Home>Outdoor Storage>10 Best Dog Ball Launchers To Keep Your Pets Peppy
10 Best Dog Ball Launchers To Keep Your Pets Peppy
Modified: February 7, 2023
Dog ball launchers may just be the perfect solution to your pet’s steadily growing belly and your aching arm. Check out our top picks for the best ones!
(Many of the links in this article redirect to a specific reviewed product. Your purchase of these products through affiliate links helps to generate commission for Storables.com, at no extra cost. Learn more)
Exercise is important for dogs, no matter how adorable they are when they’re chubby. Food, toys, and visits to the vet are just some of the ways we show our love for our furry friends, but walks to the park have become a little more difficult in recent years. With busy schedules and the need to stay at home still somewhat present, a dog ball launcher may just be the perfect solution to your pet’s steadily growing belly.
Keeping Your Pup Healthy with a Ball Launcher
There are several dog ball launchers to choose from, with two main categories – manual and automatic. Each one has its own unique perks, but their main draw is keeping your dog happy and healthy through a fun game of fetch. This type of play keeps them active and alert, providing good mental stimulation and improving their mood. Some anxious dogs may even find relief in chasing a ball down for half an hour or so.
Just remember that, especially for automatic dog ball launchers, you need to be careful not to let your pets overdo it. Heavy-impact activities can be bad for dogs if they’re not properly warmed up and go on for too long. Periods of rest between each round of catch are important to make sure your pup gets adequate breaks as well as exercise. In some cases, if you want to keep an eye on them to see that your furry pals aren’t pushing themselves too hard, an interactive or manual ball launcher may be best.
To help with your decision on which dog ball launcher is best for you and your pooch, we’ve made a list of some of our top picks from Amazon. Each number promises an in-depth look at each product along with their pros, cons, and specifications.
The Best Automatic Ball Launchers
Automatic ball launchers are best when you want your pooch to amuse themselves while you’re busy with work or other chores. With a chute at the top, balls can be fed to the machine either by hand or by paw. Training your pet to drop their treasured tennis balls into the chute may take some patience, but seeing their joy when they do get the hang of it is one of the perks of this type of ball launcher. Let’s look at some of the best automatic ball launchers below.
This futuristic Automatic Dog Toy Launcher from PetSafe puts your dog first with a number of its innovative features. A front motion sensor prevents balls from being launched as long as the machine detects something standing 7 feet in front of it. Given how hard and fast tennis balls get launched, this is sure to keep your pets safe while they play. The 15-minute automated pause feature on this machine is also in place to keep your pets from over-exerting themselves, giving a welcome break between automated rounds.
- Front motion sensor
- 9 distance settings
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- Automated tone alert
- 12 inches x 12 inches x 12 inches
- 8 Pounds
- Resistant to water (and dog slobber)
- Automatic pause feature to allow 15 minutes of rest
- Safety sensor prevents accidents
- No timer override
There’s no need for the tinier pooches to feel left out with this Interactive Mini Ball Launcher from iFetch. Small enough to stay stationed indoors, this handy model can be set to three different launch distances to suit whatever space it’s placed in. Just make sure to clear out any furniture that might get in the way of your dog’s path, or you may be in for a barking bad time.
- Can launch balls to 10 feet, 20 feet, and 30 feet away
- Includes 3 mini tennis balls
- Backed by a 6-month warranty
- 11.02 inches x 7.87 inches x 7.87 inches
- 3 pounds
- Adjustable launch distance
- Ball size is good for smaller dogs
- Compatible with other mini balls
- Allows for indoor launching
- Included balls are very hard and may prove hazardous
- No safety sensor
If you’re looking for more control over your small to medium dog’s exercise, you might want to try the Remote-Controlled Small Ball Launcher for Dogs from IDOGMATE. This model allows you to turn the machine off and on at the touch of a button, or you could simply pause it to give your dog a little extra time to wonder when it’ll shoot.
- Large, 4.75-inch x 4.7-inch chute
- Arced wheels prevent slobbery balls from getting stuck
- 4 distance options
- 8.8 inches x 8.4 inches x 8.1 inches
- 3.09 pounds
- Remote allows for interactive or automatic play
- Prevents ball jams well
- Convenient in-built ball storage
- Included balls break easily
The Ready Set Fetch Automatic Tennis Ball Launcher from Franklin Sports is definitely the machine for your pet’s slobbery tennis balls. Its hardy, sporty look isn’t just for show as it can comfortably be brought outdoors and handle the gunk and thin layer of grime your dog will inevitably get onto their favorite ball. This ball launcher comes packed with an all-weather ball as well for the particularly messy pooches out there.
- Comes with 1 standard tennis ball and 1 all-weather ball
- Includes a power adapter
- Safety alert when a ball is about to launch
- Adjustable feet
- 12-inch length, 8.75-inch width, 14.25-inch height
- 5.95 pounds
- Lightweight, but sturdy
- Easy to set up
- Slobbery and dirty balls do not jam
- Loud mechanism
Not everyone has the big backyard or the necessary space in their homes for the larger launchers. This Frenzy Fetch Rolling Launcher for Small Dogs from iFetch is perfect for smaller living areas. Instead of launching the ball in the air for your dog to catch, it rolls them out of the bottom of the launcher. This allows the ball to roll away and be caught, without the threat of hitting decor off your shelves or toppling taller furniture.
- Needs no batteries or external power
- Includes 3 mini tennis balls
- Hidden storage compartment for balls
- 9 inches x 9 inches x 11 inches
- 3 pounds
- Quiet mechanism
- Perfect for indoor use
- Gentler way of play for older dogs
- Included balls break easily
Keeping your pooch guessing is a great part of the game when it comes to this Randomized Dog Ball Launcher from IDOGMATE. The random distance setting built into this model keeps your dog alert and their senses sharp while waiting for the next ball to be tossed.
- 9.5-inch by 9-inch feeding chute
- Runs on an AC adapter or battery
- Automatic power-saving mode
- Features a random distance setting
- 11.81 inches by 10.83 inches by 8.78 inches
- 9.83 pounds
- Easy to use
- Good battery life
- Can randomize distance ball is thrown
- Prone to breaks in inner mechanism
Another tiny launcher for small to medium dogs comes in the form of the Dog Automatic Ball Launcher from Pet Prime. This sleek model is bright and colorful and made from high-quality plastic. With two ways to power this mini launcher and its three launch distances, your smaller dogs can enjoy it both indoors and outdoors without worry.
- Has 2 ways to power up
- Offers various launch distances
- Made of high-quality ABS plastic
- Includes 3 tennis balls
- 10.6 inches x 10.2 inches x 8.3 inches
- 4.7 pounds
- Plastic material is thick
- Not very loud
- Works with Kong Squeaker Balls
- Does not launch damp, dirty, or worn balls
The Best Manual Ball Launchers
For those who want more personal play-time with their pet pals, the manual ball launchers provide just that. These types of ball launchers need a little more elbow grease, but they’re designed for much the same purpose as the automatic ones – to launch your pet’s toy tennis ball easily and effectively. Manual ball launchers are perfect for pet owners whose throwing arm isn’t as good as it used to be, or whose pooch is absolutely set on tiring them out. Avoiding touching muddy tennis balls caked in dog slobber is also a big bonus.
The beauty of this Manual Tennis Ball Thrower from Franklin is its simplicity. With fewer moving parts, there’s less to break, and it’s still sure to give your pooch an easy time. What’s more, if your kids want in on playtime with your dog, they can easily throw the ball farther with the use of this handy gadget, while still getting some exercise in for their throwing arms.
- Functions as a grabber & launcher
- Includes 1 squeaky tennis ball
- Comfort-grip handle
- 25 inches x 2.75 inches x 2 inches
- 8.01 ounces
- Makes long throws easier
- Easy to use
- Works with other rubber balls
- Lacks throwing accuracy
The Handheld Dog Ball Launcher from Hyperpet is the perfect throwing aid for all ages. With this handy dog toy in their hands, individuals with shoulder pains or difficulty throwing need not give up their canine bonding. Older pet owners in particular will find this manual ball launcher to be a lot more forgiving to their shoulders and wrists than the typical game of fetch.
- Manual, lever-adjusted distance
- Hands-free pickup
- Includes 1 tennis ball
- 22.75 inches x 2.5 inches x 7.5 inches
- 1.65 Pounds
- Simple mechanism isn’t as prone to breaking
- Easy to use for the elderly & injured pet owners
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- Included ball feels cheap
Did your kids promise to love, feed, and play with their new dog every day? Maybe the 12-Inch Tennis Ball Blaster from Nerf Dog will help them remember that last bit more often. The balls are smaller too, excellent for small to medium dogs compared to the other manual launchers on this list. The bright and colorful toy isn’t just for your dog anymore. This manual launcher will certainly help you keep both paws and little hands busy for a little while each day.
- Launches up to 35 feet
- 3 “Nerf-quality” squeaky tennis balls included
- 13.1 inches x 8.1 inches x 3.3 inches
- 1.1 Pounds
- Included balls are ideal for small to medium dogs
- Launcher functions very well
- Useful for training
- Balls are not very durable
Upkeep and Maintenance for Your Dog’s Ball Launcher
A number of the ball launchers above are the type to work even with lots of slobber and dirt in the mechanism, but a bit of cleaning goes a long way. Making sure your dog’s ball launcher and the tennis balls are cleaned at least every couple of weeks will prevent the spread of germs and foul odors. It’ll also extend the life of your new launchers. So, get rid of harmful mess with pet-safe cleaners or just a good old-fashioned wipe-down with a damp cloth.
Frequently Asked Questions about Dog Ball Launcher
Are automatic ball launchers bad for dogs?
Automatic ball launchers are only meant to be used for a limited amount of time each day. Any high-impact activity that goes on for too long is bad for your dog, especially if the pup can’t warm up. Make sure to let them jog around a bit before starting up this dog toy, so their muscles are a little looser before delving into any sprints or jumps.
What is the best dog tennis ball launcher?
The best dog tennis ball launcher for your particular pooch will depend on several factors. To start, the amount of time you have to spare to keep an eye on them and their new toy determines if you’ll want an automatic or a manual dog ball launcher. The size of your dog will of course matter as well. We highly recommend checking how much physical activity your dog needs basing on their breed. This will determine which automatic ball launcher model would fit them.
How do you use a dog ball launcher?
Automatic ball launchers are simple to use. After loading the corresponding tennis or mini balls into the top, an automatic ball launcher will then toss the ball up into the air for your dog to run after. You can do this by hand or train your dog to feed the balls in themselves. Many versions of these dog toys come with different distance options and features that can be set depending on your preferences.
Manual ball launchers all work a little differently. For these, it’s best to check either their Amazon listing or the included instructions for guidance.
Dog ball launchers are a great invention not only for pets but also for pet owners as it saves time, energy, and even an exhausted arm. Whether automatic, manual, indoor, or outdoor, this handy new breed of dog toy is sure to keep your pooch and family happy.