Are Tennis Balls Safe for Dogs? – American Kennel Club


In case your canine simply ate a tennis ball, you’re possible frightened about your pup. International our bodies may cause points with many canines, relying on what was eaten and the way a lot. Veterinarian Joanna Woodnutt walks via your subsequent steps, and when to be involved.

Dr. Joanna Woodnutt Final Up to date: April 20, 2021 | 8 min learn

Regularly Requested Questions on Tennis Balls for Canines

We have now answered a number of the questions you’ll have on this matter beneath.

Is it dangerous for my canine to chew on their tennis ball?

Sure, it’s. Moreover posing a choking threat, tennis balls additionally play an element within the put on and tear of your canine’s enamel.

The inexperienced fuzz that covers the ball acts as sandpaper as your canine chews on the ball and this may result in severe dental points.

Can my canine be allergic to tennis balls?

Sure, they will. Tennis balls are designed to comprise some chemical compounds which might trigger burns or allergic reactions.

You wish to be certain that your canine doesn’t ingest any of the shredded items from a tennis ball in the event that they tear it aside.

Why does my canine like tennis balls a lot?

As now we have beforehand talked about, canines are naturally playful creatures. As such, it shouldn’t come as a shock that your canine likes to chase a tennis ball round.

Instinctively, the second they spot the ball, they wish to play.


Regularly Requested Query

Query: What tennis balls are protected for canines?

Reply: There are numerous additional obligation and common obligation tennis ball which is totally protected for doggies. Sometimes tennis balls are very very protected canines.

Query: Do canines like tennis balls?

Reply: Canines love tennis balls as a result of it’s included in constructing predatory instincts. Tennis Balls behave and really feel evaluate to the opposite balls. When chewed it miking it mimic prey.

Query: Why are canines keen on tennis balls?

Reply: Characteristically, canines are playful. So, it isn’t shocking that canines like to chase a tennis ball.

Tennis balls assist canines to remain energetic and refreshed. Instinctively, they wish to play simply after they spot a tennis ball.

Query: Can my canine be allergic to a tennis ball?

Reply: Sure, it may possibly occur however with poor and inferior high quality tennis balls.

Poor high quality tennis balls use poisonous chemical compounds to fabricate and may create allergy symptoms or burns. It’s your accountability to ensure your canine shouldn’t be swallowing a bit of a tennis ball if the ball will get torn.

Query: What are canine tennis balls manufactured from?

Reply: Non-abrasive felt, extra-thick rubber core, non-toxic dyes are used to fabricate canine tennis balls. A canine’s oral well being might be completely affected if the ball is manufactured from abrasive and poisonous supplies.

Query: What do you do in case your canine eats a tennis ball?

Reply: Your canine can eat a tennis ball anytime if they aren’t correctly educated, and also you stay inattentive throughout a play. Instantly go to a vet for therapy when it occurs. Additionally, supervise your canine earlier than enjoying. Don’t let your canine chew or catch a couple of ball at a time. Be sure that your canine will drop the tennis ball immediately if requested.


The entire recommendation and content material on this web site is written from my very own private perspective of proudly owning and caring for canines over the previous couple of years. This web site shouldn’t be meant to exchange the skilled recommendation of vets. Please at all times seek the advice of together with your vet if in case you have any issues about your canine.

Simply Like Prey

Once you toss a tennis ball, its erratic, unpredictable actions mimic these of panicked prey. The canine will due to this fact chase the tennis ball, catch it after which he could shake it with a quick side-to-side motion meant to"kill it." 

This side-to-side motion is a nifty neck-breaking habits meant to kill a small prey animal, explains Jean Donaldson within the guide "Oh Behave! Canines from Pavlov to Premack to Pinker." Some canines even go additional on to take away the fuzzy layer of "pores and skin" and break the ball into items, "disemboweling" it of its contents, and dissecting it with a glad face. 

Whereas all this will sound gory, contemplate that often canines don’t confuse toys comparable to a tennis ball with dwell animals or individuals, explains canine coach Victoria Stillwell. They know the distinction.

Predatory drive is a far cry from aggression. Certainly, the intuition to chase prey objects is enormously completely different from different types of aggression, comparable to aggression triggered by competitors for sources or self-protection, explains canine coach Pat Miller. 

Nonetheless, simply because predatory habits is instinctive doesn’t imply we should always settle for its inappropriate manifestations. It's our job as homeowners to make sure our canine's predatory intuition doesn't get them in hassle and to supply our canines with acceptable retailers for his or her predatory habits slightly than suppressing it. One nice outlet consists of chasing and fetching balls.

Fastidiously monitor your canine to make sure he doesn't use the tennis ball as a chew toy

My Canine Ate a Tennis Ball, What Ought to I Do?

It is imperative that you phone your vet immediate
It’s crucial that you simply telephone your vet instantly after you discover that your canine companion ingested a part of or a complete ball.

In case your pup ate elements of their favourite tennis ball, there will not be any hurt prompted. This all is dependent upon what was swallowed. Even nonetheless, there are a number of steps you’ll wish to take. Comply with the steps beneath to make sure Fido has his finest probability of getting no influence on account of their chewing habits.

Step #1: Take away The Ball & Any Items

Be sure you take away any remaining bits of the ball, or any additional balls, effectively away out of your canine. That is to make sure that no different overseas objects get swallowed whilst you have your again turned! Whether it is protected to take action, attempt to get some other bits of fabric or ball out of their mouth.

Step #2: Determine Out How A lot Was Eaten

Attempt to work out roughly what was eaten and when. That is vital, particularly relying on the dimensions of your pet. Small canines which have eaten fairly a little bit of rubber could also be extra susceptible to obstruction, just because their intestines are smaller than a bigger canine.

Step #3: Name Your Veterinarian

Make contact with your native veterinary clinic immediately for additional recommendation. They are going to ask about what has occurred, any background info you’ve got, and any signs of misery that could be displaying. Based mostly on this they are going to have the ability to present tailor-made skilled recommendation for you and your pup.

Step #4: Comply with Your Vet’s Directions

Comply with the directions of the veterinary clinic. They are going to often suggest a go to and a verify over however the recommendation could also be given over the telephone in some circumstances. It’s best to take their recommendation significantly as it is going to be in one of the best pursuits of you and your canine companion.

Dental Put on and Tear

Choking hazards apart, tennis balls pose one other threat: dental put on and tear.

That inexperienced fuzz may appear tender, however tennis balls are designed to resist tennis courts and rackets. Dr. Thomas Chamberlain, a board-certified veterinary dental specialist, warns that the fuzz is definitely fairly abrasive, and accrued dust and sand will increase the abrasive high quality of the ball. As your canine chomps on a tennis ball, the fuzz acts like sandpaper, step by step sporting down her enamel in a course of known as “blunting.” This could finally result in dental issues comparable to uncovered tooth pulp and issue chewing.


Choking Hazard

This one is an actual risk to energy chewers as tennis balls are not chew-proof. Which means that small items can simply break off, get lodged behind their throat, and have lethal penalties. Our canines’ highly effective jaws are even able to compressing tennis balls, and if a ball pops open behind their throat, it might doubtlessly reduce off their air provide. They could even ingest items which might result in digestive points and intestinal blockages that finally want surgical procedure.

Dental Issues

Dental Points

The exterior “fuzz” that our canines appear to love a lot is definitely fairly abrasive, virtually like sandpaper to your pooch’s enamel. This “blunting” impact is magnified because the ball will get dirtier over time and the extra they chew on it, the extra it wears down your dog’s enamel making them inclined to cavities and infections.

They May Be Poisonous

In accordance with an impartial lab’s lead content material checks, a single tennis ball might comprise 335.7 elements of lead per million. That exceeds the quantity of lead allowed in youngsters’s toys, so sure, tennis balls could possibly be poisonous to our canines. This isn’t shocking as most are made in big manufacturing unit meeting traces and don’t should adjust to any pet well being requirements.

What’s the Backside Line – Can I Give My Canine a Tennis Ball or Not?

In the end, you’re the just one who can determine whether or not a tennis ball is true to your pet. So, simply assume via the difficulty fastidiously and attempt to act in your pet’s finest curiosity. You’ll want to run the thought by your vet and get his or her enter on the topic too.

Tennis balls definitely enhance the standard of life some canines get pleasure from, in order that they shouldn’t be mechanically discounted as a result of they current some dangers. It doesn’t matter what you do, you may’t get rid of all the potential risks your canine will face. It’s typically clever to easily restrict the dangers introduced and decide your battles, so to talk.

If you wish to let your canine play with a tennis ball whereas decreasing the dangers they current, attempt to embrace the next practices:

 Solely use the tennis ball to play fetch. Don’t simply depart a tennis ball mendacity round the home to your canine to gnaw on all day.

 By no means permit your canine to play with a tennis ball with out supervision.

 Solely play with a tennis ball in enclosed, hazard-free locations. Dog parks are often a sensible choice, otherwise you might be able to set up a devoted play zone in your yard.

 Discard any ball that begins to disintegrate. Sometimes, canines will pull on a portion of the duvet till they free a small flap. As soon as they do that, the ball’s days are numbered.

You could wish to contemplate buying particular tennis balls which might be particularly made for canines. Some varieties are even made from extra-durable rubber and non-abrasive felt to assist make them safer to your pooch.

As you may see, tennis balls do current a number of dangers for canines, however, if you happen to embrace a number of common sense security practices, you may possible permit your canine to play with one moderately.

What are your ideas on the entire tennis ball debate? Do you let your pup play with tennis balls? Tell us what you assume within the feedback beneath.

Personally, I’ve at all times been a fan of tennis balls for canines. My Rottie sometimes likes to chase one on the park, as has nearly each different canine I’ve ever owned.

Specifically, I had a chocolate lab for a decade and a half who was merely obsessed along with her tennis ball. She carried one along with her in every single place she’d go, and a minimum of two or thrice a day, I’d look down and see her ready with an impatient expression whereas staring on the ball she’d positioned on my lap with out me noticing.

I let her check out a number of different toys over time, however she at all times most popular a very good previous vogue tennis ball.

She’d sometimes tear one aside, however she had no real interest in consuming the ensuing items. Truthfully, I don’t know if the felt prompted any harm to her enamel, however the vet by no means talked about something, and he or she by no means suffered from any severe dental issues.


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