As a dog owner, you know there is no other game that dogs enjoy as much as they do a ball fetching game. It’s also a way for them to exercise by retrieving the ball and bringing it back to you. While it’s a fun bonding game for you and your furry companion, it can get exhausting for you.
You might also want to do something else fun for you, like reading sitting on the lawn, and catching up on that book you have been planning to finish as your dog plays fetch.
How? By choosing the Best Automatic Ball Launchers For Dogs that automatically throw balls for your dog to retrieve, bring them back to the ball launcher, which throws the ball away again. This way, your dog can have hours of autonomous play but some have some great features from directional throwing to different distances and some are designed for indoor use with smaller balls to larger models for larger dogs.
If you are looking for the best automatic dog ball launchers on the market for your canine friend, we have your back. We have searched the market carefully, and prepared a list of only the 5 best ones for you to choose from, so you don’t have to do all the heavy lifting.
Before we go through the list, let’s look at our best pick, the PetSafe Automatic Dog Ball Launcher. It’s powered by either connecting it to a direct power connection, or you can use the battery option. It features different ball distances and ball angle settings. This makes perfect for both indoor and outdoor play. To ensure that your pet is not exhausted, there is an automatic 15 minute resting period. There are safety motion sensors on the launcher too, to ensure your dog does not get hurt and it comes with a 2-year warranty.
Automatic Ball Launcher For Dog Comparison Table
The table below can be used to compare our top 5 automatic dog ball launchers comparing, ball size, throwing distance, how it’s powered and more.
Top 5 Automatic Dog Ball Launchers Reviews
1. PetSafe Automatic Dog Ball Launcher
For your dog’s autonomous playtime this is one of the best automatic dog ball throwers you will find on the market currently from PetSafe. It’s a world-recognized pet product brand which we like as there renowned for quality products to start with and this model excels above the rest, it simply outperforms the other models when it comes to features.
It’s versatile with 9 different distance settings and six ball launch angles, this is something most other models don’t have, the ability to throw at different angles to keep your dog guessing. With these different settings, you can customize the launcher depending on the environment or your dog’s energy. For instance, you can set the launcher to throw the ball a short distance when indoors or longer distances for large gardens. The distance range is between 2.5, ideal for indoors and up to to 9 meters which is over an impressive 29ft.
This ball launcher is ideal for both indoor and outdoor play as it is water-resistant, remember though, that doesn’t mean its waterproof and can be used in the pouring rain. What we do like is that it has two power options too. When using it indoors, you can plug it in into a socket using the included power adaptor for outdoor play, or you can switch to battery mode for outdoors but an extension lead would be better but at least you have the option. The launcher uses 6 D cell batteries that you can buy when you buy the launcher.
To avoid exhausting your canine friend, this ball launcher also has a 15 break period during which they can regain their energy before they resume playing. It also has a beeping feature which lets your dog know when it’s going to stop for a break as well as just before it starts again, your dog will quickly learn what the beeps mean.
In terms of safety features, the PetSafe automatic ball launcher has motion sensors that protect both people around and your pet as well. After the ball is detected, the launcher will launch it in 2 seconds. If there is someone or a dog in the way, the launcher does not activate, this is something not all models have, we recommend train your dog to stand on the right side of the launcher.
If you want to take this ball launcher with you to the park, it comes with a handle that makes portability easy. Training the dog on how to use the launcher is made easy by the ball launcher’s tones as previously mentioned that notify your dog when the launcher detects the ball.
The ball launcher comes with two balls when you buy it but is also compatible with any tennis-size balls.
To put your mind at ease, this ball launcher comes with a 2-year warranty, which covers the buyer against defects which hopefully you won’t need to use but at least its there.
- It’s compatible with other regular tennis size balls in case your dog is already used to playing with a certain ball.
- Water-resistant for outdoor use.
- The launcher has two power options, simply plugin or use 6D cell batteries (not included).
- It has a hand handle for easy portability.
- It has a different distance and ball angle settings.
- The launcher features safety motion sensors for the safety of people around and your pet’s.
- It has a 15-minute rest time between playtimes to avoid exhausting your furry friend.
- It comes with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty for full peace of mind.
- Some dogs get spooked by the launcher’s noises, most should be find with the noise once they get used to it.
Why do we recommend it?
This is a great autonomous dog toy and is certainly one of the best if not the best currently available. It does all the work so that your dog can get the needed physical activity as you rest. It’s pet and human safe with safety motion sensors to avoid hurting either your dog or anyone else around is a good feature.
We do like that tt has dual power options so you can either connect it to direct power or switch to battery mode when outdoors or when you don’t have a long enough extension cord.
The best feature of the launcher is that it has different ball distance and more importantly angle settings, allowing you to customize the throws just how your dogs like them. It comes with two balls but will use any regular tennis ball size so you will never have problems getting replacements balls which is a worry with some of the more custom size balls that some ball throwers use. Overall for medium to larger dogs this is probably the best choice for you.
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2. iFetch – Ball Throwing Machine for Dogs
This is another ideal dog toy for autonomous play but this time it’s maybe a little better suited to smaller dogs as the balls are much smaller, perhaps also a little better for indoor play than our prevous pick too.
The launcher features adjustable ball distances from 3 meters up to 9 meters which is similar to the Petsafe model but it does lack the ability to throw at different angles. This model allows you to program different distance settings when your dog is playing inside and when they are playing outdoors, depending on how much space you have for your pup’s play.
Unlike some other automatic dog ball launchers that have a noisy operation, this one has a relatively quiet operation. It comes with 3 smaller tennis balls, however, it’s also compatible with any regular squash size balls which it throws just as well. Something to be aware of though, you can get small softballs from pet shops that will work but they often don’t throw as far as they’re so light, just something to think about if buying a replacement or extra balls.
Like our prevous pick, It’s also dual-powered, which means you can either run the ball thrower by using a plug socket which is simple enough when indoors or 6 C batteries when outdoors.
To save batteries when on battery mode, the ball launcher switches on only when the ball is placed on it and switches off when the ball is thrown. This standby mode allows the batteries to last for up to 30 hours of play which I think you will agree is pretty good.
- Dual power option, which you can either plug it into a plug socket, perfect for indoors or using with an extension lead or use batteries, great for taking to the park.
- It has adjustable distance settings between 3 to 9 meters.
- It has a relatively quiet operation that will not scare your furry friend.
- Includes 3 small tennis balls and compatible with any regular squash ball size ball or some small balls from pet shops.
- It switches on when it senses the ball and switches off after throwing, which helps conserve the batteries.
- Suitable for both indoor play and outdoor play.
- It’s not the best if you are looking for a ball launcher for a big dog due to the small ball size.
- Lighter balls from pet shops don’t throw very far.
Why do we recommend it?
If you are looking for an automatic ball launcher that’s relatively quiet and better suited for smaller dogs, this one is well worth considering. It has an adjustable distance range of 3 to 9 meters, that’s about as far as any ball thrower. This adjustable distance range and the battery powering option make this ball launcher suited for both indoor playtimes, as well as outdoors so you can even take it to the park.
Overall its a great choice for those who have smaller dogs where a full size tennis ball might be a little to big. The only feature this model really lacks is the ability to throw balls at different angles, however, we have not seen any models that through at angles and use smaller balls so we don’t have a model that can do this just yet.
3. iFetch Too Automatic Ball Launcher for Larger Dogs
If you liked our previous iFetch automatic dog ball launcher but you are looking for a larger automatic ball launcher for a larger dog, this will be an ideal choice. Where this excels when compared to our best pick is that it can through up to 12 meters which is 3 meters more than the Petsafe ball launcher. However it still doent have the feature which will throw the ball at different angles which our best pick does so your trading extra distance for the ability to throw at angles.
It has an adjustable ball distance range allowing you to set it at 15, 30, or 40 feet which in meters to make it easier to compare to the other picks is 4.5, 9 and 12 meters. This makes this automatic dog ball launcher suitable for both indoor and outdoor play and gives you that extra throwing distances for larger gardens.
It’s dual-powered. As you obviously know by now, this means you can either connect this ball launcher to a plug socket, great if your near a plug socket or have an extension lead to hand, or you can switch to battery mode to use the rechargeable, inbuilt battery that comes with the ball launcher.
Now lets talk a little about this, unlike the previous models, this actually uses the recharge battery instead, the obvious advantage is you don’t need to keep buying new batteries which gets expensive. If the built-in battery runs low, simply plug in to recharge again.
Finally, the ball launcher is compatible with any standard tennis ball and you should find that Penn tennis balls work bell, which allows you to use your dog’s favorite ball if they already had one before you bought the launcher.
- You can either run the launcher by simply using a plug socket or switch to battery mode and use the rechargeable battery.
- Throws balls further than most over alternative models.
- Adjustable ball distance with three settings from 4.5 meters to 9 meters and 12 meters.
- Ideal for both indoor and outdoor play.
- It comes with an inbuilt rechargeable battery, no need to order new batteries.
- It’s compatible with any regular tennis ball size balls.
- It’s a bit on the higher side in terms of price.
Why do we recommend it?
This is an ideal automatic dog ball launcher if you are looking for a reliable device that will last and can throw long distances. What we really like about this model, unlike other automatic dog ball launchers that come with no batteries but do need them if you can’t use the plug for whatever reason. This one comes with a rechargeable, inbuilt battery which we recommend charging after every use over 2 hours.
This means you don’t need to worry about recharging the batteries if you use outdoors, simply put it back on charge after every long use. Must better than having to but new batteries or using a extension lead. You can also open the back up to remove grass that will make its way in there are a while, just something worth noting.
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4. iDogmate Big Dog Ball Launcher With Remote Control
The iDogmate automatic dog ball launcher is another perfect ball launcher on the market that you can buy for your furry companion and it has all the features of our prevous pick which includes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery but this model also features a remote to control the ball distances yourself without having to go to the ball launcher.
It’s an automatic ball launcher that will shoot the ball a second or two after your dog drops it in the device. It has an adjustable ball distance range, and you can set it to 10, 20, 30, or 40 feet which in meters is around 3 meters to just over 12 meters. It is easy to change the ball distance settings on the device too but you can also use the remote to change the distances yourself without having to go to the device and change the setting manually.
To help ensure the ball does not get stuck in the launcher when your dog drops it in for launching, the device uses a unique wheel design which is actually patented. The design also ensures maximum ball shooting distance.
Like all the prevous models in this review, this model can be powered by using the power cord plugged into the mains, or you can switch to battery mode and use the Li-ion rechargeable batteries. When fully charged, the batteries can launch the ball up to a 1000 times, however, it’s probably more like 800, maybe less it depends on the setting etc. The dual power option and the different distance settings make this launcher also suitable for indoor and outdoor use although the device its self is fairly large with a footprint of 34 x 34cm.
Finally, It comes with two non-abrasive dog balls with a 2.5-inch diameter, it’s also compatible with regular size tennis balls so you will have no issues getting replacement balls.
- It can be powered directly by connecting it to a plug socket or by batteries when used outdoors.
- It comes with rechargeable Li-ion batteries that give around 800-1000 ball throws.
- The balls are non-abrasive and have red stripes, which make them easy to locate.
- It has an adjustable ball distance on the device directly or using the included remote control.
- Compatible with regular tennis size balls.
- It’s a little noisy, your dog might take awhile before they get used to the noise.
Why do we recommend it?
If you are looking for a dog ball launcher for a medium or large dog, this model is well worth considering and price wise, its affordable compared to some other alturnatives.
What makes this model stand out from the rest is that you can use the remote to change the. throwing distance without having to go to the device and bend down to change the setting. This could be a good feature to have for those who may struggle to bend down.
Overall it also has a good range of throwing distances and we like that it uses a recharge battery instead of using standard batteries which become costly if you keep replacing them.
5. iDogmate Small Automatic Ball Launcher
If instead, you have a smaller dog breed so need something that throws smaller balls but liked our prevous pick and the idea of having a remote then this iDogmate small automatic ball launcher will be a good alternative.
It’s specifically made for smaller dogs with smaller launch balls with a 1.65-inch diameter. The launcher comes with three of these balls ready to use but you can get similar balls should you need replacements that will work just as well.
The launcher comes with adjustable launching ball distance settings. You can set it at 10, 20, 25, or 35 feet which in meters is 3 meters to just over 10 meters, great for using outdoors but also great for indoors too with a smaller foot print of around 20 x 20cm.
Like its bigger brother, it’s easy to change the distance settings using either the remote control or on the control panel on the device.
This automatic dog ball launcher can be powered by either plugging it in to the mains just like all the other models in this review, or you can switch to battery mode when you are outdoors. Just like the bigger version, it’s operated by a rechargeable Li-ion battery that can launch a ball up to 250 times when fully charged, some will notice that this is much less than the larger model which can throw up to 1000 times off a single charge.
To ensure the balls don’t get stuck even when they are wet from a dog’s slobber, this launcher uses a unique arched wheel design which is patented.
- Suitable for outdoor and indoor use with a smaller footprint.
- Features remote to change throwing distances.
- It comes with a rechargeable Li-ion battery that gives around 250 throws per charge.
- It has a wide funnel top, an easy target for your dog to drop the ball.
- Suitable for small and medium dog breeds.
- Adjustable ball distance settings from 3 meters to 10 meters.
- The battery does not last as long as the larger model.
Why do we recommend it?
If you are looking for an automatic ball launcher for your new pup or you have a smaller dog where the larger balls are just a little too large for there smaller mouths, this one is specifically made for small dog breeds plus we like that it has a remote to change the distances plus it takes up less room if used indoors as it has a smaller footprint.
Overall, its another model worth considering for smaller dogs and it has all the main features we look for in a good ball launcher, built-in recharge batteries, reliable plus it has that remote to control the distance which only the larger version also has.
Buyer’s guide: what to look for when you are looking for an automatic dog ball launcher
When looking for an automatic dog ball launcher, one that is reliable, has the correct size balls for your dog breed, varied throwing distances, you will realise that there are lots of choices available on the market for you to choose from.
This does not mean all of these models would work for your pup or dog and the pries do vary widely from brand to brand and of course depending on the features they have. If you are shopping for one, we will let you on a secret to finding the most suitable one for your dog. Here is what to keep in mind when shopping for one.
Think about your dog size
When shopping for an automatic dog ball launcher, you need to consider your dog’s size. Automatic dog ball launches, which launch larger size balls are most suitable for large or medium-size dogs. This is because larger dogs are comfortable with the larger ball size. If your dog is small, on the other hand, a ball launcher that launches smaller balls, for example, smaller 1.65″ mini tennis balls will be more suitable.
Distance range and distance settings
Think about how far the launcher can launch a ball. If you don’t have that much space, a launcher with different distance settings will come in handy. The distance range varies from one automatic launcher to another. Pick one that throws a ball enough to keep your pup or dog excited and wanting to play more.
A launcher with different distance settings also allows you to set the launcher indoors or outdoors. When indoors, you can set shorter distances and longer distances when outdoors. It’s worth noting that some launchers can automatically change the throwing distances while others need to be set to a certain distance and then changed manually to another distance, some even include remote controls to change the distance remotely which is handy.
Some models can throw the ball at different angles each time to keep your dog guessing. However, this feature is not found on many models probably due to the advanced and more expensive design they incorporate. Our best pick is one model that does have this feature.
Automatic dog ball launchers are mostly powered by batteries and by mains power. If you are looking for one that you can use indoors and outdoors, you will need one with two powering options. This way, you can use mains power when indoors and a battery power when outdoors.
Some launchers will come with built-in lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, while others need you to buy batteries separately. Built-in rechargeable batteries are obviously better but you could consider by recharge batteries for the models that take standard batteries too.
Also, think about battery life. This will determine how long you can run the automatic launcher when you are outdoors.
You need to pick an automatic ball launcher that’s safe for your pet as well as people who might be around. Some launchers come with motion detectors that help detect pets or people who are on the ball’s trajectory path and only launch when the trajectory path is clear.
Some automatic ball launchers have a higher noise level than others. If your dog is the kind that gets spooked by machine noises, you might want to get a launcher that’s not too noisy.
Your dog playing fetch autonomously comes at a cost. If you are looking for an automatic dog ball launcher, look for one within your budget without compromising on other crucial features. They vary massively in price from £60 to well over £200 and some even costing over £300. The more features they have the more expensive they tend to be.
Automatic ball launchers are a fun way for your dog to play autonomously without you doing all the throwing, which can be exhausting. In this guide, we have listed the 5 of the best models on the market currently, and we hope you can find one for your furry friend on the list.
Our Best Pick, the PetSafe Automatic Dog Ball Launcher has the best review on this list. It’s a dual power option automatic launcher that is powered by direct connection to the power when your dog is playing indoors or by 6 D batteries when outdoors. We recommend investing in some rechargeable 6 D batteries as it doesn’t come with a built-in rechargeable battery.
It’s water-resistant, which makes it ideal for both indoor and outdoor play, just remember a little light rain won’t do it any harm but it’s still not designed for heavy rain. What we really like is that it can also throw the ball at different angles. It uses regular tennis size balls, which makes it ideal for medium and large canines and they are easily replaced, the balls that is, not your dog. It also comes with a 2-year warranty.
Our Runner up, the iFetch – Ball Throwing Machine is perfect if you are looking for a model that throws softer and smaller balls. Due to the smaller ball size, this launcher is perfect for small and medium-size dogs. We like that after throwing the ball, the launcher switches to standby mode to conserve the batteries. It has different distance settings from 3 to 9 meters, not bad for a ball launcher that uses small balls. It’s also compatible with other balls, and it has a more quiet operation in comparison to our best pick but it is much smaller and doesn’t throw balls as angles either.