Can a Dog Chew On a Baseball? [Answered]

Every dog owner knows that their furry friends get attached to toys pretty easily. It seems like even when you buy new toys, many dogs constantly go back to the same old toy.

If that toy is a baseball for your dog, you might be wondering if this is a safe object for dogs to chew on. After all, it’s very hard, and the leather seems like it might not be good if it comes off. 

So, can a dog chew on a baseball? Well, it depends on a number of factors. If your dog is not an aggressive chewer, then playing with a baseball is more than likely fine. However, if your dog manages to break the baseball, the leather, rubber, and yarn inside of it can be swallowed and cause an obstruction. 

Can a dog eat leather?

If your dog chews off the cover of a baseball, you might be concerned that it’s eaten leather. Obviously, leather isn’t an ideal food for your dog to be eating, as it’s not even food at all! But how bad is it really? 

Unfortunately, it’s definitely not good for your dog to be eating leather. This is for a number of reasons.

Firstly, leather isn’t food. This means that when your dog ingests it, its body is unable to properly digest it and break it down. This means the leather could end up blocking your dog’s digestive tract. This is also known as bowel obstruction and can be extremely dangerous for your dog. 

Secondly, leather is sometimes made with materials or chemicals that can be dangerous to dogs. This isn’t often the case, but monitor your dog soon after it ingests the leather to watch for signs of sickness or discomfort. 

What to do when a dog eats leather?

So, if it’s not good for your dog to be eating leather, what should you do if you’re too late? If your dog has already eaten leather, what steps can you take to solve the problem?

Well, it depends on the size of the piece of leather. Usually, your dog will chew it into small enough pieces that it comes out the other side. This isn’t always the case though. The most important thing to do is monitor your dog for the next couple of hours. Watch for signs of discomfort or illness, especially vomiting and diarrhea. 

If your dog has eaten a lot of leather, the best move would be to just call the vet immediately. Anything more than a handful should be taken quite seriously. Even if it ends up being alright, you’re better safe than sorry. After all, the sooner you take your dog to the vet, the better off you’ll be, and the easier the problem will be to solve. 

Can dogs pass baseball leather?

As mentioned above, it depends on the size of the pieces your dog has chewed the baseball cover into. In most cases, your dog will probably chew them into pieces that it can pass. To make sure of it, monitor your dog’s stools and make sure there are small pieces of baseball leather inside. The material can’t be digested, so it will show up in your dog’s poop. 

If the pieces are too large, however, your dog will not be able to pass them. This can cause a bowel obstruction, which is an exceptionally dangerous condition that needs to be taken very seriously, as it can end up seriously harming or even being lethal to your dog. 

Similar things can happen with the yarn and rubber inside of the baseball as well. Dogs will have a hard time passing anything that they are unable to digest. 

What happens when a dog eats a baseball?

When a dog eats a baseball, it will obviously not be able to just swallow it whole. The baseball will be chewed into pieces. The more of the pieces that your dog swallows, the more dangerous of a situation your dog might be in. 

As stated above, the most likely scenario is that your dog ate a few pieces of the outside cover, will pass them, and be just fine. However, if you can’t track down a lot of the leather, or it seems like your dog got into the inside of the ball where the rubber and yarn are on, you might have a more serious issue. 

The next thing that happens after your dog swallows any of the pieces of the baseball is that the leather, rubber, and/or yarn has to pass through your dog’s digestive tract. If the pieces are smaller enough, they will simply pass through and you will see them in your dog’s stool. 

However, if they are too large to be digested, they can cause a bowel obstruction. This is quite likely with larger pieces of leather or the yarn that gets tangled up and caught on things. If your dog is vomiting, has diarrhea, is extremely constipated, or has signs of illness or discomfort after eating any pieces of a baseball, take them to the vet immediately. 

What about other kinds of balls?

This information is applicable to any kind of ball that has a leather covering. Things like footballs, softballs, and even tennis balls (though it’s a bit less likely) can cause bowel obstruction and be harmful to your dog. 

How to avoid your dog swallowing baseball leather

So, how can you avoid this outcome? You don’t want to stop your dog from playing with its favorite toy and having fun, after all. So what can you do to minimize the chances that your dog rips apart the baseball (or other kinds of balls) and swallows the leather pieces?

Firstly, make sure your dog is supervised for at least the first few times it plays with a baseball or other type of leather-bound ball. This way, you can watch and see how aggressively it is chewing the ball. This will inform you as to whether or not your dog might tear pieces of the ball off, causing a dangerous situation in which your dog will swallow those detached pieces. 

If your dog seems to chew normally, then playing with the baseball should be fine, and after a few supervised sessions can probably be done unsupervised.

However, if your dog is quite aggressive with the ball, and seems to be doing damage to it over the first few playtimes, it is best to take the ball away. You don’t want to be dealing with a bowel obstruction and trust me, your dog doesn’t either!


So, if you want a short answer, yes. Your dog can most likely play with the baseball. Make sure that it isn’t chewing it too aggressively though, as if it gets damaged, that’s where the danger begins. 

If your dog does swallow pieces of the baseball, it can be quite dangerous, especially if it causes a bowel obstruction. If this occurs, monitor your dog’s health and make sure to take it to the vet should anything seem to be wrong. When in doubt, take your dog to see the vet, you’re better safe than sorry!

It is important to make sure your dog is playing often and having fun while doing it, just make sure it is staying safe as well!


  • Brad

    Hi I'm Brad, the founder of Having been a vet of 6 years I work alongside our team to provide valuable insight into your dog's health. I have a frenchie myself named Senzu who is my pride and joy!