I’m not a fan of tennis balls as dog toys. Few vets are.
One, they’re a choking hazard. You would be amazed at what a determined retriever can lodge in their gullet.
Two, they are TERRIBLE on dog teeth. When a dog chews on something wiry and abrasive, be it their own itchy fur or the felt on a tennis ball, it has a sandpaper effect. The teeth on a chronic ball chewer can be worn down to the gums. It’s called attrition, and it’s not pretty.
That being said, I may not be a fan of tennis balls- but a lot of dogs are. And I can lecture and wave and gesticulate all I want, but I still see legions of pet owners hitting the park every weekend with their Chuckits and a bag full of old tennis balls, vet admonishments be damned.
Can we agree on a compromise? Ballistic Dog makes a softer dental tennis ball meant to be easier on the dog’s teeth. Your dog will never know.
The alternative is a gummy, toothless old dog. They don’t make dog dentures. I checked.