Making sure that your dog gets the exercise they need is an important responsibility, and while you may want to take them out for extended walks every single day, modern life makes this impossible for many people. And if your dog doesn’t get enough exercise, there are all sorts of negative health risks directly associated with this. A dog treadmill could be the answer to your problems. Designed to simulate the bounding around they do outside, it will help to stop your dog going stir crazy when they are stuck indoors.
Of course, before you make such a significant investment, you need to know a little bit more about some of the top products on the market. So, let’s start by running through five of the best, so you can make a more informed decision about the best dog treadmill for your canine companion.
The Best Dog Treadmill
Lightweight and portable, this dog treadmill helps to keep your furry friend healthy and happy. Pooches weighing up to 180 pounds can use it comfortably, and there is plenty of space available for them to stretch their legs. Using the onboard computer, you can let your dog to take on the pre-set exercise programs or create some programs of your own.
Thanks to the ultra-quiet motor, you will barely notice it is running. And when your furry friend is not using it, you can simply fold it away for easy storage. Whatever the weather and no matter the time of day, give your dog the chance to exercise, stay fit and active.
Patented folding technology
Customized running programs
Suitable for all dogs up to 180 lbs
- Weight97 pounds
Powerful yet quiet motor
Safety panels to keep dog from falling
Few reports of malfunction after short time
If you have a smaller dog weighing up to 30 pounds, they can run to their heart’s content on this small dog treadmill. It has been specifically designed for the way your dog moves and leans, while the running platform is low-profile to aid in their proper gait. You can program the speed up to five miles per hour or set the distance or time. There are also pre-programmed workouts available too.
As well as being highly portable, it is also cleverly designed to save space, so it won’t overwhelm your home. Many veterinarians and trainers have endorsed this product as a viable solution to your dog’s behavior and fitness needs.
Designed for smaller breeds up to 30 lbs
Small, quiet, and vibration-free
Programmable speed, distance, and time
- Weight87.6 pounds
Usable flat or at an incline
Better at lower speeds
Featuring a low running platform, your dog will really be able to stretch their legs on this pet treadmill. It is easy for them to climb aboard and start exercising when the mood strikes them. And when it is running, you will hardly even notice as the silent driving system allows for ultra-quiet operation.
As for you, operating the treadmill is easy thanks to the wireless controls. There is also a safety lock system to protect your furry friend from injury. Bear in mind that this product is suitable for dogs weighing up to 44 pounds.
Low running platform for easy access
Silent driving system
Suitable for dogs weighing up to 44 lbs
- Weight81 pounds
Lowest running speed of 1mph not suitable for very small dogs
A different design to the ones previously discussed, this dog treadwheel is circular and resembles a giant hamster wheel! But if you have a larger dog who needs to exercise, this is a fantastic option for them. The surface is cushioned and durable enough to protect your dog’s foot pads.
Since it is exclusively canine-powered, your four-legged friend can use it even when you are not around. And they have the choice of running as fast or slow as they would like. If you have a particularly energetic dog, it is a great place for them to use up their excess energy!
Dog-powered – can be used alone or supervised
60″ L x 20″ W running area
Cushioned, durable matted surface
- Weight240 pounds
No electricity needed to power
Suitable for indoor or outdoor use
Simple way of helping your dog relieve boredom and/or lose weight
No exercise tracking, different speeds, pre-set routines etc
Another canine treadmill from GoPet, this one has an adjustable speed which can be controlled from the device directly or using a remote control. The wheels at the bottom make it easily transportable inside and outside the home. Start off at a slow pace and you can gradually increase it to suit your furry friend.
Six different sizes are available to matcg dogs of all dimensions. If you don’t have the space for your dog to run around or the time to take them outside as much as you would like, this provides the ideal solution to these problems.
Dolly wheels for easy transportation
One horsepower motor for ample exercise opportunities
- Weight123 pounds
Controllable on treadmill or remote control
High price point
Best Dog Treadmill Buying Guide & FAQ
Features to Look for in a Dog Treadmill
Now that you know a bit more about some of the different dog treadmills available to you, it is time to look at the key features to look for in greater detail.
Check the weight capacity carefully as it is essential that you choose a treadmill which comfortably supports your dog. While there are plenty of dog treadmills out there for smaller pups, there are fewer available for larger hounds. If your dog is too heavy, they are in danger of breaking the machine. But you should also ensure that you are not buying a treadmill which is too large for them as it may only run at speeds which are too high for their little legs to handle!
- Speed Control
Dog treadmills should offer a variety of speeds. After all, all dogs like to run at different paces, and you want the experience to feel as natural as possible. The greater the range of speed options, the more likely it is that you will find a pace which your furry friend feels comfortable running at. Alternatively, you could look at dog treadwheels which allow them to set their own pace.
- Storage Options
Treadmills tend to be fairly bulky, but some of the options which we have discussed above are foldable to fit in a closet, under the bed, or wherever else you would like to put them. If you live in a flat or small house, this will help to stop the treadmill from dominating the space that you have available.
- Programmable Routines
After your dog has got the hang of using the treadmill, they may be looking for a new challenge. Choose a programmable model and you can set various exercise regimes which vary the speed over time. You can also use this to get a better idea of how fit your dog is and give them the opportunity to improve over time.
- Safety Rails/Guard Walls
Obviously, when you buy something for your dog to use, you need to make sure that they are completely safe. Safety rails or guard walls will help to ensure that they won’t slip off, which is especially important if they are running at high speeds. This extra protection also helps a lot of dogs to feel more secure. However, other pooches don’t like entering an enclosed space, so you could always look for guard walls which can be removed to get the best of both worlds.
- Incline Adjustability
Some treadmills give you the option of adjusting the incline to simulate the experience of going uphill. Not only can this help your dog to burn more calories, but it can also help to strengthen their muscles too. If you have a dog with bags of energy, this can really help them to get the high-energy workout that they are looking for.
Your dog is much more likely to want to use their treadmill if they feel comfortable when they are on it. If the tracks are cushioned, this will help to protect their joints and reduce the impact on their limbs. If you are choosing a treadmill for an old or injured dog, this is an especially important feature to look out for.
Dog treadmills should sit close to the ground, which will help your furry friend to feel more comfortable while they are using it. In the event that they slip off or jump off by themselves, this will mean that there is less of a distance to fall down. If you have a dog with particularly short legs, it is especially important that they are able to climb up onto the treadmill with ease.
Why You Should Use a Pet Treadmill
There are a number of different benefits of buying a dog treadmill for your dog to use. Here are just a few of the main advantages.
- Great Fitness Activity
As we have already mentioned, dogs need regular exercise to stay at their healthiest. And as their owner, you are responsible for ensuring they get the physical activity they need. A consistent regime of a good diet and plenty of exercise will help lead to a happier, healthier, and longer life. Inactivity may lead to obesity, which carries many of the same health risks in dogs as it does in human beings. Whether the dog treadmill forms the main part of their exercise routine or you only use it from time to time, it is nice to know that it always there, whenever you need it.
- You Have an Injured or Disabled Dog
If you have a dog who is suffering from an injury such as a sprained ankle or twisted knee, you need to set them off on a rehabilitation program to properly heal. Treadmills provide your pet with the chance to get moving while improving their muscle strength. Both controlled and gentle, you can supervise how your dog is getting on and adjust the speed and intensity of the workout accordingly.
- Your Dog Has High Exercise Requirements
Some breeds of dog have especially high exercise requirements to stay fit and healthy. Long walks, frequent games, and a lot of activity is needed. A pet treadmill offers another source of exercise for them to burn off their excess energy. Alternatively, you may have a dog with behavioral issues, and you are looking for another way to keep them engaged and entertained.
- Usable Whatever the Weather
Sometimes, the weather conditions outside make exercising your dog difficult or even impossible. During the long winter nights, you may not have a suitable local area where you feel safe taking your dog out. But when you can exercise your dog indoors, weather doesn’t come into the equation. Whenever your dog feels like stretching their legs, you can give them the opportunity to do so. So, rain or shine, your dog can get the exercise that they need to stay in tip-top condition.
- No Worries About Allergies
Perhaps you or your dog suffers from an allergy to pollution, pollen, or some other outdoor irritant. And if either of you is particularly sensitive, it can be a nightmare whenever you go outside. But your dog still needs to get their exercise. A dog treadmill will ensure that they can still bound around with none of the worries about allergies acting up.
- Fits into Busy Schedules
While many dog owners would love to have all the time in the world to take their four-legged friend out for walks, this is not always a possibility. Between work and family commitments, it is very easy for your dog to become neglected. Invest in a dog walker treadmill and you can exercise your dog from the comfort of your own home. Or get a dog treadwheel and they can exercise themselves. Of course, you will still want to take your dog out whenever you get an opportunity, but your dog treadmill provides a helping hand when this simply isn’t an option.
- A Safe Form of Exercise
If you live in a busy or dangerous neighborhood, it can feel daunting taking your dog out – particularly during the night-time hours. But when you exercise your dog indoors, this helps to eliminate these issues and gives you the peace of mind that your dog is staying fit, while you are not putting you or them in harm’s way.
Teach Your Dog to Use A Treadmill
While some dogs will take to using their treadmill straight away, there are plenty more who need to be introduced to the machine slowly. To start off with, you should keep the treadmill off and let your pooch explore it on their own. Allow them to sniff and inspect the machine thoroughly. You may need to use their leash to guide them onto it the first few times. You can also use treats, so they make positive associations straight away.
Once your dog seems to be comfortable with it, you can then turn on the treadmill at the slowest speed. Allow your dog to become accustomed to the way it looks and sounds. To encourage them to get on it, you will probably need a combination of treats, praise, and leash work. Your dog will need to learn to move on it constantly, as well as avoiding falling off at the back. This stage may take some time before they get the hang of it.
Now that your dog has started to use the treadmill correctly, you can slowly increase the speed until you reach a pace which they are comfortable with. Keep offering plenty of praise and positive reinforcement along the way.
Tips for First-Time Dog Treadmill Users
If you have never used a dog treadmill before, it can feel like a challenge to start off with. Here are a few tips which you should find useful.
- Start Off Slow and Stay Patient
As we mentioned above, it is unlikely that your dog will start bounding around on the treadmill straight away. So, you need to start off slow and stay patient. Gradually, you can start to increase the speed and incline when your dog becomes more comfortable. If you push them too hard, they are more likely to fall and/or suffer an injury.
- Supervise Your Dog
To help ensure their safety, you should supervise your dog at all times when they are using the treadmill. This way, you are ready to step in if they encounter any difficulties along the way. If you have a long-haired dog, you should take special care to ensure that their fur doesn’t get caught up in the mechanism.
- Consult Your Vet
Before you start a treadmill training program, it is worth consulting with your vet to ensure that you choose the right model. They may also be able to provide you with some specific tips about how you can successfully introduce this activity into their regular exercise routine.
Best Dog Treadmill FAQ:
Q: Can my dog use a human treadmill?
A: You should avoid letting your dog use a human treadmill as they are not suitable for most pooches and would require a huge amount of supervision to ensure that they don’t sustain an injury. Since humans have a shorter gait, these treadmills have shorter tracks to matcg. Also, they are much higher, and your dog could get injured if they fall. And they don’t have the safety precautions such as panels, guides or rails to keep them on the machine.
Q: Are dog treadmills safe?
A: Dog treadmills are generally safe for canines to use. However, you should make sure that you choose one which is a suitable size. Also, you should supervise them while they are using it to ensure that they don’t suffer an injury. If you have a long-haired dog, take care that their fur doesn’t get caught up in the mechanism.
Q: What size dog treadmill should I buy?
A: There are three main measurements that you should take to determine the right size of dog treadmill: weight, exercise gait, and load performance. The weight is easy to take on your household scales. As for the exercise gait, you should measure your dog while they are lying down fully extended. Add 5 to 10 inches on top to take their stride into account. Finally, check if the model has a load performance guideline, which will tell you the maximum load tested.
Q: Should treading be the only source of exercise I give my dog?
A: Treading should be a supplementary form of exercise but shouldn’t totally replace your outdoor walks and games. Going on walks also fulfill your dog’s sense of adventure and desire to socialize with other canine companions. Not only this, but they also help to strengthen the bonds between you are your four-legged friend.
Our Top Pick
dogPACER LF 3.1 Dog Pacer Treadmill
At the top of our list is this pet treadmill from Dog Pacer. Built with removable safety pads on the side, dogs weighing up to 180 lbs can comfortably use this treadmill. As well as being lightweight and compact, you can also fold it away for storage or transportation whenever you need.
The onboard computer includes a range of pre-set programs built in, and you can also customize and set your own when your dog is used to the machine. Plenty of running space is available, and the motor is so quiet that it doesn’t feel like a nuisance in your home.
Providing all the benefits of a dog treadmill which we discussed above, this is an excellent addition to your furry friend’s exercise program.