iFetch Too vs. PetSafe Ball Launcher: Which Automatic Dog Ball Thrower Is Better?

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The Spruce Pets / Zackary Angeline

Devices like the iFetch Too Ball Launcher and PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher empower your dog to play fetch on their own, throwing a ball to a range of your choosing, and automatically throwing it again when your dog brings it back.

We pitted these two highly rated automatic dog ball throwers against each other, comparing them feature by feature to select a victor. We believe our winner is the better pick for most people (and dogs!), but our side-by-side analysis dives into the strengths of each—both of these dog ball launchers are making fetch happen.

Both the iFetch Too and the PetSafe Automatic ball launchers can enhance the lives of dogs and their toss-exhausted parents, and both launchers are compatible with a standard-sized tennis ball. To continue to play upon retrieval, a dog simply needs to drop the tennis ball into the opening at the top. Most dogs are able to pick up this routine with ease after positive reinforcement training.

While we compare multiple commonalities and differences between the launchers, two features ultimately led us to prefer the PetSafe launcher—a motion sensor preventing the ball from launching if your dog is within seven feet and the automatic sleep mode set that helps prevent your dog from overdoing it.

Our Winner

PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher

 iFetch Too Ball Launcher  PetSafe Ball Launcher
Available in two different sizes Designed for dogs of all sizes
Includes three standard sized tennis balls Includes two standard sized tennis balls 
Suitable for outdoor and indoor play, but many customers report issues with jamming when a ball gets wet Water-resistant for outdoor and  indoor play 
Three options for tossing distance–10, 25, and 40 feet, or random to mix the three Adjustable range of 8 to 30 feet tossing distance 
Single button switches between distance settings Separate dials to adjust nine settings for distance and six options for angle 
Powered by rechargeable battery  Powered by a wall plug adaptor (included) or six D-Cell batteries (not included) 
No timer, only has On and Off switch  Safety motion sensors protect your dog by preventing the ball from launching if they are within seven feet of the toy 
  Automatic sleep mode after 30 minutes of playtime 
Our Top Picks

PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher

PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher


Who It’s For: Dog parents of high-energy, fetch-loving dogs. The device works indoors and outdoors, but batteries required for cordless operation are not included. With six angle settings and nine distance options (between 8 to 30 feet), you should also consider if your space can accommodate this level of activity without interfering and/or breaking valuables in your home.

Price at time of publish: $210

Power Source: Wall plug adaptor (included) or six D-Cell batteries (not included) | Range: 8 to 30 feet | Device Dimensions: 12 x 13.5 x 13.5 inches | Balls Included: Three standard-sized tennis balls

iFetch Too Interactive Ball Launcher

iFetch Too Interactive Ball Launcher


Who It’s For: Dog parents with a medium to a large sized dog that enjoys playing fetch. The launcher has three distance settings, so this one is best for people who want to minimize the potential for having a tennis ball launched toward something valuable. The iFetch Too Ball Launcher is a slightly larger version of the original iFetch Ball Launcher and launches standard-sized tennis balls instead of mini tennis balls. It’s designed to keep dogs with bigger mouths safe from the potential choking hazard posed by petite-sized balls.

Price at time of publish: $230

Power Source: Rechargeable battery | Range: 10, 20, and 40 feet | Device Dimensions: 14 x 13.5 x 12.5 inches | Balls Included: Two standard-sized tennis balls

PetSafe Ball Launcher vs. iFetch Too Ball Launcher

Design and Interface

The PetSafe Ball Launcher is a gray, bucket-shaped apparatus with purple accents, like the funnel hopper for returning launched balls. It's got a useful carry handle in the front. It reminds us of outdoor devices, such as sprinklers or pool vacuums, and sports equipment. The iFetch Too is much more tech-presenting, with a combination of Apple white and rounded lines with blue trim. The aesthetics are different enough that it comes down to personal preference.

The interfaces for both devices are also markedly different. The PetSafe launcher uses two big knobs with obvious visual indicators. One knob looks like a dog paw and adjusts the launch angle—from a low-angle 20 degrees to a higher 45 degrees—across six different settings. The other knob looks like a tennis ball and changes the launch distance from 8 to 30 feet. The iFetch Too uses a single button instead, with a colored light indicator: one blue light for 10 feet, two blue lights for 25 feet, three blue lights for 40 feet, and a single flashing blue light for randomized distance.

We prefer the more tactile and adjustable PetSafe interface. Relying on multiple button presses means you can't tell how the iFetch Too is going to launch by touch, unlike with the PetSafe version.

Winner: PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher


Both toys should always be used with adult supervision, but one can never be too careful, even with larger dogs. The devices mimic the action of a human tossing a ball, but the risk of having the ball launcher activate and launch a ball when a dog is in close proximity doesn’t sit well with us. For both devices, the tosses aren’t too powerful and the tennis balls are relatively soft.

A built-in motion sensor keeps the PetSafe launcher from launching a tennis ball while a dog is within seven feet in front of it. It also makes an audible ding to indicate to your dog that a ball is coming their way. After 15 minutes of play, the ball launcher will rest for 15 minutes, and this cycle continues until the device is powered off. This pattern helps to keep dogs from exhausting themselves. 

A button on the iFetch Too Ball Launcher allows you to alternate between launching a ball a distance of 10, 20, and 40 feet, or a mixture of all three with a random setting. It doesn't have a motion detector to prevent launch, and it will also continue launching as long as its battery has charge, which can lead to exhaustion. However, it does have one safety feature we appreciated: a dedicated slider for putting the iFetch in an indoor mode that won't launch further than 10 feet.

The PetSafe definitely has the edge when it comes to safety features.

Winner: PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher


Evaluating which automatic dog ball launcher your dog will prefer depends in part on how actively you'll supervise their play. While we love the randomized launch setting on the iFetch Too—which changes each throw for more variety—the PetSafe launcher features a greater number of throwing combinations, since you can change the angle and distance, for a grand total of 54 different throw combinations. However, since you're changing manually, that means providing a lot of variety depends on your direct supervision.

With its shorter minimum launch distance (seven feet), adjustable angle, and power cord, the PetSafe has the edge when it comes to indoor play. As much as we like that the iFetch Too has a slider to switch over to a dedicated indoor mode, it's not exactly onerous to adjust the PetSafe's knobs all the way to their most minimal settings for indoor use. The additional range of adjustment provided by the two dials makes it easier for users to find a setting that works indoors. We also like not having to worry about batteries while inside.

Winner: PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher


The PetSafe's power cord may make it convenient and easy to use indoors, but it's a pain constantly having fresh D-cell batteries on hand for outdoor use. If you have rechargeable batteries on hand, it might still be preferential, but for most users the rechargeable iFetch Too is going to be more convenient for outdoor play, since you can charge it overnight and then have a reliably charged launcher ready to go for your next outing.

Winner: iFetch Too Interactive Ball Launcher


While you likely won't have to train your dog to fetch a launched ball, you will have to acclimate your dog to the launchers—which can get a little noisy!—and train them to avoid the front of the device where balls are launched. Teaching dogs to return balls and drop them back in the launcher on their own can also take a little patience and effort. We found that the PetSafe launcher takes several steps that make training much easier. First, the PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher has a speaker, and makes a sound right before launching. It's an easy indicator that your dog will pick up on quickly. The PetSafe launcher's instruction manual is also loaded with specific training tips.

Winner: PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher

For Small Dogs

While our head-to-head is between the PetSafe launcher and the larger of the two iFetch models, the iFetch Too, the existence of the smaller iFetch means that owners of very small dogs will want to look first to the iFetch line. The smaller iFetch has a much lower hopper, so even toy breed dogs should be able to successfully return balls for another launch. However, the iFetch features smaller 1.5 inch balls as well, which means you won't be able to use it with standard tennis balls.

Winner: iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher

iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher

iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher


Why Trust The Spruce Pets?

This story was written by Anna Mejorada, a writer for The Spruce Pets, who has a fetch-obsessed Chiweenie named Yoshi in her family. Before researching and writing about pet products for a living, Mejorada embarked on a self-mandated, ongoing quest to find the optimal items for her dog, a happy pomeranian named Gidget. She is now delightfully devoted to helping humans discover and select the most favorable products for their pets.