Every year thousands of dogs around the world die from playing with tennis balls. If you have a large dog with a sizable jaw, then a tennis ball is not a safe for them to play with. There are at two very common ways that a tennis ball can kill your dog. The first and most common way is when a tennis ball becomes logged in a dog’s throat and blocks his or her airway causing suffocation. The second way is when a dog swallows a tennis ball and a blockage and/or obstruction is created in the dog’s intestines. Tennis balls are probably one of the top five most dangerous toys for large dogs to play with. Google “tennis ball and dog” and you will see thousands of articles pop up about this very common and serious problem. Keep in mind that these individual deaths are just the ones that have actually been reported and written about. I personally know two families who lost their beloved Labrador Retrievers due to a simple game of fetch with a tennis ball. In fact, Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Retriever died the very same way. Oprah televised the incident and warned other dog owners not to use tennis balls or plastic balls of a similar size to play fetch with their dog. Unfortunately, I still see far too many people give their large breed dogs tennis balls.
A good alternative to a tennis ball is a toy known as a “Kong” or other similar toys that are made from galvanized rubber. These types of toys are too large to be swallowed and cannot get stuck in your dog’s throat. The original “Kong” comes in several sizes and has a large hole in the center so your dog can still breath while carrying the toy in it’s mouth. The company also makes a number of other “Kong” products that are safe and fairly difficult to destroy. When you are buying your dog a toy, always think about their safety first.
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