Just like humans, dogs need to exercise too. A brisk walk outdoors, done consistency in satisfying intervals each day, can help keeping their physique in shape. However, when the weather won’t allow it, or if you’ve got other activities that requires you to stay indoors, a dog treadmill is a perfect workout option for your canine buddies. These equipment work just like the regular treadmill for humans, except that they match your dog’s workout needs. And among the many products in the bunch, we have picked out the best dog treadmill out there in the market: it’s none other than the crowd favorite, the dogPACER LF 3.1 Dog Treadmill. Loaded with a set of fitness programs meant for your pet, this remote-controlled treadmill comes with a convenient design that can easily be folded away right after the workout session. Challenge your dog and let them discover their running abilities, at the comforts of your home.
Animal Planet discloses that dogs are meant for activity: these four-pawed wonders can travel up to 30 miles a day. Without exercise, your pet will feel stagnant and will become prone to many illnesses, such as arthritis and obesity. Not only that; your pet may also lose opportunities for mental stimulation, leaving them bored and depressed. Moving around can help dogs learn and discover their surroundings, making them friendlier, more active, and best of all, happy.
Our top pick is the dogPACER LF 3.1 Dog Treadmill. Many loved it for its easy-to-assemble construction, speed change options, and the magnetized emergency stop whenever you need that instant halt. There’s also a console that showcases the time, speed, distance and calories so you can track your dog’s progress. It’s a high-end, electronic piece of wonder that helps your dog stay in shape indoors.
If your dog is of a bigger built, you’ll definitely love our Step-Up Pick. PetZen’s DogTread for 150 lbs. canine is perfect for your active companions, giving them a comfortable, natural stride with a quiet sounding machinery. Portable and space-saving, you can tuck away this pet equipment after every use. Highly commended by pet associations and professionals, this product is something you wouldn’t want to miss.
Dog treadmills are specifically designed to suit your pet’s size and needs. However, if you’re in a budget pinch and would love some indoor workout sessions with your dog, you can also make us of other treadmill selections, like the Confidence Power Walker. This fitness training equipment has been chosen by practical pet owners who wants something light, small and inexpensive. While this product is initially made for the human counterparts, the Confidence Power Walker has a short walking area that will fit the dog’s treading requirements. Our budget pick caters to canines from 10-45 lbs. That’s a great deal of savings compared to other dog treadmills around!
Table of Contents
- The drawbacks of stagnancy
- Exercise suggestions for different breeds
- The benefits of indoor dog exercises
- Dog treadmills vs. human treadmills
- How we picked
- Our pick
- Flaws but not dealbreakers
- Step-Up Pick
- Budget Pick
- The Competition
- Tips for first time dog treadmill users
- Wrapping it up
The Drawbacks of Stagnancy
A healthy dog is a happy dog, and it is best to start training these charming canines while they are young. The UK Kennel Club states that puppies need at least five minutes of exercise per month of age twice a day. Now, this dog math may seem confusing; let’s say that your five-month old little pup will require 25 minutes of exercise per day, a three month old, fifteen minutes. This number grows as your dog reaches its prime years. Adult dogs will need at least 30 minutes to two hours of physical activity each day. Take note that some breeds may require more workout than the others. Among the most active canines are the Labradors, the Borders, the Dalmatians and the Terriers.
Just like humans after a satisfying round of exercise, your dog will feel pleasant inside and out. This, in return, makes you a great pet owner, and more than that, a loving canine friend.
What happens when your dog does not work out? WebMD, an online authority on health, discusses the drawbacks of your dog’s stagnancy. When immobile, dogs tend to find ways to stimulate their mind and to vent out their energy, and this results to behavior problems. Some obvious signs: the destructive chewing of things, the digging of the ground and scratching of walls and posts. They also explore on their own, raiding mounds of grass and rubbish bins. Stagnant dogs are easy to excite and tends to become hyperactive during the most unexpected hours of the day. They also become predatory and is awkward with other dogs. Be wary; your dog may want to get your attention with their continuous whining and barking, and may even bite.
But behavior problems are not the only concern. As your dog ages, their lack of exercise may lead them to many health issues. One of the most common problems is overweightness, a factor which leads to many other grave ailments, such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and other problems.
Dogs, like humans, require physical and mental stimulation which can be done with a basic activity: walking. 30-40 minutes of brisk walking per day can make a huge difference in your canine companion’s physique, intelligence, and emotions. They get to use their heightened senses during the work-out, leading them to better perception and more active response.
Exercise suggestions for different breeds
Basically, dogs are divided into several breeds and their need for activity differs, depending on their genetic built. While every dog has their own unique personality and preference, they all have inherited, innate tendencies based on their breeds. In order to know what exercise is best for your dog, consider their family, and customize their work-out programs that matches their instincts.
Sporting dogs cover a mixed variety of breeds, such as the pointers, retrievers, setters, and the bigger spaniels. Originally, these companions stand side by side with hunters to prey on small game animals. Thus, these dogs are active, lively, and intelligently vigorous. They enjoy activities on different terrains; exercising with them for 20 minutes twice a day will keep up with their daily movement needs.
Non-sporting dogs is an umbrella of a diverse variety that doesn’t fit into other breeds. This includes the Lhasa Apsos, Bulldogs and the Dalmations. In order for you to discern what kind of exercise is right for them, consider their body type and size. Big and bulky dogs may require 20-30 minutes of movement.
Working dogs, on the other hand, covers the mastiffs, the Samoyeds and the Saint Bernard breeds. These dogs are meant to guard and rescue humans and their properties, including livestock. Gentle in nature but quick to learn, a 20-30-minute treading is enough for their work-out requirements.
Hounds, including the dachshunds and the smaller spaniels, are auricular dogs that uses their senses to track their prey. They love to smell and sniff! A brisk jogging, followed by some liberating run in a small, enclosed area, will keep their senses on a heightened level.
Herders, such as the German Shepherd, the Collies and the Briards, are strong, big canines meant to guard the cattle. These smart dogs love chasing games, such as playing Frisbee or chasing balls. A 30-minute walk will satisfy their need for energy.
Terriers are small to mid-sized dogs with largely active lives. They are intelligent and love playing games that require them to move around liberally. A 15-minute walk, paired with a smart game of tag or fetch, will give them the boost of confidence and pleasure. Do this consistently, daily, and offer them treats for a job well done.
Toy dogs like the Maltese and the Cabochons are bred to look endearingly cute. A 15-minute walk each day is enough to satisfy their activity requirements.
The benefits of indoor dog exercises
Dogs have been rightfully called ‘man’s best friend’, and in return for their loyalty and companionship, pet owners must also take full responsibility in providing for their pets’ needs, including exercise. In order to live a fully satisfying and healthy life, it is a must to keep your dogs in shape. Giving at least 30 minutes for their exercise is a small investment that will go a long way, for in return, your dogs will lavish you with love and attention.
However, not all pet owners are blessed with the time and surroundings to offer their dogs a great outdoor adventure. In this occasion, choosing an indoor work-out alternative is a must. A corner of toys and a small game of fetch could be great starting points to stimulate their minds. Running up and down the stairs will improve their reflexes, and a set-up obstacle course will boost their agility. However, when you require an effortless solution to aid your dog’s movement, you might want to look at dog treadmills.
Dog treadmills offers solution to your dog’s activity requirements when going outdoors is not possible. Perhaps the weather is unsuitable for walking, or your dog is undergoing treatment and could not leave the house. With a dog treadmill, you can easily add a vigorous work-out session for your pet’s exercise quota. It’s a hassle-free equipment that allows you to help your dogs stay in shape without leaving your home!
Dog treadmills vs. human treadmills
Consumers may start asking, ‘Why can’t I just buy a regular treadmill for humans?’ The answer is, it is possible to use the same equipment for dogs. Out of the many equipment range served in the market, there’s a good chance that you can find an alternative for dog treadmills. However, there are significant differences that makes a dog treadmill a better choice, especially when it comes to use and design. Wondering what they are? Take a look at these factors:
- Most human treadmills have a wide treading area which offer comfortable movement for its users. However, dogs will require a smaller area to keep them in place. Specified dog treadmills are created with security railings and a unique treading belt to suit your four-pawed friends.
- Dogs have a keen sense of hearing, and regular treadmills sounds and vibrations that might scare them away. Dog treadmills are built with a quieter mechanism so as not to bother their walking work-outs.
- Console location. With ordinary treadmills, screens and control panels are mostly located in within the workout space so users can control their preferred speed and settings. Dog treadmills, however, changes the position of the control panel where human counterparts can easily adjust the settings outside the tread.
- With human treadmill varieties, motors are encased with a large ventilation so that air flows in and out to cool its system. But when it comes to dog treadmills, motors are usually located in a separate, tightly sealed area. This prevents dog hair and dirt to accumulate in the system, which might in turn, cause the motor to break down easily.
Dog treadmills are special equipment and usually costs more than your regular workout gear. However, this investment will help keep your beloved pets in shape. It is possible, with good research, to discover affordable varieties in the market. We’ve made the search easier for you; continue reading below and discover the consumers’ top choices.
How we picked
Finding the best dog treadmill can be a challenge, especially with the many factors to take into consideration. For one, you need to find a treadmill that suits your dog’s shape and size. However, if you are the owner of two or more dogs, you need a treadmill that fits all of their requirements. Another issue: ease of use. Dog treadmills should be convenient for pet owners too. Digital tracking features, pre-set programs, console location and maintenance are among the best points in our consumer checklist. Third, affordability; our aim is to produce a set of products that will hit home with every range of budget. And last but not least, durability. Other than its weight and construction, we also took note of the dog treadmill’s warranty’a must have for every exercise equipment.
Top Pick: dogPACER LF 3.1 Dog Treadmill
Our best dog treadmill choice is the dogPACER LF 3.1, a portable, practical pet treadmill that suits canines weighing from 1 to 179 lbs. We like the versatility of this equipment, suiting many kinds of dogs in different ages, offering them a spacious work-out corner atop a 71″ x 16.5″ running surface, and a quiet motor that runs the machine. Easy to assemble, light and portable, this design has been intelligently built to fit indoor corners without a hassle. With a bright red railing to keep dogs in place, your pet will never be in the danger of falling off. These collapsible panels can be taken away for less running obstructions when your dog gets used to the machine.
A console gives you the ability to use preset fitness programs to fit your pet’s daily activities. Three pre-programmed interval programs allows your pet to warm-up at a varying speed. While each session is slated for 30 minutes, you can start and stop at your desire, depending on the dog’s ability to keep up. Stopping the machine is easy; there’s a magnetized emergency stop feature that puts the dogPACER treadmill to a halt at once.
It comes with a care kit and a manual on how to take care of the machine. Included is a 1-year warranty on parts, and a 3-year warranty on the frame.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
Consumers loved the dogPACER LF 3.1 because of its price, portability and flexibility to various dog weights and needs. A list of minimal flaws, however, makes a dent on its remarkable list of features. The stand-out flaw is its manual incline’the equipment only runs on one initial setup; in order to change programs, one has to stop the treadmill, remove the dog, and start over again. This could be a hassle for some users.
Another of its prominent faults: a low, creaking noise from the motor, as reported by some consumers. Dogs, with their keen sense of hearing, may find this a problem. There’s a good chance that your pet may be frightened by these low sounds and be disturbed during their workout.
These two factors could easily be turn-offs, but if one looks over the great list of benefits offered by dogPACER, this pet exercise equipment remains to be our best dog treadmill.
Bigger is better with our Step-Up pick, the PetZen Dog Treadmill. Able to carry canines up to 150 lbs., this workout machine will help strengthen the larger dog breeds in the most comfortable manner. The open-stride running platform helps in reinforcing proper gait form. Several workouts are installed in its console, accessible from the front, so you can guide your pet during its session. Despite being made for bigger canines, PetZen 150 lbs. is constructed with a SlimLINE design so you can store it on its side or nose without a hassle. Transportation wheels are also installed for convenient mobility.
Infuse your dog’s workouts with a varying tread terrain, all done with a flip-bar incline adjustment. The LCD Bone console provides insight on speed, time and distance per each workout, so you can see your dog’s improvement per session. A few of its remarkable features: the treat holder, which offers a means to dispense your canine’s favorite treats during its workout, and a remote control that lets you access the machine at a distance.
PetZen Dog Treadmill contains a training DVD, Manual, workout journal, and a 2-year parts and craftsmanship warranty.
When your finances won’t allow you to get a special treadmill for your beloved dog, then it’s time to look at your other options. Our Budget Pick is a fitness treadmill made for the human counterpart, but it doesn’t mean it can’t suit your pet’s needs too. The Confidence Power Walker is a small treadmill with a compact tread, spanning 31″ x 11″, suitable for small to big dogs that weighs up to 198 lbs. Consumers loved it for its low price, lightweight features and practical usage. Perfect for less-impactful strides, Confidence Power Walker has a top speed of 6km/h, perfect for your canine’s regular jogging.
We have listed our top picks, but it doesn’t end there. For pet owners with specific wants and desires for their dog treadmills, here are a few more products that might hit home:
For smaller dogs not more than 55 lbs., dogPACER’s mini-version of its highly commended dog treadmill will be just right. It offers the same features: foldable design, removable railings, easy to use console and inclined frame, all in a compact built. Toy dogs and other tiny-sized breeds will definitely have fun running on this well-designed walker.
GoPet PetRun 88 lbs.
Place your pups and mid-sized dogs in this versatile exercise equipment from Go Pet. It starts with a slow pacing that gradually increase, a perfect warm-up for your dog’s daily regime. Choose within the many pre-set programs and attach your dog’s favorite toy using the eyelet for a bit of inspiration. Railings keep your dog in place. Control the speed via remote, at your own convenience.
PetZen DogTread 30 lbs.
A brand recommended by the professionals, DogTread from PetZen offers a smaller running equipment for dogs under 30 lbs. The low-running tread profile offers a convenient daily jaunting for your pet, with setup programs easily accessed through the console or via remote control.
Catering to dogs of all sizes, this powerful workout machine from GoPet can carry canines for up to 265 pounds! This professionally designed pet equipment is perfect for your active companions that desires something more vigorous. The PetRun dog treadmill comes with an AirStep incline that you can increase or decrease, depending on the dog’s exercise routine. The low running tread makes it easy for dogs to climb, walk and jog without the feeling of intimidation. Among its best features: a silent engine, wireless remote and a safety lock to secure your pet in place. PetRun folds easily and can be stored without a hassle.
PetZen DogTread 60 lbs.
For medium-sized dog owners, this version of DogTread is perfect for you. Made for canines up to 60 lbs., PetZen’s branded dog equipment comes with the same whisper-quiet motor, inclined frame, collapsible fences and treat panel as the original. The compacted dimensions make it perfect for medium dog breeds for better use. This item ranks #9 under Amazon’s Dog Treadmills list and comes with a personal work-out plan and a K9 exercise program.
GoPet PetRun 44 lbs.
Get your cute Chihuahuas running! This exercise machine is suitable for small dogs in particular, weighing at most, 44 lbs. The 28′ x 16′ treading space is just right for their needs, and you can access the controls on manual or via remote. There’s an emergency safety stop and a dog chain holder to keep your canine chums in place, so your dogs can run smoothly, securely, every time.
GoPet PetRun 132 lbs.
Carrying dogs up to 132 lbs., this version of GoPet’s PetRun offers a great solution for your canine’s indoor activity. Offering adjustable speed settings and various inclines, your dog can have its daily quota of fun and vigor by taking a good run on this treadmill. Dolly wheels are placed underneath so you can transport it wherever you want. It comes with a 1hp motor for that big boost. Perfect for overweight dogs.
Tips for first-time dog treadmill users
After selecting the best dog treadmill, that is of course, according to your preferences, it’s time to start training your dog. Dr. Karen Becker of Mercola Health Pets shares her insights on Huffington Post, and we have summarized the important pointers below.
- The dog treadmill placement is important; make sure it is placed in an open corner far apart from the walls. This is because your pet may get confused at walking into an immovable surface.
- Allow your dog to stand on the dog treadmill and let them practice staying on it while the motor is off. Let them get used to the position and the feeling of the new exercise equipment.
- Your pet could either be excited to climb up the belt, or be reluctant. As an owner, it is easy to notice their behavior; handle this with patience. You might want to try and stand on the belt yourself, and take your dog with you at first. Pull yourself away from the tread once the dog feels confident.
- Start the treadmill with your dog on the leash. Begin with a low speed and no incline. Stand next to the dog as the machine starts; this gives it a feeling that you are walking with it. Do this again every session until the dog becomes comfortable with its own treadmill.
- Dog treadmills are usually quieter than human treadmills, but that doesn’t mean it won’t produce any noise. Allow your dog to get used to the sound from the workout equipment. If they show signs of inhibition, pacify them and lure them with their favorite toy or treats.
- Warm up to a minute, and build up exercise sessions from five to ten minutes during the dog’s beginning periods. Then, gradually, extend your time to fifteen to twenty, until your dog can handle the length of time. When you feel that it’s getting better, start experimenting with inclines and speed settings to give your pet a more challenging exercise.
- Use treats to reward your dog for a good performance. This fires up their interest in working out, and is especially useful during the session.
- Stay close to your pet as the session comes to a close, and be at its side as the belt stops. A pat on the head, a hug and praise will inspire them to try their best at the next session.
- Train your dog consistently. Observe your dog’s changes. See if there are any discomforts resulting from their indoor jogging sessions. Consult a veterinarian if problems arise.
Dogs will respond differently to these workouts and if you have more than one canine at home, you might be surprised at their different preferences. Always discern the behavior of your dog and be patient with them as they get on the belt. Rough handling may frighten them’it could even leave an emotional scar. Other than investing your time and money, kindness and patience are among your best gifts in keeping your pet healthy and happy.
One last tip: remember to wipe the dog treadmill clean after using. Dog hair and dirt may accumulate on the belt and may in turn, clog the motor. In order to maintain this pricey equipment, proper upkeep is required.
Wrapping it up
Treadmill training is a perfect indoor workout solution for your dogs. Factors like bad weather, want for rest or too much preoccupation may keep you from going outside, but not from giving your dogs the daily dose of walking they need for their active lifestyle. Investing on a dog treadmill can go a long way, especially if you have a large family of canine, and they can enjoy their own workout sessions in a modern approach.
Through this review, we have unearthed the best dog treadmill in the market: the dogPACER LF 3.1. This exercise equipment accommodates small to mid-sized dogs, with many features to boot. We liked its comfortable incline, built-in workout programs and safety railings, along with its portable storage capabilities. Among the many dog treadmill products in the market, this item is your best buy.
We have also revealed that it is possible to use a human treadmill for pets, and we have listed one that fits the budget-loving owners. The Confidence Power Walker is a compact treadmill with a rather short belt, fitting small to medium dogs nicely. It also has a digital console with preset settings so you, or your dog, can enjoy a walking routine.
For every dog owner, your pet’s health must be among your priorities. Just as how your four-pawed friends shower you with love and loyalty, it’s time to pay attention to their wellness and happiness. Give them the workout their body needs and ensure that they live a long, vibrant life with you and your family.