Are Tennis Balls Bad For Dogs? What You Need to Know

Tennis balls are undoubtedly on the list of traditional dog toys over the years. For dogs that enjoy chewing, they’re a fun, affordable option that many pet parents can stock up on as rapidly as their dog consumes them. Even so, some dog lovers have paused to consider the question: Are tennis balls bad for dogs?

Few things can compete with a tennis ball in terms of entertaining and exercising your dog without incurring significant physical or financial costs to you. However, it’s not a toy without risk.

Are Tennis Balls Bad For Dogs?

Are Tennis Balls Bad For Dogs

I’m not sure who was the first to offer a tennis ball to a dog, but that person was brilliant. Tennis balls are a favorite toy for most dogs, and some canines become insane at the sight of one. Tennis balls do sadly pose some risks to pets, risks that many owners do not take into account.

Are tennis balls toxic to dogs? Tennis balls are harmful to dogs because they can harm their teeth and become a choking hazard when broken apart and fragmented. Dogs shouldn’t play with or chew on tennis balls. Use different dog-friendly balls instead.

Bottom line: When it comes to tennis balls you might buy for a bargain in a store, there are no rules for non-professional production. Tennis balls, whether they are compressed or utilized, can be harmful and, in some situations, even poisonous.

what are the risks?

Biting Risk

My dog enjoys biting tennis balls to the point of popping them. In their mouths, dogs with strong jaws like hers may readily break tennis balls. This presents major suffocating risks. Sometimes, the tennis ball’s cut-in-half can become impaled at the back of their necks and obstruct their airways.

You might be aware that Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Retriever, Gracie, overdosed on a plastic ball if this seems improbable. Choking risks are not limited to the ball. Some canines take pleasure in tearing apart the tennis ball’s surrounding yellow-green fluff. Eating this fluff can cause intestinal obstructions that may require surgical and suffocation risks.

Dental Deterioration

Tennis balls are made to endure tennis courts and racquets, despite the green fuzz’s soft appearance. According to board-certified veterinary dental specialist Dr. Thomas Chamberlain, the fuzz is really fairly abrasive, and collected dirt and sand make the ball even more abrasive.

A process known as “blunting” occurs when your dog chomps on a tennis ball because the fuzz acts as sandpaper and progressively wears down her teeth. This may eventually result in dental issues like exposed tooth pulp and chewing issues.

Tennis Balls Contains Chemicals

It’s crucial to keep in mind that tennis balls are made to be used in tennis, not as chew toys for dogs. Since there are no laws governing tennis ball production, it is impossible to determine whether one is safer than the other. In reality, there are no manufacturing or safety requirements at all for dog toys.

Concerning lead, levels have been discovered in mass-produced toys like tennis balls since the middle of the 2000s, according to pet parents. Nancy Roberts, a dog owner, found a dog that was over 336 parts per million (ppm) lead-free in her house. As of right now, children’s toys sold in the US must have a lead content of 100 ppm or less (via CPSC).

Contrary to popular belief, tennis balls designed especially for pets were more likely to contain hazardous substances like arsenic and chlorine, according to studies. In fact, every tennis ball that tested positive for chemicals in 2009 by the Michigan-based Ecology Center was made for use by pets.

Are Tennis Balls Bad For Dogs

Additional Options

Despite the fact that we are unable to guarantee the security of any particular toy, we would like to suggest some potential replacements for your dog’s cherished tennis ball:

  • A traditional retrieve toy for your dog that will help get her moving is a soft cotton frisbee.
  • Tennis balls can be dangerous for dogs, but hard rubber toys like Nylabones and Kong items are a safer choice. Kongs can be filled with goodies or peanut butter to keep your dog entertained and active for a while.
  • Dog toys made of braided rope make excellent active toys for your pet.
  • Your dog’s intellect will be stimulated and rewarded by busy-box feeder toys.
  • Soft stuffed toys are a wonderful option as long as you keep a close check on the toy because some dogs find them to be incredibly reassuring. As soon as you see a toy ripping or having its stuffing come out, make sure to throw it away. These toys’ squeakers can also present a choking risk.

To keep your dog interested and excited during playtime, rotate your dog’s toys frequently to keep them in good condition.

Are Tennis Balls Bad For Dogs

Related Post: Wilson Championship Tennis Balls Review

what are the benefits?


Top Tennis balls are loved by our canine pals, but I don’t think it’s safe to play with them. There are differing views on the matter, with some dog owners supporting allowing their dogs to chew on tennis balls while others are adamantly against it.

It makes no sense to allow your dog to put their health at risk by gnawing on a potentially deadly choking danger that can also cause tooth damage when it’s so inexpensive to purchase safer substitutes for tennis balls.


Do dogs have the right to play with tennis balls?

The tennis ball could fragment in the back of the dog’s throat, obstructing the airway. This might result in your dog’s death. There is a considerable chance that your dog will ingest tennis ball parts because the tennis ball might shatter into bits while the dog chews.

Is doggie tennis ball fuzz harmful?

Some canines take pleasure in tearing apart the tennis ball’s surrounding yellow-green fluff. Eating this fluff can cause intestinal obstructions that may require surgery and choking hazards.

Wilson tennis balls—are they harmful to dogs?

Please refrain from letting your dog consume an entire tennis ball! He appears to adore our tennis balls a little too much, even though dogs can play with them without harm. It’s likely time to switch out the toys. We advise speaking to your veterinarian.

Why do dogs enjoy tennis balls so much?

Tennis balls are a favorite among dogs because they are the ideal size to fit easily in their mouths and because of their delightful bouncing texture, which tempts them to bite down and enjoy the ball as it bounces back up.