Everyone loves the pictures of dogs holding multiple tennis balls in their mouths, or to watch their dog “fetch the ball.” DID YOU KNOW THAT TENNIS BALLS CAN BE FATAL TO DOGS? Locally, more than 100 dogs a year die as a result of getting a tennis ball stuck in their throats which caused choking, asphyxiation and death. We have had 2 dogs that have died in our park by choking on tennis ball which is why FLPDB wanted to make a special message about this concern.
As many dogs love to chase the tennis balls in the park, it is very important that while dogs play with tennis balls that the owner be aware and watch their dog at all times. Keep in mind that if the tennis ball can fit into your dog’s mouth, it is probably too small to be used for your dog. For best precaution, buy a ball that would just fit inside the teeth at the maximum open point. If you see small tennis balls (or any dangerous toy) in the large dog park, please remove them and place them into the small dog park.
In addition to choking, when dogs chew on the tennis balls, they can tear apart the rubber and swallow it, causing intestinal blockage and other problems. Other concerns raised by dog owners has been the dental wear, toxicity of the chemicals used to produce the tennis balls, nano-technology effects, dyes, and latex allergies which you can speak to your vet about.
Also consider, please throw away any pieces of tennis balls and patrons are asked not to “cut/splice open” tennis balls in the park as it has been brought to our attention that some dogs like to chew on them. Additionally, squeaky balls (and toys) can create problems when there are other dogs in the park. Squeaky balls can cause many dogs to become agitated or desire to steal the ball and often initiates bad behavior among the dogs that participate in this behavior, causing fights not only among dogs but their owners as well. Please leave the squeaky toys at home and do not bring them to the park.