A weekly tip from our guest expert, Wendy Nan Rees.
How to Make Homemade Minted Tennis Balls
Why buy them when you can make your own?
The first time I went to the pet store back in 1994 and saw minted tennis balls for fresh breath and fun - I thought, "wow what a cool idea!" Until I saw the price, $9.99 for 2 small balls!! So I bought 1 pack and went home to first see A) if my dogs liked them, B) do they work, C) can I make them myself?
To my surprise my dogs loved them, balls that tasted great! We went to the beach and had a blast for about one hour, and then my new costly balls were washed away with the tide. So, home we went, where I set out to making my own minted tennis balls.
I always seem to have something to create for my dogs. In 1985, I bought a Chinese Shar-Pei who came down with colitis. We discovered he was allergic to soy, salt and perseveres. What did I do? I was in cooking school at the time and thought I could make a cookie for him that was soy, salt, and persevere free. This started me down the path to creating my own all natural pet product line.
First Step, Call the Vet
For this tip, I gathered up about 15 old tennis balls and set about my new project. First thing I did was to call my vet. I knew that not all mint flavors are the same and there are some mint flavors that dogs cannot have. Based on my vets advice, the following mint flavors you can use.
Be sure to buy Human Food Grade peppermint or spearmint flavoring oil
- Note: Use Very Little: a little will go a long way and last you a long, long time.
- Either fresh or old tennis balls that you have on hand
- Peppermint or spearmint oil - Human Food Grade
- One large stainless bowl
- Warm water: 4 Cups to every 1 tbsp mint oil
- Plastic tub to store your finished balls in
In your blender, mix 1 Tablespoon of mint oil to 4 Cups of warm water.
Blend well on high speed to emulsify the mixture. Once blended, take your balls, placing them in your stainless bowl, and mix well.
Move wet balls to a drying rack - you can use the rack under your dish rack holder or the rack you use to cool your cookies - anything where the water can drip down and the balls can air dry.
Once dry, you are now the proud owner of homemade minted tennis balls. Store them in an air tight container and enjoy.
This is a win-win for both doggie and owner - they love to play ball and you get to enjoy fresh breath! This does not get you out of brushing their teeth though.