Are Tennis Balls Bad For Dogs?

Dogs are naturally playful; one of the reasons we have them as companions. When you are not available for playtime with your canine, a toy can keep them busy.

Tennis balls are among the most popular playthings for dogs. You can play catch with your furry friend or let it get creative on its own with the ball.

However, several stories of this toy being hazardous to dogs, prompting the question, are tennis balls safe for dogs?

Keep up with us as we answer your queries on the safety of tennis balls for your dog.

Hazards Of Tennis Balls To Your Dog

A tennis ball appears harmless; no wonder it is the go-to toy for many dog owners. However, there are potential hazards associated with this ball that you should know about. The following are some of the dangers of tennis balls.


Rubber is the primary material in tennis balls, responsible for their bouncy profile. Your canine can use the ball as a chew toy and break the rubber into small pieces that it may ingest. The small pieces can choke your dog or cause intestinal blockage. Both are serious emergencies that call for immediate veterinarian attention.

The fuzz is also a culprit when it comes to choking. This material can easily detach from the ball. Excessive chewing of the fuzz can choke your dog or present digestive problems like intestinal blockage, infections, and constipation.

Dental Problems

Tennis balls are hard; your dog chewing on them can wear their teeth. The fuzz is rough and can erode your canine’s teeth due to constant biting. Furthermore, the rubber pieces can get lodged between the teeth, causing pain and inflammation of the gums.

Chemical Poisoning

This plaything is not meant for chewing. The manufacturing process of tennis balls targets resilience to match the gameplay in tennis courts and may involve several chemical processes. Dogs can get exposed to these chemicals when they chew the balls, making them sick.

Preventing Tennis Ball Problems

While tennis balls can bring some problems to your dog, you can prevent things from getting out of hand via the following measures.

Get Dog-Friendly Tennis Balls

Despite looking like regular tennis balls, dog-friendly tennis balls are technically not tennis balls. They have a soft and spongy texture instead of the hard profile of balls meant for the sport. Your dog can chew on it with minimal choking risks or dental health issues.

Alternatively, you can get your pup a different toy that is safe.

Supervise Your Dogs

Do not leave your dog unattended when playing with a tennis ball. You can join in on the fun by playing catch with it. This way, you prevent your dog from getting overly curious about the toy.

Discard Worn-Out Balls

A worn-out tennis ball presents a lot of risks to your dog. Old balls have a loose fuzz, which your dog can easily ingest. The rubber may break and choke your pup. If the edges are sharp, it may cause injuries. Moreover, some chemicals used in making the balls may get volatile due to age.

Throw away such balls to prevent an unplanned visit to the veterinarian.

One Ball At A Time

When playing catch with your dog, use one ball at a time. Having multiple balls will put your dog into multitasking mode. It will want to get all the balls at once, which can be chaotic when your dog tries to fit them into its mouth.


You should be keen when your dog plays with tennis balls, as they are a choking risk. Alternatively, you may get them dog-friendly balls that are safe. Also, focus on discipline training, so your fuzzy friend won’t get extra adventurous with tennis balls in your absence.

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