Just as it is with humans, exercise is extremely important for dogs. It keeps their bones healthy and strong. It also keeps their muscles and joints flexible and limber. It also helps to keep a dog at a healthy weight, or even lose weight in the event he may be a little on the chubby size. (Though, we know that a little chubby only means an extra bit of pup to hug and love.) Treadmills are an excellent way for a dog to get that exercise that they so badly need.
There are other things that your dog treadmill will help you with too. Read more below to find out what those are.
Why Should I Get a Dog Treadmill?
Long Tiring Days -
Treadmills benefit you as a dog owner in that it is an alternative to running with or walking him. Let’s face it. Sometimes life gets hectic and there just isn’t enough time in your day to do everything you want, including taking your dog for a walk or run.
Or, while your fur-baby has been lounging around on your couch all day, you’ve been running ragged working and getting chores done. Unfortunately, exercising with him after a long day can become another one of those chores.
High Energy Dog Breeds -
And what about your high energy dog? Collies, shepherds, retrievers and other breeds are working dogs. They have a lot of energy that they need to burn off. (Energy at times that we wish we had.)
No matter how hard you try, it just takes a lot of work for them to burn up that energy. Exercise equipment like a treadmill will help you with that.
Overweight Canines -
While a few extra pounds on your pup may not be a significant concern, several pounds can be detrimental to your fur-baby’s health. While cutting back on the food and treats help, exercise is another component of the weight loss recipe.
A treadmill allows for your four-legged kid to take multiple walks through the day. While you get other things done in the same location that the machine is, he is getting a workout in.
Weather that is Unpredictable –
Have you ever been caught taking your pup for a walk and all of the sudden a down pour comes upon you? Have you wanted to go for a run with your kid and the thunder and lightning kept you indoors instead? Unpredictable and inclement weather can detour the walk you want your dog to have.
A treadmill gives you the ability to treat your dog to a walk or run. And, you don’t have to feel guilty about not helping get one in.
Now admittedly, a treadmill can be a little more expensive than you would like. However, the benefit your dog and you get from that machine is worth when you see how helpful it is to you and your doggy.
Walking outside can be dangerous for you and your dog. Nighttime walking can pose risks due to the inability to see everything in your surroundings. A loose dog with an aggressive behavior can approach your dog at any time. Depending on where you live, there may be other animals that reside in that area to which can cause extreme danger to your beloved pet.
Walking or living by a busy road can also be dangerous in an instance where your precious pooch can potential come out of his collar. Or, perhaps the area surrounding you home is also place where fleas and ticks inhabit and you do want your dog to come home with them.
Programmed Fitness Routine –
Taking your dog for a walk or run is typically based upon your desires, not his. His level of performance may be different than yours and with a treadmill with various speed settings, your canine can get a workout that it just right for him.
The good news is that there are a number of options that are available to choose from when it comes to owning a treadmill for your four-legged companion. The options include your pup’s safety, the cost of the equipment, and the weight of the machine, how heavy of a dog it can carry, and more.
Fortunately, we have done the research for you to help you find the best treadmills for large dogs that are on the market today.
Let's take a look... comparing the equipment
DogPACER LF 3.1
The best option for exercising your dog indoors or outdoors, helping to keep your dog fit.
A large running surface at 71" L X 16.5" W.
110V electric motor
Goes from .5 - 7.5 mph (0.1 increments at a time). Built-in programs.
GOPET PetRun PR720F
Optional inclosable sides.
Easy mobility with toy attachment available.
1 to 10 mph using Push button controls to increase and decrease speeds.
1 year warranty
Running area is 25" W X 98" L
Designed for a smaller dog and allows for smaller spaces to accommodate the treadmill. Carbon steel construction supports up to a 55lb. dog. Lifetime warranty on the frame, limited warranty on parts and craftmanship.
Durable, cushioned mat surface. Odometer, brake and other features available on various models. Up to 250lbs for large dogs. Adjustable wheel resistance to allow for speed variations.Tension control.
Wireless remote control with 1.4'' LCD for easy viewing of speed data. Safety key for dog and you. Easy to install. Three adjustable heights.
Tips for Treadmill Safety for your Dog
Start Slow - When starting to teach your dog to walk on a treadmill, begin the movement of the belt on the machine at the lowest speed possible. If this is the first time your fur baby is using the equipment, getting familiar with the workings of the treadmill will be necessary. Beginning at that low speed helps him to get acclimated with how it works and what he is supposed to do.
Supervise your dog – It important that someone is also watching the dog while he is using the treadmill. Unknown or unexpected things can occur while the machine is in operation with him on it. You cannot provide immediate attention to your pooch and help him if you are not around to see problem. That could result in serious injury to your precious pup.
Monitor temperature – Regardless of whether you dog is using a dog treadmill indoors or outdoors, temperatures are still a concern. Temperatures outside your home can be extremely hot or even cold. Temps inside your home can raise a question too.
Heatstroke can occur in temperatures that are too hot or even warm for your dog. Frostbite and hypothermia are a concern when your dog is running in temps that are too cold.
Be sure also that the treadmill is not exposed to extreme heat or cold. Having your dog step on a hot or frozen belt can burn his paws or give him frostbite on his paws.
Visible signs for trouble – Watch your pup for warning signs that indicate he is struggling with his exercise. If he is on the machine and showing signs of lameness, heavy breathing or tiring easily, turn the machine off. Remove him from the equipment and take him to your veterinarian.
Positioning of Treadmill – Be sure to place the equipment in a place that allows for a “scenic” view. Don’t turn the equipment towards the wall. Viewing other activity provides a form of mental stimulation. Without that, the dog can grow weary and tired of the exercise which eliminates its purpose in the first place.
Placing a treadmill against the wall would be similar to you running in place, looking at the wall. It creates a boring experience with no motivation to continue running.
Frequently Asked Questions about Having Your Dog Use a Treadmill
Can my dog use a treadmill that is made for humans?
While it is possible to have your dog use a human treadmill, it is definitely not advisable. This is true for many reasons. See them below.
- Length of area for running – the belt on a human treadmill is typically shorter than a dog treadmill. The longer strides that your dog may have can cause him to fall off the back of the treadmill depending on the speed at which he is running. If he has to change his gait because his stride has been limited, that can cause problems with his joints over time.
- Width of a treadmill for humans – Just as a human treadmill can be too short for your canine friend, it can be too narrow as well. Humans treadmills tend to run narrower than a treadmill for a dog does.
- Gaps in the Belt – The gap between the belt and the side of the equipment that humans use can be considerable larger than that of the dog equipment. Your dog can get his paw caught between that gap and cause serious harm to him.
- Treadmill Speed – The machines humans use generally do not have a proper speed to accommodate dogs. If your dog needs to begin slowly, the machine for human use may not offer that speed.
- Noise and Vibration – Treadmills for humans are necessarily designed with noise and vibration in mind. Therefore, those machines may be louder and more shaking. A piece of equipment that is noisy and shakes a lot can be disturbing for your canine and cause him anxiety. The equipment used for dogs is designed to be silent and have the least amount of vibration as possible.
How long can my dog run on a treadmill?
The answer to this question depends on many factors. One of those is the physical condition and age of your pup. The speed at which he is running on the treadmill can also influence the time he spends on the treadmill, as well as how comfortable he is on the equipment.
Your dog can use the treadmill anywhere from a 5 to 20 minute time frame everyday dependent on how old he is and what kind of condition his in physically, as well as his speed and comfort.
You should always consult your veterinarian for guidance on the use of the equipment, especially if you are unsure of the duration of your dog’s use, or any other questions you may have.
What cleaning does the treadmill require?
The equipment manufacturer should provide directions for how to care for the machine. The typical guidance given to care for the treadmill is to wipe the belt, including the belt’s edge, on a frequent basis. A damp soft cloth should be used for this purpose. Cleaning the belt more thoroughly can be done by using a scrub brush made of nylon. This is a good option for belt’s that have a texture.
A monthly cleaning in that manner is considered sufficient. Also suggested on a monthly basis, is to run a vacuum underneath the belt in order to dog hair, dirt and debris. Additionally, make sure the treadmill is dry after your dog’s use of it, or you clean the equipment before you use it again or store it away.
This action will help to ensure treadmill consistently provides optimum performance and lasts the longest life possible.
What do I do if my dog appears to be bore while using the treadmill?
Just like you as a person, spice is variety of life. If you want to remove the boredom your dog may be experiencing during the work he is doing on the treadmill, switch things up for him. Change the speed at which he is exercising. Increase the ascent of the work or change the setting to a downhill path. Adjust the length of time he is on the machine. Switch from a walk to run to jog, dependent on his physical condition.
Likely and most importantly, change what your kid is looking at. Give him more views and different things to watch.
As always, when beginning an exercise routine with a dog using a treadmill for your large dog, and throughout his use of the equipment, check with your veterinarian.
There are many ways to exercise your dog. Complimenting your normal exercise routine with that of a large dog treadmill will ensure his health and happiness all this days of his life…and yours too!