Tennis Balls Can Be Dangerous For Dogs


I always tell dog owners and new trainers that “tennis balls kill dogs”. Of course I always get a weird look and somebody that says “I have used tennis balls with my dog forever without a problem”. If used properly and with supervision it can be okay however in certain situations they can kill. Let me tell you what I mean.

Let me paint this picture. Your dog picks up a tennis ball in the backyard or the one that is left with it in the crate. Your dog uses it to do some big time chewing and with his powerful jaws he pops the ball and a piece of the broken ball blocks your dog’s airway and it chokes to death. Far fetched idea you say, then ask Oprah Winfrey. Yes one of her dogs died just like in the picture I just painted for you.

Here is another problem and I know the police officer that this happened to her police dog. He picked up one of many tennis balls that were always lying in the backyard. He popped the ball like I mentioned before and was able to tear off a piece and swallow it. No he didn’t choke.  However after a while the officer realized that something was wrong with her dog and took it to the vet.

The tennis ball piece was blocking the gut. It was a very serious life threatening situation. After surgery the dog did survive but only because the officer was so very much aware that something was not right with her dog. If she had not realized something was wrong she may have woken the next morning to a dead dog.

I think you get the idea now about the dangers of a tennis ball but that doesn’t mean that you should never use them. It simply means that they should only be used under supervision and they should never be left in your dog’s crate.

So here are a few rules to follow when it comes to tennis balls:

1. Your dog should always be supervised when it has a tennis ball 2. Never leave tennis balls lying around. They should be out of your dogs reach. 3. Only use one ball at a time. When they get 2 balls it can get stuck in the back of the mouth.

4. Say to heck with tennis balls and switch to a black “Kong” toy.

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