Tennis balls can hurt dogs’ teeth by corroding their enamel and leaving marks in their mouth. They can also cause your dog to choke if he swallows.

How are Tennis Balls Bad for Dogs’ Teeth?

  1. Tennis Balls Can Cause Dental Damage
  2. Tennis Balls Can Be a Choking Hazard
  3. Tennis Balls May Contain Chemicals

1. Tennis Balls Can Cause Dental Damage

A tennis ball can cause injuries to your dog even if he does not chew on it.

The external layer of a tennis ball is extremely abrasive, to the point that it could sometimes tear down your dog’s gums and destroy enamel. If your dog continues to play with it for many years, tennis-ball-shaped scars in your dog’s teeth may appear, which will tell show strongly your dog was holding the ball. [1]

This type of injury can give your canine lots of discomfort and create difficulties for him to chew. It might even put your pet’s teeth more at great risk and could result in breakage. [2]

Did you Know?

Tennis balls cause your dog’s top mouth layer to bleed

2. Tennis Balls Can Be a Choking Hazard

Large canines might not have to break down a tennis ball completely, as they can easily swallow an entire tennis ball which requires surgery. A tennis ball can get stuck in their throat for several hours or even days if not operated on immediately.

It could become a major concern as your pet would not be unable to breathe. It is life-threatening for your canine. The tennis ball may also tear apart into bigger chunks when your pet chews, increasing the odds that your canine may consume those parts. Rubber parts might get trapped in the intestines, causing a medical emergency. [3]

In addition to this, most canines like ripping the tennis ball’s neon fur. Ingesting this fuzzy substance can potentially cause intestinal blockage, which may need surgery.

3. Tennis Balls May Contain Chemicals

Tennis balls are mass-produced in companies all around the globe using automated machines. There are no such guidelines for the substances used to produce these tennis balls. The balls are just created to be lower in cost for the tennis racket since they are developed exclusively for them. Chemicals are probably present in the tennis ball’s multiple parts, starting from the bouncy ball itself to the bright neon fur that covers the ball, the adhesive that holds everything together.

Many consumers are worried about the use of lead in the production of tennis balls, and it is possible that this ball does carry lead, as well as a variety of other harmful compounds. There’s no way of knowing what toxins your pet is absorbing while peacefully nibbling on a tennis ball.

Research showed that tennis balls designed specifically for dogs contain hazardous compounds like arsenic and chlorine, which may seem shocking. In contrast, most of the tennis balls were declared positive for chemicals by the Michigan-based Ecology Center in 2009 that were designed for animal usage. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

Did you Know?

The materials used for tennis ball production are not certified food-grade substances

How to Play With Tennis Balls Safely?

There are major health concerns about using tennis balls, but you should save tennis balls for short games. You can limit your canine’s interaction with his tennis balls and let him play under supervised time. It is particularly necessary for canines that enjoy chewing on tennis balls since these are the ones who are more prone to choking and tooth damage. [9]

You can try a few tricks in order to make sure that your pet stays safe when playing with his tennis ball. Communicate with your pet to ensure that he lets you touch his ball. You should be able to immediately pull the tennis ball away from your pet when it becomes harmful. Often “drop it” instruction is a helpful phrase to have full control over the situation where your pet swallows something, such as wood or a piece of hazardous garbage.

If your pet can’t seem to stop nibbling on tennis balls, you might want to try a different toy. A rubber ball, particularly one made for aggressive chewers, can be used as a tennis ball alternative which is comparatively safer.


What Are the Benefits?

  • They are cost-effective.
  • They bounce in different ways, which are fascinating to most dogs.
  • They’re simple to throw far away.
  • If you accidentally hit your pet while tossing it, it will not cause major injury.
  • Even in low light, they’re simple to spot.
  • The fuzzy covering will absorb odors from your palm, allowing most canines to discover their ball by its scent.
  • Tennis balls can easily float, making them ideal for use at the beaches or in the pools.
  • Many dogs like holding a tennis ball between their jaws.


In the end, you are one who can determine if a tennis ball is appropriate for your dog. Overall, tennis balls may be an enjoyable aspect of your pet’s play sessions if you know its potential risks and are ready to take the required precautions to avoid injuries.