Are Tennis Balls Bad for Dogs' Teeth?

If your dog, like many others, loves to chase and chew on tennis balls, you might be wondering if this hobby will effect his/her teeth. The short answer: yes, the outer layer of a tennis ball is abrasive and can wear down tooth enamel after extended chewing. Additionally, tennis balls pose other hazards – they can be a choking hazard to big dogs whose strong jaws can compress the ball. Some dogs may ingest pieces of older tennis balls that have begun to fall apart.
However, you may not have to put all your tennis balls away if some cautions are taken. After all, active games of fetch are crucial for a dog’s weight management and happiness. Simply don’t let you dog use them as a chew toy and try to keep them out of reach after games of fetch. Throw out tennis balls that are especially worn out or dirty, as these are even more abrasive to the enamel. And, don’t let your dog play with tennis balls unsupervised. If you’d prefer to eliminate the risk altogether, consider replacing tennis balls with safer play toys.