For the unfamiliar, the iFetch is a small motorized device that shoots mini tennis balls across the room that your dog can fetch. It’s called an “automatic ball launcher” because all you have to do is drop a ball into the funnel-shaped hole on the top, and it shoots the ball out the other side.
You can launch balls for your pet, or you can even teach you dog to drop the ball in the hole themselves so they can play on their own! Tech Crunch jokingly calls the iFetch “the perfect balm to soothe the conscience of the lazy dog owner.”
Looking for details about the iFetch price, size, user reviews, and owner testimonials? Read on for the inside scoop.
Background on the iFetch Automatic Dog Ball Launcher
The iFetch began a few years ago at the Hamill family’s kitchen table when son Grant was doing homework but kept getting interrupted by his dog, who brought over balls for him to throw. Grant then wondered if it would be possible to create a machine that would automatically shoot balls for the pet.
His grandfather Denny thought it was a great idea, and months later, they tested prototypes and set up a Kickstarter to make the whole thing happen. Now, in 2015, the iFetch is an immensely popular dog ball toy (with hundreds of positive iFetch reviews from satisfied users) that allows pets to entertain themselves as they chase and retrieve balls from the machine.
The iFetch has won numerous awards and been featured on Katie Couric’s talk show in addition to earning high-profile mentions in online and print publications such as Gizmodo, MNN, The New York Times, and Outside magazine.
- FETCH-A-HOLICS REJOICE! Automatic tennis ball launcher lets small dogs play fetch to their hearts' content.
- MINI TENNIS BALLS: Finally, a toy made for small dogs! Comes with 3 mini tennis balls (1.6-inch diameter). Use other similar sized balls too! Just try not to get them too dirty or wet - this will affect performance. Please Note: This is the small iFetch automatic ball thrower. The iFetch Too is the larger automatic ball launcher.
iFetch Price and Product Details
A handful of retailers sell the iFetch at pet stores across the country, but this is mostly a product that is purchased online. In my experience, the local businesses that sell the iFetch charge slightly more than the online outlets, so you might want to buy online.
The iFetch dimensions are roughly 14 x 11 x 9 inches, and the balls are about 1.5 inches (40 mm) in diameter. That’s smaller than a typical tennis ball, and smaller than the balls for some other automatic ball launchers, like the Go Dog Go.
iFetch Dimensions & Specifications
|Dimensions||Approx. 14 x 11 x 9 inches|
|Ball size||1.5 in diameter (40 mm)|
|Current price||See Amazon plugin above|
|Power||AC adapter or batteries|
|Battery life||300 throws with 6 C batteries|
The iFetch runs on AC adapter power, or from six C batteries, which can provide about 30 hours of use. The adapter works for 110 or 220 volts. Batteries are not included.
My iFetch Review
My iFetch review canned be summed up easily: It’s a great product! My terrier – a Jack Russell / Rat Terrier mix named Benji – tried out the iFetch and loved it. Initially, I wasn’t able to teach him to drop the balls into the machine on his own, so I had to do it for him.
Eventually, he learned to drop the balls himself and was able to play fetch on his own. We used the machine both indoors and outdoors. The iFetch is more fun in the backyard, in the grass under sunny skies. But in the colder winter months, it’s great to be able to use the fetch toy in the dining room.The machine has proven to be steady and durable. It’s a lot better than the cheaper automatic dog ball launchers that we’ve been testing lately. Spend the money and go with the most reliable launcher brand on the market!
Other iFetch Reviews and User Videos
Dog owners love the fact that pets can be taught how to retrieve the balls and drop them in the ball slot, meaning that the owners don’t have to do anything except sit back and watch as their doggie friends entertain themselves.
Reasons to praise the iFetch: The balls shoot far, the batteries last a long time, the machine is sturdy, and it’s perfect for saving your arm from having to throw a ball 50 times a day.
The volume of the motor and the small size of the balls are the primary criticisms. The ball size issue is really not a valid complaint, though, since the iFetch is clearly designed for small- to medium-sized dogs. Anyone with a large dog should read the next section for information about the iFetch Too.
For more product owner feedback, check out our page full of user-submitted YouTube videos of their pets playing with the iFetch. One sample video is posted below. Pets have such a great time with this device!
And if you want to get some tips on how to help your puppy learn how to retrieve the balls and them return them to the slot, watch these videos on the iFetch.
Is There an iFetch for Big Dogs?
Because the little tennis balls used by the iFetch are mini-sized, it’s most appropriate for puppies or other small dogs. But what about bigger dog breeds? Is there an iFetch for big dogs?
Yes, there is! iFetch responded to consumer demand and set up a Kickstarter to fund the design of a large version of its iFetch. In December 2015 the “iFetch Too” finally hit the market. It shoots balls higher and farther than the original model and appears to be a nice upgrade. If you have a larger dog that wants to chase full-size tennis balls, definitely consider checking it out.
iFetch Automatic Ball Thrower for Dogs: Summary
Personally, I often get tired running around with Benji since he seems to have an endless supply of energy. If you’re like me and need a ball thrower to help relieve your playtime burden, the iFetch is a great option. Make sure to check out our page with reviews of the top dog ball throwers here!