Is your four-legged friend full of pent-up energy on rainy days or cold winter nights? Investing in a dog treadmill may provide the perfect indoor exercise solution to keep your pup fit and happy. With so many options on the market, it can be tricky to choose a dog treadmill that’s suited to your budget and your pet’s needs.
This comprehensive guide will take you through everything you need to know about selecting the ideal dog treadmill. From comparing top models to proper usage and safety, we’ve got you covered on helping your dog reap all the benefits of treadmill training. Let’s start taking steps toward getting your tail-wagger on the road to fitness!
Benefits of Dog Treadmills for Exercise and Training
Treadmills designed specifically for dog use provide considerable advantages:
- Get exercise when outdoor walks aren’t possible due to weather, health issues, or location constraints.
- Control the intensity by adjusting speeds to suit each dog’s fitness level and training needs.
- Provide mental stimulation in addition to physical activity for well-rounded enrichment.
- Use for training purposes like reinforcing heel positions, socialization, confidence building and more.
- Adjust duration of workouts based on your dog’s stamina and daily energy.
- Burn energy in dogs with an abundance of pent-up playfulness or anxiety causing misbehavior.
Regular treadmill sessions offer dogs both physical and mental health benefits for better all-around wellness.
Key Features to Look for in Dog Treadmills
To find the ideal dog treadmill for your pup, keep these top features in mind:
- Weight/size capacity to accommodate your dog’s growth if they are a puppy. Look for adjustable speeds.
- A speed range with a top speed of at least 5-8 mph for a challenging pace, and a low end around .5 mph.
- Safety guards to keep paws and snouts safe. Look for a handrail and emergency stop clip or button.
- Noise level should be minimal so as not to disturb humans or frighten dogs. Look for quiet, smooth motors.
- Easy cleaning because accidents happen! Non-slip surfaces and drip trays make cleaning simple.
- Adjustable incline from 0-10% grades adds variety to the workout.
With the must-have features covered, let’s look at some top dog treadmill models to consider.
Our Top Picks for Dog Treadmills
Based on value, features, quality, and overall performance for dogs, here are our top recommended models:
1. GoPet PR720F – Best for Small Dogs
The compact size and safety guards make the GoPet PR720F ideal for smaller breeds up to 44 lbs. With a top speed of 8 mph the PR720F challenges active pups. The 1.5 HP motor provides smooth speed adjustment between .5-8 mph. We love the handy treat tray for motivation and integrated bone-shaped handrail for stability. This feature-packed small dog treadmill comes in under $900.
2. DogTread Medium – Best for Large Dogs
The DogTread Medium caters to pups 45-100 lbs with its spacious 51″ x 21″ surface and commercial grade 3 HP motor. It reaches speeds up to 8 mph for a solid workout. With an emergency stop clip and safety guards, dogs stay secure. The low-friction belt allows for quick acceleration and deceleration. For heavy-duty performance with large dogs in mind, the DogTread Medium is a top choice under $1200.
3. GoPet TreadWheel – Most Affordable Quality
Delivering pleasing quality without blowing your budget, the GoPet TreadWheel keeps it simple. The traction surface makes running natural with adjustable speeds up to 7 mph. For small to medium dogs, the 33″ diameter wheel provides ample running space. With built-in treat dispensers for motivation and ** whisper-quiet operation**, this affordable option under $500 provides effective basic performance.
4. Dog Pacer LF Treadmill – High End Dog Treadmill
This premium dog treadmill spares no expense with performance and features. The 3 HP motor powers adjustable speeds up to 10 mph for intense dog sprints. The commercial grade belt provides superior traction and cushioning for dogs up to 175 lbs. The LCD console tracks distance, time, speed, and calories burned. Integrated fans prevent overheating. Though pricey over $2000, the Dog Pacer LF offers unbeatable quality and modern features.
Purchasing Tips for Dog Treadmills
Once you’ve settled on the right model for your pup, keep these tips in mind for purchasing:
- Measure your dog’s height at the shoulders and length from chest to tail to ensure proper sizing.
- Factor in your intended exercise duration and intensity for your dog to determine the ideal features.
- Consult your veterinarian if your dog has any health conditions or injuries to advise what exercise is appropriate.
- Look for free shipping or curbside delivery options to get bulky treadmills home easily.
- Ask about open box specials on high-end models to save substantially.
Doing your homework pays off with dog treadmills! Follow these tips to get the best match.
Setting Up Your Dog Treadmill Securely
Once your new dog treadmill arrives, use these tips for safe setup:
- Select a location with plenty of space around the machine and non-slip flooring.
- Check assembly and ensure all bolts are tightened before placing your dog on the belt.
- Make sure the equipment is properly grounded with a securely connected power cord.
- Test run the machine and make speed adjustments prior to putting your dog on the treadmill.
- Remove distractions around the treadmill space to keep your dog focused.
Proper setup keeps both you and your four-legged friend secure as they familiarize themselves with their new exercise equipment.
Using a Dog Treadmill Safely and Effectively
Getting the most out of your dog treadmill takes patience and the following safest practices:
- Place your dog on the turned-off treadmill to get them comfortable with the space before turning it on. Offer ample praise and treats.
- Securely clip on a safety harness to the console to automatically stop the machine if they fall or jump off.
- Start on the lowest speed and slowly increase over multiple sessions as your dog masters running form.
- Set exercise durations based on your dog’s age and fitness level, building up endurance over time.
- Supervise use 100% of the time – do not allow children or other pets on the treadmill.
- Offer frequent motivation with toys, treats, praise. Vary speeds for intervals to maintain interest.
- Watch for signs of fatigue like lagging behind the belt or panting. End sessions before your dog is exhausted.
Regularly rewarding and challenging your dog with proper treadmill training will boost their fitness safely.
Maintaining Your Dog Treadmill
Don’t forget about maintenance! Follow these tips to keep your dog treadmill performing properly:
- Frequently remove hair buildup from the belt and surrounding areas to prevent slipping or damage.
- Regularly inspect the deck and belt for signs of wear. Replace belt if fraying or cracking develops.
- Check belt tension and motor operation. Make repairs immediately to ensure safety.
- Only use pet-safe cleaners and avoid over-saturating electrical components.
- Lubricate the deck per manufacturer guidelines, usually every few months.
- Follow all maintenance instructions in the owner’s manual for optimal treadmill lifespan.
With proper care, a quality dog treadmill can provide exercise for years before needing replacement.
Answers to Frequently Asked Dog Treadmill Questions
Considering a dog treadmill still leaves many pet owners wondering:
How much does a decent dog treadmill cost?
Basic models can be found for $400-600. With more features and heavier weight capacities, expect to spend $600-1500+ for quality.
What size dog treadmill should I get?
Measure your dog’s length and height. Small dogs under 44 lbs need treadmills approx 3 ft long. Larger dogs up to 150 lbs need 4 ft+ length.
How can I get my dog comfortable on the treadmill?
Use treats to reward standing on it turned off. Secure a leash and walk beside them at first. Go slowly with praise and motivation.
How long is it safe for my dog to use the treadmill?
Start with 5-minute sessions and gradually build over 4-6 weeks toward 30-60 minutes of intermittent running based on your dog’s fitness and age.
What speed should I set the treadmill at for my dog?
Most dogs comfortably run around 3-5 mph. Puppies, seniors or dogs new to treadmills do best closer to 2 mph. Adjust based on fitness level.
How often can I use the treadmill to exercise my dog?
For most adult dogs with no health concerns, aim for 20-30 minutes of running 2-3 days per week as recommended by vets. Avoid overexertion.
What precautions should I take when using a dog treadmill?
Always supervise use. Secure with a safety clip. Increase speed gradually. Watch for exhaustion. Give breaks. Follow size guidelines.
How can I clean dog hair and odors from the treadmill?
Wipe the belt frequently. Spot clean accidents. Use an enzyme cleaner and vacuum underneath regularly. Avoid soaking electrical components.
What benefits does treadmill exercise offer my dog?
Indoor exercise for physical fitness, weight control, joint health, and heart health. Also provides mental stimulation. Dogs love running!
When should I stop my dog from running on the treadmill?
End a session if they lag behind the belt, pant excessively, nip or bite at the machine, or lose interest and focus. Let them rest and cool down.
We hope these dog treadmill tips get your pet on the path to better health! Please come to us with any other questions. Happy running!