Can Dogs Play with Golf Balls?

Can Dogs Play with Golf Balls?

Summer Sundays are fun days to go out and have some space and see some blue jays, right? Do you want to take your dog as well as golf clubs with you and you think that it could be fun to play fetch at some point? We want to stop you there.

Dogs should not play with golf balls at any time. You might have already done it and might be thinking that it is okay and your dog doesn’t have a problem with it. However, golf balls can easily choke your dog without you realizing it. Also, chipped pieces and chemicals of the golf balls can be hazardous for your dog.

Why Golf Balls are not Safe for Dogs

Playing with balls can be generally good for dogs because it keeps them energized and is a good way of exercising. It can be a fun activity for you as well. However, you need to be careful about the size of the balls you are playing with your dog.

Big balls that would not fit in your dog’s mouth but can still be bitten will be safe. In contrast, small balls will pose danger to your dog as your dog might accidentally swallow them. Dogs can also chip off the pieces of the ball and can swallow that can be dangerous because of the chemicals it contains.


Dogs that are medium to large are at higher risk when they play with balls compared to the small-sized dogs. Yet, it is still not recommended for small dogs to play with golf balls either. 

If you chip the golf ball for your dog to catch it in the air, it can be lodged in your dog’s throat and cause pain. His teeth are also in danger since the ball can gain momentum in the air and drop sharply to his teeth. If the ball gets lodged in his throat, you need to react immediately and try to dislodge the golf ball from your dog’s throat. The ball can prevent him from breathing which can be fatal in minutes if the ball is not dislodged quickly from his throat.

If your pooch catches the ball and is fetching it back, it can still be lodged in his throat as he is running and heavily breathing at that moment.

If your dog accidentally swallows the golf ball, it will go into his digestive system and the only way to remove it will be surgery. It would be a very painful procedure for your dog and expensive surgery for you. 

Pieces of Golf Balls

In case your dog manages to chip off the outer surface of a golf ball, it can be very toxic and your dog can get sick. Golf balls are made of fiberglass which is like sandpaper. This material can ruin your four-legged friend’s teeth at a young age. 

Also, if the pieces of golf balls go through your pet’s intestines and get into the digestive process, it can be very harmful to his health. It may not be fatal; however, the pieces of the golf ball can pierce your pet’s intestines that can end up with a surgery. If you suspect that your dog chipped the pieces off of a golf ball, call your vet immediately and ask for assistance as he might have swallowed some of the pieces.


Not only choking or eating the pieces of the golf ball is dangerous, but also the materials that are used in the making of a golf ball can pose a high risk for your dog’s health. 

Golf balls usually contain polybutadiene, trans-polyisoprene, zinc acrylate, benzoyl peroxide, zinc oxide, and polyurethane some of which can be dangerous and should be dug into for further information on their impact on dogs.

Last but not least, your dog might have an allergic reaction to one of the chemicals inside the golf ball. In case your dog shows symptoms of an allergic reaction, contact your vet and ask for professional help.

Can Dogs Play with Golf Balls?

Hide Your Golf Balls

You might be already aware of the dangers of playing fetch with golf balls with your dog. However, it can still be hazardous if your golf balls are somewhere at home that your dog can reach. 

If your golf balls are in an open area or are somewhere that your dog can see, your pet might be tempted to play with it. It might be out of your sight, but they can choke on the golf ball by themselves while playing at home. 

Also, they can try to bite the pieces off of the golf ball which will wear their teeth off. For these reasons, you should keep your golf balls somewhere safe at all times and hide them in a place where your furry friend cannot reach.

Are There Any Alternatives to Golf Balls?

If you want to play fetch with your dog but also do it safely, there are other options besides the dangerous golf balls. 

First of all, not only toy balls for your dog but also other toys for him should be big enough so that he won’t be able to swallow them. This way you will prevent potential asphyxia and save your dog’s life.

Second, you need to pay attention to the materials that are used in the making of dog toys. If you are aware of the allergies your dog has, watch out for these allergic materials in toys.

Toys that fit in these two criteria will be safe for your dog and you won’t have to worry whether he would choke on it or not.

Conclusion: Can Dogs Play with Golf Balls?

Dogs cannot play with golf balls due to several reasons such as choking, the danger of the chipped pieces, and the chemicals in them. Large and medium-sized dogs are at a bigger risk of swallowing golf balls or choking on them.

Teeth of your dog can be worn if he tries to chew the ball. In case of swallowing the pieces, his intestines can be damaged which might require surgery. You need to think of other balls that you can joyfully play with your dog while staying safe and preventing further problems.

Alaaddin Sarac

I've been an avid dog enthusiast since childhood. I started this blog in hopes of helping owners find answers to questions I had after owning my first dog. This website was created as a way to share our love for all things canine with the world. From choosing the best food for your older dog to get the best beds for your tail-wagger, I aim to give you the information you need to give your dog the best care throughout his entire life.