Knowing that you need one is not the same as knowing which one to buy. There are definitely a lot of things to keep in mind, from choosing the right one for your dog’s particular size or activity level, to making sure that you get the features that you need.
We’ve done the research to find the best models. These have all the features that you need to make your dog happy, and they are some of the top choices among dog owners and dog experts when it comes to automatic ball throwers.
Let’s look at five of the best automatic fetch machines that are currently on the market.
Best Automatic Fetch Machines
|Automatic Fetch Machine
|1. iFetch Too Interactive Ball Launcher for Dogs
|2. PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher
|3. iDogmate Ball Launcher Automatic Rechargeable Ball Thrower
|4. Couch Potato Playball Automatic Ball Launcher & Thrower For Dogs
|5. Paws & Pals Automatic Dog Ball Launcher Toy
It is very easy to use and will provide your dog with endless amounts of entertainment.
The way that this machine works is that there is a tub at the top where your dog can drop the ball back in and it loads it up and sends it rolling across the ground.
There are three different launch distance to choose from which include 10 feet, 25 feet and 40 feet. You can easily change this with a button located on the unit.
It is also battery-operated and very portable, so you can take it with you anywhere you like. The batteries rechargeable, so you don’t have to replace it, and the throwing motion is smooth and easy for your dog to track.
The nice thing about this particular automatic fetch machine is that you can use it indoors or outdoors.
With the smallest range being 10 feet, you can easily use it indoors as long as you have cleared the way in front of it. The ball rolls along the ground for the most part instead of being shot straight out, so it is perfectly safe for indoors as long as you take precautions.
The only thing to keep in mind is that you have to keep the ball clean and free of dirt or else the machine can sometimes get stuck.
Why you should buy
This is the best automatic fetch machine. It’s easy to use, well-made, and very affordable.
Although the ball can move really fast, there is a motion sensor directly in front of the launch area to prevent anyone from being hit by the ball when it is getting ready to fire.
It is also really easy to train your dog to fetch using this machine, because the tray where you insert the ball is large and there is a distinct sound that happens right before the ball actually launches. That means that your dog can prepare for the fetching when that sound occurs.
There are actually multiple sensors that prevent accidents from happening, including the one positioned directly in front of the firing mechanism.
The launcher will throw between eight and 30 feet away with nine different settings for you to choose the perfect distance for your dog.
There is a knob that you used to adjust distance, which is very easy to use, and this can be used indoors and outdoors.
If you do use it indoors, you can plug it in, or you can use an extension cord outdoors. However, this also can operate with six D cell batteries, but you have to get them separately.
One nice thing is that it works with both standard size tennis balls and with balls that are smaller in diameter. This lets you use the PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher with all breeds of dogs.
Up to three balls can be loaded at the same time, and it comes with a terrific warranty and from one of the best brands in the business.
Why you should buy
A fantastic automatic ball launcher for outdoor use. Your dog won’t be disappointed.
There are four different distant settings that you can switch between, with the nearest 10 feet and the farthest up to 50 feet away. You can also set it for 20 feet and 40 feet.
What is really useful is that incorporates a random feature so that your dog never goes how far the box going to go. This makes the even more fun, and keeps them from getting bored.
You can use it indoors or outdoors, thanks to a pretty incredible launch design that throws the ball nearer to the ground with a slight arc to it.
We also like how it comes with a remote control that lets you control the machine from up to 15 feet away.
They are non-toxic and nonabrasive felt so they are going to damage your dog’s teeth, and you can get a smaller unit if you need smaller balls for dogs that cannot get their mouths around these tennis-sized balls.
There are lots of other cool features as well, including the fact that it has both a power cord and uses three standard lithium-ion batteries.
Why you should buy
The iDogMate launcher has a fantastic random feature that will keep your dogs guessing.View on Amazon
Note: we only recommend using this product with small dogs.
There are three different distances that you get to choose from, and although they are all fairly short.
However, that’s not a bad thing, as it ensures you can use it indoors, no matter the setting.
You will really love how simple and easy this automatic fetch machine is to use. It has a smooth launching function, launching miniature balls that fly through the air for a short distance and roll across the floor.
It is perfect for small balls, but you definitely do not want to use it for large dogs because they could choke on the balls that are provided with it.
The balls that come with it are saliva resistant so they are not going to jam up the machine and a light-up setting shows the distance that is selected.
It does come with a power cord and has no battery so you will have to plug it in whether you use it indoors or outdoors. However, outdoors is probably not the best idea anyway, since the ball will hit the grass quickly and stop rolling.
Why you should buy
If you’re on a budget, this is a really easy to use, indoor automatic fetch machine that your dog will love.View on Amazon
The Paws & Pals automatic fetch machine is very similar to the one reviewed above. It is made for smaller dogs, and like the other one, it has three different settings to give you exactly the right distance.
It uses smaller balls, and is intended for dogs that have small mouths and cannot get a bite into the regular tennis balls that are used for larger dogs, as well as lacking the strength to do any real damage indoors.
That makes this the perfect automatic fetch machine to use inside your house, as long as you take a few precautions and make sure that anything valuable that could accidentally get tipped over is out-of-the-way.
Why you should buy
If you have a small dog that needs a bit of exercise, this is a good option.View on Amazon
Automatic Fetch Machine Buying Guide
There are a lot of considerations when it comes to getting the best automatic fetch machine on the market, but this buying guide should give you some insights that will help you find the perfect one.
The first is that you are able to alleviate canine boredom. If you spend all day at work, and your dog spends all day inside, they can get really bored.
In addition, in automatic fetch machine provides them with a great deal of exercise.
There is also the benefit of preventing anxiety and saving many of the items around your house that they might chew up because of anxiety or boredom.
Factors to Consider
Now, let’s look at some of the factors the want to keep in mind when it comes to an automatic fetch machine.
One of the first things that you want to look for is an automatic ball launcher that is really versatile.
A few things to look for:
- Indoor and/or outdoor use
- Power source
Your dog will get older and their needs will change. More choices, the better.
Adjustable Distance Settings
You also want to make sure that the distance settings are adjustable. Short distances are better for indoors, obviously, and long distances should be restricted to outdoors and for dogs that like to run. Most of the automatic fetch machines on the market come with at least three different distance settings.
Ease of Use
How easy your automatic fetch machine is to use is also a consideration. For example, are the switches easy to understand and can they be turned quickly? Can your dog easily load the balls into the machine?
Many come with AC adapters that you can plug into the wall, while others have batteries. Some of them are rechargeable, while others have to have the batteries replaced.
You want to make sure that your dog is going to be able to drop in the ball without any moving parts or anything else that could catch them if they were to put their nose down inside of the ball retrieval area.
You also want to make sure that there are motion sensors on your automatic fetch machine, especially if it is one of the more powerful ones, so that if your dog is standing in front of the launch area when it comes time to throw the ball, the machine waits until your dog is out of the way.
Either of our top two choices are going to be great for your dog.
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