Why Dogs Love Tennis Balls

Fact: dogs love tennis balls. 

It’s also a fact that some humans enjoy watching the US Open. We got to thinking - how is it that only some humans enjoy watching these famous tennis championships, but all dogs enjoy tennis balls? It seems like a universal, unanimous thing. And we think we’ve got it all figured out! 

Read more for our explanation of why your fur bud loves that neon yellow ball. 

It’s all about the bounce.  

When you’re a dog, the movement of a tennis ball is everything. It’s almost mesmerizing; the way that it unpredictably bounces off of pavement when thrown with a bit of force. Canines love the springy action of tennis balls when they catch them in their mouth and bite down. 

A tennis ball can be truly captivating. There is a short list of things that make a dog excited, but the bounce packed in that little ball is one of those things!

They’re fuzzy.

There are a couple of reasons why your pup appreciates the fuzzy texture of a tennis ball.


When playing ball with your dog, you might be grossed out by the slobber matting down the ball’s fuzz - meanwhile, they’re loving it! The texture of a tennis ball is a place where your pooch’s saliva collects, and once their scent is all over it the ball is officially theirs.

Even though most modern canine breeds aren’t natural-born hunters, many dogs could have residual behavior from their hunting-focused descendants - the gray wolf. It’s said that the “hairy” texture of a tennis ball might remind dogs of the fur of the small animals their ancestors used to hunt.   

That beautiful neon yellow color though.

For years, we believed that dogs couldn’t see color - we thought that they only saw black and white. More recent research tells us that what dogs see is actually most similar to a human with red-green color blindness.

What does that mean? Your pup can see yellow and blue the best, and any combinations of those two colors. On the other hand, anything that is red or green may lack bright color and appear dull to them; more of a grayish-brownish hue.   


Think of the toys you’ve bought for your dog in the past. Have you ever had a red or orange ball that they didn’t care for? Here’s a scientific explanation for why neon yellow tennis balls are the right color when it comes to your pup’s vision!


Now that we know what color toy they’ll be more receptive towards, get them an orthopedic dog bed that they can also be obsessed with. Our PupRug™ Tennis Ball Dog Bed is just the ticket!

They’re perfectly dog mouth-sized.

There are so many breeds, sizes, and shapes of dogs. Yet, tennis balls are magical toys that seem to perfectly fit in the mouth of every canine. Even smaller dogs have no trouble grabbing a tennis ball in their mouth and toting it around!   


As with any dog toy, refrain from leaving them unsupervised while playing. Repeated chewing of the tennis ball may hurt your pooch’s teeth or tear the fuzz off of the ball so that they potentially swallow it. A game of fetch is great (which leads to our next point), but make sure they don’t have access to tennis balls when you’re not around.   

They have a natural instinct to retrieve.

Your dog doesn’t need to be a Golden Retriever or one of those other breeds notorious for retrieving. All dogs are different and have distinct personalities, so some also have stronger instincts than others.


Maybe your dog plays fetch for ten minutes, but your neighbor’s dog could play all day if you let them. Similar to how the fuzz of a tennis ball might remind dogs of a rodent’s fur, they might love a game of fetch because it’s in their genes.


Some of our furry friends might constantly show this “prey-carrying” behavior. Of course, they know that a tennis ball is not prey. But fetching something makes them feel accomplished when they’re bringing a prized item back to their pet parent and being praised for it!


It turns out that dogs love tennis balls in every way - because of their bounce action, texture, color, and size, and due to the instincts they inherited from their canine ancestors. Whatever the reasons are, we love that they make our dogs so happy! 

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Paw Team

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