Every dog owner wants the best for his or her dog, including the physical activity and exercise they deserve. However, not everyone can handle the long outdoor walks required. This is where dog treadmills come in to save the day! Choosing the best dog treadmill can be a very confusing and difficult task. It’s important to remember that not every treadmill is suitable for dogs. The most important part in making the decision is to consider the needs of your dog first.
Best for Small Dogs – dogPACER LF 3.1
- The quality build makes it a durable treadmill
- Impressive design with an excellent speed range
- A number of incline settings to choose from
- Foldable and space-saving treadmill
- Powerful motor yet silent in operation
- Lower weight capacity as compared to other models
- Side guards are shaky and flimsy
Ideally designed for puppies and small dogs, this dogPACER treadmill is one of the best and most budget-friendly models on the market. It is also the ideal alternative if you cannot exercise your dog daily. It is incorporated with a phenomenal set of features that make it stand out from the competitors.
Being made from high-quality materials, there is no question about the durability. The sturdy build is complemented by a lightweight design. The compact body is highly portable and, therefore, can be placed anywhere in your home. Apart from a sizable running area, this treadmill comes with a decent weight capacity of 180 pounds.
One of the most outstanding features of this treadmill is the ultra-efficient and powerful yet quiet motor. It runs on 110 volts and is rated 1.5 horsepower at peak output. You will love how silent this treadmill is in operation. In fact, you won’t even notice it’s there.
When it comes to safety features, there is a crossbar over the running space to attach your dog’s leash. Additionally, this treadmill comes with pre-set workout modes in order to save you from the hassle of programming the unit. Plus, dog owners appreciate that they can even design their own program to meet the training needs of their dog.
Considering the foldable feature, storage won’t be a problem. The treadmill is made weather-resistant as well, so you can even place it outdoors in the rain without worrying about the damage. Since it comes assembled, you don’t have to spend a significant amount of time in its installation. Last but not least, there is a one-year manufacturer’s warranty on this model to ensure reliability.
Honestly, it is one of the finest exercise machines for your dog to hop on.
Best for Large Dogs – SRFDD Dog Treadmill
- User-friendly and extremely quiet in its operation
- Compact and portable design
- A display screen shows speed and time
- Multi-speed control function to serve various training needs
- Great weight capacity makes it suitable for large breeds
- Not recommended for a small dog
- Lacks incline adjustments
- Quite an expensive treadmill
With an exceptional weight capacity of 220 pounds, this treadmill is designed for large dogs. It consists of some fantastic features that work brilliantly together to bring value to your bucks and is one of the best treadmills you can buy.
The robust construction is capable of taking any abuse without compromising on the performance. It features a compact and professional-looking design that is highly portable as well. You can set it up anywhere in your home to keep your dog healthy and in good shape all the time.
It runs on a powerful yet quiet motor of 1.75 horsepower. This means you don’t have to face any inconvenience due to the noise. There is a metal bar on the front as well as a crossbar over the running area so you can tie the leash of the dog. Moreover, the metal grates on either side of the running belt ensure the safety of your dog.
When it comes to the speed range, this treadmill can run from a minimum speed of 0.8 to a maximum speed of 12 kilometers per hour. Thanks to the multi-speed control function, this machine can go from walking speed to sprint speed without any hassle.
One of the most notable features is the easy-to-access control panel. It comes with a display that gives you complete information about the settings, including the time and speed of the exercise. You can manually adjust the exercise program as per the training needs of your dog. Plus, all its features make it easy for your dog to use.
Overall, if you’re looking for a fine unit for your dog, this treadmill is a great option available.
Factors to Consider
Choosing the right treadmill for dogs is not the same as choosing a human treadmill. There are a lot more factors and features to consider, and choosing the wrong model could harm your dog if you’re not careful! Before you finalize your decision and choose the best dog treadmill, check to see if you’ve considered the following key details:
Space (Size and Portability)
Before you start looking at different treadmills for dogs, you’ll need to consider the space available in your home. Where will you place the dog treadmill when it’s in use? Where will you keep it when your dog’s not exercising? Does the unit you’ve selected fold or collapse for easier storage?
Make sure you measure the space you’re planning to use for your dog treadmill and then compare those measurements to all potential units.
If you have limited space, then you probably won’t be able to keep the dog treadmill out in the open. That’s why it’s better to choose a folding treadmill for your dog that you can safely put away when it’s not in use. If you have enough space but want to carry the unit around the house, then choose a dog treadmill with transportation wheels. Lastly, consider the weight of the unit you’re planning to purchase – lightweight treadmills for dogs are always the better option for easy storage and transportation.
The majority of dog treadmills are not budget-friendly, but some options are still available if you want to purchase a cheap model. Just think about the features you’re willing to give up for a lower price, or you can just buy a used treadmill online.
Dog’s Weight and Size (Max Weight)
The weight and size of your dog are essential for a safe treadmill experience. To calculate the exact length you need, lay your dog or pup down on its side with its legs extended out. Make sure your dog’s legs are perpendicular to the body. Measure the length from the back paws to the front paws, then add around 5 to 10 inches to that length. This measurement is how long you’ll need your running platform to be.
To determine the weight, check the treadmill’s maximum weight capacity and the manufacturer’s recommended weight load as sometimes the two numbers are a bit different. Also ensure your pup is well below the maximum weight capacity and close to the recommended weight load.
If your pet is too light, it may have difficulty in gaining traction and picking up speed on the running belt as it’s designed for heavier dogs.
All in all, it’s better if you don’t overlook the weight recommendations and limits when you buy a dog treadmill.
The different speed settings are only available in motorized treadmills as the pace and speed of a mechanical treadmill is decided by your pet. Thus, if you’re planning on buying an engine-powered dig treadmill, make sure that it has enough levels to meet the needs of your dog. It’s advisable to choose a treadmill with numerous speed settings, and one which has a start speed of 0.5-1MPH, a maximum speed of at least 5-7.5 MPH, and speed increments of 0.5-1 MPH.
A wide range of settings will allow you to customize your dog’s exercise session while keeping your pet safe at the same time. You can prepare all kinds of programs, including mild cardio and high-intensity sessions, to enhance your companion’s aerobic power.
You need to ensure that someone remains with your dog at all times for supervision because even the best dog treadmills can be harmful if your dog is unable to keep up. However, if you use them properly, they are fantastic.
However, make sure the safety is not compromised. The best treadmill for your dog is one that comes with features like an emergency stop to ensure safety.
Dog treadmills are available in two types. A motorized dog treadmill is automated and has several different settings that allow you to regulate the speed, incline, and duration of your dog’s workout. However, such treadmills for dogs are costly and can be harmful as your dog is not in control.
Meanwhile, mechanical dog treadmills are safe as the dogs themselves control them. Your dog can regulate and adjust the speed as it pleases. These models also promote a natural height, thus helping your dog maintain and hold a proper posture.
Both types have advantages and disadvantages, but a motorized dog treadmills’s drawbacks can be easily solved by watching over your dog throughout its exercise session.
Fix or Incline
A dog treadmill’s incline is one of the most important things to consider if you’re helping your dog lose weight. The greater the incline, the higher the calories burned, all of which means a healthier dog!
However, remember that smaller dogs won’t be able to keep up with a greater incline, so a dog treadmill with too much incline will become unsafe for them. Although a high level of incline seems tempting, it’s critical to consider whether your dog will be able to withstand the additional strain without any risk of accidents or injuries.
Protective Side Panels
It can be scary to think of your dog getting caught under the sides of a treadmill. While the speed should not be set so high that your dog is uncomfortable, it can also be possible that your dog just tries to leave and run off the dog treadmill. In such situations, protective side panels can be extremely beneficial.
Make sure you remember that some dogs feel stressed and trapped when the walls are too close around them. It’s advisable to slowly get your dog used to the treadmill and the walls or panels next to it. If the dog appears very uncomfortable and scared, then it’s better to choose a treadmill that’s designed with removable side panels.
How Often Will It Be Used?
You might also need to consider how often you will be using the dog treadmill. Just like human treadmills, dog treadmills are hefty as well. Therefore, you should be looking for a lightweight dog treadmill that can be easily installed and stored afterward. Plus, if you want something for daily use, you should look into a heavy-duty dog treadmill with a good motor.
Ease of Use
Getting on and off the running belt of a dog treadmill can be a much harder task for your dog than you would suspect. A treadmill for dogs can be very high off the ground, especially for skittish or smaller dogs. The best dog treadmills solve this problem by being tapered downward.
If your dog treadmill is tapered downward, your dog will only need to take a small step upward. While this added convenience is not needed by larger dogs, it can still help them conquer their fear of getting on a moving treadmill.
The best pet treadmill also increases speeds gradually. If the speed changes rapidly, your dog may stumble or be scared to move at all, similar to how they might tumble in a car when it’s in motion.
A treadmill that’s easy and convenient for dogs to use should also be easy for trainers and dog owners to use. Your pet won’t have control over the treadmill’s starting and stopping time, so it’s crucial that you remain attentive and deactivate or activate the treadmill when required.
Lastly, some dog-friendly features might seem a bit strange to you. For example, mesh walls are a common feature as they help your dog feel less vulnerable when it’s on the running belt and reduce the chances of it getting distracted and running off track.
Unfortunately, most treadmills for dogs are not as durable as a human treadmill. Dog treadmills are also included in this category, but they have to deal with the added inconvenience of dog hair and saliva.
When your pup is on the running track, it might shed hair at a marginally increased rate on account of all the moving around. Dogs can shake off a lot of hair during a run, particularly those that are heavy shedders, such as Labradors. This hair then immediately falls into incredibly hard-to-clean cracks and crevasses.
If your pup is a slobberer, then the durability of your treadmill might get negatively affected. Most models are slightly resistant to bits of slobber, but serious slobberers, like Newfoundlands, can cause issues in treadmills.
If the hair and slobber build up inside the treadmill, they might eventually lead to problems. Some models are easier to clean compared to others, but the durability of a dog treadmill is still a major factor to consider since you might not get the time to clean the treadmill after each session.
Can Dogs Use Human Treadmills?
Some of you might wonder whether dogs can train on and use a human treadmill. The truth is, they are not designed for dogs so it is never recommended to opt for human treadmills for various reasons. So before you put your dog on a treadmill, remember the following:
- First of all, human treadmills tend to have a shorter running platform to match humans’ shorter gait. Using it can cause problems like changing the natural gait and joint issues for medium to large-sized dogs.
- A human treadmill may not have a slow speed, which can be dangerous for a small dog. This is always a risk of injury.
- Apart from being short, a human treadmill is also not wide enough, restricting the natural movement of your pet.
- Human treadmills lack side grates, which are quite important for safety reasons.
- While dog treadmills are designed to be quiet, human treadmills are not known for silent running. The noise can frighten the dog, thereby causing anxiety in the pet.