Here at Animal Friends, we were very excited when we received the iFetch an automatic ball launcher for review. We couldn’t honestly tell you who was more excited to do the review, Dave the Golden Retriever or us the AFI staff. We did however, after much debate, decide that maybe we would let Dave have a go! As always, we scored it for multiple factors out of 5 to let you what we (and Dave) thought of it.
What did Dave make of it? Well, we can 100% state that Dave loved the iFetch, whilst at first we were a little apprehensive (it was a little nosier than expected) Dave very quickly learnt that the ‘powering up’ noise meant FUN! Dave very quickly became obsessed with the noise and even when the iFetch was firing empty Dave was still looking around to chase the ball!
Ease of use:
Operation and set up were both incredibly easy, you pretty much just plug in and go! There is a nifty option for batteries too, however we did find that they ran out rather quickly when on the highest (furthest) setting.
The iFetch is cleverly designed to shoot balls out to the desired distance of 10, 20, or 30 feet, and has been designed with its cone top for the dogs to be able to ‘load’ it again themselves. Although it did take Dave a lot of practice (and with help from the YouTube tutorial) we were able to train Dave to load it himself. Once mastered, Dave couldn’t get enough, he loved chasing the balls as they shot out and he became a bit of a pro at taking them back to play again! It was surprising how quickly Dave learnt.
Value for money:
Retailing at £99.99, although this is a little steep in price we would definitely recommend that it is worth every penny for pet satisfaction. Dave never got bored, whether it was us loading the balls in or him, he loved it. We would also recommend that further balls are bought as they are small and easy to lose. A replacement pack of balls can be purchased separately for £11.99 (this for the smaller sized balls)
The design of the iFetch is aesthetically pleasing, it is modern and sleek and has very easy to use buttons that are cleverly integrated within the back seam. The cone shape on the top makes it so easy, even for the simplest of dogs to drop balls into. Being able to set the distance is incredibly useful when using this in smaller indoor spaces and larger outdoor ones. The iFetch also comes in a range of sizes, meaning that this is a great toy for dogs both great and small.
Conclusion: 8 out of 10
We absolutely love the iFetch. It kept Dave and the members of our staff entertained for hours! We would like to see a possible charging point however this is not a deal breaker. We would without a doubt recommend this product and although we were concerned it might replace us (as we are able to throw a ball ourselves) it has in fact had the opposite effect, causing great fun for all involved! We loved seeing how excited Dave was learning to drop the balls in and watching him charge after them. Although the particular iFetch we were sent is ideally designed for smaller breeds, it didn’t bother Dave too much playing with the smaller sized balls, however it is worth noting that iFetch do sell a slightly larger machine that fires out larger full sized tennis balls. These ideally would be suited for a dog of Dave’s size, not that this stopped him. Two paws up from us!