It’s time for a change.
Has your pet has lost interest in a few quick tosses of a tennis ball or a walk around the same block? We’re here to help you add some excitement with an automatic ball launcher for dogs. To make it easy, we have chosen the best automatic ball launchers for your best loved dog.
Easier Workout Capability
Automatic launchers allow pets to play on their own and at their own pace. Even pet parents with mobility issues can give their dog the fulfilment of an active workout. Best of all, dogs can learn how to operate the systems for a mental workout as well as physical exercise.
Our Quick Top 5 Picks
PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher Our rating 5.0 stars Click For Price On Amazon / Click For Price On Chewy
Paws & Pals Automatic Dog Ball Launcher Toy Our rating 4.5 stars Click For Price On Amazon
I Fetch Too Automatic Ball Launcher for Dogs Our rating 4.25 stars Click For Price On Amazon / Click For Price On Chewy
IDOGMATE Interactive Ball Launchers for Dogs Automatic Tennis Ball Thrower for Dogs Our rating 4-stars Click For Price On Amazon
Felix & Fido Playball! Our rating 3.75 stars Click For Price On Amazon
Why Dogs Chase Balls
Your dog loves to play ball because it’s an instinct bred into them over centuries.
This ability to fetch allows your dog to do what comes naturally to them, and it lets them revel in the pride and praise their people give them for doing it.
And chasing a ball is JUST FUN!
Launchers Need Safety Features
All owners need to think about safety when they choose an automatic launcher. One of the most import safety features is a motion sensor.
- The sensors prevent the launch of the balls when anyone is immediately in striking range.
- A motion sensor detects when a person or animal is too close and stops the launcher from throwing the ball.
- Motion sensors prevent impatient dogs from receiving a whack on the nose if they decide to try to investigate where the balls are in the device.
- The sensors also help if an unaware human accidentally wanders in front!
Training Increases Launcher Fun
A ball launcher makes playtime more fun for your dog and easier for you. Of course, that easiness fades if you need to chase the dog to get the balls back or wander around the yard to collect the slobbery toys.
A better option is to train the dog to fetch, so the balls end up back in your lap (or on your toe).
Most dogs will learn the skill of fetching fairly quickly. It is easiest for puppies to learn the game, but older dogs are teachable too.
- Dog experts recommend short training sessions with two of the objects the dog will chase.
- Throw one ball or toy and entice the pet to return to get the other.
- Most dogs do not bring the first toy back at once but will learn as you pick it up for them to continue the game.
Supervision Keeps Pets Safe
Most manufacturers remind pet owners to supervise their playtime. Supervise even when the systems allow the dog to reload the balls in the device. The reasons for supervision are many.
- Dogs get excited during their playtime and may become too rough with the toy.
- The products we chose offer a durable design, but they are not indestructible.
- Some dogs may not want the excitement of the playtime to end, and may overexert themselves.
- Supervise so you can let your furry friend know when it’s time for a water break and cool down.
Plan to Order Balls
Launchers come with tennis balls designed specifically for the system. Pet parents should consider adding some refills to their order.
- Balls may become too dirty or wet to use safely in the machine.
- A ball could also end up lost or chewed.
- Regular tennis balls or balls made specifically for dogs will not always fit in the launchers and could become stuck or damage the device.
You Could Play Too
It’s a great idea for pet parents to join in the fun too! Dogs love the companionship and attention given to them during play time. The competition of outracing their human to a toy also activates their natural instincts. It will encourage a less enthusiastic or older pet to play.
The fresh air, fun, and exercise will benefit you too!
Our Pick of the Best Automatic Ball Launcher for Dogs
#1. PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher Our rating 5 stars Click For Price On Amazon / Click For Price On Chewy
Many pet owners will recognize the brand name PetSafe. The company strives to create only safe products for its customers. True to form – this launcher has multiple safety features. In addition to offering multiple distances for throw, it also allows the owner to adjust the angle too and keep their furry friend guessing.
- The three motion sensors protect people and pets up to 7 feet away.
- Operates by battery or power cord.
- Instantly shuts down every 15 minutes for 15 minutes so the pet will rest.
- Includes a convenient carry handle in the design.
- Offers 9 distance settings and 6 angles.
- Uses standard sized tennis balls.
- The toy does not allow people to disable the automatic shutdown.
- Reviewers complain that it is not as easy to clean as stated.
#2. Paws & Pals Automatic Dog Ball Launcher Toy Our rating 4.5 stars Click For Price On Amazon /
The Paws and Pals makes playtime doubly rewarding by including a special treat compartment. Pet owners that need help training their pet to reload the machine may have better luck with this type of system because of the reward.
The Paws and Pals Launcher offer 10,20, and 30-foot throws. It is recommended for small to medium size dogs because it accepts balls that are smaller than tennis balls and could be a choking hazard for large dogs.
- Weighs only 6 pounds.
- Works well for training dogs to retrieve.
- Does not include a motion sensor.
- The lightweight design could cause the machine to move and aim in the wrong direction if the dog bumps it when adding the ball.
- Some reviewers complain it is noisy.
- The rechargeable battery may not outlast the dog.
#3. iFetch Too Automatic Ball Launcher for Dogs Our rating 4.25 stars Click For Price On Amazon / Click For Price On Chewy
The iFetch Too launcher offers up fun for medium and large dogs. The device has a range of throws from 10, 25, and 45 feet. The dog ( or the owner) places the ball on the top of the device and the machine throws it the distance chosen.
The rechargeable battery and quiet operation mean it is usable nearly anywhere. The company that designed the launchers also makes and distributes the product. They also handle all questions and customer service issues.
- Uses standard size tennis balls for easy replacement.
- Purchase includes a six-month warranty.
- Shuts off automatically during non-use to preserve battery life.
- Non-slip feet keep the machine in place.
- The device may not launch balls when they are wet.
- No motion sensor included.
- At 12.35 pounds, it is heavier than many other launchers.
# 4.iDOGMATE Interactive Ball Launchers for Dogs Our rating 4 stars Click For Price On Amazon
The iDogmate has a unique and eye-catching cube shape that many consumers find appealing. The company offers two sizes of their design for small and large dogs. The toy operates with the included adapter, or by battery. Includes a large hopper so the dog does has plenty of room for the ball drop.
- Has a remote control for operation.
- Automatic turn off protects battery life.
- The patented design prevents wet balls from sticking inside.
- Extremely lightweight with small models weighing only 3.53 pounds.
- Can load up to 4 balls at once.
- Smaller units use unique sized balls.
- Use of the battery greatly reduces the distance it can throw.
- Balls may soften with use and not fly as far.
#5. Felix & Fido Playball! Our rating 3.75 stars Click For Price On Amazon
Small dogs have their very own launcher in the Felix and Fido Playball. The unit operates with the power cord or by battery. Distance settings light up when chosen, so it is easy to determine how far the ball will travel.
- Does not become disabled from wet or dirty balls.
- Weighs 5.6 pounds so it is lightweight but heavy enough to reduce shifting when in use.
- Comes with three specially designed mini tennis balls that withstand use.
- Balls are too small for medium and larger dogs to use safely.
- Users can load only one ball at a time.
- Some reviewers complain the noise scares their dogs.
Here’s our Winner!
Our Pick for the top automatic ball launcher for dogs is…
The PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher is a clear winner:
- Fun with your dog means nothing without safety and three motions sensors keeps the play safe.
- Multiple angles and speeds lets every playtime go a little differently.
- The carry handle makes it easy to move.
- Balls are easy to replace because the launcher uses standard tennis balls.
THE TAIL END
Safety Matters Most
An injury during playtime will ruin even the best day. Keep your furry friend happy but protected too.