Many dog owners like to play fetch with lacrosse balls since they are solid rubber and hold up well to chewing. But are lacrosse balls actually safe for dogs? There are a few factors to consider.
Potential Choking Hazard
One risk with lacrosse balls is that their size poses a potential choking hazard for dogs. Regulation lacrosse balls are around 2 inches (5cm) in diameter. This could block airways if swallowed by smaller dogs.
Larger breed dogs may be able to pass a lacrosse ball they swallow or chew. But veterinarians caution against letting dogs treat lacrosse balls as chew toys, since blockages can occur.
Supervision is key whenever dogs play with lacrosse balls. Do not leave dogs unmonitored with balls they could choke on. Avoid giving lacrosse balls to dogs prone to quickly destroying and ingesting toys.
mouths can cause dental fractures and gum/palate injuries in dogs. The hard rubber does not yield like softer dog toys. Monitor dogs playing with lacrosse balls and avoid aggressive chomping.
On the plus side, rubber lacrosse balls are non-toxic if chewed or ingested. They do not contain chemicals hazardous to dogs like some manmade materials and tennis balls do. The primary safety risks are choking and dental damage.
Appropriate Size is Key
Lacrosse balls can be safe fetch toys for dogs under proper supervision, if sized appropriately. Opt for lightweight youth balls or mini lacrosse balls for smaller breeds. Standard balls are safest for medium to large dogs.
Do not let dogs chew regulation men’s lacrosse balls, which are the toughest. Softer, flexible dog balls or rubber puppy toys are safer for chewing. Lacrosse balls become unsafe when used improperly relative to a dog’s size.
With sensible precautions like monitoring playtime, removing destroyed balls, and matching ball size to dog size, lacrosse balls can be a fun and durable choice for safely playing fetch with dogs. But supervision is a must for safety. Dogs should not be left alone to chew on lacrosse balls, which pose risks if used incorrectly.