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Old 12-08-2012, 09:22 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I've read about tennis balls causing blunting, the wearing down of teeth if the dog chews them a good deal. Seems there's nothing without some risk in life, tennis balls among them. I do allow Chagall to play fetch with them, but first I put the tennis ball inside an athletic sock tied in a knot at the top. That way there's a buffer between his teeth and the felt-like material, which is apparently abrasive enough to wear the teeth down over time. It's also easy to wash the sock to get the grunge off. I also put the ball away as soon as the game is over. He has many other types of balls and fetch toys, but tennis balls still rate highest with him. This is where I first heard about blunting years ago.
There are worse things for dogs than chewing tennis balls ...

ETA: Our last dog, a total tennis-ball fetching freak, died at 16+ with every sparkling white tooth still in her mouth. And in those days, I didn't know to even take any precautions with tennis balls!
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:35 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I've read it was a combination of the adhesive used to attach the fuzz to the balls and the fuzz that work together to damage the enamal. I also read it would be ok to allow puppies to play with tennis balls since they would loose their teeth anyway. I just stick to orbee balls now because i don't want to allow something to a pup that would be off limits to an adult. Doesn't seem fair somehow. I did also read somewhere that for fetching in water, tennis balls were ok because the water dilutes the adhesive. Again, I don't feel the risk is worth it, my dogs need their teeth for work. (most of mine are catle bred herding dogs).

Call me weird, but I have taken quite a bit of pride in the fact that most of my dogs have died of old age with all their teeth clean and intact. (except for the very rare broken tooth from working).

There are much safer alternatives to tennis balls. I will also never forget that gorgeous GSD I knew as a kid that choked to death on a tennis ball. They tend to scare the daylights out of me now.
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:18 AM   #13 (permalink)
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BorderKelpie: That's a great and heartbreaking reminder about the choking hazards of tennis balls. How terribly sad about that GSD! I well understand your apprehension. I take Dr. Marty Becker's, DVM, advice on this to heart:

"....dogs have strong jaws capable of compressing a tennis ball. If that compressed ball pops open in the back of the throat, it can cut off a dog's air supply. Most notably, one of Oprah Winfrey’s beloved dogs was a tennis ball victim, but there have been many others. The chewed bits of a tennis ball also aren't something you want inside your dog. You don't have to throw away all your tennis balls, but you do need to use them in a way that reduces the risk of choking. Tennis balls should always be put out of reach after a game of fetch, and no dog should ever be allowed to use them as a chew toy. In supervised play, insist that your dog fetch, return and immediately release the ball — no games of keep away while the dog works the ball in her mouth. And have only one ball in play at a time, to minimize the risk of having your dog pick up more than one and get the furthermost ball lodged back in her throat. Keep the game of fetch fast and lively to keep the focus on the chase and the next throw."

I use the Tuff Balls Industrial Strength Dog Toys tennis balls and still wrap them in a sock. The product info says, "Tuff Balls feature extra thick natural rubber walls which make make them tougher and longer lasting. Tuff Balls are non-toxic and colorfast. Tuff Balls use a special felt that is less abrasive. This helps prevent dogs from wearing down their teeth while playing fetch." Still, I surely do understand your POV.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:43 AM   #14 (permalink)
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We do flyball with Panda so for him tennis balls are the best thing ever and are unavoidable since he needs to fetch the ball to compete. He is nearly 3 and his teeth seem fine to me, perfectly white and no wearing down yet. We play fetch almost every day and he chews on the ball while bringing it back to me. I do see old flyball dogs with very worn down teeth though but to be honest, he enjoys it so much I wont stop over the chance he might wear his teeth down. I use a rubber ball when we are playing inside the home because the tennis ball gets soaking wet in slobber otherwise.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:58 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I have read that the Kong "tennis" balls have a different covering designed to make them easier on teeth.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:38 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panda View Post
We do flyball with Panda so for him tennis balls are the best thing ever and are unavoidable since he needs to fetch the ball to compete. He is nearly 3 and his teeth seem fine to me, perfectly white and no wearing down yet. We play fetch almost every day and he chews on the ball while bringing it back to me. I do see old flyball dogs with very worn down teeth though but to be honest, he enjoys it so much I wont stop over the chance he might wear his teeth down. I use a rubber ball when we are playing inside the home because the tennis ball gets soaking wet in slobber otherwise.
Flyball is so exhilarating! I love watching it, our friend's Border Collie is total fanatic. I get where you're coming from on this.

So many things can pose potential danger to a dog! If you want to make yourself a bit crazy about them, check out this list I came across.
Toy Safety for Adult Dogs | HealthyPet U

This is an excerpt from it.
*The ever-popular tennis ball can even be a bad choice, not only for dogs large enough for the ball to become lodged in their trachea, but because the fuzz on the ball's surface is actually abrasive to teeth. Tennis ball addicts may develop worn teeth from catching and chewing on tennis balls; at normal levels of play, however, the balls should not be damaging.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:28 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Panda was the 2nd highest ranking Miniature Poodle in the UK for 2012 in flyball!

Here he is in action





We have also just started agility and hope to start competing this year but we use a sheep skin tuggy for that (it has a ball on the end as he loves them so much but he only hangs onto the sheepskin)

I dont let him chew balls at home to give his teeth a break but I am not going to quit his flyball over tennis balls either, if his teeth wear down then maybe we will rethink in the future but as it is we have been doing it for 2 years and his teeth are currently fine

Although i do agree that tennis balls can wear teeth down as I said previously, some of the older dogs in our club (aged 10+) have VERY worn down teeth.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:43 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Wow! Congratulations to you both! That's outstanding!! If you have any videos of Panda in action, I'd love to see them. I totally agree with your take on and decision about sticking with tennis balls unless you see a reason to do otherwise. Boy, Panda looks like a super athlete, and happy as can be. As I said in my earlier posts in this thread, my mpoo plays with tennis balls, but he does nothing as incredible with them as Panda
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:50 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Congratulations, Panda! I'm wondering if he is from the same lines as Blaze, Margaret Pennington's parti mini that she is training for agility?
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:11 AM   #20 (permalink)
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What is blaze's line? Panda is from Clanmirri although his mother and father have been spayed and neutered now. What are blaze's parents called? I might know of them, there are only a few parti's in the uk and I know quite a few of them
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