The Best Tennis Ball Launchers for Dogs in 2020

If you’re a dog owner, you know they love to play. But playtime can’t be considered complete without some great toys! A tennis ball launcher is the kind of toy that your dog can play with even without much interaction from you. They’re also great for exercise.

Being an automatic toy, the most you usually need to do with it is load it up with balls and turn it on for some models; some can be set to standby and will turn on when the dog interacts with it. Some are battery-powered, and some will draw power from a wall outlet.

Our Top 5 List

Last update on 2020-10-20 at 17:57 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher

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

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This is a very sleek and simple device, and sometimes that’s for the best. It’s small and compact so you can take it to the park just as easily as the backyard or the living room. It takes batteries for mobility and also has a power cord so you can use whichever way you prefer.

It comes with 3 small tennis balls that are 1.6 inches in diameter. Other balls around this size should work well, too. We recommend to make sure that the balls are not dirty or wet when using this launcher, as that could cause the ball to get stuck and need to be removed.

Watching this thing in action is such a treat! Our dog’s tail wouldn’t stop wagging as he loaded the launcher and eagerly waited a moment for it to launch. It can be set to either 10, 20, or 30 feet launch distance, which makes it perfect for almost any setting. And yes, you can simply train your dog to put the ball into the funnel at the top so they can entertain themselves as much as they want!

Takeaways

  • Power Source: Power cord or C-batteries
  • Dog Size: Small, medium
  • Indoor/Outdoor Use: Both

Pros

  • Small, compact, portable
  • Three different distance settings
  • Easily loadable by dogs and humans
  • Larger model available for bigger dogs

Cons

  • Angle cannot be changed

2. Hyper Pet K9 Kannon K2

Hyper Pet K9 Kannon K2 Ball Launcher Dog Toys

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This toy might look slightly like a firearm, but we assure you, there is absolutely no danger with this dog toy. It’s not exactly automatic, as it needs to be loaded manually. This is simple, however, with the hands-free loading system. You simply push the nuzzle down over the ball and that’s all it takes to load it.

To launch the ball, you pull back on a lever, aim where you want the ball to go, and squeeze the trigger. The distance that the ball will travel will depend on how far back you pull the lever, so you’d pull it slightly for a short distance, or pull it all the way for maximum distance.
It uses regular tennis balls and has storage space for two balls in case your dog can’t find one that you recently launched.

This is definitely more of a together playtime toy since the dog can’t use it by himself. But we are sure you will have a blast playing with your dog with this powerful ball launcher.

Takeaways

  • Power Source: None
  • Dog Size: Small and large (different models for different sizes)
  • Indoor/Outdoor Use: Outdoor

Pros

  • Lets you play together with your dog
  • More fun for humans than other launchers where you just load and watch
  • Fits regular tennis balls which are perfect for fetching

Cons

  • Must be loaded manually
  • May not be the best option for people with hand or wrist problems

3. Chuckit! Manual Tennis Ball Thrower

Chuckit! Pro 25M Launcher

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You’ve probably seen this launcher before. It’s basically the one ball launcher that everyone knows about. It’s a simple handle with a rounded cup on the end where you place the ball, and then simply use it as an extension of your arm and throw it.

This launcher makes you able to throw a ball much farther than you’d be able to just by throwing with your hand unassisted. The cup can also be used to pick up balls directly so you don’t have to worry too much about getting your hands dirty since the launcher does all the dirty work for you.

Being a manual launcher, it does require some activity on the part of the pet owner, but this is also one of the best things about it, since it helps to create a bond between the human and the dog which is always a great thing.

Takeaways

  • Power Source: None
  • Dog Size: All sizes
  • Indoor/Outdoor Use: Outdoor

Pros

  • Well-established brand for over 20 years
  • Several models to accommodate any size dog
  • Great fun for both dogs and their owners
  • Compact and portable

Cons

  • Needs manual action to operate
  • Might get tiring for the dog owner after playing for a while

4. IDogMate Small Ball Cannon

IDOGMATE Small Dog Ball Launcher,Automatic Dog Ball Thrower for Mini Dog (Small Machine with 3 Balls)

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This is another automatic launcher that can be used either plugged into a wall outlet or run off the internal battery. Performance is better when plugged in but will still work fine using the battery, though it may not be able to launch at maximum distance when doing so.

Your dog can load this one himself by placing the ball in the hopper after retrieving it. As for the distance, it can be set to 10, 20, 25, or 35 feet, and can also be set to randomize any of these distances so your pup will always be in for a surprise when the ball launches.

The supported balls are smaller than normal, at 1.65 to 1.75 inches, so this is a great option for smaller dogs. The hopper can hold up to 4 balls at a time, so if you’ve got a very energetic pup, they will be happy to fly all over the place getting all of the balls this thing can launch.

Takeaways

  • Power Source: Power cord or rechargeable lithium-ion battery
  • Dog Size: Small
  • Indoor/Outdoor Use: Both

Pros

  • Hopper can hold 4 balls at once
  • Can be run off of battery power
  • Perfect for small, energetic dogs

Cons

  • Balls may not launch far if they are very worn
  • Some dogs may not like the sound it makes when launching

5. Playball Automatic Ball Launcher

Playball by Couch Potato

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This one looks almost futuristic with sleek lines and curves. It’s brightly colored so your dog will have no trouble interacting with it. It has three different launch settings, and the farthest it can launch is about 20 feet. The light-up display makes it easy to see which setting is currently active.

It comes with 3 small balls that measure 1.5 inches in diameter, and they are also made of special material that resist saliva. While it won’t work with conventional tennis balls, it is made for smaller dogs so it stands to reason that the balls will need to be smaller.

Your dog can be trained to load the launcher himself, so he can happily play alone with your nearby supervision. It can only handle one ball at a time, so try not load more than one, otherwise it may jam.

Takeaways

  • Power Source: Power cord or C-Batteries
  • Dog Size: Small
  • Indoor/Outdoor Use: Both

Pros

  • Great design
  • Saliva-resistant balls
  • Can be used both outdoors and indoors

Cons

  • No angle settings
  • Not good for larger dogs

Verdict & Review

iFetch Ball Launcher for Dogs

9.7

Durability

9.5/10

Ease of Use

10.0/10

Price/Value

9.6/10

Quality

9.6/10

Test-Dog Approval

10.0/10

Pros

  • Outdoor & Indoor
  • 3 distance settings
  • Dogs can use it on their own
  • Larger model available for bigger dogs

Cons

  • Angle can't be changed (but dogs don't care about that)

Based on all of these launchers, we must recommend the iFetch Interactive Automatic Ball Launcher. It’s the best overall out of all of these, and while they all have their own merits, we believe that this one does its job perfectly without any extra fluff.

While there are some more features that would be nice to have, what it’s really about is how much your pooch will love it. He’s not going to be saddened about the lack of angle options or the ball size as long as he’s having fun loading the launcher and running after those balls.

Your dog will enjoy the fun and exercise he gets with this launcher so much that you will likely want to train him to play with it himself so he can have fun whenever he likes, with your supervision.

Buying Guide

There are several things to look for when shopping around for a ball launcher for your dog. There are automatic versions that simply let you load a ball while the launcher takes care of the rest, and then there are some manual ones that require input from you, the dog owner.

There are also ball sizes and some other features to consider when deciding what kind of toy to get, so let’s go over the things you should be looking for.

Manual vs. Automatic

A manual toy is one that will require you to put in some effort to launch the ball. These may not be ideal for people who may not have full hand or arm strength, but if you do, it’s a great option since it will help to increase the bond between you and your dog.
Automatic launchers are usually very simple; you just load the ball (or your dog loads the ball), and it will be launched automatically after a short delay. Different distance settings are usually available so you can have it go a long distance or maybe shorter if your pup is more of a sprinter than a long-distance runner.

Ball Size

Different sized dogs will need different sized balls. You don’t want a small ball for a big dog, as that can cause a choking hazard, and safety should always be your number one priority. When shopping around, make sure that the launcher you are looking at uses balls that are a safe, appropriate size for your dog.

Power Source

For automatic ball launchers, they’ll need some form of power to work. Some of them will work with a power cord which would plug into the wall, some will run off of batteries, and some will even have the option to do both depending on your situation.

If you are very mobile with your dog, you will likely want to get a launcher that can use battery power. If your pup is more of a homebody, you can stick with the power cord option.

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