Obesity is a growing health issue amongst dogs and can lead to a range of health issues. Exercise is the key to a happy and healthy dog but modern busy lifestyles mean that daily outside walks are simply not always possible. A dog treadmill is the ideal solution. They can be manually operated or electrical and come in a range of sizes.
When you invest in a pet treadmill, your dog can have endless exercise at a speed and time that suits them. Once your pooch gets used to the treadmill they will love it! To help you choose the right one for your dog, here’s the low down on how to choose a canine treadmill.
The Best Dog Treadmill
A very affordable and versatile dog treadmill that is a reliable and economical way for your dog to get valuable exercise when you cannot take them outside yourself. It is suitable for small to medium breeds and has a walking area of 38 inches x 16 inches.
You can finely adjust the speed to suit your dog’s needs as it has 0.1 mph increments between 0.5 mph and 7.5 mph. It’s quick to set up and has bright red side guards to keep your pooch safe. It comes with pre-installed exercise programs that your dog can follow for optimum health benefits.
Reliable and economical
Suitable for small to medium breeds
Walking area measures 38 inches x 16 inches
Speed can be set between 0.5 mph and 7.5 mph
- ModelMini PACER
- Weight48 pounds
Dogs up to 30 pounds in weight can use this dog treadmill. It has a clever design that saves space and makes it compact for storage and transport. It is both sturdy and safe and operated by a quiet motor that will not startle sensitive dogs. With your dog’s safety in mind, there are no holes or seams which could trap delicate paws.
It has a natural running platform and a low training fence which creates a comfortable training experience. It also has a manually operated flip-bar to control the incline so it is more like the exercising in the great outdoors. It comes with an LCD digital console on which you control the speed and set a distance or time for the workout. In case of an emergency, there is a red stop button which is easy to find. It comes with a remote control and a recessed treat holder which is useful to entice your pooch onto the treadmill when they start training.
For dogs up to 30 pounds in weight
Safe for paws
Natural walking experience
- Model71 pounds
If your dog weighs under 44 pounds, the 28 inches x 16 inches running area on this doggie treadmill for small dogs will suit them just fine. You can even use it to exercise more than one small dog. It has a low running platform that even dogs with mobility issues will find it easy to get on and off.
For easy operation, there is a remote control but you can also operate it manually if you would prefer. Both the speed and time of exercise are fully adjustable. The speed can be anything between 0.6 mph and 7.4 mph so there’s something to suit all dogs. There is a dog chain holder and an emergency stop button for safety. The motor operates very quietly so it will not startle your pooch and put them off exercising.
For dogs under 44 pounds
Can be used by dogs with mobility issues
Dog chain holder
Emergency stop button
- Weight81 pounds
Your dog can get endless exercise outdoors without having to leave your own back yard. This manual circular treadmill can be used by dogs who weigh up to 150 pounds and provides them with a running area that is 60 inches deep and 20 inches wide. A training door is included with the treadmill and there is a cushioned surface mat to provide comfort for dog foot pads.
This mildew resistant and UV resistant treadmill enables your dog to exercise off the leash and at their own pace because they control the speed. You can, however, adjust the tension so that it gives a more vigorous work out when needed. You can be confident that this puppy treadmill is completely safe and stable and your dog does not need to be supervised. It can be a useful distraction for your dog when you are out.
Can be used indoors or outdoors
Safe and does not require supervision
Padded surface mat for comfort
Tension can be adjusted
- Weight240 pounds
A safe and stable manual dog treadmill that requires no electricity. There is a brake feature that allows you to adjust the resistance to alter the running speed. There is also a soft, padded surface to run on. It comes in two sizes – the small size is suitable for dogs who weigh up to 25 pounds and provides a running area that is 40 inches deep and 12 inches wide.
This small dog treadmill is safe enough for your dog to use when you are not at home and provides limitless, leash-free exercise. Because it is UV resistant and easy to clean, it is suitable for outdoor use. It comes with a training door.
Can be used indoors and outdoors
Dogs do not have to be supervised
UV resistant and easy to clean
- Weight42 pounds
The Best Dog Treadmill Buying Guide & FAQ
Things to Look for in a Dog Treadmill
It is important that you buy a dog treadmill that is suitable for you and your dog. Here are some of the main features that you should look out for.
- The right size for your home: Will it fit into your house, apartment or yard? Check out the dimensions. Some can be packed away for easy storage and transport.
- The right size for your dog: Make sure that your dog can comfortably fit on the treadmill and walk without difficulty. The tread length of the treadmill should be twice as long as your dog.
- Indoor/outdoor use: Do you want to use the treadmill indoors or outdoors? The outdoor versions are often mildew resistant a UV resistant.
- Supervision: If you want to allow your dog to use the treadmill when you are out, you need a manual device that is safe for independent use.
- Manual or electric: Obviously, the electric versions will use some power and look much like a human treadmill. The manual versions look more like a hamster wheel.
- The right weight capacity for your dog: Treadmills used by dogs that are too heavy for them are not safe and will not last for very long! Weigh your dog and purchase an appropriate model so that your dog can get traction.
- Multiple speed settings: A treadmill with several speed settings can be used by more than one dog who have differing exercise requirements. Your younger dog may need a fast speed but your senior dog will need a more sedate pace. Sometimes, each dog will have more energy than at other times so variable speed is useful.
- Adjustable incline: An adjustable incline is a useful feature. As the incline increases, your dog will burn more calories. Small dogs may not be able to cope with an incline.
- Quiet operation: Dog treadmills should operate at low volumes. The motor will probably make some sort of noise. If your dog is very nervous, it would be worth contacting the manufacturer or reading the reviews to find out what the noise level is like.
- Extra features: These are the added extras that can make the dog treadwheel more appealing or easier to use. They include things such as a treat dispenser, emergency stop button, LED display or a comfortable walking mat.
Benefits of Using a Pet Treadmill
All dogs need some sort of exercise to keep them healthy and happy. Some breeds need more exercise than others and taking a dog for a walk is one of life’s true pleasures. The problem is that modern living can make that simple pleasure hard to achieve. It can hard to find suitable outdoor spaces, especially in urban environments. Also, all members of a household are often at work during the day and do not get home until late. Dog treadmills are the perfect solution. They provide valuable exercise for your pooch without having to leave your own home. Here are the main benefits that they bring.
- They allow exercise in bad weather: It’s not just owners that don’t like going outside in bad weather. There are many dogs who do not like the rain or snow. At the other end of the scale, it can be hard to exercise a dog outside in very hot weather because they can suffer from heat stroke. When you have a dog walker treadmill set up indoors, a walk will never be cancelled because of bad weather. In many climates, that is a significant benefit.
- They allow exercise at any time of the day or night: Pet owner surveys have shown that about half of dogs in the US are left alone during the day for between six and 10 hours whilst their owners are at work. That leaves a very small window of opportunity for exercise. A dog treadmill allows you to make the most of that opportunity. Exercise can take place at a convenient and safe time.
- They help to control obesity: Regular exercise is essential for controlling obesity in dogs. Sadly, obesity is a growing health problem for dogs in the US. It brings the risk of many complicated health issues. Dog treadmills are great for burning calories in an environment where you can closely watch your dog and end the session abruptly if needed. This is essential for overweight dogs or those with chronic health conditions.
- They are gentle on the body. Some dogs, especially seniors, suffer from joint issues. A treadmill provides a surface with shock absorption so there is less stress placed on the joints. Therefore, it is less painful and encourages your dog to exercise.
- They allow the freedom to run: If you live in a city, you may be familiar with many of the regulations requiring you to keep a dog on a leash. It can be almost impossible to find somewhere where they can run – unless you run with them! A dog treadmill allows them to run as fast as they want which is great for their cardio-vascular health. The strength of their muscles and their stamina will be improved.
- They help with boredom and separation anxiety: A bored dog is far more likely to suffer from separation anxiety when you are at work. The manual treadmills that do not require any supervision can be used by your dog when you are at work. This helps them to feel better and curbs undesirable behavior brought on by anxiety and boredom.
How to Teach a Dog To Use a Treadmill
Some dogs love treadmills and leap right on but others take a bit of time to get used to the idea. You can help your dog to feel more relaxed by setting up the treadmill in a way that will not put them off. Do not place it so that it faces a wall, your pooch will think that they are going to run into it!
It is best to turn off the treadmill completely (or put the brake on for manual models) so that your dog can explore it when it will not move and put them off. Let them play on it and offer them a tasty treat when they climb onto it. This builds a positive association with the treadmill.
Next, try getting on the treadmill yourself and turn it on. Show your dog how it works but leave it on the slowest setting at this stage. Encourage your pooch to get on the treadmill with you – you can use a leash for this if you want to - but you must stay at the front. Encourage your dog with verbal praise and treats.
Over time, you can increase the speed and build up the time that your dog spends on the treadmill. If your dog appears distressed or anxious at any time, end the exercise session and let them take a break before trying again.
The Best Dog Treadmill FAQ:
Q: Can my dog use a human treadmill?
A: Dogs cannot use human treadmills as they are not safe for canine use. The main danger is that there are exposed moving parts that could trap fur and cause a nasty injury. They also make a lot of noise and vibration and this is off-putting for most dogs. The side rails on a human treadmill are designed for humans and are therefore much too high for dogs. Also, human treadmills are unlikely to be long enough or wide enough to accommodate a large breed. Finally, the speed settings are unlikely to be appropriate for a dog.
Q: Are dog treadmills safe?
A: Dog treadmills are perfectly safe and can be a useful way to help tackle obesity in dogs. However, they must only be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. It is very important that you adhere to the weight and size limitations. Also, you must always supervise your pooch whilst they are on the treadmill, unless the instructions specifically state that this is not necessary. Never force your dog to use a treadmill if they do not want to as it will lead to anxiety.
Q: What size dog treadmill should I buy?
A: Treadmills come with details on weight limits and on the size of the running area. If you do not know the weight of your dog, you will need to weigh them at home or take them to your vet’s surgery.
You also need a running area that can comfortably accommodate your dog without causing them injury.
Our Top Pick
Our top pick of the best dog treadmill is both affordable and versatile. You can use it for small and medium dog breeds and it has a walking area of 38 inches x 16 inches.
The speed can be adjusted in 0.1 mph increments between 0.5 mph and 7.5 mph. It’s quick to set up and has bright red side guards to keep your pooch safe. It also comes with pre-installed exercise programs that your dog can follow for optimum health benefits.