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Balls are a classic staple toy in the canine world. Dogs love them, and it’s easy to see why. Balls bounce, roll, and can be carried in their mouths. What more does a pup really need when it comes to toys?
Varying in size, materials, textures, and abilities – some balls squeak, float, glow, or are infused with flavors – tennis balls are hands-down the best for fetch. They’re inexpensive, bright, easy to carry (for dogs and humans) and an all-season outdoor toy. The more durable rubber balls are great too, but they tend to be a bit heavier.
Why Do Dogs Love Rubber Balls?
Ever wonder why dogs love these round toys so much? It’s because the silly bouncing balls tap into your pup’s basic instinct to chase and hunt. Your pal isn’t chasing the ball across the park just for the fun of it – although it is pretty fun. The movements of the rubber ball are similar to that of prey and your pup is the predator going in for the kill. Your dog finds the ball, shakes it, and brings it back to you victoriously. When you throw the ball again, the hunt is on once more!
There’s no denying rubber balls can be tons on fun. They’ve been a staple in dog toys for a very long time since they’re able to withstand most wear and tear from playful pups and they really get those tails wagging. But are these rubber balls safe for dogs?
Choking is always at the forefront of a pup parent’s mind. Pups who love to use their powerful jaws to chew can easily destroy a rubber ball – especially a tennis ball – and swallow the pieces. Dogs with strong chompers can bite into a rubber ball as easily as an apple, so a rubber ball might not be a great choice for them if they’re interested in tearing it apart.
Ingesting pieces of toys can create internal blockage and serious health issues that could result in a trip to the emergency room. Larger pups, like Labrador Retrievers and Great Danes, can comfortably fit tennis balls in their mouths and swallow them whole. The ball can get lodge in the back of their throats cutting off their air supply or make it down to their stomachs creating a blockage.
The American Kennel Club wants owners to keep an eye on the condition of the fuzz around this specific toy. “The ball itself is not the only choking risk. Some dogs enjoy shredding the yellow-green fuzz that surrounds the tennis ball. Eating this fuzz can lead to choking hazards and intestinal blockages that could require surgery.”
Dogs are excitable creatures that can get themselves into undesirable situations quickly. Rubber balls, or any toy really, can be dangerous without human supervision. Keep a watchful eye on your pal when they sit down for a rubber ball play session. The rule of thumb is to take away the toy if you notice pieces becoming detached. The integrity of the toy has been compromised and it’s best to get your pal a new toy to play with.
Watch Out For ‘Blunting’
Would you use a scouring pad on your teeth? That exactly what it’s like when your pup chews excessively on tennis balls. It would take a long period of time, but the abrasive fuzz can be damaging to their chompers by blunting (wearing down their teeth), which leads to major dental issues. Keep your pup’s teeth safe by monitoring your dog’s time with the ball and cutting off their access to it when you’re not present.
How To Play With Rubber Balls Safely!
Balls vary in size, so it’s best to find the right size for your pup. You wouldn’t allow a German Shepard to play with a ball made for a toy breed. The ball would be too small and pose a serious choking hazard for the large dog.
Humans know what’s best for their pup, that’s why supervision is so important when dogs play with toys. Rubber balls can safely be used during play time. Just make sure your pal isn’t getting to the toy when you’re not around. Limiting their access to the balls when you’re away is a good idea. Knowing when to toss the ball in the trash is essential. Signs that it’s time to get a new ball is if there are puncture marks, chunks of rubber missing, or the tennis ball is becoming bald.
Tossing out old toys give you a chance to step up your game of fetch with new and exciting tennis balls. But “The Best Balls Ever” aren’t your average Fetch Toys. They’re bright blue, bouncy, and squeaky – so you know they’re made specifically for dogs!
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