport, I’ve some tips for you to play frisbee with dogs. It will take some time, effort and practice, but I’m sure it will be worth it. Keep in mind to always respect your buddy’s limits. Finally, it’s now time to play Frisbee with moderation!

Dog With Frisbee At Beach
  • Choose The Right Frisbee! (Good Size, Soft…)
  • Start In A Big Open Location! (With Few Distractions)
  • Don’t Play Frisbee In Extreme Temperatures!
  • Start Slow And Short!
  • Be Patient! (Stay Calm)
  • Bonus Tip: Have Fun!

How To Start Playing Frisbee Safely?

You could struggle to teach your dog how to catch and bring the disc back. With time, work, and training, you both will become better and better. However, don’t forget the real goal of this game. Keep in mind to always have fun and exercise with your dog. Here’s a short video to help you get started!

Last Thoughts About Can Play Frisbee Be Bad For Dogs!

In conclusion, Frisbee is a good exercise and has many benefits. That’s why every active dog should have the opportunity to enjoy that sport. Nonetheless, be aware that too much high-impact physical activity can have serious risks. So remember to enjoy Frisbee with moderation to benefit from its advantages without hurting your buddy!

Dog Catching Frisbee In Flight

My Labrador will probably love to play that game with me. Now, I’m aware that this sport can be bad for dogs. With my research, I understood that it’s important to enjoy this activity occasionally to avoid long-term consequences. I hope this article helps you consider playing Frisbee with your dog with fewer risks possible. I would love to see your dog catching a disc in a dog park while playing with my Labrador!