The idea of a treadmill may sound ridiculous but it makes sense for dog owners who don’t have time to exercise their pets. Adverse weather can also prevent one from taking their dog out for a walk on the planned day. A dog treadmill solves these problems and provides your pooch with an exercise outlet. Like human treadmills, dog treadmills use a conveyer belt to keep your pup moving without the hassle of walking large terrains. Some manufacturers have even designed treat baskets and other motivational features to start your pup running.
There are many benefits of getting a treadmill for your dog. It would come in handy for someone whose pup is energetic and doesn’t get along with other dog. It’s also helpful for a pup that just underwent surgery or suffers from arthritis and requires a gentle exercise regime. All of these are valid reasons why investing in a dog treadmill is a good idea.
A quick overview of the top doggy treadmills available
5 - 9 Degrees
0.5 to 7.5 MPH
Exercise Multiple Dogs
0.6 - 7.4 MPH
For Dogs up to: 150 pounds
Running Area: 60 D X20 W
Programmable Speed ( 0-5 mph)
Run Area: 30x14 inches
Perfect for Small Dogs and Small Spaces
Great for when the weather doesn't suit your workout needs!
Speeds from 0.6MPH to 3.7MPH
Runway size 31" x 11"
For Dogs Up to 265 Pounds
Speed from0.6 - 7.5 MPH
For Dogs Up to 88 Pounds
Exercise Multiple Dogs.
Speed can be set from .5 MPH up to 7.5 MPH
For dogs weighing up to 55 lbs
For Dogs Up to 175 Pounds
Silent driving system for very quiet operation
Dog treadmills vs. human treadmills: What’s different?
You may be wondering, “Why not just buy a human treadmill for my dog?” The truth is, you can use the same equipment for dogs. Out of the many options that the market offers, chances are high that you can find good alternatives for dogs. While that is the case, there are certain differences that explain why dog treadmills are better. Take a look at the following factors.
- Human treadmills come with motors that are encased with large ventilation that allows air to flow in and out of the system freely. However, the motors in dog treadmills are located in a separate, tightly sealed area. This prevents dirt and dog hair from accumulating, thus preventing breakdowns.
- The screens and control panels of ordinary treadmills are often located within the workout area so that users can control their preferred settings. The position of the console is one that allows humans to change settings conveniently is outside the tread.
- Dogs have a keen sense of sound and the loud vibrations of ordinary treadmills may scare them away. The quieter mechanism of dog treadmills allows your pup to exercise without interruptions.
- Human treadmills have a wide running area that can accommodate them. Dogs, however, require a smaller area to keep them in place. High quality dog treadmills come with a unique treading belt and security belt for your pup’s comfort.
Here's our pick of the Best treadmill for dogs available
If you want to get your pup on a regular workout regime and don’t have time to take him to the park, a dog treadmill can prove a worthy investment. And while there are plenty of options available, below are reviews of our top picks.
DogPacer Dog Treadmill
This could be what you are looking for if you are thinking of dipping your toe in the water and getting the first treadmill for your pooch. The purchase is inclusive of the overhead bar. In addition, it comes with variable programs for both incline and speed, much like the ones in a real gym. Highlights of the DogPacer Dog Treadmill include Lifetime manufacturer’s warranty on the frame, 1 year manufacturer’s warranty on the motor, customizable exercise programs to suit each dog, compact folding design and suitable for small living environments. The treadmill features a 1.5 horsepower motor whose belt runs at speeds of 0.5 – 7.5 MPH. It is marketed for dogs weighing up to 120 pounds and for a more intense training; you can set the incline up to nine degrees. The removable side panels ensure the dog faces forward so that he doesn’t step off the treadmill. For more on this dog treadmill in action
GoPet PetRun PR700
GoPet is a company known for its premium quality dog treadmills. They began a few years ago with the Exercise Wheel which encloses your pet then the PetRun PR700. The model can be controlled remotely or manually. It also comes with a timer and speed control. It is designed to keep small, active dogs of up to 45 pounds active. It is easy to fold and store away when not in use, making it ideal for apartments and other small living spaces. The low platform makes it easy to train your dog to climb on, walk and run without the fear of falling off. Other features that make the GoPet PetRun PR700 useful for your dog include a safety lock system, wireless remote controls and quiet operation with a silent driving system. The treadmill also comes with easy to follow training guides and if you need more information about a specific breed or personality, the company’s training professionals are available via phone to offer advice.
Designed for small dogs, the GoPet TreadWheel comes with a cushioned durable matted surface that ensures protection for your pup’s foot pads as he exercises. This treadmills is a free standing device that allows your pooch to run for as long as their heart desires or at least till you get him out. The best this about the TreadWheel is that even when not at home, your dog can still run or walk to relieve boredom. The running area measures 40” D by 12” W and the wheel measures 44” H by 30” D by 40” W. The GoPet TreadWheel is ideal for dogs weighing up to 25 pounds. It is powered by the pet and a motor as many would expect. In addition, its design makes it suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. While there are models of this designed for cats, you should look elsewhere if your dog has a bad back.
PetZen DogTread Treadmill
The purchase of a PetZen DogTread treadmill allows you to keep your pup in shape while keeping behavioral problems at bay. It is designed with small dogs in mind as it’s programmed to think like one. It features rails on both sides that help control the gait of your pooch while he’s running on the treadmill. It is perfect for dogs that weigh up to 30 pounds. Highlights of this affordable device include an open stride profile that design that simulates real running and walking, programmable distance, time and speed, pre-programmed workouts, portable and durable for years of use, quiet and free of vibrations, slime line space saver design as well as a run area of 30 inches by 14 inches. The pre-programmed workouts help teach your dog the concept of obedience through routine behavior. The main downside is that the treadmill is not suitable for dogs with longer legs
Small Dog Treadmill Premium K9 Fitness Kit
This is a portable dog treadmill that features a space saving design that allows you to transport and store anywhere. The manual flip-bar incline provides plenty of training flexibility, thus allowing you to adjust the required intensity that simulates outdoor terrain. Notable features include:
- Remote control for additional training versatility
- Space-saving design
- LCD console inclusive of Program Speed, Distance and Time for every workout
- Sturdy and attractive dog-friendly design
- Quiet motor
- Transportation wheels that allow you to move the treadmill anywhere
- Low training fence that provides a natural, outdoor running platform for more comfortable workout as well as recessed treat holder
Confidence Power Walker
If your budget doesn’t allow you to get a special treadmill for your beloved pooch, the Confidence Power Walker is a good option. This budget pick is a fitness treadmill designed for humans but that doesn’t mean that it won’t work great for your dog. It is a small treadmill that comes with a compact tread. It spans 31” by 11” making it suitable for both small and large dogs weighing up to 198 pounds. Consumers love it for its pocket-friendly price tag, practical usage not to mention lightweight features. It is perfect for less-impactful rides and has a maximum speed of 6 km/hr, which is ideal for your pup’s regular jogging.
GoPet PR730 Premium Dog Treadmill
What if you own a large dog? Does it mean that the world of dog treadmills is closed to you? After all, most of the items on this list are suitable for small breeds. The GoPet PR730 Dog Treadmill is designed for dogs that weigh up to 265 pounds. It comes with a longer belt measuring 98 inches long, thus suitable for dogs up to 56 inches long. It is anything but portable, out of necessity to suit large breeds. The major disadvantage of this treadmill is that it is pricey. If money is an issue, you may want to look elsewhere as the whopping sized price tag may not fit your budget.
GoPet PR710 Foldable Dog Treadmill
This exercising kit is designed for dogs weighing up to 88 pounds. It comes with a silent driving motor and has a running area of 42 inches by 16 inches. It is provided with a Dog Leash Holder Emergency Cord for safety purposes. One of the best things about it is that you can use a vacuum wand to clean and remove dog hair. The Air Cylinder Auto-Fold design allows for easy storage. Other features include remote control for versatile workouts, safety lock system, low running platform, dog chain holder, and emergency safety stop. It has a maximum speed of 0.6-7.4 MPH.
MiniPacer Doggie Treadmill by DogPACER
As the name suggests, this treadmill is specially designed for small dogs although it can also accommodate medium-sized breeds. The maximum weight that it can hold is 55 pounds, making it perfect for small labs and other similar-sized dogs. It comes with side walls that are a removable, which makes for a nice customization feature. While the quality is great, what I love most about this model is that it is foldable. If you have ever owned a treadmill, you know that the last thing you want is to have it sitting in the living room. The MiniPacer folds up nicely.
GoPet PetRun PR725
This unit from GoPet is one of the PetRun professional dog treadmills designed for active pups. Foldable and easy to store, it has a very low running platform that makes it easy for your pooch to climb on, walk and run without fear or falling off. It features a silent driving system for quiet operation, safety lock system and wireless remote controls. The treadmill comes with 1 year warranty and provides immense benefits for your dog including regular workout routine, weight loss and emergency safety lock. It has a speed limit of 1-7.5 MPH, perfect for dogs weighing up to 130 pounds.
What to look for when shopping for a dog treadmill
When in the market for dog treadmills, there are a few factors that should have in mind. Cost, functions speed and size are important considerations to be made. You should decide whether you want a treadmill that’s powered by your pup or a motorized one.
One of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a dog treadmill is size. Large dogs that have longer gait need to be able to walk naturally on a treadmill to prevent injuries. On the other hand, small dogs may be intimidated by large treadmills and hence refuse to run on them. You want to ensure that what you buy has enough room for your pup to exercise safely.
The speed of your treadmill should be determined by the needs of your dog. A high-powered treadmill would benefit a very active dog that needs to burn off excess energy while motorized treadmills are ideal for dogs that are recovering from an injury as you get to decide the speed.
Another thing to think about is the functionality that particular models offer. Some allow you to adjust the incline and speed to mimic regular walks outdoors. Other models also have a function that allows one to program resistance and distance. Whatever you purchase, ensure that it comes with safety collar clip. This is particularly important if you purchase a motorized dog treadmill. The clip stops the treadmill in the event that your pup slips or falls, thus preventing injuries.
Keep in mind that depending on the functions and size you choose, treadmills can prove costly. Those designed for large breeds cost more than those designed for small dogs. Also expect to pay more for a motorized treadmill as compared to a dog-powered treadmill. And while on the topic of cost, note that a treadmill with more functions will costly compared one with fewer functions. Generally, treadmills can cost anything from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.
Tips for first-time dog treadmill users
An important task that you will be faced with after choosing a dog treadmill is training your pup. Here is a summary of important pointers noted by Dr. Karen Becker of Mercola Health Pets in this Huffington Post article
- Placement of dog treadmills is important. Ensure that you place it in an open area away from the walls. The reason is that walking into an immovable space confuses your dog.
- Allow your pup to stand on the treadmill and practice staying on it with the motor off. This will give him an opportunity to get used to the position as well as feeling of new equipment.
- Whether climbing the belt makes your dog excited or reluctant, it’s important that you handle the behavior with patience. You can try standing on the belt with him and only get off when he starts to feel confident.
- Start the treadmill with the dog on a leash. Begin with low speed and low incline while standing next to your dog. This gives the illusion that you are walking the treadmill with him. Repeat this until the dog is comfortable using the treadmill on his own.
- While dog treadmills are mostly quiet, this doesn’t mean that they don’t produce any noise. Allow your pooch time to get used to the vibrating noises of the workout equipment.
- Build up the sessions to a minute, five minutes, ten minutes and so on until the dog can handle the desired time length. As he gets better, you can experiment with speed settings and incline to give him a more challenging workout.
- Reward good performance with treats to increase their interest in working out.
- Consult with a vet if you are a concerned about discomforts resulting from indoor jogging sessions.
All of the products reviewed above made one thing clear – there are plenty of dog treadmills to choose from. It's now up to you to decide which is the best treadmill for your dogs.
The right one depends a lot on what your priorities are as well as your budget. For those living in small apartments, the MiniPacer is a great choice it folds up nicely so that you can store it away when not in use. The PetZen DogTread Dog Treadmill is a viable option for those who own multiple dogs.
It offers many training options and the manual makes it simpler for those who are nervous about using a treadmill.