PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher Review

If you have a dog who wants nothing more than to play fetch then this might be the toy you’ve been looking for. A fetch loving dog usually wants to play no matter what, maybe you are busy, tired, injured or maybe it’s raining out or you have already played fetch for half an hour and he has showed no signs of slowing… These probably sound all too familiar if your dog is a fetch enthusiast. The PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher allows your dog to play fetch whenever they feel like it, it comes with a range of safety features as well as adjustable components so you can make sure your dog plays the best game of fetch even when you don’t want to play.

The PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher can be used both indoors and outdoors, is able to launch a tennis ball up to 30 feet and has a automatic rest feature so you know your dog won’t overexert.

The History Of PetSafe

This automatic ball launcher is made by PetSafe, a company who has been making pet products since 1991. They are a well known and trusted brand for pet owners. PetSafe have centered the products around three core categories; Training Systems, Containment Systems and Bark Control. Petsafe also offer a range of Play and Challenge products designed to keep your pet busy with play while also engaging and challenging them.

PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher

This automatic ball launcher is suitable for all dogs and can be used indoors and outdoors making it very versatile. The launcher includes safety features so you can be comfortable with your dog using the toy even when you are not at home. There are safety sensors that are able to detect motion up to 7 feet away meaning when people or pets are too close to the machine it will not launch any balls until everyone is at a safe distance. This is a fantastic feature because it is always a worry that the launcher will shoot out a ball straight at you/ your children/ your dog if anyone is standing in front of the machine when it launches, with the PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher you don’t have to worry about that. The machine will also stop if it senses something is lodged in the ball feeder. The launcher also makes a noise before a ball is launched, this is great because it let’s you know and it will excite your dog because he will learn that the noise means a ball is about to be thrown. The Petsafe Automatic Ball Launcher has 9 distance settings as well as 6 angle settings so you can personalise the game for the amount of space you have. The PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher can hold up to 3 standard sized tennis balls and features an open top so your dog can drop retrieved tennis balls back into the launcher (this may take a bit of training).

A feature we have not seen before is the 15 minute interval rest which makes sure your dog has a break from playing.

The launcher can be used with batteries and using an AC adaptor, is water resistant and has a handle to make it easy to move.

The Ball Launcher comes with 2 PetSafe standard sized tennis balls, an AC adaptor and a user guide.

The PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher is available from Amazon for $149.95

PetSafe Videos & User Guides

This is a great short video that shows the launcher being used indoors. Watch this to see the safety feature in action and to hear the noise the launcher makes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tGDUS9XFvI

This video shows new users getting to grips with the PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher, it’s the dogs first go with the machine so they haven’t learnt to bring the balls back yet but once they’ve mastered that they will be able to play fetch without their humans help.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NY9m7A5TrQY

This video shows the features on the launcher, where you can adjust the settings and how simple it is to use https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWfXZj3_83o

PetSafe vs iFetch Automatic Ball Launchers

 

Model Specifications PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher iFetch iFetch Too
Size 12 x 13.5 x 13.5 inches 14 x 11 x 9 inches 13 x 14 x 12 inches
Batteries Used 6 D-cell batteries 6 C-cell batteries Rechargeable battery built in
Can it be used on mains power? Yes – AC Adapter included Yes – AC Adapter included Yes – it comes with a battery charger and can play while launcher is plugged in
Ball Launching Distance Adjustable 8-30 feet. 10, 20 or 30 feet 10, 25 or 40 feet
Ball Size Standard (2.5” in diameter) Miniature (1.6” in diameter) Standard (2.5” in diameter)
Price $149.95 $115 $199.99

 

These are all high quality, durable and impressive toys that allow your dog to play fetch when you are not able to play with them. We are comparing the PetSafe to the iFetch Too because the original iFetch is aimed at smaller dogs, we have however included the iFetch in the table for reference and for those of you who have smaller fetch loving dogs.

Cost

The PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher is less expensive than the iFetch Too but does not launch balls as far with a maximum distance of 30 feet compared to the iFetch Too maximum distance of 40 feet.

 

Setting Differences

The PetSafe has 9 distance settings between 8 and 30 feet as well as 6 angle adjustments, whereas the iFetch has 3 distance settings and you cannot adjust the angle the ball is launched. Both launchers take standard size tennis balls and can be used on batteries (the iFetch Too battery is built in) or plugged into mains power.

Style

The launchers are almost identical in size but have different styles. The iFetch is white and blue and has a clean cut look whereas the PetSafe Launcher is grey and purple and includes a handle for transporting.

Safety Features

The two companies took different approaches in regards to safety features with the iFetch Too launching balls immediately to prevent dogs standing and waiting in front of the launcher for the ball whereas the PetSafe has sensors that prevent the ball from launching until the dog is at a safe distance, once your dog is trained there should be no confusion and your dog will learn not to stand too close to the launcher.

Noise

The iFetch Too is the quieter machine as the PetSafe makes a series of beeps to warn the ball is being launched or that the sensor has detected movement too close as well as the ball launching using a hammer mechanism compared to the iFetch Too wheel mechanism which is quieter.

Overall both products are fantastic and either way you are going to end up with a great game of fetch.

 

What We Think Of PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher

The PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher has some great additional features that you don’t find on the competitive brands, it is a good size and is simple to operate. We personally like the fact that the Launcher will beep before launching the ball because it adds an audio aspect to the game and also gives your dog some interaction. We think training your dog to put balls in the Launcher and then step back to the side or to a safe distance may take some time but once your dog has mastered it the fetch games will be safe and continuous. We also like that the Launcher will automatically shut down every 15 minutes in order to give your dog a break from the game (the makers obviously realised that dogs will play until they drop if they had the choice and have taken that into account!). It does not launch balls the furthest but has great features.

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