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Pet People

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Are Balls A Choking Hazard? By Adrienne

I recently had a conversation with my mother about Hunter and his tennis balls. He is always trying to put more than one toy in his mouth at a time and now he is trying to do it with his beloved tennis balls. I had no idea the Oprah Winfrey has lost one of her Golden Retrievers, Gracie, to choking on a ball. I guess I realized they could choke on a ball, but it never really seemed to be something to worry about until we got Hunter.

He lies on the floor with his squeaky tennis ball or the racquetball and throws it up in the air and catches it. He does this over and over again. He also likes to chew the racquetball so that is squeaks on his teeth. I used to have the small tennis balls that are golf ball size for Oscar since he can’t get his mouth around a regular size ball. But I gave them to our neighbor who has a pug. I was reading an article from a vet about the choking hazards of tennis balls. He said balls should be a supervised toy only and that dogs choking or dying because of a ball is very common.

Dr. Marty Becker -

“The problem is that dogs have strong jaws capable of compressing a tennis ball. If that compressed ball pops open in the back of the throat, it can cut off a dog's air supply. You don't have to throw away all your tennis balls, but you do need to use them in a way that reduces the risk of choking. Tennis balls should always be put out of reach after a game of fetch, and no dog should ever be allowed to use them as chew toys”.

“ In supervised play, insist that dogs fetch, return and immediately release the ball -- no games of keep-away while the dog works the ball in her mouth. And keep only one ball in play at a time, to minimize the risk of having your dog pick up more than one and getting the furthermost ball lodged back in the throat. "

So I have picked up and put away all the balls in the house. Hunter is none too happy about it. But since he has proven that he can be trusted to be loose in the house now, I worry about what he can get into while I’m gone. I think puppy proofing the house is harder than child proofing! I’m thankful for the invention of the child gate. I find myself wanting to pick up all the other toys now as well, but then I think, “What will he chew and play with while I’m gone?” I know, the coffee table, the end tables, and the armoire? What should be left out for a dog to chew on and keep them occupied? The only thing we have been leaving out is the Kong, but the other day I had a picture sitting against the wall and when I got home the glass was broken. I can only guess that he was throwing the Kong around and it hit the picture.

Hunter was happy about his Christmas present from Skeeter, but not about mom making him sit still for a picture. He’s so mistreated! LOL!

posted by Adrienne at 1/24/2008 08:27:00 PM


Blogger B said...

I have had to watch the tennis balls, ropes, ..well ok, ALL the toys. Charlie is a weapon of mass destruction--he will maticulously pull everything apart and lay the pieces to the side in a little pile. Hines chews everything up and tries to swallow it. The tennis balls are like tissue paper in Charlies jaws, he pops them in no time and shreds them piece by piece. But then Hines comes over and starts knawing on the rubber pieces. So, there have been no tennis balls or anything loose for awhile at our house. If I am going to be playing with them, we will use one. But it goes back in the toy box after.

Friday, January 25, 2008 7:49:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Great information on balls Adrienne! I will have to pass this one along to Mom and Dad B as Minnie plays with her toys unsupervised at times! She loves to chew on the squeaky ball and it collapses in her mouth at times. Never thought of it popping open in the back of her mouth! Wow, scary stuff.....

Great picture of Hunter! Seems I have seen this one before! LOL….
What's with the three small bowls in the background???
Look a bit small for a Golden and St…..LOL

Friday, January 25, 2008 9:52:00 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

That is Mattie and Oscar's food bowls and water bowl. Actually if I had stepped back a bit when I was taking the picture, you would see the jumbo size bowl sitting atop a 5 gallon bucket. Mattie can fit inside Stella's bowl. LOL

Friday, January 25, 2008 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger O'Malley said...

Thanks Adrienne,

I knew Oprah had lost a dog but didn't realize how. That is heart breaking. Thanks for the good info. We do some balls but Rocky is more interested in things he can tug on and destroy...nice way to get rid of those pesky beanie babies and stuffed animals my girls leave lying around. Unfortunately, he really has a penchant for bras. He nosed thru a basket of clean laundry and chewed one of mine in half. I need the dog whisperer guy to clue me in to what Rocky is trying to tell me.

I also noticed the water/food bowls. I immediately thought how nice, neat and clean it looked. How do you do it? My cats and Rocky throw food, water, bowls, etc everywhere. My real job it seems is being a maid and cleaning up behind everyone. I guess I have not trained my pets or my kids very well!

Saturday, January 26, 2008 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Hey Omalley....
How are the eyes coming along?

We (Pet People) humans were put on this earth to serve the fur pets!

Saturday, January 26, 2008 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger O'Malley said...

Hey Skeeter, pets would tend to agree with you! Things are better but not there yet. Thanks for asking. One eye is great, the other is going to have to have a re-do. I go back Tuesday to hopefully set up the date to go thru it again. At least this time it will only be one eye. I am grateful for good vision in one eye but my kids are going to start calling me popeye soon if I don't stop walking around with one eye closed.

Any plans for driving this way anytime soon? I can imagine it has to be warmer where you are. I am so sick of winter. Maybe we should plan to visit you! haha how many bedrooms ya got? haha JK... I am not a winter person and I am sooo ready for spring.

Saturday, January 26, 2008 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

It's not hard keeping the food area clean. I have pig dogs so not even one kibble is ever left behind. Plus I have a thing about the house being dirty, It's not allowed!

Sunday, January 27, 2008 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

We have two guest rooms and the Welcome Mat is always out!
Come on down!

Adrienne, I have a pig cat now! Sheba’s new game is to walk the perimeter of the kitchen prep area of the floor to hunt for crumbs I may have dropped! I have to be careful not to let anything that could harm her get to her mouth! You would think that cat is starving to death the way she begs for food when we are in the kitchen. I guess that "Living in the Woods" mentality will never leave her brain...

Sunday, January 27, 2008 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Adrienne Thanks for this Ball Choking topic! I past it onto Mom and Dad B and they were glad to have the information! Being new to dogs and with a puppy in the house, they need all the info they can get to keep Minnie safe...

Sunday, January 27, 2008 7:43:00 PM  

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Pet People

Sandy Britt, an animal welfare advocate and volunteer with Clarksville rescue organizations, takes care of three dogs: Zoe, Scooter and Peanut; two cats: Catfish and Tarzan; and one husband, Glen, and according to him she takes care of them in that order.

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