Post # 13, April 30, 2021

Tennis Anyone?

No thank you. I think I will pass.

Tennis Balls Can be Harmful

Just in the last week, here is what I have observed or heard about happening at our local dog parks:

  • A cute little dog became very sick and lethargic ultimately having her spleen removed. Valley Fever was the diagnosis.
  • Two dogs who have been long time friends got into fight over a tennis ball.
  • An owner gets bitten and has to go to the hospital trying to break up a dog fight involving a tennis ball.
  • Two labs got into a serious fight over a tennis ball.
  • A tennis ball being destroyed by a playful large Labrador.
  • A split open tennis ball remaining on the ground in an otherwise empty dog park.
  • A sick dog being diagnosed with Valley Fever which could cause death.
  • An owner finding pieces of a tennis ball in their dog’s poop.
  • Two owners get into an argument over whose ball belonged to whom.
  • A friendship destroyed because one person threw a tennis ball over the fence.

There are likely more things of this nature taking place involving a tennis ball at the dog park every day.

If you and your dog love to fetch tennis balls, here are some thoughts to consider:

  • Any of the above scenarios could happen to you. Most of them involve possible life threatening situations or at best a large vet bill.
  • Tennis balls are made of toxic materials including lead, dangerous paint chemicals and abrasive material we think is fuzz.
  • Tennis balls are meant to be hit and to be used to play the game of tennis.
  • Tennis balls that are swallowed in part or whole can result in serious choking or digestive issues.
  • When a tennis ball gets wet and slimy due to doggie slobber and saliva, it may carry dangerous bacteria. 
  • When a single tennis ball is used by more than one doggie, the potential for issues increases.
  • Dogs can become addicted or obsessive to certain behaviors just like humans can become.
  • Doggie teeth can be harmed by long term use of a tennis ball with abrasive fuzz.

Such a simple alternative:

  • Use colorful (for identification) dog friendly rubber balls that cannot be destroyed.
  • Wash off or dry off your ball after every toss and fetch; bring along a small towel.
  • Do not use a ball of any kind that you have no idea about its history or user(s).
  • Have fun and exercise your dog in regular, safe and active ways.
  • Always be thoughtful and friendly to your human fellow dog lovers.


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