You can easily make the next round of fetch with your dog more exciting by using one of the best dog ball launchers. These fun gadgets throw balls automatically or make tossing balls easier, allowing you to play with and exercise your pooch for longer periods without wearing yourself out. Just make sure to get a launcher designed for your dog's size. While launchers that shoot out tennis-size balls are great fun for bigger dogs, those balls might be too big for smaller pups.
When choosing a launcher, you’ll first need to decide between a manual or automatic model. Manual launchers are ideal for pet owners who want to bond and play with their dogs. With manual ball launchers, you usually have to chuck or pull a trigger for the ball to go. The chucking style requires a little more effort to toss, but they're super affordable. Trigger-style launchers cost a little more but are easier to use, and you're usually able to send the ball longer distances than with a chuck-style launcher.
For a more hands-off option, automatic dog ball launchers instantly shoot balls out for your pet to catch. They’re great for those pet owners who can’t toss balls or are busy but still want their dog to stay active. However, when starting to use an automatic launcher, be sure to train your dog to get out of the way once the ball is dropped in and keep an eye on them as they play so that they don't overexert themselves.
To make the selection process super simple, here’s a quick list of the best dog ball launchers on Amazon. All of these options will make fetch more fun for both you and your pooch.
1. The Best Chucking-Style Dog Ball Launcher
With more than 2,000 five-star reviews from pet owners, the Chuckit! Sport Launcher dog ball thrower is a top pick. This super-affordable manual dog ball launcher is portable and great for enhancing any round of outdoor fetch. It extends both your reach and throws, allowing you to propel the ball farther and faster without a whole lot of effort. The design also makes it easy to scoop up the ball instead of bending down to pick it up. This set includes one ball and is available in multiple sizes to suit dogs small to large.
What fans say: “This has made tiring out our pup so much easier.. we take him to the park and can throw his balls soooo far now! Also, I was 30+ weeks pregnant when I purchased this because I was having a hard time bending over to pick up the ball all day. This extra long stick makes that easier on me as well.”
2. The Best Trigger Dog Ball Launcher
For a manual launcher that's less effort than a chucking-style one, the Hyper Pet K9 Kannon is a good option. Balls shoot out with just the press of a trigger, and you can even adjust the distance by pulling on a lever. It includes one ball and is available in both a full and mini size. Plus, you don’t have to worry about picking up a dirty or slobbery ball. Balls can be automatically picked up just by placing the mouth over the ball and tugging the lever.
What fans say: “I don’t know who has more fun my dog or I? Lol. I’ve used this for fetch every day for over a week now. It’s a ton of fun! I was going to get the [usual] slinger ball thing u throw but wow is this easier on the shoulders! I like that u can pick the ball up with the end of the gun. It saves your back and while my dog isn’t a slobber hound like others I’ve had...it’s nice you don’t have to touch the ball after it’s dog slimed.”
3. The Best Automatic Launcher For Small Dogs
The Felix & Fido Playball! Automatic Ball Launcher is an excellent choice for small dogs. This automatic launcher features three different distance settings, and when your dog drops the ball back into the top hole, it’ll automatically launch it after a few seconds for an endless game. It's made specifically for small dogs, and comes with three mini 1.5-inch balls, making it easy for them to hold and carry in their mouths. It can be used with a wall plug or six C batteries (not included). The balls are relatively soft, which makes them more comfortable for most dogs, but this might not be the best choice for dogs who tend to chew their toys a lot.
What fans say: “I bought this for my dog so she could get more exercise over the winter and she loves it. She hasn’t learned to put the balls in the launcher herself yet but we’re working on it. The launcher works great and I like the three different settings. My dog is really enjoying this toy a lot!”
4. The Best Automatic Launcher For Large Dogs
For larger dogs, opt for this automatic tennis ball launcher. It includes three balls that are all 2.5 inches in diameter and feel like tennis balls but are made just for dogs so they won’t irritate their teeth. The funnel is also large and designed with big dogs in mind. Balls can be launched 10 to 40 feet in distance and can even be controlled with a remote. This tennis ball launcher runs on an AC adapter or with rechargeable batteries, both of which are included. It’s ideal for any dogs that are 30 pounds or larger.
What fans say: “My Aussie loves this toy! Inside and outside, it works well! She's very high strung, so it [is] perfect!”
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