Are Tennis Balls Bad for Dogs?

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: September 20, 2017
Are Tennis Balls Bad for Dogs?

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If you have a dog who likes playing with balls, you've probably thrown a tennis ball for them to chase from time to time. But without knowing it, you are using an object that is unhealthy for your dog's dental health and should not be considered a dog toy.

Do you want to know if tennis balls are bad for dogs? In this AnimalWised article, we explain the effect a tennis ball has on canine dental health and what alternative toys we can use that pose no health risk.

Read on and find out...

You may also be interested in: The Best Dog Toys for Puppies

Of what is a tennis ball composed?

Tennis balls are formed mainly of rubber and air injected into each rubber core, which makes the ball bounce. A layer of glue and yellow felt is added to give the ball its characteristic color and texture.

The problem is the felt that is used. Most tennis balls are made with synthetic felt which, unlike wool felt, is rough to the touch. As a result, this ball has a powerful sandpaper-like effect on their teeth which causes excessive wear of the tooth structure.

Are Tennis Balls Bad for Dogs? - Of what is a tennis ball composed?

Consequences of tennis balls in dogs

Do not be alarmed if your dog has played with a tennis ball occasionally - the detrimental effects are caused by repeated use. If you let your dog play with a tennis ball on a daily basis, you'll notice how their teeth become shorter and blunter after prolonged use.

Look at the image shown below to see the long-term effect of tennis balls on your dog's teeth. For this reason, they should not be used as a toy for your dog.

Moreover, some vets point out that a dog could also choke on a tennis ball, as the air that is compressed inside may burst when the dog has it in its mouth, thus cutting your pet's air supply in the throat.

Are Tennis Balls Bad for Dogs? - Consequences of tennis balls in dogs

Alternatives to a tennis ball

There are many other balls that your furry friend can fetch. Some are simple and conventional, others have the added benefit of improving oral hygiene. We at AnimalWised recommend the latter option.

No, they are not unbreakable balls (nothing is unbreakable, which is why play should always be supervised), but it is very effective for maintaining proper dental hygiene naturally while playing. Its is highly recommended, especially if tennis balls were used prior to this.

Use dog balls only when playing and provide toys specially designed for chewing when your dog is alone. A kong may also be useful so your dog is entertained.

Are Tennis Balls Bad for Dogs? - Alternatives to a tennis ball

If you want to read similar articles to Are Tennis Balls Bad for Dogs?, we recommend you visit our Animal games and fun category.

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