We’re not making this up. “Tennis Ball Mouth” is the official veterinary term for a pattern of worn teeth from gnawing on balls and carrying them around in their mouths for many hours a day. Apparently, the abrasive texture of the balls erodes the surface of the teeth causing dental problems for the die-hard tennis ball fans.

The veterinary jury is still out on how concerned pup parents should be about “Tennis Ball Mouth,” but there are things you can do to protect your ball-obsessed baby. You don’t need to end the games of fetch (how could you?), but below are just a few ideas to discuss with your vet.

Keep the Ball in Your Court. By carrying the ball to and from the dog park, on long walks and anytime your dog is not actively playing with it, you can reduce the amount of time it’s in his mouth. When you’re ready for fetch, pull it out and play.

Easy, Big Fella. Some big dogs can make mincemeat of tennis balls without even trying. So make sure to supervise your big dog if he does chew on balls, and inspect your dog’s tennis balls afterward for loose bits that can cause choking. Better yet, go with alternative toys made especially for heavy chewers and leave tennis balls for playing fetch.

Have a Ball. Your dog knows a good ball when he sees one. Help him pick a winner by choosing tennis balls made just for dogs. These highly-durable doggie toys are less abrasive on the teeth and come in various sizes, including the one just right for your dog’s mouth.

For more information on “Tennis Ball Mouth,” check out the opinion from one veterinary dentist in the article below from USA Today.

The Scoop:

From USA Today, “There are worse things for dogs than chewing tennis balls.”

Tuff Balls – Tennis Balls for Dogs
Lead-free, these balls are non-toxic with non-abrasive felt, and come in three sizes.

Thank you to our Woof Report Friend Diggie for the photo.