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Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.
Hi, Mary. It will truly depend on the size of the balls. For a full size doberman, yes, it's very possible a tennis ball-sized object could be swallowed and become stuck in the esophagus or the stomach (typically we see these types of balls chewed up but I've seen dogs 75# ***** over that have swallowed whole balls before). Have you checked to see if this company offers a larger ball of the same composition?
It does. Typically ingestion happens when the dog is not supervised and is allowed to chew on the ball vs. just fetch it. But the smaller the ball the higher the risk of your companion moving it beyond the back teeth and swallowing. Watch where he carries it when he retrieves. Is it forward in the mouth? Back toward the back? If it's in the back, can you even see the ball in the mouth from the side or front? If not, the ball is too small. It wouldn't be a bad idea to take him to a pet store and see if you can find another ball he does want to retrieve that's larger.
You're very welcome!