For a while now, tennis balls have been getting a really bad rep for causing damage to dog’s teeth.
Considering that his teeth already show quite a bit of wear, I decided to do some research and asked Rocco’s vet during one of his check up visits, to make sure I’m not causing unnecessary damage.
As it turns out the green fuzz that covers the tennis balls is indeed abrasive and it can most certainly wear down dog’s teeth, especially their canines. The effect is made worse by dirt, sand and debris that gets stuck to slimy tennis balls. However, it’s more of a problem with dogs that obsessively gnaw at the balls for prolonged periods of time, as opposed to dogs that simply play fetch with them.
The grinding down can be caused by other factors as well:
- chewing on hard , femur bones for a prolonged period of time.
- chewing on fur (in case of dog’s with itchy skin), as hair is very abrasive.
- chewing on crate bars, fences and toys that are not intended for dogs.
As it stands, I don’t let Rocco chew on tennis balls. I got him a couple different ones, one covered in a safe material and a rubber one, but if you have a ton of tennis balls and don’t want to throw them out, you can simply put the ball in a sock and make a knot at the end of the sock.