Dog Treadmill

The 3 Best Dog Treadmills to Exercise Your Dog Indoors

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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See our advertising disclosure.

Best Dog Treadmills at a Glance

Do I Need a Dog Treadmill?

Do-I-Need-a-Dog-Treadmill

Yes, a dog treadmill can be a very useful tool for helping your dog do some indoor exercise. It is also practical when you or your dog are unable to go outside for a normal walk. 

Not all dogs will benefit from using a dog treadmill. Some dogs may simply not like the idea, while others may prefer traditional outdoor walks. 

In most cases, however, with the right training, any dog should get used to using their treadmill.  

Are Dog Treadmills Illegal?

No, dog treadmills are not illegal when used responsibly. The legal concerns associated with dog treadmills come from the inhumane practice of dogfighting. Dogfighting is a blood sport where two dogs are forced to fight each other for the audience’s amusement until one of the dogs can’t continue. 

Breeders who train dogs for fights use different tactics and exercise equipment to improve their strength, speed, and resilience. Unfortunately, one of those tactics is the otherwise harmless dog treadmill training. 

Dogfighting is illegal in many countries, including the United States. However, some breeders continue to hold these shows illegally. Twenty states, including New York, consider treadmills for dogs illegal but only if there is intent to use them for dogfighting training. 

Therefore, as long as you have no intention to involve your pooch in a fight, you can legally and happily use a dog treadmill.  

What are the Benefits of Dog Treadmills?

What-are-the-Benefits-of-Dog-Treadmills

From easy use and practicality to efficacy and comfort, dog treadmills come with several benefits. Namely, when used correctly and responsibly, dog treadmills are super useful. 

Here is a more detailed overview of the dog treadmill benefits. 

  • Indoor exercise. Dog walking on a treadmill can act as a temporary replacement or addition to outdoor dog exercise, for example during bad weather. It’s important to remember that a treadmill can’t fully replace outdoor walks. The outdoor activity provides many other benefits like mental stimulation that may not be realized on a treadmill. 
  • Weight loss. Overweight dogs can use treadmills to increase physical activity levels and eventually achieve fat loss. 
  • Warm-up and cool down. You can use a dog treadmill before a more intense exercise like hikes or runs to minimize the risk of injury or fatigue. A quick five-minute walk on a treadmill can improve your dog’s endurance during a long hike. 
  • Rehabilitation. For dogs that have been injured or suffered from mobility diseases like arthritis or hip dysplasia, a dog treadmill can help with recovery by improving mobility. Treadmills are actually also used in dog rehabilitation centers by professionals during physiotherapy sessions.
  • Reduces bad behavior. By providing something to focus on for a while, treadmill training can reduce destructive behavior caused by lack of stimulation. Instead of locking your stubborn pup up in a kennel, get her on a treadmill to keep her busy and get her mind off ripping your stuff apart.
  • Provides an option when you can’t walk your dog. Many reasons can stop a loving dog owner from being able to walk their dog, for example, an injury, bad weather, sickness, or even disability. In such a situation, walking your dog on a treadmill can act as an alternative until one is back on their feet again. 
  • Leash training. If you don’t yet trust your dog on a leash outside, you can test her out on a treadmill. Attach the leash on your dog while she is walking on the treadmill and see how she reacts. If she is not ready, you can keep practicing on the treadmill until she is. Dog training is usually much easier to do in the comfort of your home than outside in public. 
PETSITE Dog Treadmill
  • You can keep your pet indoors for exercise regardless of rainy days and bad weather.
  • Don't worry about your dog's safety. We have double safety mechanism to protect dogs, say, the safety key on the console can be pulled out to stop the treadmill at any time you find it dangerous for dogs, or you could simply press the "OFF" button on remote control to stop machine.
  • Made of premium ABS and iron pipe, giving this treadmill an solid construction and strong load bearing of 200lbs, sturdy enough to hold your dog.

What is the Best Dog Treadmill Brand?

The best dog treadmill must safely provide a walking surface for your dog while still being functional to you. When choosing the best treadmills, we looked at the features below and selected the brands that scored highest in all, or at least most of them. 

  • Weight Capacity
  • Wide and adjustable speed settings
  • Incline
  • Size and weight
  • Running space
  • Price
  • Additional features like an LCD screen display or remote control
  • Manual or Motorized

The Best Dog Treadmill Reviews

With so many dog treadmill brands, finding the right one for your dog can be a challenging task. To make the process more straightforward we have reviewed the best treadmills for dogs on the market. 

PETSITE Dog Treadmill

PETSITE-Dog-Treadmill

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Summary: The PETSITE treadmill is designed for small and medium-sized dogs. It has an impressively high weight capacity of 200 lbs and comes with a good variety of accessories. Plus, with a built-in safety key and protective side panels, the treadmill ensures dogs are at no risk when running.  

Pros

  • High weight capacity (200 lbs)
  • Convenient safety key and side panels 
  • Includes remote control 
  • High-tech LCD screen display
  • Easy to assemble (20 minutes) 

Cons

  • No remote control for inclination 
  • Only suitable smaller dogs and medium dogs

Speed and Incline: The speed range is 0.5 to 7.5 miles per hour and can be adjusted with a plus or minus button under the display (by 0.1mph). Three incline positions are available: flat ground, slope climbing, and long-distance race.

Size and Weight: The treadmill weighs 49 pounds with dimensions of 49″L * 21″W * 28″H. The running surface is 38 inches long. 

Additional Features: Remote control for adjusting speed. LCD display shows the speed, time, calories burned, and distance. Safety keys and side panels for extra protection. 

Review: Customers that have tried the PETSITE treadmill love it. Most appreciate how quickly their dogs learned to love it and how easy it is to operate. 

LifePro Dog Treadmill

LifePro-Dog-Treadmill

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Summary: The LifePro is another favorite among small dog owners. The treadmill works especially well for timid dogs as it has a very quiet motor when running. Plus, it has as many as 12 preset exercise programs. Among common treadmill brands, it also happens to be one of the most affordable ones. 

Pros

  • Very quiet motor
  • Safety key for emergency stop
  • Remote control
  • Side fabric panel in case a dog falls off
  • Fits in a small space
  • LCD display

Cons

  • Low maximum weight (130 lb) 

Speed and Incline: The speed range is 0.5 to 7.5 miles per hour. 

Size and Weight: The treadmill’s dimensions are 48”L * 22.8”W * 42”H making it suitable for smaller spaces. 

Additional Features: Remote control for adjusting

Review: The LifePro has very positive Amazon reviews, with most commending how easy the treadmill is to set up and use. Even better, most dogs love it just as much as their owners do, maybe even more. 

dogPACER Full-Size Dog Treadmill

dogPACER-Full-Size-Dog-Treadmill

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Summary: The dogPacer treadmill is built for big dogs but can also be used for small dogs. It has a large running area and high weight capacity to ensure that most large dogs can fit on it. Despite its large size, it is very easy to store due to its ability to fold down to a smaller size. 

Pros

  • Foldable for easy storage 
  • Ideal for large breed dogs
  • Large running platform
  • Wide speed range (0.5mph – 7.5mph)
  • Non-motorized treadmill design 

Cons

  •  Heavy and takes up a lot of space 

Speed and Incline: The speed range of the dogPACER is 0.5 to 7.5 mph and can be increased by 0.1mph at the press of a button. There are four incline settings that can be adjusted manually: 5 degrees, 6.5 degrees, 7.5 degrees, and 9 degrees. 

Size and Weight: When open the dimensions are 76.77″L * 27.16″W * 46.18″H and when closed, 42.28″L * 22″W * 8.5″H. Weight is 97 lbs. The treadmill’s running area is 71″L X 16.5″W, allowing enough space for your dog to walk. 

Additional Features: The product has a one-year warranty in case something goes wrong. It also has a bar to attach a dog’s leash, but this practice is highly discouraged as a dog can get choked if it were to go off the treadmill unexpectedly. Finally, it comes pre-loaded with exercise programs that your dog can try out. 

Review: The dogPACER Lf 3.1 comes highly recommended by its current users. Customers describe it as easy to use, enjoyable, and ‘worth the money.’ 

How do You Teach a Dog to Use a Dog Treadmill?

How-do-You-Teach-a-Dog-to-Use-a-Dog-Treadmill

 

Treadmill training is a step-by-step process that starts with familiarizing your dog with the treadmill and eventually running full sessions.

Step 1: Getting on and off the treadmill. To encourage your dog to get onto the treadmill, you will have to use some incentive such as a treat for encouragement. 

Come with a cue like “hop up” and when they get on to the treadmill, offer a treat. Use another cue to get her off the treadmill and when she does offer a treat and shower her with compliments and praise. 

Step 2: The sound of the treadmill. The sound of the treadmill can be upsetting to a dog, so you will have to work to get her used to it as well. With your dog off, let the treadmill run with the sound and see how she reacts to it. 

Some dogs might not be moved, while others might get absolutely demotivated. Teach your dog to associate the sound with a good feeling by offering a treat every time the sound comes on. 

Step 3: Start using the treadmill. When your dog is used to the sound of the treadmill, get her to stand on it while it is running at its lowest speed. 

If need be, offer some treats for encouragement. In the beginning, you should keep the sessions brief, preferably between 2 to 5 minutes. 

Step 4: Increases speed and duration. After a few days on the treadmill, increase your dog’s running time by 2 to 3 minutes every session to slowly build endurance. 

Do not increase speed and duration at the same time. This can overwhelm your dog and potentially cause injuries. Choose to work on either speed or duration in each session but not both. 

How Long Should a Dog be on a Treadmill?

A dog shouldn’t be on a treadmill for more than 30 minutes at a time. This only goes for fully treadmill-trained dogs. Dog needs are different therefore, those that are just starting their treadmill training should only use the treadmill for as long as they are comfortable. 

Injured, sick, or senior dogs may not be able to last 30 minutes on a treadmill. They should only be on the treadmill for 10 to 15 minutes. If possible, their training can be done in two sessions, one in the morning and the other in the evening. 

Stop treadmill training as soon as you notice any signs of exhaustion in your dog, like panting or limping. Never ford your dog run on the treadmill. 

Can Dogs Use Human Treadmills?

Yes, they can if they are a small or toy breed. On the other hand, you shouldn’t use human treadmills for large dogs because they do not have enough walking space. 

Human treadmills are made for beings with two legs, not four. Large four-legged animals would therefore have to shorten their gait when using the treadmill, which would be very unnatural and uncomfortable. 

Even though small breed dogs do well on a human treadmill, it is important to remember that the machine is not designed to cater to a dog. 

Pet treadmills come with extra features that make them extra suitable for pets like sides to keep them from falling, a wider walking surface, and a quieter sound. 

 

Sources

https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/health-and-dog-care/health/health-and-care/a-z-of-health-and-care-issues/arthritis/

https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/teach-puppy-walk-leash/

https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/behavioral/c_dg_destructive_behavior/

https://dogpackr.com/10-signs-and-symptoms-your-dog-is-over-tired-or-exhausted/

https://veterinaryemergencygroup.com/blog/dog-limping-suddenly/