Do tennis balls wear down dogs teeth?
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Thread: Do tennis balls wear down dogs teeth?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Kina_A's Avatar
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    Do tennis balls wear down dogs teeth?

    When DH told me this yesterday, I thought that was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard! I asked him where he has heard this and told me that he was watching "At the end of my leash" with Brad Pattison, and that Brad had come down on this couple for letting their dog play with tennis balls.

    I don't take anything that Brad Pattison seriously as he is a little man on a power trip who likes to come down on people just so he can boost his ego!

    DH asked that I ask all of you what your thoughts are on letting dogs play with tennis balls.

    All the dogs I've ever had have all played with tennis balls and I've never had a problem with them wearing down their teeth.

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    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Do tennis balls wear down dogs teeth?

    I've actually heard that myself, on this forum, but I have not been able to confirm the truth of it myself.

    Esther is tennis ball obsessive and I haven't seen any sign of damage to her teeth.

    Oddly, I haven't seen any sign of damage to the tennis balls, either. She doesn't chew on them. She retrieves them (and then throws them at me if I fail to acknowledge the accomplishment.) Maybe it's the dogs that chew on them that suffer dental damage.

    Also, maybe it makes a difference it it is an inside tennis ball or an outside tennis ball. The latter gets gritty very quickly.



    I can certainly believe that tennis balls could be mildly abrasive. I just haven't seen it.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Cracker's Avatar
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    Re: Do tennis balls wear down dogs teeth?

    True tennis balls, for dogs who chew or pull the coverings off , do wear down teeth. The fibres of the covering are very strong, like fiberglass. Dogs who don't chew or peel the balls do not show the same amount of damage.

    Tennis balls sold especially for dogs are made of different fibres.

    For once, mr jerkoff trainer is right.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member Kina_A's Avatar
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    Re: Do tennis balls wear down dogs teeth?

    Thanks Cracker!

    That's good to know! I always get the ones that are made for dogs since they squeak.

    Kina loves tennis balls. She has only take the felt off of one ball, but that was when she was teething, other then that she'll just bring them to you so you can toss them for her.

  6. #5
    Senior Member TxRider's Avatar
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    Re: Do tennis balls wear down dogs teeth?

    Life wears down dogs teeth.

    My last dog was a tennis ball and frisbee freak, she would chew one and destroy it fairly constantly. She loved to walk around chewing one so hard ot made a popping sound and would walk around making a pop pop pop pop noise endlessly.

    She would destroy heavy frisbees as well as tug so hard she would hang in the air on one.

    Her teeth were worn after a over decade of it, but at 16 she still had enough teeth left when she went to the bridge..

    Tennis balls aren't something I worry much about. I go out to the local tennis courts and get free balls regularly as the tennis guys toss their worn ones to get balls for Hope to play with. She will pop one and have it in pieces in under 30 minutes if I leave her with one.

    The used ones from the tennis courts have a lot of the fuzz worn down to very thin fuzz.

    The ones from the pet store last only a couple of minutes before they are in halves.

    I also keep them clean and don't let them get packed with dirt which acts like sandpaper.

  7. #6
    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Do tennis balls wear down dogs teeth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cracker View Post
    Tennis balls sold especially for dogs are made of different fibres.
    And interestingly (at least to me) Esther DOES destroy those pseudo tennis balls.

    I can't always tell the difference at a glance, but she can, and the first time she encounters one, she chews it into tiny pieces.

    Real tennis balls are protected species and she never damages them.

  8. #7
    Senior Member TxRider's Avatar
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    Re: Do tennis balls wear down dogs teeth?

    Quote Originally Posted by RonE View Post
    And interestingly (at least to me) Esther DOES destroy those pseudo tennis balls.

    I can't always tell the difference at a glance, but she can, and the first time she encounters one, she chews it into tiny pieces.

    Real tennis balls are protected species and she never damages them.
    Real tennis balls are orders of magnitude better built and tougher.

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    Senior Member GottaLuvMutts's Avatar
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    Re: Do tennis balls wear down dogs teeth?

    I've heard this, too, and have been told never to throw a dirty frisbee for the same reason - some of the cloth ones can get pretty gross. We use the orange plastic chuckit balls instead of tennis balls. Kit has developed a strong preference for them, although she'll chase anything. The orange ones bounce better, and they're nice and chewy. They're not cheap, but Kit hasn't lost one or destroyed one yet.

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    Senior Member misty073's Avatar
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    Re: Do tennis balls wear down dogs teeth?

    My dogs are not allowed to have tennis balls, we throw a kong instead. Yes tennis balls do wear down your dogs teeth, my ex had a dog that was always playing with tennis balls and it did wear down the teeth. Sand and dirt gets caught in the fibers and acts like sand paper. Maybe for some dogs it doesnt because of how they hold it in there mouth or how they chew it? Maybe some dogs have stronger enamal than others...I dont know but we dont take that chance.
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    Senior Member hulkamaniac's Avatar
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    Re: Do tennis balls wear down dogs teeth?

    Zero just threatened me with bodily harm if I tried to take his tennis balls away. That is one scary cocker spaniel when he's mad. Do not mess with the 20 lb dog and his tennis ball.

  12. #11
    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Do tennis balls wear down dogs teeth?

    Quote Originally Posted by hulkamaniac View Post
    Do not mess with the 20 lb dog and his tennis ball.
    Or, for that matter, with the 80 pound dog.




  13. #12
    Senior Member Kina_A's Avatar
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    Re: Do tennis balls wear down dogs teeth?

    hee hee.....I actually threw Kina's torn tennis ball a month ago. She layed in front of the garbage for 2 days crying!

  14. #13
    Senior Member misty073's Avatar
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    Re: Do tennis balls wear down dogs teeth?

    Thats how Maggie is with her Kong LOL I actually dont even bring it in the house because if she sees it she will go crazy LOL she jumps and spins in circles if she can see it. Usually its in my coat pocket hidden in the closet or put away in the garage.
    _________________________________________
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    RIP Max-March 23, 2010. You were the best cat ever.

  15. #14
    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Do tennis balls wear down dogs teeth?

    I'm not sure this is actually something I should be bragging about, but Esther will carry two tennis balls in her mouth if she happens to run across a second one.

    I used to know a rott mix that could carry three. When he wanted you to throw one for him, you did.

  16. #15
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    Re: Do tennis balls wear down dogs teeth?

    They actually do. I've heard a few people say their dogs played with tennis balls a lot and their canines and other teeth wore down quite a bit by the time they hit double digits.

    But the tennis balls you buy from pet stores are made for dogs and don't use the same yellow fluff as the balls for playign tennis. Those ones do no harm to dog teeth.

  17. #16
    Senior Member TxRider's Avatar
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    Re: Do tennis balls wear down dogs teeth?

    Maybe it does have to do with how they chew them.

    My dogs tend to use their back teeth a lot and squash the balls flat as they chew.

  18. #17
    Senior Member Kina_A's Avatar
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    Re: Do tennis balls wear down dogs teeth?

    Quote Originally Posted by RonE View Post
    I'm not sure this is actually something I should be bragging about, but Esther will carry two tennis balls in her mouth if she happens to run across a second one.

    I used to know a rott mix that could carry three. When he wanted you to throw one for him, you did.

    Ha ha!! My former employer's rotti use to do that too! Cracked me up whenever I saw him walking around like that.

  19. #18
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    Re: Do tennis balls wear down dogs teeth?

    It's actually the material they use as the yellow fluff. Here's an example of what the dogs' teeth look like after years of playing with those balls.

    http://www.manteega.com/packlunch/ar...sballteeth.htm

    Here's from the am. vet dental school
    http://www.avds-online.org/info/wornteeth.html

  20. #19
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    Re: Do tennis balls wear down dogs teeth?

    I've never noticed or been told by the vets that my dogs' teeth were tennis ball worn or that it was a problem. We go through about 1000 tennis balls a year (fortunately we have a local County Club and this county is big on tennis they can play 365 days a year so I am never in short supply).

    I get a load of them from the Club, run them through the dishwasher and it's play time. My dogs don't chew them up but they do a lot of catching in mid-air.
    Could be that we clean them and also I have astro-turf in the yard (other than dog-business areas and the patio for humans) so maybe the balls don't pick up the grit and other things which might be the contributing factors to worn teeth.

  21. #20
    Senior Member Cracker's Avatar
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    Re: Do tennis balls wear down dogs teeth?

    I really think it's a matter of whether the dog is a "shredder" or a "crusher". Shredders sit there with the ball between their feet and pull the fuzz off the ball with their front teeth..this wears them down. Crushers simply CRUSH the ball to smithereens with mostly their back teeth.
    True tennis balls are certainly tougher, because they are meant to have more bounce..especially the good ones. So if you have a shredder I'd buy the cheap petstore ones and if they're a crusher I'd go for the used or new sport worthy tennis balls.
    Maggi and Cracker, Dog about Rosedale


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