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.
Dog Treadmill Buying Guide
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.
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.
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.
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 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.