Dazzle Dog Delight Posting Page
Monday, July 12, 2010
Throwing a tennis ball with your dog can lead to his death. When you throw a tennis ball (or any other small dog toy) in the air, it can get wedged in your dog’s throat. If this happens, it is almost impossible to get out, and your dog could choke to death before you can get him to the vet. Many of us have read stories in pet magazines or heard stories of this happening to friends’ or neighbors’ dogs. In fact, one of Oprah Winfrey’s dogs died in May 2007 by choking on a plastic ball. The full story can be found in the August 2007 issue of The Oprah Magazine.

A more common problem is when a dog is allowed to sit there and chew on a tennis ball. The dog can shred it into pieces and ingest them, and pieces get stuck in the dog’s intestines. Any vet will tell you they have had to operate on dogs many times to remove intestinal obstructions caused by chunks of tennis balls.

To reduce the risk of these problems:

First, if possible, try to make sure the tennis ball (or other toy) is too large to get wedged in your dog’s throat. A standard size tennis ball is probably fine for a small dog. The oversize tennis balls available in pet stores are probably fine for larger dogs. There are also cylinders made from tennis ball material that can be thrown like a stick, or balls with ropes attached to them.

If these solutions don’t work for you, at least try to keep the ball low and away from you near the ground, rather than high in the air, so the dog is not opening its mouth to catch a ball that is dropping vertically. We also never use a tennis ball in the water for this same reason. If you are not sure if your dog’s toy is the right size for your dog, then please check with your veterinarian.

Dogs should never be left alone with any ball, small toy or shreddable object. A tennis ball is not a chew toy. It should be used for fetch games only, then put away where the dog cannot get it. Always watch your dog when playing with a tennis ball and if he or she sits or lies down and starts shredding it, take it away.

I hope this information will help you and your dog have many hours of happy and safe play!

by Joy Randel

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by: Dazzle Dog Delight


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