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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

We all want the best for our dogs, and that includes more than food and daily walks. Toys can often make or break your pup’s happiness and health. Without toys, it’d be harder to keep your dog active and stimulated, but a huge problem is that one of the most popular ones is actually very dangerous, with many cases resulting in death. It’s always good to occasionally clean our your dog’s toy box, so the next time you do, make sure you toss out the tennis balls!

One of the most important things to remember is that just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s good. Think about the big name pet food brands that source ingredients from China, or the rawhides that are made with bleach and glue! Using tennis balls as toys falls into a similar category. That being said, just like rawhides and big name pet food, a lot of people don’t know that they’re bad because they’re so popular. So if you just came in from a game of fetch with a tennis ball does that make you a bad Pet Parent? Absolutely not!

When a tennis ball is made, it’s made with the intention to be hit back and forth with a racket, not chewed on. The rubber isn’t made with natural, non-toxic ingredients because it doesn’t need to be. In fact, some tennis balls even contain trace amounts of lead. Think of it this way: tennis balls are like chocolate. They’re great for humans but not for pets!

In addition to the toxicity of the rubber, they can also pose as a choking hazard. Believe it or not, there have been instances of dogs swallowing tennis balls whole due to the way they’re made. Air is injected into them to help give them some extra bounce, and if a dog makes a big enough hole, the balls can shoot backwards in their mouths as a result of the pressurized burst (similar to a balloon.). That being said, more commonly, when the rubber starts to break apart from chewing, it tends to come off in large chunks rather than smaller pieces, which can cause blockage. Even just ingesting the fuzzy part can lead to issues. The material is extremely abrasive and a haven for bacteria, dirt, and grime to build up on.

Luckily, there are plenty of great alternatives to tennis balls, and we suggest you start with Planet Dog. Their toys are all non-toxic, recyclable, and easy to clean. In fact, a lot of them are top shelf dishwasher safe! That’s already a huge upgrade from tennis balls, which, like we mentioned, acquire dirt and grime if you even look at them the wrong way. What’s really important, though, is that they’re durable. Remember, one of the biggest risks tennis balls pose is how easy it is for them to break apart and become choking hazards. While we don’t ever suggest using fetch toys as chew toys, Planet Dog produces quality products that will last through rough treatment. They’ll also save you money! Where an average tennis ball lasts a week or two, we’ve had reports of Planet Dog toys lasting years!

A great introduction to Planet Dog products is the Orbee Tennis Ball. Since it has the same shape and coloring as a traditional tennis ball, many dogs won’t even notice the difference while you’re transitioning them! Plus, they’re infused with peppermint oil which acts as a natural attractant.

The “Rando Ball” by West Paw Design it another great durable alternative. It comes in two different sizes, both only slightly larger or smaller than a tennis ball which means your pup can not only have something more appropriately sized for their breed, but it’ll have roughly the same feel in their mouths. The Rando Ball also has notches and a flat bottom in order to make it move more erratically when thrown, making for a game of fetch that’s even more stimulating than it would be with a tennis ball!

You can find both of these products in-store or online at┬áBut that’s not even the best part! What’s really cool is that we haven’t even scratched the surface of fun alternatives to fetch toys! There are so many fun, durable, and safe toys to choose from. Give us a call or pay us a visit and we’ll be happy to help you find something extra perfect for your pup!

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