If your dog loves to play fetch, it can get tiring to throw the ball over and over. The best ball launchers for dogs ease some of your workload by making it easier for you to launch that ball into the air. When you're shopping around, select a launcher based on the level of involvement you want to have — automatic options propel the ball for you with little effort on your part, while manual launchers require you to load the ball and propel it yourself with your hands or feet. Manual launchers give you more control and time to bond with your pet, even though they can require a little more effort. But no matter how involved you are in the game, it's recommended for safety that you still supervise your dog during play and take the time to warm them up first to avoid painfully straining their muscles, joints, and cartilage.
Automatic launchers are great options when you want to tire your pet out without exhausting yourself, and they can often be used both indoors and outdoors. You'll have to teach your dog how to drop the ball into the machine if you don't want to put it in yourself, but once they've mastered that, it should be easy to use. All you typically have to do is turn on the ball launcher, set the distance level, then sit back and supervise.
When you want to be more involved in the action, look for a manual ball launcher. Two of the most common types are trigger launchers and stomp ball launchers. Trigger ball launchers are usually shaped like guns or cannons and feature a button to shoot the ball into the air. Stomp ball launchers are placed on the ground — after you load it with a ball, you have to step on it to propel the ball. Finally, if you simply want to make physically throwing a ball a little easier (and avoid having to touch dog slobber), a ball thrower-style launcher is essentially a cup on the end of a curved stick that can help you throw the ball further and faster.