Has your dog become obese and lethargic due to the lack of exercise? We know you are a busy dog owner and hardly have time to take your dog out for exercise. That’s the core reason your dog has put on a layer of fat that has made you feel guilty about not being a good pup-parent. We’ll introduce you to different types of dog treadmills to relieve that guilt.
We understand taking your puppy out for a physical exercise session in the windy, rainy, and snowy season is not always possible. You also might be too tired on some days to take the furball out. However, a dog treadmill can help your pup burn those extra calories that make it chubby in all these situations.
This post will educate you about the different dog treadmills you can use for your pup’s workout, your potential options, pros and cons, and more!
Let’s get started!
What are Dog Treadmills?
First thing first, there are many types of dog treadmills, as the name suggests, are special treadmills designed for our four-legged friends. They have the just-right features to help your pet work out in a safe exercise session.
They are a substitute for dogs’ outdoor exercise sessions. They help your fur baby do a full-body workout while causing no harm to them.
Are Dog Treadmills a Good Idea?
Now you might wonder dogs are pack animals. So how can they fulfill their exercise needs by merely running on a treadmill?
Well, types of dog treadmills are not something new.
To your surprise, dogs have been using treadmills since the 1900s for several purposes. They have been serving different dog wellness purposes for decades.
So, YES, they are a good idea, but they are great training devices that you can use to manage your dog’s weight, follow a unique fitness plan, or carry out skill training for your dog.
Michael Davis, a professor of veterinary physiology at Oklahoma State University, states, “Regular moderate exercise provides most of the same benefits to dogs as it does to humans.”
Reasons for Using a Treadmill for Dogs:
Dog treadmills are the second-best friends for your pup after you. They keep your dog healthy and in good shape, but that’s not the only reason you should invest in a dog treadmill. Take note of these reasons:
Weight loss and Maintenance: According to American Kennel Club (AKC), 56% of the dogs in the US alone are categorized as obese and overweight. Obesity is the main reason many dogs suffer from joint strain, fatigue, and heart problems. Dog treadmills are a great way to help obese dogs to shed off those extra layers of fats.
Burn off the energy of high-energy dogs. If your dog is one of those dog breeds that are power-packed with energy and are bored off easily if you don’t keep them engaged, treadmills can help you the best to consume their high sprint of energies.
Inclement weather or busyness: So, is the weather outside harsh, and you can’t take your doggie out for their daily walk? Or, maybe, you are too busy to talk to them on a walk. Whatever might halt you from taking your dog out for an exercise, a dog treadmill can help you exercise your dog.
Allergies: Dog allergies are common in many breeds and can become an obstacle to preventing dogs from running and burning their calories outside. Treadmills are a superb indoor exercise tool that can keep your dog in tone and shape.
Therapeutic Purposes: If your dog has recently undergone a medical surgery or chronic illness, dog treadmills help a ton in rehabilitation purposes. You can help your pup exercise in a controlled environment and recover.
Disabled Owners: Dog treadmills can be bliss if you are a dog parent with some disabilities and can’t take your doggo out for their well-deserved exercise session.
6 Benefits of Using a Treadmill for Dogs
Here are the benefits of using a treadmill for dogs:
- Treadmill helps you analyze your dog’s gait.
- It helps your dog in rehabilitation after surgery or injury.
- Treadmills help exercise in too hot, too cold, icy, or snowy weather.
- Treadmills are a blessing for disabled dog owners in exercising their dogs.
- A treadmill strengthens your dog’s stamina and warms up and cools down your dog after dog sports activities.
- Treadmill exercise is an excellent option for dogs that become reactive on on-leash
Types of Dog Treadmills
Types of dog treadmills fall into various categories and sizes to meet your dog’s specific needs. Below we’ll cover the different kinds of dog mills with their pros and cons to give you an overview of each treadmill type.
There are two types of dog treadmills.
1. Motorized Dog Treadmills
Motorized treadmills are electrical treadmills that you’ll often see at gyms and fitness stores. However, a motorized dog treadmill has a lower railing and smaller vents to prevent dog hair clogging and accidental falls.
These treadmills are much similar in features to human treadmills.
Note that: Always supervise your dog on the treadmill as they have no control over its speed.
- Comes with a remote to adjust the speed
- Dependable power source
- Allow you to track time and distance
- Easier to train your dog to use a treadmill
- Can be used in multiple ways (Such as walking backward, sidestepping, etc.)
- Dependable power source
- Heavy noise
- High risk of injury (if left unattended)
- Don’t support a natural dog gait
2. Non-Motorized Dog Treadmills
A non-motorized dog treadmill is a self-propelled dog treadmill that works by your dog’s movement. Non-motorized treadmills allow your dog to trot, gallop, or canter. These are the most complex movements that require more stamina from your dog.
Hence, a non-motorized treadmill is a dog-powered treadmill; it can also serve the purpose of being a dog training treadmill.
There are many different non-motorized treadmills, such as Carpetmills, Slatmills, and Treadwheels. (We’ll discuss them below.)
- Support a natural gait
- Ideal for strength and endurance training
- Less expensive than motorized treadmills
- Self-powered dog treadmills that give dogs the power to control.
- Bulky in size
- It might create a loud noise
3. Wooden Dog Treadmills
A wooden dog treadmill is primarily made of wood.
Wood dog treadmills fall under the category of non-motorized and manual dog treadmill. They can be Carpetmills or Slatmills.
- Support a natural gait
- Dogs can control their speed
- Poorly made models can have risks to dogs’ health.
4. Hydrotherapy Dog Treadmills
Hydrotherapy treadmills are underwater dog treadmills that take advantage of things’ buoyancy in the water. This property helps reduce the impact on your dog’s joints but provides resistance during the workout.
- Perfect for injured dogs
- Ideal for customized fitness plans
- Less stress on dog’s joints
- Allows you to track time and distance
- Difficult to move the treadmill
- Additional expenses for the Maintenance of the water tank
Slatmills use rolls and slats to create space that helps your dog build stamina and muscles. A slat mill is a dog treadmill that is self-propelled by the dogs and has no incline.
However, some slatmills may have an adjustable incline.
- Has free turning slates so that your dog moves faster
- Affordable option
- Some models are noise-free
- Dog-controlled treadmill
- Can be large and heavy, especially if you’re buying a giant dog treadmill
- Some models may have loud noise
6. Carpet mills
A dog carpet mill is similar to a slat mill. The only difference is instead of the moving slats, a carpet moves and makes the track as your dog runs over it.
The track doesn’t feature an actual carpet but a carpet-like material that absorbs the shock and prevents slipping.
- Gives dogs the freedom to move at their own pace
- Easy to set up
- Some models might be noisy
Ever seen a hamster wheel(s)? They are just similar to treadwheels. Think of a dog treadwheel as a dog exercise wheel. They are a great option if you have limited space and need to exercise smaller dogs on them. The best thing about treadwheels is that they are safer for your dog even when you are not home.
- Smaller and safer than other options
- Control of Speed
- Some models can be noise-free
- Might be more complicated for your dog to learn to use it
How to Train Your Dog for a Treadmill?
You’re going to train your dog to run on a treadmill, so congratulations!
Your furry friend will love it, and you’ll be able to exercise your dog even when the weather outside is frightening. Here’s a step-by-step guide to training your dog for the treadmill.
1. Getting Started
First, you’re going to want to make sure you have a suitable space for your dog to train with a treadmill. If your dog treadmill is in a small area, it will be hard for your dog to get comfortable enough to learn to use it. You should also definitely not use a treadmill that has steps on it—that’s just asking for trouble.
If you can’t find enough space with a flat treadmill, consider moving your treadmill outside and training your pup there, but make sure you pick a place that’s shaded and protected from the wind.
2. Set up the Treadmill
Next, make sure the treadmill is set up safely for both of you. For example, if there’s an overhead bar on the back of the treadmill, you’ll want to move that up as high as it can go so that your dog can’t get their paws or head caught underneath it while they’re running.
3. Familiarize Your Dog with the Treadmill
Introduce your dog to running on a treadmill and make sure they’re comfortable with the machine. For a dog to feel safe and secure, you need to make sure your dog’s first experiences with the treadmill are positive. This means no surprises!
So start by bringing your dog near the machine, and let them sniff it out. Then you can turn it on for a few minutes, but don’t let them walk on it yet. When you turn off the machine, reward your dog with praise and treats for being around the treadmill while it’s running. Repeat this process for several days until your dog is comfortable around a running treadmill.
4. Teach Your Dog to Walk on the Treadmill While It’s Off
Once your dog is comfortable being around a running treadmill, you’ll want to start getting them used to walking on the machine when it’s off. You should begin slowly; begin by just putting their front paws on the moving belt. Once they get used to that, try putting both of their front and back paws up there. Reward your dog with praise or treats throughout this process.
5. Train Your Dog
Dogs are naturally motivated by food and praise, so positive reinforcement is the best way to get your dog to use the treadmill. (If you find that your dog doesn’t respond well to this kind of training, don’t be discouraged! You can still train your dog by using the treadmill with a leash instead.
Begin dog treadmill training by placing a few treats on the treadmill. If you do this, your dog will come to understand that the treadmill is a good thing. Once they’ve had time to sniff around and get used to it, gently place them on the machine and start it at its lowest setting. Reward them when they walk on the treadmill.
Once they’re comfortable walking on the stationary machine, gradually increase its speed to 0.1 mph until you reach your target speed. Remember to keep rewarding your dog for their hard work!
Remember: Dogs can’t run for hours like humans, so don’t push your dog too hard!
Safety Precautions to Keep in Mind While Training Your Dog on Treadmill
Here are some safety precautions to keep in mind when training your dog on a treadmill.
- Don’t feed your dog before a workout. Feeding before a workout can cause cramping, which is never suitable for any dog! If you need to feed your dog before working out, make sure it’s at least an hour before the workout.
- You can use a leash when walking on the treadmill, but never leave your dog unsupervised while they’re on the treadmill. Most of the dog treadmills have a safety key with an attached cord. This safety key and that attached cord prevent your dog from an accident if your dog slips backward.
- Remember to start with a warm-up and slow down the pace of your workout at the end of every session to let your pup cool down!
Tips for Buying Dog Treadmills [Buyer’s Guide]
The best types of dog treadmills for your dog is the one that allows your pup to feel safe and happy during the workout. Below we are sharing some tips to buy a dog treadmill that can be helpful for you in your purchase.
- Watch for the dimensions of the dog treadmill and buy one that is according to your dog’s size. Also, check how much weight it supports.
- Since canine treadmills are additional training tools, keep the portability factor in mind because you’ll often have to store them. Although many brands feature built-in wheels, they are super helpful in moving the treadmill here and there.
- If the primary purpose of buying a doggie treadmill is to lose weight for your dog, inclines can be helpful for this purpose.
- Treadmill noise can frighten your dog. Look for treadmills with lower noise or a motor with a silent operation.
- You won’t want to shell your $$$ on something that won’t last long, right? So, look for treadmills that offer a warranty for a specific period. Also, note what parts manufacturers have offered the warranty.
What Size Treadmill Do I Need for My Dog?
The ideal size for a dog treadmill is 2.5 to 3 times higher in the length of your dog or at least two times lengthier than your dog.
Here’s a quick way to measure the ideal size of your dog’s treadmill:
You can calculate your dog’s length from the tip of your dog’s nose to the base of its tail. Then multiply its length by 2.5. And the number you get is the correct range of the treadmill’s deck length.
You can also use your dog’s weight as your guide in choosing a treadmill for your dog. And check the weight guidelines with the treadmill model you are considering buying.
How Wide Is a Dog Treadmill?
Typically, dog treadmill manufacturers will offer three standard treadmill sizes.
- Extra large
However, the dimensions of each treadmill might differ based on the manufacturer. For example, some treadmill manufacturers might offer you customized designs, while some might stick to standard sizes.
Can Dogs Use Human Treadmills?
So, you already have your treadmill at home and might be wondering if dogs use the same treadmill or not. After all, treadmills are made to serve the same purpose. Investing in a separate puppy treadmill when you already have one treadmill for you at home can sound like a bit of overspending. However, we don’t recommend exercising your dog on a human treadmill unless you don’t have small dogs or toy breeds.
There are a few reasons not to use a human treadmill:
- First, the length of the tread dock is insufficient for dogs.
- The suspension mechanism of the treadmill for two-legged friends differs from that of four-legged friends.
What’s the difference between a dog treadmill and a human treadmill?
Here are a few differences that separate dog and human treadmills different from each other. Like:
|Human Treadmills||Dog Treadmills|
|Most dog treadmills have a shorter track surface suitable for human gait.||Have a broader track surface suitable for four-legged gait.|
|Have a ventilation system to cool the motor.||Have an internal cooling system for cooling down the motor.|
|A noticeable gap exists between the treadmill side and the edge of the belt.||Well-designed dog treadmills ensure that the belt and side of the treadmills have no gap.|
|Feature large end caps on the front and back of the treadmill.||Don’t have any caps as they might be dangerous for the dog’s paws.|
|May have noise and vibration.||Well-designed dog treadmills are quiet.|
We have reached the end of our blog post about types of dog treadmills. So if you’re not sure what type of dog treadmill is right for you and your pup, we hope this guide helped you narrow things down. And remember, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices out there. So if you’re still uncertain there are tons of types of dog treadmills, research your options and speak with a professional.
Now go out there and get that pup some cardio!