Here are the best dog ball launchers that we found after our experts reviewed 50+ top picked products and tested more than 30 of them to find the top ten of them.
Fido is so hyperactive that he needs regular workouts to tire him. But his workouts used to tire me out more. At least by throwing my arms and the shoulder used to hurt like hell after chucking balls for my pooch. I’m sure all dog parents have similar experiences to share.
However, my friend Joe, who knew my problem, gifted me a dog ball launcher on my birthday. Dog ball launchers will allow you to chuck balls without having to put in much effort. We are dedicating this article to dog ball launchers – automatic as well as manual – so that you can get one to relieve yourself of the ordeal of having to chuck balls for your canine buddies.
The 10 Best Dog Ball Launchers of 2023 (Reviews)
The iFetch Interactive Ball Launchers for Dogs is the best because it requires no effort on part of the dog owner and can be used indoors as well as outdoors. The launcher for large-sized dogs can throw balls up to 40 ft and is battery operated. When fully recharged, this dog ball launcher can chuck balls up to 200 times.
Each dog ball launcher is different from the other. It is important to consider every product individually and assess the similarities and differences between them in order to make the right selection. We bring to you reviews of ten products which we believe can help you select a dog ball launcher for your canine.
1. iFetch Interactive Ball Launchers for Dogs
Many dog owners are too busy to play fetch with their pets. Many have physical constraints as well that prevents them from doing so. If you are from any of the two categories then an automatic dog ball launcher is what you need. And the first one that must cross your mind is the iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher.
This ball launcher comes in two sizes: for smaller dogs and for medium and larger ones. The one for medium to large breeds is designed to launch standard tennis balls to a distance of 10,25 or 40 ft. It comes with a big bowl in which the ball is put.
iFetch has a ball sensor that activates the launching motor only when there is a ball in the bowl. The ball is launched immediately and the pooch would have to be trained to put the ball in the bowl from the rear to avoid getting hit.
iFetch has a distance lock so as to lock the launch setting regardless of the option that has been selected. This particular feature makes iFetch a suitable option for backyards and other such enclosed spaces. It is also possible to launch over random distances to keep the dog guessing. All of these settings can be easily adjusted at the push of a button.
The iFetch ball launchers are operated by rechargeable batteries and can launch 200 times when batteries are fully recharged. The launch of the ball is accompanied by a sound, but it is not so loud as to scare the pooch.
- High-quality automatic tennis ball launcher with a big bowl and a relatively quiet motor
- Operated by rechargeable batteries that work for over 200 plus launches
- Can be adjusted for three different ranges – 10, 25, and 40 ft
- Requires regular clean up for preventing the accumulation of slime in the motor and gears
- Does not have front motion sensor and launch is immediate; if the pooch is untrained, may get hit by the launched ball
2. BALLREADY Interactive Automatic Dog Ball launcher
The Ballready dog ball launcher is an auto-fetch machine to suit small and medium-sized dogs. Compared to other similar devices, it comes with an automatic food dispenser and treats storage.
Because it is compact in size, the launcher can be used indoors as well as outdoors. Also, it is suited for use indoors because the ball launching distance is adjustable. The machine can be easily programmed to throw balls at a distance of 2 meters and 5 meters. The range is not big compared to other ball launchers but is still sufficient to entertain your pooch.
The more interesting thing about this ball launcher is that it dispenses food for every 1 or 5 balls returned. The launcher can also be programmed for a feeding schedule of every 12 or 24 hours. This is the way your doggie will get his food even when you are away from home. Thus, the Ballready Ball launcher is a way of keeping your pet active even when you are away.
- Made from high-quality materials
- Ball shooting range can be adjusted
- Features an automatic food dispenser
- Capable of being programmed to feed your pooch at scheduled times
- It cannot be manually adjusted for different angles
Also Read: The Best Dog Balls
3. Chuckit! Sport Launcher Dog Ball Thrower
This manual dog ball launcher is highly popular because of a lightweight, flexible plastic body that is also very robust. A flexible launching wand produces less stress on the wrist and the shoulders while launching the ball. A long, ergonomic handle with a rubberized grip gives you great control over the throw. A smart overhead throw can easily cover a distance of over 120 ft.
The Chuckit! is available in multiple sizes and allows you the option to pick the most suitable one for your needs. The most popular size is the Classic 26M, which refers to a 26-inch launcher and standard sized tennis balls.
One of the greatest advantages of this launcher is its ability to pick up the slimy, slobbery ball without having to bend. Just place the ball-holding claw over the ball and press to lock it down. People with back problems, this one is just right for you.
Each launcher can be purchased with supported fetch balls and you can select from the range of balls supported by the launcher. The sports launcher is designed for outdoor play during the day.
- Lightweight and flexible
- Ergonomic handle
- Can launch balls farther and quicker with relatively less strain on wrist, elbow and shoulder
- Hands-free ball pick up, not necessary to bend to pick the ball
- Available at very low price
- Customer doesn’t have the freedom to choose the color of his/her liking
4. PetSafe Automatic Dog Ball Launcher
The PetSafe Automatic Dog Ball Launcher is a great way of exercising your pooch. Its elegant design is right for medium and large-sized canines. Compared to other products, this launcher has more interesting features.
At the front is a motion sensor that can detect movement from up to 7 ft away. Besides, the launch pocket is endowed with a ball detection sensor and a safety sensor. The audible tones of the gadget will help your dog understand what it needs to do.
This water-proof gizmo also allows 15 minutes of rest to prevent the pooch from overworking. It can be used both indoors as well as outdoors. Though it works best with standard sized tennis balls, smaller balls can also be supported.
Capable of being programmed for 9 different distances and 6 different angles, it can throw in the 8-30 ft range.
- Capable of detecting movement from up to 7 ft away
- 15-minute rest feature
- 9 distances and 6 angles can be programmed
- Can throw between 8-30 ft
- Only 1-year limited warranty
5. Etna Gotcha Talking Dog Fetch Toy
When you want to train your dog to chase and fetch balls, a ball launcher will be needed. An automatic launcher will enable your dog to learn fast how to return the ball to the funnel-shaped opening in the launcher.
The Etna Gotcha is designed for small dogs only because it supports only small-size balls. Compared with the other throwers, it uses voice commands. Commands such as “Get the ball” when it throws and “Good Boy” when the ball is returned to the funnel are used.
This automatic dog ball launcher is for indoor as well as outdoor use. However, because this launcher can throw up to a distance of 12 ft, we recommend that it be used outdoors. The purchase includes 3 small tennis balls.
Though it uses an AC power adapter and 4C batteries, they have to be purchased separately and are not included in the pack.
- Three mini balls included in order
- Throws balls up to 12 ft
- Can be used indoors as well as outdoors
- Voice commands
- Only meant for small dogs
6. Hyper Pet K9 Kannon K2 Ball Launcher
This ball launcher is available in two sizes: the first is shorter and the other is longer. It holds two extra balls underneath the chamber and has been designed to pick up tennis balls hands-free to keep the hands clean.
When you pull back the handle at the rear end of the K2 K9 launcher, the air gets loaded into the unit. Pulling the trigger will launch the ball.
- Pull handle loading
- Gun style dog ball shooter
- Robust, plastic construction
- Pull handle could be difficult to use for some
- Can become stale easily
7. Felix & Fido Playball! Playball Automatic Ball Launcher
The Playball Automatic Ball launcher launches balls to three different distances and allows the dog to pick up the ball, bring it back and drop it in the hole at the top where it readies to launch again a few seconds later.
This device only supports mini-sized tennis balls and therefore is good only for small dogs. The accessories that are included are a wall plug and three smooth saliva-resistant tennis balls. It can also be used outdoors and can be operated with batteries, which have to be separately purchased though. Light up settings on the ball launcher shows the distance setting that is currently selected (up to 3 distances to choose from).
- Allows some seconds between dog returning the ball and the next launch
- Three saliva-resistant tennis balls included in order
- Good for outdoor and indoor use
- Three distance settings to choose from
- Meant for small dogs only
- Batteries for outdoor use need to be purchased separately
8. Franklin Pet Supply Dog Fetch Toy
This dog fetch toy by Franklin is a manual launcher to facilitate throwing the ball over longer distances without having to put too much strain on your shoulder.
The long wand is flexible to impart greater control while chucking and the handle will feel comfortable in your hand.
End cup design allows hands-free pickup so that you don’t have to bend down to wipe muck and slobber off the ball.
It can be carried easily for use on your pet’s daily walk because it is extremely lightweight.
The design is such that it can also be accommodated in the trunk of your car. The order includes a squeaky tennis ball to keep your doggie more engaged but can be used with any standard sized tennis ball for those who find the squeaky sound a bit annoying.
- Flexible, long-handle allows greater control while chucking
- Hands-free pickup
- Lightweight and easy to carry on your pet’s daily walk
- Squeaky tennis ball included in the order
- Users complain of having trouble getting the distance with this launcher
9. KARMAS PRODUCT Interactive Ball Launcher for Dogs
This one is an automatic dog ball launcher that comes with three mini-sized balls to provide a healthy workout for small dogs.
Can be used indoors as well as outdoors. Wall plug for indoor use is included with the order but batteries for outdoor use have to be purchased separately.
The launcher can get the ball to travel 10 ft, 20 ft or 30 ft, depending on the settings adjusted.
- Three balls included with the order
- Can be used indoors as well as outdoors
- Can chuck up to 30 ft, distance setting possible
- Meant only for small dogs
- Batteries for outdoor use have to be purchased separately
10. iDog MIDI Rechargeable Automatic Pet Ball Thrower
This automatic dog launcher is ideally meant for dogs weighing more than 30 lbs. Three standard sized rubber balls are included in the order.
It is possible to adjust the launch distance to 10,20, 30, 40 or 50 ft either with the help of remote control or clicking the buttons on the device directly. The distance adjustment feature makes it perfect for both indoor as well as outdoor use.
Can work on AC adapter indoors and on Li-ion batteries outdoors, allowing 1,000 launches every time after a full recharge. The great thing about the launcher is that both the adapter and the batteries are included with the order.
- Ideal for large dogs > 30 lbs
- Can be used indoors as well as outdoors
- Multiple throwing distances up to 50 ft
- Power adapter and batteries both included in order
- 1,000 launches after every full recharging of batteries
- Supports only standard size tennis balls and can be used only for large dogs
Our Buyer’s Guide on Dog Ball Launchers
Here, we are going to discuss the different types of dog ball launchers and the important features that we can use to evaluate them. Answers to some FAQs have also been included to further satisfy the curiosity of our readers.
Why Should You Buy a Dog Ball Launcher?
On average all dogs need a good 30-minutes or so of exercise. Playing fetch with your doggie is the best way of keeping him mentally alert and physically active. In fact, dogs love playing fetch because it brings out all the predatory instincts that they have managed to hold on to from their past. It makes them feel that they are not going against their nature by becoming domesticated and drives away their boredom.
However, the guardian may not be able to spare time to play fetch either if they have a busy lifestyle or physical limitations that prevent them from undertaking strenuous tasks such as chucking balls for the dog.
Dog ball launchers are gadgets that will allow pet parents to play with their pets without having to excessively strain their arms, wrists, shoulders, and elbows. In fact, the best automatic dog ball launchers require almost no effort on part of the dog owner, whereas manual one will considerably reduce the effort a dog owner will have to make in chucking balls over fairly long distances.
Automatic dog ball launchers come with adjustable settings to allow launching the ball for different distances, considering the size and age of the dog. Flying the balls over variable distances also helps to keep the dog guessing as to which direction and how long is the next ball going to land.
It can be operated both directly by plugging into a wall or on batteries. Thus, they are good for use both indoors as well as outdoors. These are also ideal for pet parents who find it difficult to spare time to play with their pets. With the automatic launcher, you only need to train your pet to drop the ball back in the funnel of the launcher for the next launch.
Types of Dog Ball Launcher
For the most part, dog ball launchers fall into three broad categories. We have discussed the three categories in detail so that our readers know what to look for when they are selecting a ball launcher.
Manual Dog Ball Launcher
These are the most budget-friendly dog ball launchers and work really well for outdoor play. They do require some effort on your part but with practice, you may be able to throw a ball as far as 130 ft away. Though the wand-type of ball launchers are very popular, even the slingshot variety are getting preferred.
Such launchers are excellent if you have no physical shortcomings (injury or age-related) and want something for your hyperactive canine companion without having to break the bank.
Semi-automatic Dog Ball Launchers
The semi-automatic dog tennis ball launchers are nothing but ball blaster guns, with or without the recoil lever. They may not be as durable as manual launchers but offer decent launch potential with limited effort on your part. Kids love these launchers because of their design and features.
Automatic Dog Ball Launchers
These are the latest type of ball launchers and throwers. The automatic dog ball launchers, also called the auto dog ball throwers, are designed to offer your dog hours of entertainment of fetching balls with no participation needed from your end. Popular ones have features that will make playing fetch comfortable for you and enjoyable for your pet.
They can also be used to play fetch indoors or in enclosed spaces. They are much more expensive than other dog ball launchers and the other downside is that the dog needs to be trained to use them. However, the ease of operation and overall time saving justifies the price.
Important features that need to be considered
All dog ball launchers have a different set of features. However, they should be easy to operate and must make reliable launches. We are discussing the factors that should be considered to select the best dog ball launcher for your canine:
1. Automatic vs Manual
Automatic dog ball launchers do not require any effort from your end as they launch the ball on their own. All that the guardians need to do is load the balls or train the dog to bring them back to the funnel. Electric or battery power then launches the ball. Manual launchers will take some effort on part of the pet parent but still, they make launching balls over a longer distance much easier.
2. Power source
AC dog ball launchers require a power outlet to operate but eliminate the need to frequently replace the batteries. On the other hand, a battery-operated launcher will enable you to play with your pooch anywhere, but frequent battery replacements will make it expensive. A manual dog ball launcher may take some effort from the pet guardian to launch the ball, but they do not entail any recurring operational expenses.
3. Ball size
Most dog ball launchers use standard size tennis balls, which works for large and medium-size breeds. However, if your canine is smaller, then models are available that use mini balls and are safe for smaller breeds.
4. Launch distance and angle
Many automatic dog ball launchers have the ability to change the angle and the distance on their own, which is helpful if you have multiple dogs, or to keep the pooch guessing as to where the ball is going to land next.
5. Indoor vs outdoor
If you are only going to play indoors, then a launcher that launches only short distances is ideal. But if you are going to play in a park or have a big yard, then an outdoor machine will help you launch over longer distances.
It is important how much you are willing to spend on a dog ball launcher. Manual ball thrower may cost as low as $10 but the automatic ball launchers get very expensive and cost about a hundred dollars. Keep looking for sales or manufacturer’s coupons, that can make dog ball launchers affordable.
A dog ball launcher is a machine that allows pet parents to launch balls for their canine buddies to chase and fetch. There are automatic dog ball launchers and manual dog ball launchers. Automatic dog ball launchers eliminate any effort from your end to launch the ball as they can do it on their own. All that remains to be done is to load the balls or train the dog to bring them back to the chute/funnel.
Manual dog ball launchers require an effort to throw the ball, but still, make it a lot easier.
Though there are some machines that use special-sized balls, a vast majority of dog ball launchers are compatible working with standard-sized tennis balls.
Automatic dog ball launchers can throw balls for 10-50 ft and frequently come with adjustable settings to keep your dog guessing, or to adjust for their age and breed.
Dog ball launchers can come for as cheap as $10 but these require manual efforts in order to throw the ball, whereas automatic ball launchers can cost somewhere around $150.
Unless it has been mentioned clearly on the label, never leave a dog unsupervised with a dog ball launcher. But in case you are around then you can leave the door open while Fido plays in the adjoining room, then it’s ok.
We believe that a pet is very much a part of the family. Just as we ensure no family member feels bored in the house, it is our duty to ensure that even the dog receives sufficient physical and mental stimulation. Dog ball launchers serve the purpose of stimulating the canine without having to run down your batteries.
We hope that you will buy a suitable dog ball launcher at the earliest so that your doggie is not deprived of recreation because of your busy schedule or physical constraints.