beware of tennis ball bombs this 4th of July

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Posted by Dr. Kim Smyth on Jul 11 2016
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The internet is a wealth of information when it comes to really bad ideas, and when you pair a really bad idea with a desire to blow stuff up to celebrate our nation’s birthday, you end up with a tennis ball bomb.

Ahead of the Fourth of July this year, authorities are warning dog owners about “tennis ball bombs.” People have taken to creating their own kind of explosive device by placing fireworks inside a tennis ball (or ping pong ball, or anything they want to see blown up, really), adding a wick, lighting it and watching it blow up.

These homemade “bombs” aren’t crafted with a malicious intent, but discarded balls can be inadvertently picked up by tennis ball-loving pups with a disastrous consequence. That’s because sometimes tennis ball bomb crafters light a fuse, sit back and wait and the BOOM never comes. Thinking they’ve gotten a bum firecracker, they leave the tennis ball and wander back home.

When an unsuspecting dog comes by and chomps down on their newly found treasure, the smoldering inside could reignite and explode, causing life-threatening injuries.

The safest thing to do on the Fourth of July is to leave your pet at home where she is safe and comfortable. Fireworks can be terrifying to pets, and while I’m sure one or two of you insist that your dog enjoys going to the shows with you, the vast majority of pets would rather be home on (or under) the couch.

And on July 5th, when you're on your walkabout with your dog, double check that stray tennis ball to make sure it doesn’t have a wick sticking out of it before you chuck it for your dog to catch.