Are Golf Balls Safe for Dogs (to fetch or chew)

Are Golf Balls Safe for Dogs (to fetch or chew)?

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Fetch is a well-known favorite game amongst canines and their owners. But what balls are safe and which ones are not? More specifically, are golf balls safe for dogs? While it might not seem like these little balls could be potentially life-threatening, the truth is, they are.

So, are golf balls safe for dogs? No, golf balls are not safe for dogs of any size. Golf balls pose a choking hazard, especially for bigger dogs. Golf balls also contain toxic materials that can hurt your canine. Furthermore, chipped pieces can damage the intestines or esophagus, while fiberglass material can damage teeth.

When it comes to playing with balls with your furry friend, there is a right and wrong way to go about it. This article will teach you why you should always say “no” to playing games with golf balls.

Are Golf Balls Safe for Dogs?

There are plenty of videos showing how much dogs love to play with golf balls.

Your dog may even be one of them, and you never saw the harm because “nothing happened”. Well, the truth is, even the best cheap golf balls are incredibly dangerous for hounds of all sizes. Here is why.

The biggest issue with golf balls is that they present a choking hazard. While this hazard is slightly lowered in smaller breeds, it’s still not a viable option for playtime. Golf balls are the right size for accidental swallowing, especially in larger dogs. However, they are too large to pass through and may become lodged in the throat – which could be fatal in just a few minutes.

Choking Hazard

On the other hand, if your dog does manage to squeeze the golf ball past its throat, you’re looking at a surgical procedure. Your furry friend will not be able to “pass” the golf ball, requiring medical assistance right away.


There are toxins found on the inside and outside of a golf ball. Needless to say, no toxin is recommended for consumption by your canine. That said, you may be introducing your hound to unnecessary and unwanted toxins each time you toss it a golf ball. 

What’s worse is your dog may be allergic to the toxins. So, while it may already become ill from the toxins, you’re looking at a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction, too. It’s best to keep golfing to the professional (human) golfers.

Chips and Pieces

Another issue is that chips and pieces of the ball can come off. After all, it’s no secret that Fido enjoys chewing on its toys – golf balls included. While a chip of plastic may not have life-threatening consequences, it doesn’t mean that a negative outcome can’t occur. In some cases, large chunks can harm the esophagus and intestine.

Tooth Damage

When your furry friend is gnawing on those beloved golf balls, it may be doing a major disfavor to the teeth. Since golf balls are made of fiberglass, the material tends to grind down the tooth structure. In some (rare) instances, canines chewed down half of their tooth structure, which obviously hurts day-to-day well-being.

Conclusion: Are Golf Balls Bad for Dogs?

are golf balls bad for dogs

Although it may be fun for you and your furry pal to play fetch or have fun with a golf ball, it’s best to ditch the golf ball completely. Golf balls are not safe for dogs and can harm them in many ways, such as:

  • Choking
  • Consuming toxic materials
  • Damaging the intestines and teeth

Instead, use the classic tennis ball or purchase dog-friendly balls that are designed for your dog’s size.


What if my dog ate a golf ball?

It’s not incredibly uncommon for a dog to end up swallowing a golf ball. While it’s more likely that the golf ball will get lodged in the throat, sometimes they pass through. The problem is that golf balls are too big to pass through the pylorus. Being unable to pass naturally, surgical removal will be necessary.

What balls are safe for dogs?

The good news is, there are plenty of other balls that are safe and fun for your furry best friend. For example, tennis balls are a crowd favorite because they’re the ideal texture and size. However, you can also opt for some fun balls, such as these favorites for smaller hounds or an XL play ball for big dogs.

How long does it take for a dog to pass a ball?

If the ball is small enough to pass through, it typically takes around 11 to 24 hours for a dog to pass it successfully. If you notice that the ball consumed was large, or it has not been passed after 24 hours, it is imperative to seek medical treatment right away. It’s likely surgical treatment is needed at that point.

What color ball is best for dogs?

When shopping for new balls to take the place of golf balls, don’t forget about choosing the right color, too. It can be difficult for canines to see a red ball, especially when playing on the green ground (such as grass). That said, blue is the ideal option when buying play balls for your dog.

Is a tennis ball bad for dogs?

A tennis ball is an excellent ball for a dog to play with. Just keep in mind that a tennis ball can cause a bit of harm to the teeth over time. The better choice is to buy balls that are designed for hounds. And definitely don’t settle for golf balls. Find a ball boy human instead of using your furry friend.