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KARyan

Teeth wearing down

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I have a 14 month old BC, Tucker, who loves to catch tennis balls. I have noticed that all 4 of his canine teeth are beginning to wear down. I was told that this is being caused by the covering on the balls. Any truth to this and if so, what about some other kind of ball?

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Yes, absolutely true. I believe it is silica in the "Fur" of the tennis balls.

 

At PetsMart, you can get 2 or 3 balls in a bag. They look just like tennis balls - but they have a flag logo stamped on them. They have no silica. Fergie can't tell the difference.

 

Not as cheap as getting discards from tennis players. But very reasonable.

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We use the ones Nancy mentions as well. They are a tad more expensive, but well worth it at our house. They are also much more durable than your regular tennis ball, and they take a considerable bit more work than a normal tennis ball to destroy. They get eight paws and four hands up at my house. They are a lot harder to squeeze than a regular tennis ball, and slightly heavier, but we don't really notice the difference. :rolleyes:

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I thought that what has been posted is correct - standard tennis balls have silica in the "fur" and are detrimental to dogs' teeth as they wear them down with mouthing, chewing, etc. However, further posts indicate I might be wrong on this.

 

Here is another thought - I wonder about how damaging "dog-safe furry" balls might be as they accumulate dirt in their fibrous coverings, especially sandy (silica) material if you live where that is prevalent in the soil or the surface on which you play.

 

Perhaps a good alternative, one that can be cleaned more easily, is a smooth rubber ball, like the Buddy Ball, Buddy Glo Ball, or plain old "Pinky" ball. If these get dirty, they can be rinsed off, don't tend to accumulate as much dirt on their surface, and tend to be very durable.

 

They also fit well in the Chuckit and other tennis ball-sized holders and throwers. In my experience, with my "chewy" Celt, they last much longer than any tennis-type ball. The cheap doggie tennis balls just don't last for more than a few minutes with him. The better quality ones (Chuckit, Happy Dog) last quite a while.

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I washed my tennis balls regularly for the desert years before we moved to the farm and largely depended on ball playing to amuse our dogs. Before I started doing that, my two year old Border Collie's teeth had been worn way down, to my horror. They didn't have the special balls then - or at least they weren't readily available.

 

You can throw the balls right in and then air dry them. If you have a front loader with a glass door you can blow your dog's mind, take care of their health, and be tidy at the same time. Regular washing and always offering a clean ball will allow you to use even the regular tennis balls in a pinch. I think most flyball teams do this, since it would be no joke to buy a hundred or so of the fancy balls (though I'm sure some do).

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That's funny you mention that, Becca!! I was just wondering if you could wash tennis balls in the washing machine! I guess I'll do it right as I leave for class, so that hubby can listen to them thump while I'm gone. :rolleyes: I'll have to remind him not to put them in the dryer. :eek:

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Oooooooh ! so sorry Riley... but about rawhide!!!

Not good.. most trainers (as myself), and vets are now discouraging rawhide. The constant chewing gets the rawhide very slimy, bacteria ridden and when, "not if", the dog chews off a chunk & swallows, you take the chance of not only choking but the chunk of rawhide lodging in the intestine (not digestible), and causing a severe blockage. Hence... the chance of pain, surgery and lots of $$$$.. I had given my dogs rawhide for years, had a couple of times of pulling out large chunks they bit off. Never got as far as choking, only by luck! Never had any blockage problems, BUT... it's one of those things, "ya know better, ya do better". Oh well, no more rawhides in our house...

Check out the Nylabone Edibles.. Phoenix loves them and they are safe. You can get different sizes, flavors and some are harder than others. Check em out...Good luck..

Joe Anne & Phoenix

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At petsmart they have the ball bins with red tennis balls with a Petsmart logo on them for $.99. Does anyone know if those contain silica?

 

Are pig's ears bad?

 

Thanks!

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My understanding is that the fuzzy covering on the outside of tennis balls is simply wool felt. Silica (and other materials) is added to the rubber, not the felt. From what I can gather, it is not the glue that holds the felt onto the rubber, or some chemical substance in the felt, but rather, the dirt that is picked up in the felt of the ball, that has a sandpaper-like effect on dogs' teeth.

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Riley loves the Nylabone edibles, too. Unfortunately they last about 10 minutes. Is there any problem with dogs actually chewing on rawhide, or is it just the possibility of the choking hazard? What about the sawed thighbones? They're nearly indestructable but has anyone heard of a dog cracking a tooth on one or any other problems?

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Snook, I had one person tell me that pig ears could be a problem, but I don't remember the reason why. Hopefully someone else will have some more info.

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I don't know if it is true or not, but our vet told us that pig ears were very high in cholesterol and we should limit the amount that we give to our dog.

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I got "tennis" balls from Planet Dog. They are tennis-ball shaped and colored and so far have not fallen apart. They fit in the chuck-it, too.

 

I also got, on the recommendation of someone on this board, two of the Pinky balls from Rite-Aid and those are FAB. Tess LOVES them. I thought she'd chew them up, but since we only use them for fetch (her fetch toys are put up when we are not having a game), they are lasting very well.

 

I was getting the balls from Petsmart or Petco (I think anything you buy there is going to be silica-free, but I am not sure) but after two throws, Tess would have already chomped them in half. That got expensive, so I went to the ones from Planet Dog and the Pinky balls and those are great for us. And no fuzz anywhere. Tess shreds anything with fuzz...

 

Allie & Tess

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