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The best automatic ball launcher for dogs

Automatic tennis ball launcher for dogs

Though you may wish you could spend every day just playing with your dog, work and other responsibilities often don’t allow for it. That said, there is no reason your dog has to be bored simply because you don’t have the time to play with them. With an automatic dog ball launcher, they can keep themselves entertained.

These machines will continuously launch the ball again and again as long as your dog keeps fetching it and returning it to the funnel. Depending on the model, it may run on battery or AC power, and many can use either. With one of these in the house, you’ll hopefully never come home from work again to find that Fido has chewed up another couch cushion.

Automatic ball launchers vs. manual ball launchers

Dog ball launchers come in both automatic and manual varieties, and each offers some benefits over the other. Automatic launchers are very convenient because they allow your dog to entertain themselves. This means your dog can wear itself out while you are at work, relaxing and reading a book or doing some chores around the house. However, they are expensive, which may put them out of reach for some consumers. They also require a good amount of space, so if you have a small home or don’t have a backyard, you may have to take your dog to the park to use one.

Manual launchers are generally very budget-friendly, so practically anyone can afford one. They also make for better bonding time with your dog because you will actually be playing with them rather than letting them entertain themselves.

Manual launchers come in several styles, but models like the Franklin Pet Supply Dog Fetch Toy and Chuckit! Sport Dog Ball Launcher are often the most popular. These are simply flexible sticks with cups at the end for holding the ball that allow you to easily throw it a far distance without requiring much arm strength. Gun launchers, like the Hyper Pet K9 Kannon K2 Ball Launcher and the Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster Dog Toy, are another fun style of ball launchers.

The best automatic dog ball launchers

iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher

This launcher has three distance settings of 10, 25 and 40 feet, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. There is also a random option, which should keep your dog entertained for longer because it will keep them guessing.

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iDOGMATE Rechargeable Automatic Pet Ball Launcher

Thanks to a large funnel on the top of the iDOGMATE, most dogs can figure out quickly how to drop the ball inside of the machine for launching. Plus, because it includes a remote control, you can periodically adjust the throw distance without ever having to get up out of your seat.

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Pet Prime Automatic Ball Launcher

Conveniently, this launcher works on battery or AC power so you can use it anywhere. It was designed specifically with small dogs in mind and comes with three mini tennis balls that are easy for them to pick up.

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GoDogGo Inc. Fetch Machine G4

A versatile option, the GoDogGo Inc. Fetch Machine G4 allows you to adjust the throw distance and the launch interval. It is rechargeable, so you don’t have to worry about constantly buying disposable batteries, and, to ensure safety, it launches balls with a high upwards arc.

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Franklin Pet Supply Ready Set Fetch

The small build of the Franklin Ready Set Fetch makes it easy to store and take to and from the park. Despite that, it still has a wide funnel on the top to make it easy for your dog to reload. Adjustable feet allow you to change the launch angle as needed.

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Great indoor toys for dogs

Automatic dog launchers are a great way to keep your dog occupied without you having to constantly entertain them. Unfortunately, many of them aren’t great for use indoors. Unless you have a large home, they may shoot the tennis balls too far. Also, there is always the chance the ball may hit a decoration or some other item and break it. 

If you are looking for a way for your dog to work off some of that excess energy while indoors, you’ll want to check out these toys. Some stimulate their brain, while others are for chewing and chasing, but they will all be fun for your canine companion.

PETGEEK Automatic Dog Bone Toy

This USB-rechargeable faux bone quickly spins and rolls around the house to stimulate your dog’s prey drive. It has several textures to help remove plaque as your dog chews on it, and it disassembles so the various parts can be easily cleaned.

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KONG Extreme Dog Toy

A popular toy for owners of heavy chewers, Kongs can withstand all kinds of abuse, and the Extreme is even more durable than the classic model. You can load it up with treats or smear the inside with peanut butter to make it more engaging. And when you have the time to play with your furry friend, it’s great for fetch because of its unpredictable bounce.

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Wickedbone Store Cheerble Wicked Ball

The Cheerble Wicked Ball has three activity settings depending on how much stimulation your dog needs to keep their attention. It is waterproof so it can also be used in the pool; however, it can’t stand up to heavy chewers.

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LIDLOK Dog Chew Toy

If you have a bully breed, you need a nearly indestructible toy like the LIDLOCK. It vibrates and rolls, and its rechargeable battery lasts for 90 minutes. For added engagement, you can fill it with small treats.

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Wobble Wag Giggle Ball

Every time the Giggle Ball is rolled, nudged or shaken, it makes funny sounds that will entice your dog to play with it. It doesn’t require batteries, so it will never run out of juice and leave your dog bored. It has six holes that make it easy for dogs to grip it with their teeth.

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Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball

This puzzle toy is mentally challenging for your dog, which can actually tire them out nearly as much as physical activity. They have to roll the ball around to dispense the treats, and you can increase the difficulty as they get better at it.

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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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