Tennis balls are arguably one of the most beloved dog toys around. In fact, some doggies will even lose their minds at the mere sight of a tennis ball.
Unfortunately, these balls can pose health risks for dogs, including choking, dental damage, and digestion issues. Yeah, you heard that right! However, there are also plenty of great things about quality tennis balls.
Now, you’re probably wondering, can dogs play with tennis balls? Keep reading to find out.
How can dogs safely play with tennis balls?
Sure, there are a few risks to worry about when it comes to your dog playing with tennis balls. The good news is that there are a couple of things you can do to minimize these risks. These include:
Consider the ball’s durability
For starters, you need to choose a durable tennis ball that will hold up to the powerful jaws of your k9. Simply put, the ball should be able to hold up well even if you have a chewing monster for a pet.
With this in mind, ensure you choose a ball that is made from indestructible and hard-wearing materials. Generally, some of the best tennis balls are made from extra-durable rubber with non-abrasive felt.
Supervise play sessions
Most dogs like to chew on tennis balls, which puts them at the risk of choking and dental wear. The good news? It’s possible to minimize the risks these balls present by offering supervised play sessions.
So, never allow your pup to play with the ball when you’re not there to supervise. That way, you can ensure your pooch is not in any danger of swallowing or choking on the pieces of the ball.
Create a dedicated play zone
Additionally, you must let your pup play with the tennis ball only in an enclosed and hazard-free place. This way, it will be easy to supervise the play sessions.
Generally, dog parks are usually an excellent choice. However, you can also create a dedicated play zone in your backyard.
Play fetch only
Also worth mentioning is that you should only use the ball to play fetch games. So, don’t leave it lying around the house where your pooch can get it at any time. You don’t want the dog to gnaw on the ball all day.
Learn tennis ball risks
If tennis balls are a regular fetch toy in your household, you need to know about the major concerns around them. Check them out.
Dogs have powerful jaws. As such, your pooch might not have a problem chewing through the ball and ingesting those pieces.
When this happens, the pieces of the ball can become lodged in your dog’s throat and block the airway. Consequently, this may lead to choking. However, this can be prevented with supervision.
Another potential risk with tennis balls is that they may result in dental damage. The neon yellow fuzz on the outer surface of the ball is extremely abrasive.
So, when your pooch chomps on the ball, the fuzz tends to wear down his teeth. As a result, this may lead to a range of dental issues.
As it turns out, the neon yellow fuzz is not only dangerous on your pup’s teeth but also on his stomach. Ingesting too much of this material can lead to intestinal blockages, thereby causing digestion issues.
There’s no doubt playing with tennis balls poses risk. But you don’t need to throw them out. As long as you take the necessary steps to prevent the potential risks, your dog can play with tennis balls. You may want to purchase balls that are specifically made for dogs.