Treadmills can help dogs to meet their exercise requirements or even to lose weight. These also give pet parents some time off from their dog-walking chores. These can be quite expensive, however. Regardless, for most people, the benefits simply outweigh any cost considerations they may have for such products. Having said that, we performed thorough testing and evaluation of the best dog treadmills currently available today to come up with a shortlist of what brands will be great for your dog and friendly on your pocket.
The 5 Top-Rated Dog Treadmills
1 DogPACER LF 3 1 Dog Pacer Treadmill
- Space-saving, foldable, compact, and lightweight design
- Fully programmable workouts
- Comes with pre-set exercise activities
- Powerful 1.5-hp motor but with whisper-quiet operation
- Maximum weight capacity: 180 pounds
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly pet treadmill that you can easily set up anywhere in your home, then the dogPACER LF 3.1 is for you.
One of the most outstanding features of the dogPACER is that it is so durable and sturdy that it can actually accommodate pooches weighing up to 180 pounds. This is made possible by an ultra-efficient and powerful motor that is currently rated at 1.5 horsepower at peak output.
The dogPACER also features programmable workouts so you can design the kind of exercise activity that your pooch requires. If you don’t want the hassle of programming the unit, dogPACER also comes with pre-programmed workout modes. It truly is an exceptional exercise machine for pooches especially when you consider its 71×16.5-inch running surface. There really is no reason why your dog will not get its exercise.
2 PETSITE Dog Treadmill
- Suitable for dogs up to 200 pounds
- 1.4-inch LCD display screen
- Safety key mechanism for emergencies
- Remote control
- Install in less than 20 minutes
- Built-in wheels for portability
This dog treadmill has an adjustable speed which only changes by 0.1MPH for each press of the speed buttons on the control panel. Your pup can run up to 7.5MPH or keep the pace nice and leisurely at 0.5MPH. On the same control panel, you will find an emergency stop key – this can be pulled in place of pressing stop on the machine or on the remote if your pup needs to get off the machine quickly for some reason.
The treadmill, itself, is a sturdy piece of doggy exercise equipment. The design has barriers on either side of the treadmill to stop your dog from just hopping off when they’re supposed to be working out, and the upper bar allows you to harness your dog into place. This machine is perfect for allowing you dog to go on their daily walks indoors, just in case you can’t take them outside or if they need to get some extra exercise in.
3 SHELANDY Pet Treadmill
- Good for dogs up to 25 inches long
- Automatically turns off after 30 minutes
- Included harness
- Easy to assemble
- Adjustable incline
- Emergency stop key
Built with sturdiness in mind, the Pet Treadmill by SHELANDY is a heavier dog treadmill that won’t be easily moved or knocked over by your pup. The treadmill comes with an adjustable harness that can strap your pup to the machine by hooking the lead up onto the top bar. By doing this, you can help guide your dog to walk forward, just like they would if they were outside on a traditional lead with you. The harness, when combined with the barriers on either side of the runway, will stop your dog from immediately getting off the machine when you’re trying to get them to exercise.
The control panel for SHELANDY’s Pet Treadmill is a simple design that has user friendliness in mind. The Auto function will automatically terminate the power of the dog treadmill after it has been running for 30 minutes, which will help make sure that your dog doesn’t overwork themselves but does get a good amount of exercise. The display screen will also tell you the distance they travelled while using the machine and the number of calories they’ve burned.
4 Goplus Dog Treadmill
- Dual side protection barriers
- Adjustable incline with three height settings
- Built-in wheels
- Remote control
- Safety key for emergency stops
- Rotatable display screen
With a sleek design, the Goplus Dog Treadmill is sure to catch your eye. This functional pet treadmill has a range of features, including built-in wheels for transportation and a remote control so that you can sit away from your pup while they’re exercising, but still have a safe amount of control over the machine. Goplus’ Dog Treadmill is the perfect purchase for small to medium sized dogs that need equipment to go on their walks indoors when the outdoor world is unsuitable.
The 1.4-inch LCD display screen for this model is rotatable, so you can easily angle it towards you while you’re sitting nearby. There’s also a safety key that can be pulled in case of emergencies. On the display screen, you’ll find a mode button that can activate 12 different settings on the machine, including various speeds. You can fully adjust this machine to meet your furry friend’s walking and running needs.
5 GoPet PR720F Dog Treadmill
- Suitable for dogs up to 132lbs
- Low running platform
- 52” x 16” tread running area
- Low running platform
- Safety stop and dog chain holder
- Quiet running with speeds from 0.6 – 7.5MPH
The GoPet Treadmill is designed for dogs up to 132 pounds. It provides a tread running area of 52 inches by 16 inches and has a low running platform for ease of access. The treadmill runs on either remote or manual control and includes both a speed and timer control. The safety of your pet is assured by the safety stop and the dog chain holder. It runs quietly thanks to its silent drive system and has speeds ranging from 0.6 MPH to 7.5 MPH.
The Best Dog Treadmill: Buying Guide & FAQs
We understand the apprehension of some dog owners when it comes to choosing the right dog treadmill to buy for their respective dogs. There are simply a lot of questions that need to be answered. In this section, we will help you decide whether your dog really needs a treadmill or not. We will also explore some of the benefits that these contraptions have to offer as well as the various safety guidelines that owners of dog treadmills have to observe.
What to Consider When Buying a Treadmill for Your Dog
In narrowing down your choices for the best dog treadmill, we recommend considering the following.
- Weight of Your Dog
Treadmills come in different sizes, often classified according to their maximum weight capacities. It is thus, important to look at the weight of your dog and choose a machine that can easily hold your pooch’s weight.
- The Programmability of the Machine
There are machines that can be programmed depending on the overall fitness of your dog. For highly active, very energetic pooches, setting the machine at high speed should be great. Unfortunately, they will not always be energetic. As such, you need a machine that you can easily adjust its speed settings.
- Portability and Ease of Setup
Like the human treadmill, pet treadmills are rather bulky, too. You might want to get something that is more lightweight and comes already assembled out of the box. If not, then choose one that requires very minimal effort to assemble.
Why Does Your Dog Need a Treadmill?
The world of dogs is actually divided when it comes to the use of a canine treadmill. This is quite understandable since the idea of limiting the exercise of our pooches on a contraption instead of letting them explore the great outdoors simply defies the principles of good pet parenting. If you ask a veterinarian whether it is good to have a treadmill for your pooch, you’d be surprised at the answer. In many cases it will depend on a variety of factors. To answer your question of whether your dog needs a treadmill or not, you might want to look at what the treadmill is for.
- For Physical Rehabilitation
Dogs that are suffering from a host of musculoskeletal problems and have undergone extensive treatments can benefit a lot from the use of a canine treadmill. This is because you can effectively control the amount of force upon which your dog will have to work against taking into full consideration its weakened state. What this simply means is that you can design a stepwise rehabilitation program for your pooch so that it improves in its mobility and slowly make its way towards full recovery. Walking your dog in the park means you don’t have control over the amount of work that your pooch will be exerting.
- For People Who Have No Time Walking Their Dogs
For those of us who are simply too engrossed in our work that we barely have spare time for ourselves, much less walking our dogs, getting a treadmill can help solve the problem as we don’t actually have to bring them out for a 30-minute walk. We can then use this 30 minutes or so to rest or perhaps even to do some more important things.
- For Dogs That Really Have High Levels of Energy
There are also instances that even after a walk or a run with our pooch, they will still have plenty of energy left once we arrive home. Rather than bringing them out again or punishing them by putting them in their kennel to let their energies subside, a better approach will be to let them run on the treadmill until they have used up all of their energy.
- For People Who May Have Physical Limitations
For individuals who really appreciate the value of walking or running with their dogs but cannot do so because of physical limitations or even a health condition that prevents them from walking or running long distances, a pet treadmill can help.
Now let us try to look at what people are saying about the negative things that are associated with the use of doggie treadmills.
- Doesn’t Provide Mental Stimulation
Compared to walking in the park where your dog can actually see, smell, hear, feel, and even taste a lot of things, limiting its activity to the canine treadmill robs your dog of the sensory and mental stimulation it needs to become a better-rounded hound. Of course, it will still see the environment inside your house, play with its toys that you attach to the treadmill; but, these are all too familiar to your pooch. These will not arouse your dog’s curiosity anymore.
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- Doesn’t Allow for Socialization
Walking or running outdoors allows dogs to interact with other dogs as well as other people which can help improve their socialization skills. Being on a treadmill robs them of this opportunity.
- Limits Doggie Movement to Running or Walking
In the park, dogs can sprint, jump, hop, roll over, dive, and perform a variety of stunts and tricks. They can play with other dogs or even play catch with their masters. Unfortunately, the treadmill only allows dogs to either run or walk. For many dog owners, this is simply not a good way to care for pet dogs.
With these pros and cons of a doggie treadmill, we hope you are now more empowered to decide whether your dog needs one or not.
What are the Benefits of Using a Dog Treadmill?
We already mentioned in the preceding section that doggie treadmills can provide a host of benefits. Here, we’ll try to list them down.
Going outside your home exposes you and your dog to a lot of risks especially if you go out at night or even through a busy street. Letting your pooch exercise on the treadmill eliminates these safety concerns. Furthermore, if you are particularly averse to bringing home pests like fleas, ticks, and mites, then restricting your pooches at home will be ideal. Additionally, this is perfect for dogs that may be allergic to pollen, pollution, or even weed. As they are not exposed to such allergens then they are a lot safer.
- All-Weather Exercise
The problem with exercising outdoors is that you have to watch out for the weather. You really cannot go outside if it’s raining or snowing heavily. Doggie treadmills allow your dog to exercise regardless of the weather outside.
- Exercise Anytime
This is one benefit that almost all owners of dog treadmills cite as their main reason for buying such a contraption. They no longer have to go outside and leave whatever work they have at home just to let their pooch have some exercise as the dog can do so right inside the home anytime.
- Programmed Fitness
Many dog treadmills come with programmable features. This means you can easily decide on the type of exercise that your dog will be performing today and use an entirely different exercise tomorrow.
Dog Treadmill Safety Tips
Because dog treadmills can provide a host of benefits for both the dog and its owner, it is a contraption that is often sought by those who have the budget to spare. However, it is crucial to observe some safety guidelines whenever your pooch is on the canine treadmill to safeguard both your dog and your expensive machinery.
Begin by introducing your pooch to its treadmill. You really don’t have to operate it yet. Simply train your dog to hop on and hop off the treadmill is enough to get them acquainted with this machine. Don’t forget to give treats or even praises every time they are able to hop on and off the treadmill without so much as coaxing from your end. Once they’re comfortable hopping on and off the machine, you can start operating it at the lowest setting.
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- Always start at the lowest possible speed. The idea is to help your pooch get acclimatized to the feeling of walking on a treadmill.
- Do not ever tie your pooch to the treadmill. One wrong move on the part of your dog can easily result in an injury or, worse, even death.
- It is imperative to supervise your pooch while it is on the treadmill. Never leave it alone as you simply cannot be over-confident that nothing bad will happen. If you cannot supervise your dog, make sure to have someone look after it.
- Always position the dog treadmill facing away from a wall. As much as possible, provide visual stimulation by facing the treadmill towards a large glass door or window that allows ample views of the outside environment. If you do decide to position the treadmill facing a wall, you might want to provide some other form of mental stimulation to help keep your pooch focused on walking and not on a blank wall.
Treadmills are excellent devices to help our pooches stay in perfect shape especially if we don’t have the time to walk them, if the weather simply won’t permit it, or if we are simply concerned for our and their safety. While it is true that there are certain issues that need to be addressed regarding the use of such devices, we can somehow manage these by providing additional mental stimulation as well as taking them out for a walk when time permits. And with the best dog treadmills, we have listed herein, you can bet that your dog will get the exercise it needs and the peace of mind you require.
- How to Train Your Dog to Use a Treadmill, Wag!
- Mikkel Becker, Can I Train My Dog to Use a Treadmill?, Vetstreet
Frequently Asked Questions
It is not advisable for dogs to use human treadmills for numerous reasons. Among the most important are:
- The length of the treadmill running area – human treadmills tend to be shorter than dog treadmills. This can cause problems, especially for larger dogs who need the additional length to accommodate their longer stride. Using a human treadmill can constrict their stride; changing their natural gait and potentially causing joint issues over time.
- Speed – human treadmills may not have slow enough speeds, particularly for small dogs. This increases the risk of injury to your dog.
- Width – as well as being too short, a human treadmill may be too narrow for your dog and can restrict natural body movement.
- Ventilation – human treadmills have ventilation systems to cool the motors. These systems are generally open, which means if used with a dog, there is a risk of hair, dirt, and other debris from your dog’s coat entering the cooling system and damaging the motor. In a high-quality dog treadmill, the motor is either enclosed or in a different position to help prevent dog hair from entering. Damage to your human treadmill done by dog hair is not likely to be covered under any warranty.
- Belt gaps – the built-in gap between the belt and the side of a human treadmill is another dangerous area for dogs. It is easy for claws or whole paws to get caught in these gaps.
- Belt height and end caps – human treadmills have higher belts, which would be more difficult for your dog to reach, particularly smaller dogs. Human treadmills also usually have large end caps, which could pose a danger to your dog.
- Vibrations and noise – human treadmills are not known for quiet running, and the noise could cause anxiety in your dog. Dog treadmills are specifically designed to run almost silently and with minimal vibration.
This depends greatly on your dog’s age and physical condition. A dog can use a treadmill daily for anywhere from five to 20 minutes. However, the length of time will also depend on the speed of the treadmill and how comfortable your dog is using the treadmill. Always start slowly and for short periods. If you are in any doubt, then speak to your local veterinarian.
It is important to check your manufacturer’s guidance before cleaning your dog’s treadmill. Most suggest wiping the belt and the edge of the belt with a soft damp cloth regularly. The belt can be given a more thorough cleaning with a nylon scrub brush, particularly if the belt is textured. This should be done around once a month. Vacuuming under the belt to remove dirt, debris, and dog hair is also recommended by most manufacturers. This again should be done every month. It is important to ensure that the treadmill is completely dry before either being stored or used again.
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One way to keep your dog interested on the treadmill is to vary the exercise that they do. Vary the speed at which they walk, the incline or decline where possible, and the length of time that they are on the treadmill. If you are using the treadmill as part of a weight-loss or recovery program, then changes in the exercise should be checked with your veterinarian. One of the easiest ways to keep your dog interested in the treadmill is to change its position and give them a range of different views while there are exercising.