Best Dog Treadmill Devices – Indoor Exercise to Keep Your Dog Fit & Healthy
A treadmill is one of the most common pieces of gym equipment. You can say that it is a staple in every gym. Everyone needs some good cardio to go along with weight training. And a good cardio workout is particularly important for better cardiovascular health – that includes for our pet dogs too.
With this in mind, it shouldn’t be surprising to find treadmills designed for the use of man’s best friend. These machines can help whip your dog back into shape since they will be doing something that they really love – running.
What is a Dog Treadmill?
A dog treadmill, simply put, is a treadmill designed especially for pets. They come in a variety of sizes. Some are built for smaller dogs while others are designed for the use of bigger dog breeds. These products are marketed as a form of a treadmill and also as a tread wheel (something like the wheel for hamsters but only bigger).
Just like the treadmills for humans, doggie treadmills allow your beloved canine pets to exercise indoors. This is especially useful if the weather conditions outside aren’t suitable for some outdoor frenzying.
These dog treadmills (or tread wheels) were basically designed for pet owners who want to help keep their pets in shape. Nevertheless it is never a complete substitute for dogs frolicking outdoors.
So let’s say it’s raining cats and dogs outside (pun intended!), you have a dog that’s full of energy and it’s all pumped up and excited; what do you do? You don’t want that dog to bottle up all that excitement inside, right? The solution is to allow your pet to blow off some steam. And that is what a doggie treadmill can do for you.
Dog treadmills have become so popular nowadays. It was reported back in 2010 that there were about 3 million dogs in the US who were using these devices.
Dog Treadmills versus Human Treadmills
Okay, so maybe you’re thinking – I already have a treadmill at home, so why do I have to buy another one for my dog? Why not just let my dog use my treadmill?
That is legit question right there. So, let us compare human treadmills and doggie treadmills. We’ll look into several design factors:
- Size and Space – There was this scene in the movie I Am Legend where we see Will Smith’s character running on a treadmill and his dog was on another one and running as well. That was cute, right? His dog was a good fit for a human sized treadmill – but what if you had a bigger dog or maybe your dog was smaller like a Chihuahua for instance? That wouldn’t be a good fit, right?
Small dogs will require smaller treadmills while bigger dogs will need bigger ones – checkout the size of doggie tread wheels. A lot of them are better suited for really bigger dogs.
The width of the track of human treadmills will also be challenging for some dogs. Dogs need wider tracks so they can reach and extend, trot, and seemingly float around on their toes.
- Control Panel Position – the control panel of human treadmills are located in the front – pretty convenient for human beings who are directly on the contraption. But that isn’t optimal for doggie use when you are training your dog. Doggie treadmills have the control panel positioned where it is easily accessible to a dog owner who may need to adjust the speed or maybe stop the treadmill in case there is an actual emergency.
- Noise Level – human treadmills tend to vibrate a lot and make plenty of noise. Doggie treadmills on the other hand are designed to be pretty quiet. Remember that a lot of dogs can get frightened by the noises as well as the vibrations coming from human treadmills. Some doggie treadmills are even designed to be whisper quiet.
- End Cap Design – human treadmills have large end cap covers. That’s well and good for humans but that’s terrible design for dogs – it’s an easy place where their paws, hair, tail, or any other body part to get caught. Doggie treadmills are designed with smooth end caps to prevent these accidents from happening.
- Speed – it should be quite obvious that the speed of human treadmills and doggie treadmills will be different. Human treadmills may not have a setting that is slow enough for smaller dogs.
- Running Area – the length of the running area for a human treadmill fits the size of the stride of many bipeds. That is not exactly the best size for a quadruped though. The belt should be long or short enough to fit a dog’s longest stride.
- Side Rails – dog treadmills are equipped with side rails. These side panels prevent your dog from escaping from either side of the treadmill – a useful training feature. Obviously, this is non-existent in human treadmills.
- Tredmill Belt Design – human treadmills have a small gap on the side of the structure and the belt. This is another recipe for disaster where small doggie paws can get caught and cause injury. You won’t find such gaps in doggie treadmills.
- Motor Design – human treadmills are equipped with huge vent casements. This is the cooling system designed for the motor. That is well and good when it comes to overall design – well, for a human that is. Those large ventilations are bad news for dogs.
Air flows into those vents to keep the motor cool. That is a pretty good spot for dog hair, body fluids, and other debris to accumulate. With enough fur and debris in there, your treadmill will eventually malfunction – unfortunately that isn’t covered in the warranty.
Treadmills for dogs have tightly cased vents to prevent anything from getting in. In fact, some doggie treadmills are designed to have the cooling system in a separate area.
The bottom line here is that human treadmills were designed for human use and dog treadmills were designed for doggie use. Let’s stick to that and we can live peaceful, happy, and healthy lives.
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Importance of Exercise for Dogs
Treadmills for dogs serve one purpose and one purpose only – a way for your canines to work out and get some much needed exercise. Getting regular exercise is important for overall health – that goes for both humans and dogs. Now, here are some more reasons why your dog should get some exercise regularly:
- Exercise will help pump out the toxins that accumulate in your dog’s body. Exercise activates the lymphatic system, which is responsible for getting rid of metabolic by products.
- Getting enough exercise improves metabolism and insulin health. Exercise jumpstarts the body’s gene systems. These bodily systems maintain insulin health and reverse insulin resistance. A dog getting a regular work out is a canine that has better nutrient absorption.
- Apart from improving a dog’s strength and stamina, exercise also helps prevent obesity. Yes, dogs can get obese too. If your dog is already obese, getting your pet to exercise regularly can reverse obesity. Their metabolic rates increase when they do and that means their body is better able to manage the amount of fat in the tissues.
- Exercise also improves your dog’s overall well-being. It helps reduce your pet’s risk for chronic inflammation, dementia, depression, cancer, and bone disease.
- Getting your dog to exercise regularly also helps with arthritis. Even aging dogs need some form of exercise and using doggie treadmills can be a form of physical rehabilitation for aging canines. Some people think that dogs with arthritis shouldn’t move around.
On the contrary, getting regular exercise actually helps. Exercise improves endorphin secretions which eventually help to alleviate the pain that your pet feels at the onslaught of arthritis. Preventing a dog with arthritis from exercising actually increases its risk for inflammation.
- Exercise actually promotes strong bones and healthier muscles. Exercise helps improve skeletal muscle mass. When that happens the bone mass eventually get better and your dog gets better bone density. Whenever your pet exercises special cells get activated and stimulated which in turn triggers an adaptation to the stress of working out.
In effect, these cells signal the need for increased bone mass and then the body complies. Muscle mass increases and bone mass also increase proportionately. An increased muscle mass is actually beneficial to your dog – it’s something that your furry pet can fall back on in case of an emergency.
- Getting regular exercise prevents premature aging. This is true for humans and it is definitely true for dogs as well. Lean muscle mass diminishes as a dog ages. When that happens their ability to recover from injury also declines. Good nutrition coupled with regular exercise helps to maintain lean muscle mass. It also promotes the strength and integrity of muscular tissue.
Why Get a Treadmill for Your Dog
So why get a treadmill for your dog? We have already gone over some pretty good reasons why you should get one for your pet. To help reinforce that idea, here are a few things you can consider as well:
- Dog owners with mobility issues will find it very hard to walk their dog.
- Some pet owners may not have the luxury of getting out of the house. Some come home late at night so walking their dog in the evening isn’t a good idea. Some need to take care of very young children. Sometimes having a sick member of the family will prevent you from taking your dog out for a walk.
- An injured dog can’t always go out to walk. A joint issue or the mere fact that they are wearing a cone will make walks outside very difficult.
- The weather outside can also directly affect dogs. Some dogs are sensitive to cold climates like huskies for instance. Dogs with respiratory issues like pugs will have trouble if it’s very humid outside. On the other hand, some dogs aren’t acclimated to very cold weather.
A dog treadmill is a pretty good solution for each of these cases. Those are really good issues to get one for your pet.
Benefits of a Dog Treadmill
So let’s sum things up. Here are the benefits of getting a treadmill for dogs:
- It helps your dog to exercise even if conditions aren’t that congenial.
- It’s a great alternative when the weather may not always be good for playing outdoors.
- It can help keep your dog healthy.
- They are specifically designed for dogs.
- Some dogs are actually allergic to pollen and pollution; indoor exercises are much better for them.
- People with hectic schedules find treadmills a good alternative so they can give their dogs a walk.
Drawbacks of Getting a Dog Treadmill:
- The price – some of these treadmills are pretty expensive.
- Storage Space – some people do not have enough storage spaces for these treadmills.
Dog treadmills are tools that can help you keep your dog healthy. Note that it is not a replacement for walks and playing outdoors. You still need to take your dog out to see the world from time to time to keep them healthy and happy.
The 10 Best Dog Treadmills in the Market Today
The following is our recommendation for the 10 best dog treadmills. Note that each product has its benefits. There is also no such thing as a treadmill that will be a good fit for all dogs. If you’re in the market for a dog treadmill, consider the features that will best suit your pet canine.
Price From: $554.99 | Grade: A+
This treadmill is designed for smaller dogs. This doggie treadmill is specifically designed for dogs that weigh around 55 kilograms and below. If you have limited space to store this type of equipment, then this particular treadmill may be a good fit due to its streamlined design – it’s actually a space saver. It actually folds up so you can easily store it in an inconspicuous part of the house.
Drawbacks: Other than the price, the only other downside to this dog treadmill is that it only has a manual incline – but that shouldn’t be a deal breaker for most folks.
Price From: $2,295 | Grade: A+
This dog treadmill is designed for bigger dogs. If your dog weighs up to around 265 pounds then this is a good fit for your pet. It can actually fit dogs that are up to 59 inches in length.
It has an adjustable incline and it also comes with a remote, which makes things convenient. Note that this treadmill also has built in manual controls.
This treadmill runs quietly, featuring a unique silent driving system. It comes with a timer and speed controls. Its speed ranges from 0.6 miles per hour up to 7.5 miles per hour.
Drawbacks: the big downside of the GoPet Petrun doggie treadmill is the price. However, you should consider it a good investment considering what you get in the package.
Price From: $699.99 | Grade: A-
PetZen DogTread was designed with the medium sized dogs in mind. It is suitable for dogs that weigh up to 50 pounds. It features a low profile, which is generally safer for dogs of all sizes. The speed, time, and distance can be programmed.
The speed ranges from 0 to 7 miles per hour. It also comes with a set of pre-programmed workouts, which makes setting up your dog’s workout really convenient. It features the patented SlimLINE design. So, don’t let this bulky looking treadmill fool you. It is actually a space saver.
Price From: $532.95 | Grade: A
This mini-treadmill for dogs has a total running area of 38″L x 16″W. As you might have guessed, this particular piece of exercise equipment is designed for smaller dogs and some medium sized dogs.
It has a slower speed range compared other treadmill products and tread wheels ranging from 0.5 to 7.5 miles per hour. The speed adjustments can be made in 0.1 mile per hour increments. Note that this is also a pretty quiet dog treadmill.
This is one of the cheapest treadmills for dogs in the market today. However, do take note that the price is still quite hefty, which is about several hundred dollars – well, treadmills for dogs are indeed pricey anyway.
This folding treadmill is completely programmable. It comes with several exercise settings. All the workout settings have 30 minute cycles. This unit can track the number of calories burned and how many kilometres a dog has already run or walk. These are all useful features if you want to keep a close watch on your dog’s performance.
Downsides: The only downside is that the pre-set workout and exercise programs are fixed. That means you can’t adjust the time, distance, and pace of each setting. So, for instance, program 1 will make your pooch run as fast as 3 miles per hour – you can’t make it go faster or slower. Try to make it faster by adjusting the settings manually and the program automatically adjusts back.
Price From: $584.99 | Grade: A+
Compared to the other doggie treadmills in the market today, this is actually on the cheaper side of the spectrum. Caveat: cheaper in this market is still pricey.
This particular treadmill is designed for really smaller dogs; weighing 44 pounds and below. The unique thing about this treadmill compared to the others already featured here in this review is that you can fit more than one dog on it. It’s wider so you can put several dogs on top so they get some company while exercising.
It features a low running platform so your dogs can easily hop off the thing if necessary. You don’t have to worry about a nasty fall happening. It operates quietly and it has a slow speed range (0.6 to 7.4 miles per hour).
In case of an emergency or you need to put a halt to the run, you can use the emergency stop feature. Let’s say you need to take a call and the phone is in the other room, you can easily stop the treadmill using this feature. As a rule of thumb, never leave your dogs unattended when they’re on a treadmill.
Downside: it will be kind of difficult making adjustments to the setup of this treadmill. For instance, you may have to call a technician to help you adjust the belt, frame, deck, or some other part.
Price From: $529.99 | Grade: B+
If you have a really small dog weighing 25 pounds or less then this may be the treadmill for your furry friend. This is actually a tread wheel and works exactly like the wheels that hamsters run on.
This tread wheel is surprisingly safe. You can leave it in the house and your dogs can hop inside, run, and hop off when they’re done. They can run on their own pace and you don’t need to put them on a leash just to use this piece of exercise equipment.
Downside: some pets need convincing or training. Some would hop on the wheel without any problems and they would know exactly what it is for. However, some pets may be a bit reluctant to hop on the wheel and will need some encouragement.
Price From: $584.99 | Grade: A-
The Pr700 is another good option for folks who own smaller dogs. It’s one of the best rated dog treadmills in the market today. It comes completely assembled. It’s very quiet and you don’t have to worry about disturbing your next door neighbors. The way this thing operates will not intimidate any dog. They can hop on and off without issue.
Downside: it’s a bit pricey and the unit itself is really heavy. If you have problems with lifting heavy things, you might need another person to help you carry it if you need to move it upstairs.
Price From: $1,239 | Grade: A-
The PR725 is designed for medium to big size dogs that weigh up to 175 pounds. It is equipped with side rails and it has a low running platform – perfect for old dogs and dogs with weight issues.
The treadmill has a speed range of 0.6 to 10 miles per hour. It comes with a remote but it also has manual controls too. The unit also has an emergency stop feature.
Downside: For a well-built unit, this one comes with a truly hefty price.
Price From: $1,029 | Grade: B
This doggie treadmill is designed for medium size dogs weighing up to 132 pounds. It is durable enough to handle fairly active and overweight dogs. It comes with manual controls but a remote is supplied with the package. The unit has a low profile and it is equipped with side rails.
Downside: other than the price (more than a thousand dollars), this unit is pretty heavy. It is outfitted with dolly wheels but it’s still a tough cookie if you need to carry it up a flight of stairs.
Price From: $1,399 | Grade: A+
If you have a large and fairly active dog then this tread wheel may be a good option. It isn’t powered by electricity, which means your dog will have to jump inside the wheel and do the running on his own. It’s a good fit for dogs that weigh up to 150 pounds. For added resistance, you can adjust the tension controls. The material used in the construction is UV resistant, which makes it a great tool for outdoor use.
Downsides: you will have to train your dog to use the wheel.