Golden Retrievers and Tennis Balls

In my quest to find people’s opinion on best toys for a golden retriever, the most popular answer is “tennis balls”  Just plain ‘ol tennis balls..


MY BALL (Photo credit: thekellyscope)

I wanted to share with you some concerns:

1.  Tennis balls contain chemicals – Some do.  lists some brands and the level of chemicals in each (low/med/high)

Chemicals in Tennis Balls –

2.  Tennis balls cause choking – the ball can break and lodge in to the dogs airway.  In my research, I read many comments about people who lost their golden this way.  Even when supervised, this is a possibility.

Here’s a great article from Dr. Marty Becker of about tennis balls and choking.

Are Tennis Balls A Dangerous Toy for Dogs?

3.  Tennis balls are bad for teeth – That furry stuff that coats a tennis ball wears away at teeth.  This article from Sharon Peters from PetTalk on USA Today explains in detail:

There are worse things for dogs than chewing tennis balls

Tennis ball lunch

Tennis ball lunch (Photo credit: Chevysmom)

So there you have it.  The pros and the cons.  The pros?  They love ’em.  They really love ’em.  I highly recommend supervising your dogs’ tennis ball play.  Dogs choke on all kinds of things.  It’s one of those horrible tragedies that just happen.

There are some alternatives that pose a little less risk.  My favorite is the Chuckit Max Glo Ball.

Is your golden allowed to play with tennis balls?  Do they love them?  I welcome your comments.

4 thoughts on “Golden Retrievers and Tennis Balls

  1. Our two Goldens love their tennis balls. Bonnie’s favorite is the one that squeaks and she has learned that she can control the length and pitch of the squeak depending on how she bites down on the ball. Belle brings us the tennis ball when she wants to play. We have learned to stop what we are doing when we hear the thump, thump, dribble, dribble, dribble of the tennis ball at our feet. She tried to interest our cat Lucy into playing with her the other evening by nudging the ball gently towards her but Lucy felt that playing with a tennis ball was beneath her dignity. Belle picked up the ball and dropped it in my hand and was like ok, let’s play!

  2. My dogs actually eat them. I have stopped giving them tennis balls unless we are at the park and I can get it away from them at the end of the game.

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