Australian Open- Champions, tennis and balls!

Joanne Baker | Friday, January 18th, 2019

Lots of people are going crazy over the tennis right now, especially as the Australian Open heats up! That got me thinking about champion tennis players and tennis balls.

Firstly, there are some big names in tennis right now battling to be crowned the Australian Open champion. Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams and Juan Monaco, are all worthy adversaries… but my question is… do any of these tennis players love dogs? I can tell you everyone named above, except Rafael Nadal, have dogs of their own whom they love.

Sadly, Rafael is afraid of dogs- he doesn’t trust their intentions.

Now, tennis balls… great for tennis and dogs love them! 

But they can be very dangerous! Tennis balls are made from two halves of rubber that are fused and pressed together, then dipped in glue solution, and shaped into a ball. Inside the ball is a precise amount of pressurized air to make sure the bounce is just right. Dipped again in glue the yellow felt pieces are wrapped around and then fused to the ball through a heat cycle. 
So…what’s so dangerous about this?

Firstly, dogs have strong jaws capable of compressing a tennis ball. If that compressed air pops the ball open into the back of the throat, it can cut off a dog’s air supply. Dogs have also swallowed tennis balls whole!
Secondly, the yellow green felt, together with dirt and grit, can act like sandpaper or a scouring pad on your dog’s teeth, which will wear them down over time. This cocktail can also create an obstruction and gastrointestinal issues which would require expensive surgery and create a life-threatening incident.

Finally, tennis balls are made for tennis…not dogs and many dog tennis balls are made without safety regulations applied. A study conducted of tennis balls in 2009, by the Ecology Centre (location), found detectable levels of lead and other toxic chemicals in the balls. 
That doesn’t mean you need to take tennis balls out of play, but it’s important to take some precautions:

1. Never let your dog play with a tennis ball unless 
2. Don’t let you dog carry more than one ball at a time. 
3. Keep your dog’s focus on the game of fetch, not on 
the ball and its destruction. 
4. Get rid of worn or dirty balls. 
5. Don’t let your dog ingest even small pieces of the ball.

Our four-legged champions enjoy a game of ball…let’s buy pet safe balls or use tennis balls under focus and strict supervision.

All Champions, two-legged and four need us to watch out for them.

Game… Set… Match!