If you’re a dog owner, you know how happy your precious pet gets when playing with a ball— balls are simply irresistible to dogs!
But do you know that you can make your daily game of fetch even more exciting for your dog?
How, do you ask?
By incorporating a ball launcher into your playtime!
The best dog ball launcher offers many benefits for both dogs and dog owners. First of all, it’s a great alternative for throwing sticks with your hands when playing fetch. Because, yes, fetch is a fun game, but it can be tiring for the arms and shoulders when you’re constantly throwing things!
This little device is especially great if you have a highly energetic dog— we should know, as we own a 7-month-old, ball-obsessed Border Collie puppy. While we will never refuse to play with our furbaby, sometimes we don’t have much energy to run around or throw balls, and ball launchers do the work for us at times like those.
And best of all…
Ball launchers can help mentally stimulate your dog, increase their physical activity, improve their health, and create a stronger bond between dogs and dog owners.
Plenty of ball launcher varieties are currently available, but they are mainly categorized into two categories: automatic dog ball launchers and manual dog ball launchers. Both types have pros and cons, so you just have to choose the one that fits your needs the best.
So how can you find the best for your dog?
With the help of our own furry friends, our Border Collie puppy, 2-year-old German Shepherd, and 3-year-old black Labrador, we’ve tested a wide variety of ball launchers available on the market today. We’ve used these during playtimes, some of which we even took with us on various trips— the result is the best list that you will see below. We’ve also included some longtime favorites of ours that have always been reliable.
Also featured in this article are:
- The best options for small and large dogs;
- The most budget-friendly ball launcher options;
- Buying criteria for buying a dog ball launcher;
- Answers to your most frequently asked questions about dog ball launchers;
- And plenty more…
We can’t wait to show you our choices! So without further ado…
Let’s jump right in.
Best Performance Dog Ball Launcher
iFetch Interactive Ball Launchers for Dogs
If you’re a fan of the iFetch Too but want a smaller version for your puppies or smaller dogs, the iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher for Dogs should be the one for you. It’s versatile enough for both indoors and outdoors, with the option to operate it with batteries or with the included power cord. It has three launch distance settings to choose from 10 feet, 20 feet, and 30 feet.
We love how excited our pup gets when he hears the little sound this machine makes when it’s about to launch a ball. It comes with three mini tennis balls— just the perfect size for your small cuties. It’s also great to know that this product is made by genuine dog lovers!
- Ideal for small and medium-sized dogs
- Great for both indoor and outdoor use
- 3 launch distance settings (10 feet, 20 feet, and 30 feet)
- It can be used with either a power cord or batteries
- Comes with a power cord and 3 mini tennis balls
- 1-year warranty
- No batteries included
- The mini tennis balls included aren’t that durable
- Can only launch one ball at a time (might be a good thing for other dog owners)
If you have puppies, small dogs, or medium-sized dogs, you’ll love the iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher for Dogs.
Each unit comes with three mini-sized balls with a diameter of 1.6 inches, which won’t overwhelm your puppies and small doggies.
It features a button that you can use to easily adjust the launch distances, from 10 feet, which is great if it’s raining outside and you can only play indoors, and up to 30 feet if you’re playing outdoors, like in a dog park.
This automatic dog ball launcher can be operated with either 6 C-cell batteries for outdoor playtime when you don’t want to lug around an extension cord or with a power cord when you’re indoors.
It took quite some time before our Border Collie puppy learned how to put the ball in the machine itself, but when she did, this ball thrower became one of her favorite toys— she could play with it for hours!
Another bonus for us is learning about the manufacturer of this highly popular product and how passionate they are about giving joy to dogs all over the world and creating a lovely bond between dogs and dog owners.
Did you know that the idea for the iFetch lineup of products was born because the owner’s grandson couldn’t concentrate on his school assignment as their dog, Prancer, always wanted to play fetch?
It’s a cute story, and if you have the same “problem”, then our Editor’s Choice might just be what you’re looking for!
We found that this product is designed to preserve battery life as much as it can. That means that after about 60 seconds, it goes into sleep mode if your dog isn’t able to put a ball in the machine. It won’t wake up unless you press the power button again or put a ball in it, which is why you definitely should be present whenever your dog is playing with this little machine.
This automatic ball thrower can only launch one ball at a time, which might be a con to others. However, it’s a good thing for us, especially if your dog is still learning how to fetch and drop the ball back in the machine, as multiple balls being launched simultaneously can be overwhelming.
Related article: Best Dog Toys for Separation Anxiety
Best Budget Dog Ball Launcher
Chew King Ball Launcher
Whether you’re playing with your dog in a small backyard or a big park, the Chew King Ball Launcher got you covered. It has three settings, Hard Throw, Medium Throw, and Soft Throw, to give you excellent throw control when it comes to impact and distance. The ball thrower can hold different kinds of balls, from standard-sized tennis balls to racquetballs, as long as they’re around 3 inches in diameter.
It also comes with six balls, all made from non-toxic material. The glow-in-the-dark ball variant is such a nice addition, especially if you’re like us who come home late at night from work but still want to give their dog some playtime and exercise, even if it’s already dark. The balls are all sturdy, and ours still look brand-new even after being chewed on by our dogs. You also won’t have to worry about losing one ball, as there are five more left. And best of all? This ball thrower is so budget-friendly!
- Affordable and budget-friendly
- Eliminates the need to bend over and pick up a slobbery ball
- Comfortable-grip handle that reduces shoulder and elbow stress
- Great for all ages of dog owners
- Three settings (Hard Throw,
- Medium Throw, and Soft Throw)
- Compact and can fit in a backpack
- Nice color offerings
- Comes with 6 non-toxic, extremely durable balls with finger holes (5 made from natural rubber, 1 glow-in-the-dark)
- Easy-to-clean, dishwasher-safe balls
- Makes for a lovely gift for family members and friends who are dog lovers
- The glow-in-the-dark ball can be a bit difficult to release from the ball thrower
- The ball thrower was a little tight at initial use
For dog owners who are on a tighter budget and don’t really need an automatic dog ball thrower, the Chew King Ball Launcher is an excellent option.
With this dog ball thrower, you won’t need to bend over and pick up wet and slobbery balls with your bare hands, as the wand picks up balls easily with its C-shaped ball holder that can hold balls up to 3 inches in diameter.
It’s lightweight and has a comfortable grip handle, which can reduce shoulder and elbow stress when throwing balls— this makes it great for all ages, from 4-year-old children to grandparents who still love playing with their dogs. It’s also compact, and we were able to fit it nicely in a backpack during trips to the park.
This handheld ball launcher has an adjustable knob and three settings to choose from: Hard Throw for strong throws and long-distance throwing, Medium Throw for medium-distance throwing, and Soft Throw for weaker throws and short-distance throwing.
It comes with six bouncy balls, five made from non-toxic, natural rubber that’s completely safe for your dogs, and one glow-in-the-dark, which is very nice when you want to exercise your dog at nighttime. They also have finger holes on the sides, making it easier for us to hold them.
Not only that…
The balls are super durable, don’t hold saliva or dirt, are easy to clean, and are dishwasher-safe. We like that they make a soft whistling sound— very helpful to our dogs in keeping track of the balls once they’re thrown in the air, especially during high throws where our dogs lose sight of them. They come in multiple unique colors, like purple, which quickly became our German Shepherd’s favorite.
This ball thrower is very affordable, as well, and will give you lots of bang for your buck— and that’s why it’s our Best Value awardee! It also makes a great gift for your dog lover friends or loved ones.
There are some downsides, though…
Something we noticed is that the glow-in-the-dark ball seems to have been made from a different material from the natural rubber balls, and they aren’t as easy to launch as the regular balls. It’s not a big deal for us, we can still throw it just fine, but we think it’s just something to be aware of.
The thrower was also quite tight during initial use, but it loosened over time.
Best Motion Sensor Dog Ball Launcher
PetSafe Automatic Dog Toys for Bored Dogs
The PetSafe Automatic Tennis Ball Launcher – Interactive Dog Ball Thrower is a great investment for any dog lovers who want to really stimulate their dogs mentally. It’s highly customizable, with settings for distance and angle, and has a motion sensor feature for maximum safety too.
It comes with two standard tennis balls and can be used by all breeds, from small to large ones. It’s on the pricey side, but it’s durable, reliable, and has special features for an enjoyable and safe playtime.
- Great for large and small dogs
- Launch distance can be adjusted from 8 to 30 feet
- 6 angle settings
- Front motion sensor feature
- 15-minute rest timer
- Makes a sound before launching a ball
- Beeping sound after the 15-minute rest
- Good for indoors and outdoors
- Easy to set up
- Comes with a power cord and 2 standard-size tennis balls
- A little pricey
- It would’ve been better if the rest timer was adjustable
- The beeping noise it makes before launching a ball can scare some dogs if not trained to get used to it
If you don’t mind splurging a little for your pooch, the PetSafe Automatic Tennis Ball Launcher – Interactive Dog Ball Thrower has special features that make it worth getting.
This automatic ball launcher is great whether you have a small or large dog. It’s totally customizable, too— simply twist the angle and distance knobs to adjust the launcher’s range. The launch distance can be adjusted from 8 to 30 feet, with nine settings for distance and six settings for the angle.
One of its best features is the front motion sensor that prevents the ball from launching into your dog or anyone who’s standing within 7 feet in front of the line of fire. Once it detects a ball, the machine will make a sound to let you know that it’s about to launch a ball, which makes our dogs go wild with excitement.
It also has an automatic 15-minute rest timer to give your dog time to rest after 15 minutes of playtime to prevent them from overheating or getting too exhausted. A beeping sound will alert you and your dog once the 15-minute rest is over.
In addition to that…
Our Top Pick includes two standard tennis balls, and it’s compatible with any balls that are 2 5/8 in diameter or any smaller tennis-style balls. It allows you to load up to three balls at a time, and it’s water-resistant, as well.
But here’s the catch…
The PetSafe automatic ball launcher is quite on the pricey side. It’s definitely worth every penny, in our opinion, considering how high-quality it is and the additional safety features that you’re getting.
It barely has any flaws, but we’d say that it can be improved even further by making the rest timer adjustable, or there should at least be an option to override it. That’s because some of us own high-energy dogs, like our Border Collie puppy, and 15 minutes of playtime just isn’t enough for them. Some dog breeds can also play for an hour straight without getting exhausted, and the 15-minute rest timer feature can be a bummer for them.
The sound the machine makes when it’s about to launch a ball could be toned down a bit, as some dogs can be frightened by it when using the launcher for the first time. Our advice is to let your dog get used to the sound first before adding the ball in and starting the machine.
You can do this by making your dog comfortable around it—play with them and give them treats, then turn on the machine and watch their reaction to it. Please do this at a distance, and only move it closer to your dog once they get used to the sound and is acting comfortable around it already.
Related article: Electronic Dog Door Review: Our Top 7 Picks
Best Dog Ball Launcher For Big Dogs
IDOGMATE Dog Ball Launcher
If you have a large dog, the IDOGMATE Big Dog Ball Launcher will be a great addition to your precious one’s toy collection. Well-engineered with the great build quality, this ball launcher can launch any standard-size tennis ball, dry or wet. It also has one of the widest launch distance ranges: you can select between 10 to 40 feet of launch distance using either the included remote control or the control buttons.
We love how large the opening is, as it gives our dogs an easier time dropping the ball back into the machine. Despite being quite expensive, it’s still a great deal for us, considering we also get three balls, one remote control, three batteries, and one charger.
- Designed for large dogs
- Features a large hopper
- Wide range of launch distances
- It can be powered by an AC adapter or batteries
- Compatible with all brands of tennis balls
- Can launch wet balls
- Pause function
- Auto turn-off feature
- Aesthetically pleasing design
- The balls included don’t have the best quality
- A bit less powerful when run by batteries only
- Not completely quiet
Looking for the best automatic ball thrower for your big babies? Why don’t you take a look at the IDOGMATE Big Dog Ball Launcher?
This ball thrower is specifically designed for big dogs. It features a nice, large hopper that measures 9.5 x 9.5 inches, giving your dog an easier time dropping the ball back in.
It runs on an AC adapter or three rechargeable 18650 Li-ion batteries, which are both included with each unit. After being fully charged, it’s capable of 1000 launches before needing another charging session.
We’ve tested out both power sources, using batteries on a beach trip with our German Shepherd and the AC adapter indoors on a cloudy day. We found that the batteries provide a bit less power than the adapter, so if you want to do long-distance throwing, we suggest bringing the AC adapter with you.
One of the best things about this ball launcher is the great engineering. It uses patented Arced Wheels, which prevent the balls from getting stuck, for smooth ball launches even with wet balls.
The launch distance is easy to adjust— simply use the remote control included or press the control buttons. Either way, you have the options of 10, 20, 30, and 40 feet launch distances. We personally like using the random setting to keep our dogs guessing.
Other noteworthy features are the pause function to give your dog some rest time and the auto turn-off feature to preserve the battery life. As for loudness, well, it does make a launching alert sound, but it’s certainly quieter compared to other automatic ball launchers.
Aside from the remote control, AC adapter, and batteries, it also comes with three standard-sized tennis balls made from food-grade material, measuring 2.6 inches in diameter each.
We wouldn’t say the balls are the best ones we’ve tried; they can be punctured easily if your dog chews on them a lot. But the good thing is, this ball launcher is compatible with any brand of tennis balls, so it should be easy to find replacements.
Best Adjustable Distance Dog Ball Launcher
Franklin Pet Supply Ready Set Fetch Automatic Tennis Ball Launcher Dog
For a reasonable price, the Franklin Pet Supply Ready Set Fetch Automatic Tennis Ball Launcher offers you full control over the speed and distance with which it can throw the ball. It’s perfectly capable of powerful long-distance throwing, but you can dial it down for the safest throwing distance and angle, depending on your surroundings.
We also love that it gives us the option to turn on or off the alert buzzer, which is great if you own a dog who’s sensitive to noises. It’s durable and well-made and has withstood light rain.
- Durable and well-made
- 3 launch angle settings: low, medium, and high
- Adjustable launch distance up to 25 feet
- The launching alert noise can be turned on or off
- Easy to clean
- It can be used with either batteries or a power adapter
- Reasonable price
- Comes with 1 standard-sized tennis ball, 1 power adapter, and 1 screwdriver
- Too much dog saliva on the ball can affect how powerful the throw is
- The alert buzzer sound can be too loud
- The batteries are sold separately
If you want a lot of control when it comes to throwing distance, we highly recommend the Franklin Pet Supply Ready Set Fetch Automatic Tennis Ball Launcher.
This automatic ball launcher came to us already assembled, which is nice. Provided with each unit is a standard-size tennis ball, which seems well-made, and a screwdriver for opening the battery compartment.
It has three preset angle settings with which you can launch the ball: low, medium, and high. We like that we have the option to put it in the lowest setting when we’re playing with our dogs at home so as not to break any furniture. At the highest setting, it launches tennis balls up to 25 feet, and fetching the ball gives our Lab a nice run.
With this ball thrower, you have an option to use eight D batteries for on-the-go use or the included power adapter for non-stop playing— whatever works for you. Simply plug it in, and it’s ready for playing!
Before launching a ball, this machine makes a few beeping sounds, but it gives you the option to turn it off, which we appreciate as owners of a sound-sensitive dog. It also has a built-in carry handle to make it easier to bring anywhere you want.
If you’re wondering how durable it is, we can definitely say it is. We once accidentally left it outside in light rain, and it’s still working now after we let it sit unused for one day. We’re not saying it’s a good idea to submerge it in water, but some water isn’t likely to damage it if you wipe it dry immediately. It’s made from high-grade plastic, so it’s very easy to clean.
Here’s something to keep in mind, though…
To ensure that the ball is working at its best, you need to make sure that it’s as dry and clean as possible. This means your dog wouldn’t be able to play independently with this, as you will need to wipe clean the ball if it gets too slobbery. In our experience, the ball still works even when covered with dog saliva, but we noticed that the throw is way less powerful.
And it’s definitely not quiet, but as we’ve mentioned, you can turn off the beeping sound if it frightens your dog. The noise is barely noticeable when we’re outside, though.
Best Features Dog Ball Launcher
GoDogGo Fetch Machine Dog Ball Launcher
The GoDogGo Fetch Machine Dog Ball Launcher is definitely the most portable out of all the automatic ball launchers on our list, so go for this if you want something that’s easy to carry anywhere. It’s lightweight and compact, and the handles on the ergo bucket make it easy to hold.
This ball thrower is a game-changer if you have dogs like ours who always fight over one ball. The timer setting allows one dog to fetch the ball while the other can wait for the next ball that’s about to launch. We love that it has plenty of features for customizability. And it shoots powerfully! The unit itself is heavy-duty and is definitely best suited for outdoor use.
- Heavy-duty and sturdy
- Lightweight and compact
- Safety arc design for upward-angle shooting
- Ergo bucket with a wide mouth and carrying handles
- Multiple distance settings
- Launch intervals settings
- Great for outdoor use
- Compatible with different types of balls
- Comes with 3 balls, 1 remote control, 1 AC adapter, and rechargeable lithium batteries
- 6-month limited warranty
- Throws too powerfully for indoor use
- The included standard tennis balls aren’t as durable as the rubber ball
The GoDogGo Fetch Machine Dog Ball Launcher is great for anyone who’s on the lookout for an automatic ball launcher that’s easy to bring anywhere.
This ball launcher features a unique design, with a safety arc that enables it to launch balls in an upward direction, ensuring your dog won’t get accidentally hit in the face or eyes, and an ergo bucket with a wide mouth, making it easy for your dog to return the ball.
Another thing we like about the design is that the launching mechanism isn’t internal, so there’s no enclosed tube for the ball to potentially get stuck in. There are also handles on the bucket for easy carrying.
It’s very compact, lightweight, and capable of holding 17 pieces of 2.5-inch balls for large dogs and 23 pieces of 1.5-inch small balls for puppies and smaller dogs.
One of the best things about this machine is its customizability. You can choose to launch it anywhere from 15 to 40 feet using the low, medium, and high settings using the controls at the bottom of the unit.
The low setting is perfect for our small backyard as it launches the ball around 10-15 feet, while the high setting launches from 30 to 40 feet, which is great for larger spaces like parks or beaches.
Located at the back is the control panel that has the charging port, the power button, and the select button for various time intervals. You can also use the remote control that’s included to launch manually or select from 4, 7, and 15-second intervals for automatic launching. With continuous ball launching, our dogs no longer have to fight over one ball!
Included in the unit is one set of three different types of balls. We’ve tried them all, along with other types of balls that we have lying around, and it works with everything from regular tennis balls to racquetballs. We also found that the rubber ball launches the farthest.
We have to say that this machine isn’t something we would recommend for indoor use. We tried it once inside our home, and even in the lowest setting, it’s just so powerful that it hit our ceiling!
The tennis balls are also less durable than the rubber ball, which is something to keep in mind.
Best Dog Ball Launcher For Exercise
Hyper Pet Dog Ball Launcher
The Hyper Pet Dog Ball Launcher is an excellent option if you want the functionality of an automatic ball launcher but want something more portable and affordable or if you don’t want to deal with launching noise. This toy gun is lightweight, easy to operate, and durable with an innovative design.
We like that it can shoot in any direction we want and how controllable the launch power and distance are. It holds up well, too, if you take extra care of it.
- Durable construction
- Comfortable grip
- Simple and minimal design
- Adjustable launch power and distance
- Can shoot up to 60 feet
- Easy to load and pick up balls (hands-free)
- Features storage for two tennis balls
- Comes with 1 Hyper Pet tennis ball
- Bright color for visibility
- Very affordable
- The bands can easily break when left outside under the sun for a long time
- Has a break-in period
We’ve always been huge fans of the original K9 Kannon from Hyper Pet, but we always thought some improvements wouldn’t hurt. That’s why we were happy when the company announced the newer version, the Hyper Pet Dog Ball Launcher.
Compared to its predecessor, this toy gun is more durable, has a more comfortable grip, and has two extra storage for tennis balls instead of only one. It has a simple design with minimal parts and features large rubber bands, which make the pull-back easier while providing excellent power. The ball storage allows for continuous ball launching, so your dog won’t get bored.
It comes with one Hyper Pet tennis ball, which has a bright color to make it easy for your dog to spot, whether in the sand or on a grassy field.
This toy gun has an adjustable launch power and distance, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. How powerful and far the throw will depend on how many clicks you pull back the lever.
For indoor use, we suggest up to three clicks, unless you want to break something at your home. On the other hand, you can do up to 9 clicks for outdoor use, which is the maximum, depending on how far you want the ball to go.
In our experience, two clicks can launch up to 20 feet, three clicks up to 40 feet, and the farthest it was able to launch tennis balls is up to 60 feet. It also shoots high when aimed at an upward angle, but the kind of ball used can affect how far the ball will go.
It’s so easy to load this toy gun with balls— you won’t even have to bend over or use your hands! Just push down the ball with the end of the gun, pull the lever, and the ball is loaded. We like how easily the barrel fits over the ball no matter how slobbery the ball gets,
To ensure it holds up well for a long time, don’t leave it outside where the weather and elements can do damage to it. We once made the mistake of leaving it outside on our porch during summer, and the rubber band broke. We got a second one, and it’s still working even after three years of use.
There’s also a break-in period where it doesn’t shoot very far, but that only lasted for several weeks.
Best Lightweight Dog Ball Launcher
Nerf Dog 16in Blaster with Ball Clip
The Nerf Dog 16-Inch Blaster is another quality product from Nerf Dog that has turned into an essential part of our puppy’s playtime and exercise routine. We like that it is weather- and water-resistant, and we can bring it with us on various trips without worrying about the weather and elements doing any damage.
It has a maximum launching distance of 50 feet, but the launch distance can always be adjusted to adapt to different environments. It’s super lightweight yet sturdy, as well.
- Very durable and rugged
- Adjustable launch distance
- Up to 50 feet launching distance
- Great for puppies, smaller dogs, or medium-sized dogs
- Easy to operate
- The elastic band would be difficult to replace
- The ball can get stuck if it’s too wet
And last on our list is the Nerf Dog 16-Inch Blaster, which is another good option if you prefer toy gun-type ball launchers.
Weighing only 2.03 pounds, this offering from Nerf Dog is made from top-grade materials resulting in an ultra-lightweight, durable, water-resistant, and weather-resistant product.
We used this many times already, especially on beach trips, and we never have to worry about it being damaged by water.
Operating it is a piece of cake, as well: Pull back on the handle, load your ball, then shoot. And it can shoot up to 50 feet! We love using it to play with our tireless Border Collie puppy as it holds smaller balls.
But so far…
The only thing we don’t like is that the elastic band would be hard to replace once it snaps. It seems very durable, though, so we’re not worried about it for now.
The ball can get stuck inside too, so if your dog is a slobberer, we suggest having extra balls with you when using this.
Best Entertainment Dog Ball Launcher
PetPrime Dog Automatic Ball Launcher
The PetPrime Dog Automatic Ball Launcher is a fun hands-free toy for your puppies and small dogs. We use this as an alternative form of exercise when it’s not possible to walk our dogs outside, as we feel that it works best for small backyards or long hallways. The adjustable distance settings allow for both indoor and outdoor use, though. We like that it’s rechargeable.
Because this ball launcher comes with smaller balls than usual, we recommend it for small dogs and puppies only, to avoid the possibility of your larger dogs being choked by the mini-sized balls. We can see how it will probably be difficult to find replacements for the balls because of their size, but so far, they’ve been very sturdy, so we don’t think you’ll have to replace them for a long time.
- Ideal for puppies and small dogs
- Made from thick and sturdy material
- Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
- Adjustable launch distance (10-30 feet)
- Non-slip legs with rubber feet
- The launch alert sound isn’t very loud
- Includes 3 tennis balls, 1 AC adapter, and 1 instruction manual
- Durable balls
- Not recommended for large dogs
- It’s not that easy to find replacements for the balls
- The balls can get stuck in the machine if they get too frayed (can be trimmed)
The PetPrime Dog Automatic Ball Launcher is another great option for puppies and small dogs. It’s constructed from thick ABS plastic material that’s sturdy and weather-resistant. It features non-slip legs with rubber feet, which are easy to glue on in case your puppy chewed on them.
It comes with three 2-inch mini tennis balls that fit perfectly in our puppy’s small mouth. The balls are very small, about the size of ping pong balls, but they have a bit of weight to them. While this machine is suitable for dogs of all ages, we wouldn’t recommend them for big dogs as the small balls can be a choking hazard.
This ball launcher can be used either indoors or outdoors, owing to the adjustable distance settings. It allows you to adjust the shooting distance from 10 feet up to 30 feet; however, you will need to use the included AC adapter if you want to go for the maximum shooting distance.
We like that the ball shoots at an upward angle, which reduces the risk of the ball going straight to your dog’s face. It makes a little sound before launching a ball, but it’s not very loud; it’s more like a dull, vibrating sound that stops once the ball has been launched, so it shouldn’t scare your dog.
It’s very easy to operate, as well— the design is similar to that of a baseball launcher. Still, it includes an instruction manual for anyone new to automatic dog ball throwers.
Just a warning:
The maximum distance can drop to 8 meters once the machine is already running out of battery. For this reason, we highly suggest that you always bring the charger with you, even when you’re operating it with the required six C batteries (not included).
And the balls can get stuck in the machine if they get too frayed or there’s too much loose fuzz, but we were able to avoid that by regularly trimming them.
Best Manual Dog Ball Launcher
Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster
The Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster Dog Toy is a uniquely designed toy that will spice up your dog’s playtime. Once you’ve figured out how it works, it’s easy to operate— even for us who aren’t great at shooting. It’s manufactured from high-quality plastic material and has a sturdy construction.
This ball launcher is awesome if you have a hard time tossing a ball, be it because of a shoulder injury or advanced age. You won’t have to use your hands for reloading and picking up the slobbery ball from the ground, which is super nice. It shoots very far, as well.
- Good for small, medium, and large dogs
- Adjustable shooting distance
- Quite easy to operate
- No need for a power source
- Can shoot up to 50 feet
- Hands-free reloading and pick-up
- Ergonomic handle
- Small loop for attachments
- Doesn’t jam up even when using a wet ball
- Comes with 1 regular-sized tennis ball
- It can be tricky to use at first
- The ball that’s included can break easily from getting chewed on
Is your playtime getting a bit boring and predictable for your dog? You can add some excitement by trying out the Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster Dog Toy.
This toy gun is actually easier to operate than it looks— simply pull back on the handle, stuff the ball in, then take a shot. The shooting distance is totally adjustable for different environments, depending on how far you pull the trigger.
It doesn’t require any power source— no need for batteries or a power cord to run this, which we find very convenient. It’s spring-loaded and features an ergonomic handle, which makes shooting easier.
And we were surprised at how far this thing can shoot! It can launch balls up to 50 feet in the air, and it feels satisfying to pull the trigger and watch the ball fly in the air.
Now, while we love playing with our dogs, it can get very messy, too; it’s unavoidable that the balls get sopping wet or muddy during playtime. But the good news is that you won’t have to pick up the ball with your bare hands when using this toy. Just poke the ball with the barrel to reload! There’s also a loop that you can use for small attachments.
And better yet…
It comes with a standard tennis ball, but it works with other brands as long as the ball is 2.5 inches in diameter or smaller. We love how it doesn’t jam up even with dirty or wet balls, though, of course, the ball still needs to be cleaned after every use.
This toy is great for all breed sizes, as the ball size is big enough not to be a choking hazard for larger dogs.
Just a warning:
It can be addictive! Our dogs were very wary of the noise it made at first, but once they got over it, they quickly became obsessed with this toy, so much so that we even had to hide it from them once playtime was over!
It can be tricky to use at first, but once you get the hang of it, it will give you and your dogs hours of fun. Also, while the ball that comes with it can withstand almost anything, including being tossed around, don’t let your dog chew on it too much, as it can break easily. If your dog is a hardcore chewer, definitely stock up on lots of tennis balls.
Buying Guide To Selecting The Best Dog Ball Launcher:
To help you further in selecting the best dog ball launcher for your four-legged friend, we came up with a list of buying criteria. This will also give you a better understanding of our ratings for each product on our list.
Each product has its own strengths and weaknesses, so some scored higher in certain categories while scoring lower in others, but you can be assured that none of them are lacking in any category.
Read on to know more.
Value For Money
A product with good value for money will be more than worth the price you paid. A great example of this is our Best Value awardee, the Chew King Ball Launcher. At such an affordable price, you’re getting a high-quality toy that is made from safe, non-toxic materials, offers you great throw control, and even comes with six durable balls!
How These Dog Ball Launchers Compare In The Value For Money Category
Ease of Use
The best dog ball launcher won’t just make your pet more active and stimulate them mentally but also give them more enjoyment during their playtime. But playtimes should be enjoyable for dog owners too! That’s why choosing a ball launcher that’s easy to use is important. Remember, dogs can sense their owners’ emotions, so they will definitely feel it if you’re stressing over something that’s difficult to use. Fortunately for you, none of the items in our list is complicated to set up or operate.
How These Dog Ball Launchers Compare In The Ease of Use Category
A big part of versatility in the best dog ball launcher is adjustability. As we’ve said, it’s important to choose a ball launcher that you can use for various environments and setups, which is why adjustability is so important. You want to be able to adjust the launch distance and power whether you’re using the toy indoors or outdoors, in a small or a large space.
If you’re looking for something with excellent adjustability, you can’t go wrong with our Top Pick, the PetSafe Automatic Tennis Ball Launcher. This ball launcher has six angle settings, and the launch distance can be adjusted from 8 to 30 feet, so you can really manipulate it to your liking.
How These Dog Ball Launchers Compare In The Adjustability Category
A lot of ball launchers are designed for one purpose only, some for small dogs, some for large dogs, some for indoors only, and some for outdoor use only. But to get the most bang for your buck, it’s best to choose one that’s versatile enough to be used for different breeds and sizes and can be used indoors and outdoors.
Our Editor’s Choice, the iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher for Dogs, allows you to operate it with either batteries or a power cord so that you can use it to play with your pet whether indoors or outdoors.
How These Dog Ball Launchers Compare In The Versatility Category
When choosing the best dog ball launcher, you have to make sure that the one you’re getting has the features that are essential to a good ball launcher. That being said, some special features certainly don’t hurt, such as the PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher’s front motion sensor feature and the GoDogGo Fetch Machine Dog Ball Launcher’s launch intervals settings.
How These Dog Ball Launchers Compare In The Features Category
Best Dog Ball Launcher FAQs:
Are ball launchers good for dogs?
A: Yes, dog ball launchers are absolutely good for dogs. These little devices have a lot of benefits for your dog’s mental and physical well-being— they help your dog become more physically active while also having fun, and provide them with lots of mental stimulation. Aside from those, they can also strengthen the bond between dogs and dog owners.
How long should dogs play fetch?
A: This will vary depending on the dog’s age, breed, and physical fitness level. High-energy breeds such as Border Collies, Siberian Huskies, and Jack Russell Terriers can play fetch, or any other types of pet games, for a longer period of time, but in general, it’s recommended for dogs to get 30 minutes up to 2 hours of exercise per day.
Are automatic ball launchers bad for dogs?
A: In general, automatic ball launchers are not bad for dogs. There are risks associated with them, but as long as dog owners are taking precautions against possible accidents, they won’t harm dogs. To ensure that your dog stays safe while using automatic ball launchers, don’t leave them unattended with the machine. During a game of fetch, give the dogs rest time to avoid fatigue and overheating, and always make sure that they’re standing at a safe distance from the machine so that they won’t be hit in the face by a ball.
Conclusion: The Best Dog Ball Launcher
And now, we have reached the end of the article.
At the risk of sounding dramatic, ball launchers have really changed the game for us when it comes to playing with our dogs and making sure they get their daily exercise. Oh, and we can now also relax more in the evenings, as our dogs’ energy levels have been pretty much depleted at this time after playing fetch for hours.
Whether your dog is hyperactive or not, ball launchers will definitely be beneficial for your dog’s health and happiness.
Here are the Overall Product Comparisons For The Best Dog Ball Launchers:
So what are you waiting for— try one now!
As dog lovers, we have to say that we had so much fun testing out these ball launchers, and we hope you also enjoyed this article.
Amazon Best Rated Products - Last Updated on 2023-10-01. DISCLAIMER: Some or all of the product links on this page are affiliate links. The operator of this website received a small commission if you purchase products through these links, HOWEVER, there is no added cost to you. These commissions help to fund the operation of this FurryFriendsGear.com