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Last updated: 26 Oct 2019

The Best Dog Treadmills (Review) in 2019

dogPACER LF 3.1 Dog Pacer Treadmill

dogPACER LF 3.1 Dog Pacer Treadmill

GoPet PR720F Dog Treadmill

GoPet PR720F Dog Treadmill

DogTread Small Dog Treadmill

DogTread Small Dog Treadmill

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Olivia Williams
By Olivia Williams
Published 15:59 pm

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 a 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 Best Dog Treadmill

1

dogPACER LF 3.1 Dog Pacer Treadmill
dogPACER LF 3.1 Dog Pacer Treadmill

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.

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

Specification:
  • Brand: dogPACER
  • Model: DP-LF31
  • Weight: 97 pounds

2

DogTread Small Dog Treadmill
DogTread Small Dog Treadmill

With a run area of about 30 by 14 inches, the Small PetZen DogTread is the perfect exercise machine for your small breed dog or even puppy. This puppy treadmill is quite expensive, though, as it can easily net almost twice the price of the dogPACER. Nevertheless, its sturdy construction, unique design, and programmable settings can truly make up for its price. The running platform is quite low so there should be no issue for your small pooch getting on and off the DogTread. Additionally, it has a maximum speed setting of 5 mph and you can also set your preferred time and distance settings. If not, you can always select one of the workouts that are already pre-programmed into the DogTread.

Low profile walking and running platform

Fully programmable distance, speed, and time

Pre-programmed workout sessions

Space-saving, portable, and durable design

Requires very minimal assembly

Maximum weight capacity: 30 pounds 

Specification:
  • Brand: DogTread
  • Model: PZ-1701r
  • Weight: 47 pounds

3

Priced slightly higher than the dogPACER, the GoPet Petrun Pr700 treadmill for dogs is a neat looking exercise machine built specifically for small to medium sized dogs that weigh no more than 44 pounds. What makes this one of the best dog treadmill units in the market is that it comes with a remote controller, allowing you wireless access and control of the various programmable and preset workout programs on the GoPet Petrun. It comes with two safety features, too, one that secures the running platform against accidental operation and another for emergency stopping of the treadmill operation.

The emergency stop mechanism is found both on the remote controller and on a button on the side of the GoPet Petrun. Personally, we prefer using the remote controller. The GoPet Petrun Pr700 is an amazing buy that marries economy with safety and efficiency.

Comes with a remote controller

Quiet and smooth operation

Low profile running platform

Rolling stop safety feature on remote and on unit

Maximum weight capacity: 44 pounds 

Specification:
  • Brand: GoPet
  • Model: PR700
  • Weight: 81 pounds

4

Imagine a gigantic hamster wheel and you’ve got the GoPet Treadwheel. As the name implies, this is a wheel type of exercise machine that is a lot similar to the exercise wheels of pet hamsters and other small furry pets. One of the most amazing things about the Treadwheel is that you don’t have to worry about any electric consumption as it is powered by your pet’s legs. The Treadwheel comes in 2 sizes. Its small version can accommodate canines as heavy as 25 pounds while its larger variant can easily hold pooches as heavy as 150 pounds. The door on the wheel can be easily locked into place and the brake system is integrated with adjustable resistance levels so you can increase the workout performance you may require from your pet. We find its price to be a bit prohibitive for a machine that doesn’t run on electricity or doesn’t come with programmable features though. 

Non-electric wheel design

Fully adjustable resistance levels

Durable, padded cushion

Maximum weight capacity: 25 pounds

Specification:
  • Brand: GoPet
  • Model: CG4012
  • Weight: 42 pounds

5

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.

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

Specification:
  • Brand: GoPet
  • Model: PR720F
  • Weight: 123 pounds

Best Dog Treadmill Buying Guide & FAQ

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.

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.

  • 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 on 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.

labrador puppy standing on treadmill

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 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.

Dog on a treadmill in the hall

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.

  • Safer 

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.

  • 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.

Dog training in the fitness club

Best Dog Treadmill FAQ:

Q: Can dogs use human treadmills?

A: 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 danger 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.

Q: How long can a dog run on a treadmill?

A: 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.

Q: How do I clean my dog treadmill?

A: It is important to check your manufacturer’s guidance before cleaning your dog 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.

Q: My dog seems bored with the treadmill, what can I do?

A: 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.

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Sources:

  1. Treadmills for Dogs - A Good Idea? - PetMD
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