Dog Tennis Ball Launchers For Less Gross Play Time

By: Peter Schoeman / Last Updated: 01/15/2022
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Dog Tennis Ball Launchers For Less Gross Play Time

Some dogs just can’t say no to a game of fetch. They could chase tennis balls for hours on end without tuckering out – I have one and know how exhausting it can be! That’s when a dog tennis ball launcher can come in handy. They make throwing dog toys easier and more efficient.

With such a wide variety of tennis ball launchers for dogs on the market, it can be difficult to find the right one. We “dug” around looking for a few options in a variety of price ranges and styles to help you find one that fits your needs!

Best Dog Tennis Ball Launcher Options

Below are several great brands that meet a variety of needs and budgets. If you are looking for one that will just keep your hands from being slimy – we got you covered! If you want one that your dog can use alone and give you break – we got that too!

So, take a peak at what we found – and get started tiring out that peppy pup!

Chuckit! Classic Ball Launcher

chuckit dog tennis ball launcher

The Chuckit! Dog Tennis Ball Launcher is a classic ball launcher with no bells and whistles. It’s affordable and easy to operate, so it’s great for dog parents looking for something simple. This means no rechargeable battery or confusing cords. It’s a long plastic contraption with one end that is shaped to perfectly hold standard tennis balls.

It’s ideal for indoor or outdoor use. Even if the ball is muddy or slobbery, you can pick up the ball hands free. This launcher can increase the distance of the throw and make your arm less tired. It comes with a dog tennis ball included, but you can also use regular tennis balls too.

While you can use the Chuckit ball to throw – it easily fits a tennis ball too.

Sourced and made in the USA

THE GOOD
  1. It’s affordable
  2. It’s easy to use
  3. You don’t have to touch the ball
  4. It increases throwing distance
  5. It has grooves for comfortable grip
  6. It comes with one dog tennis ball
  7. Over 40K 5 star ratings on Amazon
THE NOT SO GOOD
  1. It can’t operate without you
  2. The color you get may vary
  3. Heavy chewers could destroy it

iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher

ifetch tennis ball launcher

The iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher is a higher end option, and it requires no assistance from you. It’s an automatic ball launcher, so your dog just has to drop the ball in the top, and the product will throw the ball for them. If your dog knows how to bring the ball back, then this launcher will keep your dog entertained for hours.

It comes in two sizes, one for small dogs and one for large dogs. Each model comes with three tennis balls that fit perfectly into the machine. Each one also allows you to adjust the launch angle to 3 different distances.

There’s even a hidden storage compartment in the bottom to hide the balls when you’re not using it. While it’s okay to throw the balls outside, getting them too dirty or wet could affect the performance. You can either use batteries or plug it into the wall when operating it.

 

THE GOOD
  1. It operates on its own
  2. It comes with three balls
  3. It has three throwing distances
  4. It can be plugged in or use batteries
  5. It has a hidden storage compartment
  6. It comes in two sizes
THE NOT SO GOOD
  1. Wet or dirty tennis balls could affect performance
  2. You could receive a faulty product
  3. It might get jammed often
  4. Expensive

IDOGMate Ball Launcher

idogmate ball launcher

The IDogMate Ball Launcher is an automatic dog ball launcher toy. Like the iFetch Launcher, this model requires your dog to drop the ball in the top, and then the machine will throw it out the front. Using the remote control, you can adjust it between four different angle settings: 10, 20, 25, or 35 feet. When operating, it can be plugged in or it can use batteries.

It comes in two sizes, from small to medium, both of which come with three properly sized tennis balls. The wheels inside are durable to prevent wet or dirty tennis balls from getting trapped inside. However, you should try not to use damaged balls as they could ruin the machine. All materials used in this ball thrower and the balls themselves are safe for pets to put in their mouths.

THE GOOD
  1. It operates on its own
  2. It comes in multiple sizes
  3. It comes with three balls
  4. It has four different angles
  5. It can be plugged in or use batteries
THE NOT SO GOOD
  1. The balls it comes with might be flimsy
  2. The launcher might not last long
  3. You could receive a damaged product.

Hyper Pet K9 Kannon K2 Ball Launcher

hyper pet k9 kannon

The Hyper Pet K9 KannonK2 Ball Launcher is much different than the iFetch and IDogMate dog toys. Instead of being hands free, it’s a cannon that throws the balls long distances for you. Any regular tennis ball should fit in it, and you can pick up the balls without having to touch them with your hands.

To function, you just have to load the tennis ball, pull back the handle, and shoot. The ball will launch much further than it would if you were throwing it by hand. It also has a storage spot for an extra ball in case a ball gets lost during your game of fetch. It includes one tennis ball with the dog ball launcher.

THE GOOD
  1. It’s affordable
  2. It’s easy to use
  3. It has storage for an extra ball
  4. You can pick up balls without touching them
  5. It comes with a tennis ball
THE NOT SO GOOD
  1. It could arrive with missing parts
  2. The trigger could break
  3. It might not shoot far
  4. It needs your assistance to operate

PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher

pet safe automatic ball launcher

The PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher is like the IDogMate and iFetch too. It’s a round purple and gray automatic ball launcher dog toy. It has 6 angle settings, launching between 8 and 30 feet. It has a motion sensor that detects humans and animals in front of it, and it can protect those up to seven feet away from the front of the launcher.

It comes with two standard tennis balls. Unlike the iFetch product, the PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher can be used inside and outside without dirty balls getting trapped inside. The only problem is that it might not be suitable for small dogs since they could be too short to drop the ball on top.

THE GOOD
  1. It operates on its own
  2. It has a safety feature
  3. It has 6 distance settings
  4. It comes with two tennis balls
  5. It’s safe for outdoor use
THE NOT SO GOOD
  1. Small to medium dogs could be too short for it
  2. You could receive a faulty product
  3. The safety feature could be finicky

GoDogGo Fetch Machine

godoggo fetch machine

The GoDogGo Fetch Machine is one of the best automatic ball launchers, but it looks a little different. It has a green funnel on the top for your dog to drop balls into, and then it throws the balls out the front. It comes with three bright green balls to match the green ball thrower.

It works with a wide variety of dog toys, so you don’t have to use the balls that it came with. It has three time settings and three distance options.

Plus, it has a safety feature, which stops the throwing mechanism if anyone gets too close. It can operate using batteries or a wall plug, and it works well both inside and outside. It will certainly keep your dog entertained since they can play fetch until their heart’s content.

THE GOOD
  1. It operates on its own
  2. It can use different sized dog toys
  3. It has a safety feature
  4. It has three distance and time settings
  5. It can use batteries or a wall plug
  6. It comes with three balls
THE NOT SO GOOD
  1. It might be too tall for short dogs
  2. It’s loud
  3. It might not shoot far

Hyper Pet Ball Launcher

hyper pet ball launcher

This is another tennis ball launcher by Hyper Pet, but this model is a slingshot. You can choose one that only holds and comes with one ball, or one that has four. Like any slingshot, you place the ball inside, pull it back as far as your can, and then release it.

It will fly a much farther distance than most automatic ball launchers, and your pup will have a blast chasing it. While a tennis ball comes with it, any ball of a similar size should suffice. The main downside is that it’s harder to pick up balls without using your hands.

THE GOOD
  1. It’s affordable
  2. It launches the tennis ball a far distance
  3. It comes with at least one tennis ball
  4. You can use different sized dog toy
  5. It comes in one-ball or four-ball sets
THE NOT SO GOOD
  1. It needs your help to operate
  2. The rubber tubing might break
  3. It might not throw as far as advertised

What Is A Dog Ball Thrower?

For most dogs, fetch comes naturally, but for others, it’s a skill to be learned. A ball launcher dog toy is designed for dogs who already know how to fetch, which includes chasing the ball and bringing it back.

A ball launcher should make fetch easier for you, but still just as fun for your dog. If your dog hasn’t mastered fetch, cover those steps before buying one of these dog toys.

Instead of you throwing the ball with your bare hands over and over again, a ball launcher makes the process more efficient. Some manual products allow you to scoop the ball up and toss it on your terms while others are automatic dog ball throwers, allowing your dog to put the ball in the machine and throw the ball without your assistance.

A ball launcher can be a great idea for a very active dog that may be destructive in the home. If you are looking for a way to stop a dog from chewing on wood or need them to just be less “crazy” in the home, a ball launcher may be what you need!

Related: How long should I walk my dog for?

Manual vs. Automatic Ball Launcher

Ball throwers typically come in two different types: manual or automatic. Below you can learn a bit about each to see which option would work for you the best.

A manual ball launcher is often a simple design that allows you to scoop up a standard tennis ball without touching it. Then, you can throw the ball at a further distance than normal.

Manual Ball Launchers

Manual ball launchers require you to do the work. There are a few types of manual options incuding:

  • Cannons
  • Slingshots
  • Scoops

Each of these options will be cheaper to buy than the automatic options. The cannon and slingshots still require you to touch the ball, so if slime is not your thing, the scooper style may be best for you.

The manual options is probably better for dogs who are not as good at being alone. My dog for example does NOT play on her own ever. So an automatic options is probably pointless. If I am not throwing the ball – she is not fetching it.

Automatic Ball Launchers

Automatic ball launchers require almost no effort from you. A ball can be placed in the top, and then it shoots out the front so your dog can chase it. You’ll have to teach your dog how to control it, but once they get the hang of it, they’ll have a blast.

It’s almost like a dog brain game.

However, just because an automatic dog ball launcher operates on its own doesn’t mean you aren’t needed at all. Like any pet product, it’s safest to operate when you’re nearby. Your dog can play with the launcher on their own, but it’s still good for you to supervise them in case something goes wrong.

An automatic ball launcher is better for dogs who are independent. It is a pricier options, but can be worth it if it keeps your dog entertained giving you some quiet time.

Features Of Dog Ball Launchers

Once you know what type of ball thrower you’d like for your pooch, it’s time to pay close attention to the features you prefer.

Every ball thrower should be durable and able to last for as many play sessions as possible. If a customer states that the product broke quickly, then you might need to carefully research it before deciding which one to purchase.

The next thing you need to consider is what breed size the product is suited for. If it only fits tiny tennis balls, then it’s probably not a good fit for your large dog. But if you have a smaller pooch, the standard sized tennis balls might be a little too big. So, make sure it can hold balls that are a proper size for your pup.

You also might want to consider the distance settings. For automatic ball launchers, you can choose the distance, so consider if the product launches far enough for your dog. For manual launchers, it might be harder to tell how far it can throw. But if you’re planning to use it for indoors only, you might not want it to launch as far. Most ball throwers launch between 10 and 35 feet. It’s unlikely that you’ll find one that reaches 40 feet or 50 feet.

Some of the best dog ball launchers also have a safety feature. This means that if any dogs or humans get in the way of the ball’s path, the automatic ball thrower might not launch. That way, dogs that are too close to the machine won’t get hurt.

With all those aspects in mind, you can choose the product that caters to your dog’s needs. In most cases, a simple, affordable dog ball thrower will suffice, but if your dogs want to play fetch all day, every day, a premium product might be better.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are plenty of dog ball launchers on the market, so you might be unsure which one your dog will like best. Here are a few questions that dog parents wonder when choosing a product. Perhaps they’ll help you find the perfect dog toy for you.

Are Ball Launchers Bad for Dogs?

No, ball launchers are not bad for your dog. However, prolonged use could be. Playing fetch for hours on end could put a strain on your dog’s muscles, joints, and cartilage.

Using an automatic ball launcher all the time also takes away from quality playtime with your pet.

What is the Best Tennis Ball Launcher?

The best tennis ball launcher depends on your dog’s needs. If you prefer a basic, manual launcher, then the Chuckit! Ball Launcher is probably best for you.

But if you’re looking for an automatic ball launcher, consider dog toys like the iFetch and PetSafe launchers. It’s easiest to analyze all the features, pros, and cons before deciding which product is best for your household.

Is It Okay for Dogs to Play with Tennis Balls?

quality tennis balls could damage your dog’s teeth, cause choking hazards. Certain tennis balls could also be made with toxic materials. So, if you can find a tennis ball made specially for dogs, then that will be your best bet.

Final Thoughts

It can be difficult for dog owners to choose dog toys for their pup. There are so many different products to choose from, for example ,the best indestructible squeaky dog toys, and it can often be overwhelming. So, I’ve selected the best dog tennis ball launcher based on different categories. Hopefully, it will help narrow down your search.

The best on a budget is the Chuckit! Ball Launcher. It’s a classic, simple design that can be used both indoors and outdoors. It’s the perfect way to go if you don’t want to worry about complicated remotes or a rechargeable battery.

The best value for money is the GoDogGo Fetch Machine. It’s more versatile than similar products, like the IDogMate ball launcher. It has premium safety settings and it can take a wider variety of dog toys rather than just a traditional tennis ball.

The best premium product is the iFetch ball thrower. The iFetch is an automatic ball launcher dog toy that operates using easy controls and more than one distance. If you’re sick of throwing the tennis ball over and over again, this high end ball thrower can do it for you.

Dogs toys can be overwhelming, especially when they’re as advanced as a ball thrower. If your pup loves to play for hours on end, one of these products might make it easier for the both of you. Your pooch deserves the best, so choosing the right product can help them live their best life.

For more information on dog toys, check out our posts on the best dog toys made in the USA and the 10 best husky toys.

Peter Schoeman profile

Peter Schoeman

Peter was the creator of the The Dog Adventure. CharityPaws acquired The Dog Adventure in early 2022 in an effort to share our mission of rescuing animals to more readers. He writes about all topics related to dog training, nutrition and the best dog equipment. He resides with his wife, 2 kids and one very cute labradoodle.