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8 Best Automatic Dog Ball Launchers of 2024

Written by Mark Braeden

Automatic dog ball launchers are a must-have for any pet owner who ever thought to themselves, “My arms can’t take another moment of fetch!” But with so many options on the market, it can be hard to decide which one to choose. 

I tested out dozen of options for my list of the best automatic ball launchers for dogs out and available in the market in 2024. I have four dogs and each wants my undivided attention, so I really have tried almost ALL available options on the market!

If you’re in a hurry, check out my top picks in the table below. 

FYI, this post includes affiliate links. If you decide to purchase anything through these links, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

03/25/2024 09:27 pm GMT

Best Dog Ball Launchers in 2024

When it comes to our furry friends, few things bring them more joy than chasing a ball. The thrill of the chase, the excitement of catching the ball mid-air, and the pure delight of running back to their beloved humans—it’s a simple pleasure that never fails to ignite their spirits. However, as much as we love playing fetch with our dogs, our hectic lifestyles can sometimes limit the time we have to dedicate to their favorite game.

Enter automatic ball launchers, a revolutionary solution that keeps the fun rolling even when we’re not available to participate. These incredible devices have taken the pet market by storm, providing our canine companions with endless hours of entertainment and exercise. But with so many options available, how do you choose the perfect automatic ball launcher for your furry friend?

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of automatic ball launchers for dogs and explore the top contenders that offer exceptional features, durability, and safety. Whether you have an energetic Jack Russell or a laid-back Labrador, I’ve done the research to help you make an informed decision and find the perfect dog fetch machine that will keep your pup entertained and tail-waggingly happy.

First things first, which types of automatic ball throwers for dogs are available in the market today? There are many types of them:

  • Fetch machines
  • Blaster
  • Sling
  • Thrower

Before we start with the details, remember that all of the items included here were reviewed and we have had first-hand experience with the best dog ball launchers included here. So if you have a particular favorite automatic dog ball thrower that is not included here, chances are I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, which is why I can’t include it in my list. 

When determining which of the dog ball throwing machines that I tried are worthy of being called “the best,” I looked at its overall value (not just the price, but whether the price was justified), the basic features, the recommended size for dogs that would use it (for example, is it safe for small breeds AND large dogs, or just the big pups?) and what type of machine it is (fetch machine, blaster, etc). I also looked into the comments and reviews of other users out there as their experiences might be different from ours, especially from a safety and interaction perspective. 

Enough chit-chat! Let’s begin…

Top Pick: PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher for Dogs

Looking for a versatile automatic dog ball thrower? Our top pick, the PetSafe Automatic Ball Thrower might be the right choice for you. Here’s a quick breakdown of its features, pros, and cons.

Features

  • Dogs can be trained to operate it independently
  • Throwing distance ranges from 8 to 30 feet
  • Offers nine distance settings and six angle settings, with over 50 possible combinations
  • Rest mode allows for scheduled downtime during play sessions
  • Operates on both AC power and batteries
  • Constructed from high-quality materials for durability

Pros

  • Trusted product from a reputable company
  • Versatile with numerous distance and angle settings
  • Ideal for indoor use
  • Received outstanding reviews on Amazon
  • Durable construction ensures long-lasting use

Cons

  • Throwing distance may be limited compared to other models
  • Loud operation could startle some dogs
  • Priced on the higher end
  • Batteries deplete quickly; AC power is recommended

Similar to the iFetch Machine, dogs can be trained to operate this device independently.

Although its throwing distance of 8 to 30 feet may seem limited compared to others, it is more than enough even for indoor use.

While the PetSafe thrower may not boast the strongest throw, it compensates with its versatility, offering nine distance settings and six angle settings, resulting in over 50 possible combinations.

A distinctive feature of this machine is its rest mode, which allows scheduled downtime without having to hide the machine, providing regular breaks during play sessions.

The device has outstanding reviews on Amazon and is made from high-quality materials for durability and sustained use. It operates on both AC power and batteries, though I recommend using the AC option as batteries tend to deplete quickly.

One notable downside is its loud operation, which is among the loudest of any dog ball thrower I have tested and may startle some dogs, potentially deterring them from using it.

Additionally, it is priced on the higher end. Despite these concerns, the PetSafe Automatic Ball Shooter remains an excellent choice for pet owners seeking to keep their dogs entertained and active.

Best Budget Pick: iFetch: Automatic Fetch Machine for Dogs

The iFetch Interactive Dog Ball Launcher is a great runner-up pick! Here’s a quick overview of its features, pros, and cons. Then we’ll go over it in more detail.

Features

  • Interactive design allowing dogs to operate it on their own
  • Adjustable settings for throwing distances: 10 feet, 20 feet, and 30 feet
  • Suitable for small and medium-sized dogs; larger version available for bigger dogs
  • Comes with three mini tennis balls
  • Easy to use: dogs drop balls into the receiver to start the game

Pros

  • Popular among dog owners with excellent reviews on Amazon
  • Fairly priced
  • Great for improving your dog’s dexterity
  • Family-operated company based in Austin, Texas
  • Supports small businesses and startups

Cons

  • Mini tennis balls can’t be replaced with regular ones
  • Refills must be purchased from the iFetch brand to ensure proper

Since it is interactive your dogs can be trained to operate the iFetch auto dog ball thrower all on their own! You just need to set up the adjustable settings for distances like 10 feet, 20 feet, or if you are outdoors, even as far as 30 feet.

The machine comes with three mini balls. You can also use slightly larger or regular ones but they can cause performance issues. It is very easy to use. Just teach your dogs to drop the balls into the “receiver” end and watch them drop, fetch, and repeat all day.

Those mini tennis balls are awesome, but they’re also the only real drawback to the iFetch interactive ball launcher for dogs since you can’t just replace them with any old tennis ball when they wear out. Instead, you’ll need to buy a refill pack.

They’re not terribly pricey. I do recommend sticking with the iFetch brand, though, just to make sure that you don’t run into any issues. Sometimes the knockoffs are slightly too big.

Also, I want to mention one more thing. While it’s not technically a feature of the ball launcher, one of the things I really love about the iFetch is that it’s a family-operated company owned and managed by the Hamill family out of Austin, Texas.

I just love supporting startups and family-owned businesses selling family-invented products because it gives a healthier sense of competition and ownership all around. Read my full review of iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher.

iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher for Dogs – Launches Mini Tennis Balls, Small,Multicolored

Finally, a fetch toy made for small dogs! Comes with 3 mini tennis balls (1.5-inch diameter). Use other similar sized balls too! Just try not to get them too dirty or wet - this will affect performance.

Check Price Our Review
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GoDogGo Fetch Machine Dog Ball Launcher

If you are looking for a dog ball launcher that is ideal for dogs of all sizes, try the GoDogGo Fetch Machine! 

Features

  • Suitable for dogs of all sizes
  • Includes five GoDogGo dog tennis balls, rechargeable lithium batteries, remote control, and AC adapter
  • Time-setting option for launch intervals of 4, 7, or 15 seconds
  • Distance setting varies based on the ball size and type
  • Remote control operates up to 50 feet away
  • Safety sensor prevents balls from launching if the dog is too close
  • Safety arc for higher and farther ball launches
  • Powered by AC adapter or rechargeable batteries
  • Compact and lightweight (8.6 pounds)
  • Ergonomic bucket holds up to 17 tennis balls (2.5-inch size)

Pros

  • Ideal for dogs of all sizes
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Multiple safety features ensure safe playtime
  • Compact and lightweight, perfect for travel
  • Works well even with wet and slobbery balls
  • Wide-mouth ergonomic bucket makes it easy for dogs to load balls

Cons

  • Performance varies with ball weight; heavier balls don’t launch as far
  • Relatively expensive compared to other dog ball launchers

The GoDogGo fetch machine offers a time-setting option that allows you to select launch intervals of four, seven, or fifteen seconds. A distance setting is also available, which varies based on the size and kind of ball used. It also comes with a remote control that works up to 50 feet away from the device. These things combined make this an outstanding option for dogs of all sizes.

The launcher also includes multiple safety features, such as a sensor that prevents balls from launching if your dog is too close to the device, ensuring safety during playtime.  It also has a safety arc that permits the balls to fly higher and further.

It runs on either an AC adaptor or rechargeable batteries. Taking the GoDogGo is also easy since it is compact and lightweight weighing 8.6 pounds. You can definitely bring this along when you are traveling with your dog

My labrador loves this automatic ball launcher as it is easier for him to drop the balls in the launcher’s wide-mouth ergonomic bucket. The bucket can hold up to 17 tennis balls (25-inch size). Based on my experience, though, you should use lighter balls if you want the ball to go far. Using a heavy ball will not launch it as far.

I didn’t experience any problems with wet and slobbery balls. The launcher still worked even when the balls are already wet with our dog’s saliva.The biggest drawback is the price. The GoDogGo Fetch Machine is relatively expensive compared to other dog ball launchers on the market!

Hyper Pet GoDogGo Fetch Machine Dog Ball Launcher & Automatic Ball Launcher for Dogs With Five 2.5" Balls for Dogs 20-60 Pounds
$169.35

Use time & launch distance settings to launch balls on its own, or pet parents can control play using the remote from up to 50 feet away to launch each ball. A wide-mouth bucket with handles makes ball return easy for your pet!

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/26/2024 10:42 am GMT

Uahpet iRetriever Automatic Ball Launcher

The iRetriever Automatic Ball Launcher from Uahpet offers a safe, fun, and engaging way to keep your dog active. Its innovative features and user-friendly design make it a top choice for pet owners.

Photo by Nicole Etolen

Features

  • Equipped with Tof-Radar safety system
  • Adjustable launching range up to 80 feet
  • Three launch angles with random direction option
  • 4000 mAh battery for long-lasting performance
  • Compact and portable design (weighs 6.3 pounds)
  • Handles muddy and slobbery balls
  • Includes one fetching ball and charger adapter
  • Real-time pet and people detection to avoid direct targeting

Pros

  • Advanced safety features to prevent harm
  • High launching range for extensive play
  • Random launch directions keep playtime exciting
  • Long battery life supports up to 800 launches on a single charge
  • Lightweight and portable for easy transportation
  • Maintains performance even with wet or dirty balls

Cons

  • Requires some effort to understand button functions
  • Occasional issues with launching
  • Early versions lacked printed instructions

Nicole did an in-depth review of the iRetriever Automatic Ball Launcher over on DogVills, so check that out!

Best Automatic Ball Launcher
Uahpet
$190

The iRetriever features three launch angles spanning 60 degrees and obstacle-detection technology, allowing for safe and intelligent launching. With more ways to play fetch, your dog will enjoy unexpected angles and thrilling surprises, while you have peace of mind knowing they're playing safely.

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PetPrime Automatic Dog Ball Launcher

The PetPrime Dog Ball Launcher is another great pick for small to medium breeds.

Features

  • Suitable for small to average-sized breeds
  • Simple and minimalist design
  • Operated with a single key
  • Compact and lightweight (5 pounds)
  • Three launch distance settings: 10 feet, 20 feet, and 30 feet
  • Package includes the launcher, AC adapter, three tennis balls, and an instruction manual
  • Rechargeable or battery-operated
  • Can be used both indoors and outdoors

Pros

  • Easy to set up and operate
  • Compact and lightweight design for portability
  • Versatile for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Simple one-key operation
  • Adjustable launch distances

Cons

  • Performance affected by battery power, ball humidity, and other factors
  • Balls included are not standard-sized, making replacements difficult
  • Inconsistent throws with wet balls; tendency to get stuck
  • Balls may not last long if your dog is a heavy chewer

What I love most about the PetPrime is that it can be used both indoors and outdoors. It is the perfect choice for an automatic fetch game when you’re playing and training with your dog.

The package includes the dog ball launcher, an AC adapter, three tennis balls, and an instruction manual. The device is easy to set up and operate. You can recharge it or use it with batteries.

We tested the machine and used the three balls included in the package. It is highly advised in the advertisements to use these balls that came with the machine.

However, if your dog is a heavy chewer like mine, these balls will not last that long so you have to get replacements. It is tough to find alternative balls though. I have tried several types but they usually get stuck. The balls included are not the standard-sized tennis balls that you can usually buy in stores.

iDogmate Small Dog Ball Launcher

IDOGMATE Interactive Ball Launchers for Dogs Rechargeable, Automatic Dog Ball Launcher for Small Dogs (with 3 1.75" Mini Balls not Normal Size)

Looking for a tech-savvy automatic dog ball launcher? The iDogmate might be your perfect match!

Features

  • Comes with a remote control
  • Rectangular, boxy design to prevent dogs from turning it over
  • Includes three custom-sized balls
  • Made specifically for small dogs; not recommended for medium and large dogs
  • “iDogmate Big” version available for large dogs
  • Auto-cycling feature loads multiple balls and throws them one at a time
  • Designed to avoid getting stuck easily
  • More affordable compared to other automatic tennis ball throwers

Pros

  • Highly rated by customers on Amazon
  • Comes with a convenient remote control
  • Stable design prevents tipping
  • Affordable option for automatic ball launchers
  • Auto-cycling feature for continuous play

Cons

  • Only suitable for small dogs; separate version needed for large dogs
  • Custom-sized balls may be difficult to replace

The iDogmate automatic tennis ball thrower for dogs is made specifically for small dogs, the makers do not recommend it for medium and big dogs. As you can see from the name its clear that it is a ball thrower for small dogs.

Its auto-cycling can load multiple balls and throw them one at a time and also a great feature is that it does not get stuck very easily, which is awesome.

FYI, if you have a big breed, check out our review for iDogmate Ball Launcher for large dogs.

IDOGMATE Automatic Dog Ball Launcher - Rechargeable Tennis Ball Thrower for Big/Medium-Sized Dogs - Indoor/Outdoor Toy

Designed specifically for mid-sized and large dogs, the iDogmate Big Dog Ball Launcher comes with three 2.5-inch diameter healthy pet tennis balls. These balls are crafted using food-grade organic paste technology, ensuring the safety of your furry friend. It's perfect for both indoor and outdoor fetch games!

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All for Paws Interactive Automatic Ball Launcher

ALL FOR PAWS Dog Ball Launcher Automatic,Automatic Ball Launcher for Dogs,Ball Thrower for Dogs,Dog Toys Interactive,Includes 3pcs Tennis Balls for Dogs

The All for Paws Interactive Automatic Ball Launcher is a versatile and engaging toy that keeps your dog active and entertained. It’s definitely one of the cutest and most interactive dog toys!

Features

  • Compact size: approximately 10×8 inches
  • Adjustable launch distances: 3 meters, 6 meters, and 9 meters
  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
  • Manual distance control via a switch on the back
  • Remote control for adjusting distances from afar
  • Uses 5-centimeter diameter balls
  • Automatic ball return and throw
  • Treat dispensing feature for rewards
  • Rechargeable battery for portability

Pros

  • Compact and portable design
  • Adjustable distances for various play spaces
  • Remote control for convenient adjustments
  • Safe ball size prevents swallowing
  • Treat dispenser encourages dogs to return the ball
  • Rechargeable battery makes it easy to use anywhere

Cons

  • May not be suitable for very large dogs
  • Limited to 5-centimeter diameter balls
  • Battery life may vary depending on usage

The product is very handy and can do wonders to make your dogs active. Around only 10×8 inches, the distance of this ball launcher can be adjusted depending on the size of your space and the distance your dogs want to play.

While the distance can be controlled manually through a handy switch on the back part of the device, you could adjust it by using a remote control even if you are far away from the ball thrower.

Dogs can play with the launcher on their own, too. You just have to train them to drop the ball back in the hopper, and the device will automatically launch it again. You can even set it up to dispense treats as a reward!

Its battery is also rechargeable, so this electronic thrower is a no-hassle to be brought even in parks or other places with no source of electric power.

Franklin Pet Supply “Ready Set Fetch” Automatic Tennis Ball Launcher

Franklin Pet Supply Ready Set Fetch Automatic Tennis Ball Launcher - Authentic Thrower - Interactive Dog Toy

Need something for big dogs? This robust ball launcher measures approximately 12 by 14 inches, offering a dynamic and interactive experience for your dog.

Features

  • Robust design measuring approximately 12 by 14 inches
  • Adjustable front leg with three angle settings: low, medium, and high
  • Adjustable motor dial with a range from 10 to 40 feet
  • Large ball hopper accommodates 6.5 cm diameter balls
  • Requires 8 D alkaline batteries (not included) but comes with a charger adapter
  • Optional audible alert signals when the ball is about to launch
  • Includes one fetching ball; compatible with standard non-abrasive tennis balls

Pros

  • Ideal for medium to large breeds
  • Versatile angle and range settings for various training and play opportunities
  • Convenient for use in parks or other areas without power outlets
  • Audible alert enhances safety by preparing dogs for the launch
  • Compatible with standard tennis balls

Cons

  • Batteries not included; requires 8 D alkaline batteries
  • Performance may be affected by wet balls
  • Audible alert may not be suitable for all dogs

One of my favorite features is the adjustable front leg that allows for three angle settings—low, medium, and high. The launcher’s range is also customizable, with an adjustable motor dial that extends from 10 to 40 feet, perfect for spacious outdoor environments.

The unit includes a sizable ball hopper that accommodates balls with a diameter of around 6.5 cm. While 8 D alkaline batteries are required and not included, the launcher comes with a charger adapter, making it convenient for use in parks or other areas without accessible power outlets.

For added safety, the launcher features an optional audible alert that signals when the ball is about to launch, which can be turned on or off depending on your preference. This feature ensures your dog is ready and waiting for the next exciting chase.

Ideal for all dog sizes, but especially suited for medium to larger breeds, the Franklin Pet Supply “Ready Set Fetch” Automatic Tennis Ball Launcher is an excellent tool for enhancing your dog’s agility and enjoyment.

READ ALSO: Best-Reviewed Dog Fitness Trackers

My Personal Pick

We can’t really call a grand winner of the best tennis dog ball launcher for dogs on this list. There’s just too much going on and the diversity is too great.

But here’s a takeaway when picking your choice of dog ball launchers, identify your needs first and go from there. Do you have a big dog, a medium dog, or a small dog? You can start from there and eliminate it from this list.

But if push comes to shove and I was forced to pick a favorite? I chose the PetSafe Ball Launcher because it’s from such a well-known and reliable pet brand.

Author

  • Mark Braeden

    Mark is a Boston University graduate and former electrical engineer. In 2017, he decided to combine his tech knowledge with his love for dogs. He spent a year familiarizing himself with the latest GPS tracking collars, invisible fences, and other hot pet gadgets before he wrote his first product review. After selling Technobark, Mark remained a writer and consultant but spends more time on his other passion now: raising and training his growing family of dogs.

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1 Comment

  • I have the iFetch for my Mini Aussie. I only wish that the small Chuckit rubber balls would work in it. My dog is right in the middle where a normal size tennis ball is too big, and a mini tennis ball is almost too small. The mini kong squeaker balls work well in the machine.