Are tennis balls safe as dog chew toys?

Friday, 25th February 2011

An expert has revealed whether or not tennis balls are safe dog chew toys.

Pete Wedderburn, a qualified vet, was asked by a Daily Telegraph reader if it is alright for their six-year-old golden retriever to chew tennis balls, as they had been told that these balls had chemicals on them that are unsafe for dogs.

In response, Dr Wedderburn revealed that around 20 years ago, tennis balls did have high levels of led in the dye, but that modern tennis balls use a safe dye.

He wrote: "I've also heard rumours that the gas in pressurised tennis balls could be toxic, but this also is untrue: they contain nitrogen, which is harmless.

"The only potential problem might be if a dog chewed a tennis ball into pieces that were swallowed. As long as your dog is not doing this, I can’t see that there's anything to worry about."

People who may be concerned about their dog swallowing chewed pieces of tennis ball could invest in sturdier dog chew toys.