We’re all used to seeing dogs play with a tennis ball, but what about lacrosse balls? Can your dog play with these balls too or should you keep them away from your pet?
Lacrosse Balls vs. Tennis Balls: A Comparison
Tennis balls are quite common, so it’s easier to describe lacrosse balls in comparison. Now, at first glance, you can immediately notice the main difference between them.
As far as colors are concerned, the tennis ball is mostly made in fluorescent green while the lacrosse ball is made in white. It has something to do with the material used to make the item.
The outside of a tennis ball looks like a carpet. However, lacrosse balls are solid rubber. Does that mean they are lighter? Actually no.
In fact, lacrosse balls are heavier than a regular tennis ball, weighing around 140-147 grams. For comparison, you should know that a standard tennis ball can weigh between 56 and 59.4 grams.
What about the size of the balloon? Well, the International Tennis Federation requires the professional tennis ball to be approximately 8 inches in circumference. However, the lacrosse ball can measure between 7 3/4 and 8 inches in circumference, so there really isn’t a difference between the two.
Equipment used for a lacrosse ball
Lacrosse balls are made of 65% rubber and have a bounce of approximately 1800 high. You get about 70% of the bounce by dropping the ball, so it’s important for players to time the angle of their shots carefully to ensure they hit the target.
Lacrosse Ball – Toxicity
But really, let’s get to the most important part here, which is: Can you give your dog a lacrosse ball as a toy? The quick and short answer is: yes. In terms of toxicity, a lacrosse ball is perfectly safe.
Your dog could put it in his mouth and not have a negative reaction. Of course, you should always watch out for allergies or anything that might be on the ball. Keep the lacrosse ball clean during play so your dog doesn’t accidentally ingest something that could make him sick.
The good thing here is that since the ball is mostly rubber, you can dry it whenever so little dirt sticks to the surface. Tennis balls with their carpet-like exterior often had dirt attached to them after getting wet.
Safe against accidental ingestion
Even though a lacrosse ball is smaller than a regular tennis ball, it shouldn’t be a problem when placed in your dog’s mouth. There is no chance that the ball will be swallowed and the dog will choke.
This is obviously true of medium to large breeds, but be careful with very large breeds. The rule is that the ball should be small enough to fit in the mouth but large enough not to pass through the throat.
So, if you have a REALLY large breed that is out of the ordinary, you might want to think things through first.
Is it good for gums and teeth?
If you think the lacrosse ball will help plaque buildup, think again. While there are chew toys designed to remove dirt and plaque from your dog’s teeth, lacrosse balls aren’t one of them.
They are more likely to damage gums and teeth as they are too hard for the dog. This is because the bale is perfectly dense. It takes a lot of pressure to dent a lacrosse ball, and most barnacles aren’t capable of doing that. Bottom line: If your dog bites into a lacrosse ball, the teeth give out in front of the ball.
Do not use a lacrosse ball for this purpose. Just bring your dog in for occasional teeth cleaning or perhaps use a toothbrush specifically designed to get the job done. Some toys can also help with this so that your pet maintains perfect teeth for life.
Availability of lacrosse balls
Lacrosse balls can also be purchased at various stores. They’re not as common as a tennis balls or baseball, but it’s definitely something you can find online and buy in bulk.
They’re also quite inexpensive, so if you’re looking to save money on dog toys, you may find cheaper brands of lacrosse balls instead of tennis or baseball items.
So what’s the verdict?
To conclude, yes, lacrosse balls are safe for dogs, but the context of use needs to be considered. If the lacrosse ball is primarily used to play fetch, do it while your dog wants to exercise outside. There’s nothing wrong with your dog fetching the ball for a game of fetch.
Indeed, the bouncing ability of the ball makes it a more interesting toy for the dog. You can throw this ball against something solid and watch it bounce, giving your dog mental and physical gymnastics to grab the object.
This not only allows the dog to exercise his body but also his mind, giving both many hours of enjoyment. However, keep in mind that lacrosse balls DO NOT float, so don’t throw them in water.
However, if you plan to use the ball as a chew toy, you’d prefer to get a specially designed-product. The lacrosse ball can withstand your dog’s chew, but it’s not known whether your dog’s teeth can withstand the ball’s resistance.
So, once you’re done looking for game time, make sure the lacrosse ball is stowed away and replace it with a legitimate, tooth-safe chew toy.
Other things you can do with a ball other than lacrosse
So if your dog can’t use a lacrosse ball as a chew toy, what else can you do with it? One of the most common uses of this ball is as a massage aid.
Because it’s so thick, it’s perfect for rolling up and down a person’s body, putting pressure on sore spots, and relieving muscle tension and pain. In fact, they may be better than tennis balls for their durability.