In order to maintain and preserve your ball, you must take proper care of it. You shouldn't leave it outside, or let you big brother take it outside. It must be thrown on a regular basis. Some balls are inside balls and some are for outside only, your human will determine this for you. It doesn't hurt to remind them from time to time of this determination by taking the ball to them and observe what happens. If they don't throw the ball after repeated urgings (barking) from you, it is for use in the other place. If you are inside and it doesn't get thrown, it's an outside ball. The ball in the picture is one of my favorites. It is made of rubber and is fairly soft and it gets thrown in the house. It looks kind of shabby as my brother left it outside. I try to get my human to throw it while she takes things out of this box. By doing this I make her chores more pleasant. I also help with the dishes and floor care. I have enlisted my brother's help with the floor machine, but so far we have not been able to disable it. We are sure it is evil. But I wander off subject. The most important part of keeping a ball in good shape is to fetch often. Thank you and good night!