Our pick for the top best dog treadmill goes to DogPacer LF 3.1. This machine scooped the top position owing to its high-tech, onboard computer which allows you to program your own exercise or use the pre-set exercise programs, collapsible side panels and compact design.
Our step up pick went to GoPet Petrun Pr700. This dog treadmill has the lowest running platform, in addition to impressive features.
Our budget pick is DogPacer Mini Pacer Dog Treadmill, which is the most affordable and high value dog treadmill in the market. It’s both economical and reliable.
Dog treadmills allow you to maintain a consistent exercise routine for your best friend regardless of the environment or the weather. If you are looking forward to giving your canine increased life span, increased muscle strength, improved vitality, toning and curbing erratic behaviors or extra energy brought up by lack of exercise, you should consider purchasing a treadmill for your canine friend.
Various canines require different treadmills, making it a little bit difficult for one to choose the best machine. To make it much easier for you, we reviewed the current dog treadmills on the market and put up this guide to help you make an informed decision on which fits your budget and your pet’s exercising program.
Does Your Dog Need A Treadmill?
Does your pet really need a treadmill? This question lingers on most canine owners. Our furry friends require regular exercise like us for them to be fit and healthy. Buying a treadmill will ease its work out and reduce its chances of running into a rogue driver or catching allergies from environmental reaction. This machine will present you with an opportunity to closely monitor your pet’s health. In addition, if you don’t have time to take your favorite pet out for a walk, it offers a perfect alternative.
However, if you spend most of your time travelling and your canine spends most of its time in the daycare, you shouldn’t be in a rush a to buy one. The best machines are a bit costly and you might end up spending a large amount of cash on one that will end up in your basement. This is because it is not advisable to let your canine exercise unsupervised.
Dog Treadmills Vs Outdoor Running
There are two key difference between letting your pet run on a treadmill and letting it run outdoors:
Physiological demands: Unlike running outside, running on a machine is much easier and less strenuous to your canine due to lack of wind resistance. However, you can make up for lack of air resistance by slightly increasing the inclination by 1%.
Biomechanical differences: It might feel slightly unstable for your pet when first introduced to the treadmill, leading to the evolution of a gait and becoming more natural. Also, canines land on flatter feet on treadmills, helping them avoid strained or sprained ankle.
Benefits Of Dogs Running On A Treadmill
There are several benefits associated with canines running on these machines. Some of them include:
Monitored Speed: You can easily adjust the speed at which your canine runs and maintain the intensity for some minutes. This helps keep its metabolism rate high, leading to more calories getting burnt. This has more advantage than outdoors, where it may find it difficult to maintain the intensity due to distractions.
Rehabilitation: Machines are the perfect rehabilitation center for injured animals. They allow you to monitor your pet’s recovery process in a safe place. Movement greatly aids in injury recovery. To avoid exerting further stress on joints, some of the machines are fitted with shock absorption platforms. Running on asphalt or concrete can further worsen the injury due to the joint pressure.
Behavior Improvement: Dogs with high unutilized energy tend to be more destructive. Putting your pet on a machine will help produce endorphins just like in humans, which help in improving moods leaving it calm for the rest of the day. Enough exercise tends to make your puppy focus, concentrate, have respect and resist temptations.
Are Human Treadmills Good Or Bad For Dogs?
On top of demanding of too much attention and supervision from you in order to avoid accidents, most canines are unfit to use human treadmills. Some of the factors which make human treadmills unfit for man’s best friend include:
- They are designed to have short tracks, since we humans have a short gait.
- They are not designed to have low guides, rails or panels which are crucial in helping your dog to kick start.
- They have a narrower track than dog treadmills, preventing your pet from floating and extending fully and naturally.
- They produce noise which is relatively high for your canine
How We Picked
To come up with the best dog treadmill, we spent several days exercising our pets on different brands. We used most popular and common programs to closely monitor and record their moods and behavior before, during and after running on each treadmill to have an exact view on the effects. We also keenly checked how different features and factors affected the performance of the individual machine. The following are some of the factors we considered when choosing the best machines:
When choosing a treadmill for your best friend, getting the right size is the most important factor. A good machine shouldn’t be too big to intimidate it or too small to collapse under the weight of your canine. It is also best to ensure that there are at least 6 – 10 inches of space left while your pet is on an intensity workout, to make sure that it can comfortably change pace without running on the back roller or falling off the back. Continuous use of short decks for an extended period can cause discomforts on your pet’s tendons and ligaments, especially for breeds with a tendency of having tendon or hip issues.
A big number of the medium machines we tested supported up to 55 pounds, while the larger machines supported up to 260 pounds. Most of the machines for small and medium animals we tested range between 28 to 48 inches in length and 16 to 17.5 inches in width, while the bigger machines for larger animals ranged between 60 to 98 inches in length and 20 to 25 inches in width.
A good machine should have low walls or side fence, to prevent your pet from falling over when it is on a high speed and to aid in the training process. An ideal fence should be sturdy and should not interfere with your canine’s movement. This fence provides a natural and open space experience.
Most of the machines we came across had the fence strategically placed, not too high to leave big spaces enough for the animal to escape or too small for them to fall over.
Another critical factor we kept on mind while choosing the best machine, is the quality of the running belt. An ideal machine design does not contain any gaps between the edge of the belt and side rails, and the surface is not slippery. These gaps present a potential danger to claws and small paws. In addition, the sides of your pet’s paws can be sliced by a wrapped up belt while they are standing on the gaps.
A good running belt should have a mechanism for easy adaptability should there be an increase or decrease of speed. In other words, a good treadmill should have a running belt which easily adjust to change of shift.
Canines are highly sensitive to vibration and noise. A good machine should ensure it has the least vibration and produces the least noise in order not to scare your pet. To put it in a broader perspective, man’s best friend has a hearing capability of about 40 Hz to 60,000 Hz compared to that of human which falls at 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. A machine which produces minimal noise optimizes your pet’s treadmill experience.
The safety of your best friend should always be your number one priority. Some of the machines have large caps at the back which cover the frame, posing a potential danger. The end caps are known to cause fatal injuries by ripping off claws and paws.
For a machine to be considered safe and good, it should have smooth end caps which are free of holes. This will prevent your pet from any form of injury in case it tries to reach and grab while working out.
Another crucial factor we considered is the pre-programmed workout and the ability to add your own programs. Some of the machines come with pre-programmed workouts which dictate the speed of the exercise and automatically switch incline to simulate a new terrain.
We also considered the speed of the machine while ranking them. Most of the treadmills which we tested ranged between 0.6 miles per hour to 7.5 miles per hour. While the fastest machine reached 10 miles per hour, this is relatively high even for the most athletic dogs.
Best canine treadmills have low-profile integrated consoles that are relatively easy to read and use. The console dashboard should not hinder your pet’s workout. To avoid objects which are directly overhead or in sight, most canine will drift back.
The best console dashboard will track conditioning levels and facilitates training flexibility while providing program statistics on time, speed and distance.
Specific Dog-Designed Motor and Electronics
Some of the best machines we came across isolated electronics and motor control from the compartment. This is a very important feature which some dog treadmills and human treadmills don’t offer. Having isolated electronics and motor control aids in preventing accidents.
For a machine to be ranked as the best, we tested it for durability and superiority in design and technology. The machine should demonstrate the capacity to handle intensive workouts for a sustained period. The durability largely depends on the size of the motor and the size of the belt.
Other features which we considered are ease of assembly, safety keys, space-saving design and weight.
Our top pick for the best dog treadmill is DogPacer Lf 3.1. This powerful machine has an engine capacity of 1.5HP and can support dogs weighing up to 179 pounds.
This sleekly designed treadmill comes with an inbuilt computer. The inbuilt computer comes with three pre-programmed exercise routines which run for a maximum of 30 minutes. The programs normally start at 10 minutes but you can adjust them. The three categories are:
- Program 1 – Designed for easy pacers, it averages the speeds of between 1.5 MPH to 2.5 MPH.
- Program 2 – Designed for interval pacers, it averages the speeds of between 1.5 MPH to 6 MPH.
- Program 3 – Designed for more athletic dogs, this program is designed to make your pet work out at the average speed of 3 MPH to 6 MPH.
Another thing we liked about this machine is its ability to shows you how much calories your pet is burning at a particular time. This will help you adjust the workout accordingly. With speeds of up to 7.5 MPH and the inbuilt computer allowing you to set your own workout program, you can be assured of the best out of your pet. It also equipped with a magnetized emergency stop button, which halts the machine immediately.
The DogPacer Lf 3.1 has 4 manual incline positions which range from 5 degrees to 9 degrees. This allows you to simulate different terrains, improving intensity and endurance levels of your four legged friend.
Another highlight of the DogPacer Lf 3.1 is its patented folding design. This design makes it relatively easy for you to store and eases portability. In addition, this machine is also light weight. It is also designed in a way that it easy to assemble. Another design plus is that it can easily fit in any part of the house without much struggle, making it the best for offices and medium apartments.
We were also impressed by the spacious running space of this machine, which stands at 71 inches in length, 26 inches in width and 47 inches in height. For optimized, fun and injury free workouts, always ensure that your pet leaves 5 to 10 inches. This will ensure it doesn’t come off from the back. This machine also comes with large low side panels, which ensures your canine doesn’t fall over.
DogPacer Lf 3.1 is a very silent machine, meaning, you can supervise a workout session without distracting the rest of the family, in addition to your pet loving the smooth and quiet workout. This machine also comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame. In addition, there is a one-year warranty which covers you fully in case of a mechanical defect. In case you have any issue or question regarding this machine, DogPacer’s friendly and professional customer support will quickly sort you out. You can reach them via email, telephone or live chat.
DogPacer Lf 3.1 Specifications
71” L X 16.5” W
0.5 – 7.5 MPH (0.1 MPH increments)
5 – 9 Degrees
Computer To Ground Height
Flaws but Not Deal Breakers
Although it is a foldable treadmill, the DogPacer Lf 3.1 is relatively big, measuring 42.28 X 22 X 8.5 inches when folded. Additionally, weighing at 97 pounds, it is quite heavy for one person to lift. However, the size and the weight shouldn’t be a concern to you, unless you have a very small apartment.
Step Up Pick
Our step up pick is GoPet Petrun PR700, which is a sleek and powerful machine. The GoPet Petrun PR700 has speeds of 0.6 – 7.4 MPH. The speeds are adjustable, making it possible to engage your canine in a casual walk or spirited run. This machine is suitable for active small and medium animals which weigh up to 44 pounds.
One of the features which makes GoPet Petrun PR700 among the best on the market is the wireless remote control and the one-touch controls that easily allow you to change programs. This silent running machine is also equipped with safety lock system.
Another impressive quality is the low running platform. This makes it easier for your pet to hop on and run in confidence. The running platform is cushioned to prevent injuries to your pet. Measuring at 28 X 16 inches, the GoPet Petrun PR700 has sufficient running area. Always keep in mind that the length of the animal matters most when choosing the best treadmill, not the weight.
The GoPet Petrun PR700 is equipped with a metal eyelet which allows you to place a food basket or a toy to motivate your pet. It also has a canine chain holder, which is important in keeping your pet in the practice arena. However, never be tempted to leave your pet chained and unattended to, even for a minute.
The GoPet Petrun PR700 comes in an Auto-fold design which makes it easier for it to be stored, making it ideal for small apartments. Unlike the DogPacer Lf 3.1 which comes with pre-programed workouts, the GoPet Petrun PR700 comes with training guides. GoPet covers its treadmills for a one-year period from the date of purchase indicated on the receipt. The comprehensive cover includes cases of the product getting damaged before it reaches you, as well as any product defects under normal operating conditions.
If you are in the market for a low priced but high quality dog treadmill, your best option is the DogPacer Minipacer. Though built for small canines, the DogPacer Minipacer can accommodate medium animals as well. This is the lowest priced treadmill in the market, with a high level of quality and durability. Made from carbon steel, this machine can support pets which weigh up to 55 pounds.
The Minipacer has a running area measuring 38 X 16 inches, which rules out big dogs. It has speeds of 0.5 – 7.5 MPH with a speed increment of 0.1. This budget friendly machine also has an incline of 4.5 degrees, allowing you to simulate natural terrains.
The Minipacer’s walls are collapsible. This feature is great because some puppies require walls to keep them in position, while others don’t need any obstruction on their side. It also has foldable design, which makes it easy for it to be stored and improves it portability, making it best for limited spaces.
In spite of it low price, the Minipacer has inbuilt computer which has several pre-set exercise and fitness programs to help you optimize your best friend’s health and improve its behavior. Like other best quality machines, the DogPacer Minipacer comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame, which is made of carbon steel. It also has one-year warranty on parts and craftsmanship.
The motor of the Minipacer is relatively quiet, which not only makes it possible for you to exercise your pet at odd hours without disturbing others, your dog also appreciates the silent workout. The machine horizontal bar is quite high, which ensures the leash is not trapped even when you are not in the lookout.
Best Dog Treadmill For Small Dogs
Our best dog treadmill pick for small canines is PetZen DogTread Small-Size. This machine is designed in the way your canine learns, thinks and moves. It is ideal for puppies which weigh up to 30 pounds. PetZen DogTread is a sturdily built machine, measuring 44 X 21 X 20 inches and weighs 47 pounds. It is equipped with transportation wheels for easy movement.
Since it is meant for small animals, it is powered by 0.5 horsepower motor which gets it to speeds of 0.3 – 5.0 MPH. This machine has manual incline options ranging from 0% to 14%, allowing your pet to get the best out of the routine. The running area measures 29” X 14, which suitable for most lab canines. The platform is also low enough, making it easy for your pet to jump and workout without fear of falling off. This machine doesn’t have holes, seams or meshes which could injure your puppy by catching their small claws.
The PetZen DogTread is also equipped with a recessed treat holder, which allows you to conveniently hold and dispense treats during initial training. It comes with a LCD console which allows you to monitor speed, time and distance. In addition, it has a remote control which adds versatility to the exercise. It also comes with a training DVD and brochure.
Another great feature which makes Petzen DogTread the best for puppies is the whisper- quiet motor with no vibrations. Quiet machines help your canine adjust quickly. The Petzen DogTread is easily foldable and can comfortably rest on its nose, making it ideal for small apartments and offices. On top of that, it is covered with a 2-year warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee.
Best Dog Treadmill For Large Pets
If you are looking for the best treadmill for a giant canine, you should consider purchasing the GoPet Petrun PR730. We chose this machine due to its high-tech features which are not found in other machines and its strength to support big, hyperactive dogs. This top machine supports canines which weigh up to 265 pounds and measure up to 59 inches in length, making it the best for big animals.
GoPet Petrun PR730 has an overall size of 100 X 34 X 20 inches and has a running area of 98 X 25 inches, big enough to accommodate the largest animals. The running area is lowly placed, which allows your dog to jump on aboard, walk and run without nervousness. This machine comes with an Air Step Incline system which allows you to decrease or increase the incline to simulate different terrains during the workout. In addition, it folds easily, making it convenient for storage.
To ease its movements, GoPet Petrun PR730 is equipped with dolly wheels which make it possible for someone to move it by themselves. It also has a metal eyelet where you can hang your pet’s toy for extra motivation. This powerful machine runs silently and has speed of 0.6 – 7.5 MPH. It is also equipped with push buttons which enable you to gradually increase or decrease the speed. It also comes with a wireless remote control and safety lock system.
Best Non-Motorized Dog Treadmill
Our favorite non-motorized treadmill is the GoPet Treadwheel which breaks from the traditional workout convention with a non-motorized, off-leash walking and running solution. This ensures your pet runs at its own natural speed. On top of its amazing features, it emerged the best manually controlled machine due to its convenience to train indoors and outdoors.
Measuring at 70 X 35 X 65 inches, the GoPet Treadwheel is designed for large animals which weigh up to 150 pounds. It has a running area with 60 X 20 dimensions, which is largely comfortable for animals with large gaits. The running surface is cushioned with a durable matted surface which protects your best friend from foot injuries while exercising. What we liked about GoPet Treadwheel is that you must not be around for your pet to train. It can train on its own without the risk of getting injured or messing the surrounding. In addition, the treadwheel is tension controlled to increase the resistance, helping increase your pet’s intensity.
The GoPet Treadwheel is suitable for high energy animals and allows your pet to exercise as long as it can sustain. It is also equipped with a training door, which ensures it stays at the running area. This machine is ultra-violet resistant, meaning you can take it outdoor without fading or discoloration. It is also mildew resistant, meaning your pet is safe from mold and fungus. It is also easy to clean. We also liked its stability and safety.
Best High-End Dog Treadmill
If you are in interested in getting your favorite pet a high-end treadmill and you do not have budgetary constraints, you should consider going for the Petzen DogTread for large pets. This premium machine supports pets weighing up to 150 pounds. It measures at 89 X 24 X 19 inches and weighs 100 lbs. It is equipped with transportation wheels, making it easy to move around.
This machine comes with a removable treat holder. The holder is used to treat your pet during the first days of training and it shouldn’t be used for holding water. It has a natural running platform with 75” X 17” dimensions, spacious enough for pets with large gaits. The running area is equipped with low fence, which provides a more thrilling and natural experience for your pet. The fences are collapsible, save space and give room to more training versatility.
This machine comes with an inbuilt manual incline which is easy to adjust. The incline options range from 0% to 7%, presenting you with the best opportunity to simulate natural terrains. This powerful machine is powered by a 1 horsepower motor and its speed range from 0.5 – 7.0 MPH. In addition, it is equipped with a blue backlit LCD screen, which displays time, speed and distance covered in each workout. It also has an easy to spot Red Safety Start button. This high-end machine also comes with a remote control.
For safety measures, the PetZen DogTread has a magnetic safety key which shuts down the machine immediately it is pulled. It is also sturdily built with a steel frame and it doesn’t have any gaps or holes which might injure your beloved pet.
This machine is preloaded with several workouts program, availing the best exercises, while at the same time saving you the hustle of programming your own exercise. In addition, the motor is quiet with no vibrations, creating a peaceful and perfect workout environment.
Best Dog Treadmill For Limited Spaces
If you are looking for the best machine for your office or small apartment, you should consider buying the GoPet Treadwheel ToySmall. Its small size and ease of assembly makes it ideal for limited spaces. This electric powered machine supports pets which weigh up to 25 pounds. It designed in a way that allows your canine to control its own pace and has an adjustable optional break, making it safer and healthier.
Its base is made of heavy metal, while the wheel is made of thick, high quality plastic. The inner surface of the running wheel is cushioned with heavy material to protect your canine from possible injuries.
There are several other options found in the market that didn’t make to our list of best dog treadmills due to several underlying factors. Some of the factors which barred them include but not limited to short running decks, taking minutes before increasing or decreasing speed and high running platforms.
Care and Maintenance
Though the best machines are sufficiently covered by warranties, it is crucial to keep it on good condition for optimum results. Always ensure that you clean it after every intense exercise. If your machine is powered by motor, always ensure that you lubricate the belts once in a while for smooth running. The best machines come pre-lubricated, and can run for several months without needing addition lubricant. Others need to be lubricated every other month. Confirm from your owner’s manual to ascertain how regular you need to lubricate yours.
Most of the electronic features of your machine are sensitive to high temperature, humidity and heat, therefore you should strive to keep your machine in a cool place away from direct sunlight. If you notice your canine is falling back, ensure that the belts are well tightened. Follow the instructions on your user’s manual guide every time you troubleshoot the machine.
Like all electronics, when mishandled, these machines can cause fatal injuries to your pet. To prevent this, there general guidelines to follow. You should always ensure you are present to supervise your pet. Start slowly and gradually increase the pace, don’t start your canine at high uncomfortable speeds. Similarly, increase the incline gradually as your pet gets accustomed to workouts. Don’t push your canine to go beyond its limits, this can make it fall or at worst get injured. If your machine comes with a safety key, always ensure you have it in case of an emergency. Also ensure that there is 1.8 FT clearance in both ends of your machine and 0.6 FT on both sides.
Always ensure that you place your machine close to the ground as possible. This will give your pet the outdoor natural feeling and it will also prevent it from falling far in event of an accident or misstep.
Always ensure that you present your pet with different working routines every now and then. Mimic the outdoor conditions by changing the incline to bring out the best of your canine. Use a leash to guide your pet and treats to motivate it. If your pet is in a good health condition, increase the intensity to facilitate the production of endorphins and to improve its overall strength. Before starting any workout on the treadmill, ensure your pet has 5 – 10 minutes of warm up, depending on how engaging the exercise will be, to prevent injuries. Lastly, to get the best out of your canine ensure the workouts are regular.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What Size Of Dog Treadmill Should I Buy?
A: The ideal size of the machine depends on your pet’s gait. The running area should be 5 – 10 inches longer than the length of the animal. Short decks will interfere with its natural gait, which might lead to injury. Additionally, you should also consider the weight of your pet.
Q: Can I Use Human Treadmill To Exercise My Dog?
A: Yes, you can train your pet using a human treadmill. However, it is much difficult to train your canine on a human treadmill as they lack dog-specific features, such as the fence which keeps your pet focused on running while preventing it from falling over. We humans have shorter gaits than dogs, thus most of human machines have short decks.
Additionally, human treadmills are designed to have wider belts and in some machines, they have end caps which can result to foot injury if maximum care is not observed. Unlike the canine treadmills, human treadmills are not designed to handle urine, slobber, dust or hair which may interfere with the sensors and electronics. The console is also not strategically placed, which will affect your pet’s training.
Q: Should I Only Use Dog Treadmill To Exercise My Dog?
A: No, you should expose your pet to other form exercise while staying loyal to treadmill workout for you to achieve maximum health benefits for your pet. You can take your puppy out for a walk, swimming or play fetch.
Q: How Long Will It Take Me To Train My Dog To Use Treadmill?
A: This largely depends on the breed of your canine and how often it used to exercise. However, if you commit to training it and maintain a consistent workout program, it should be running on the treadmill within the first 7 days.
Q: How Long Should I Run My Dog On A Treadmill?
The amount of time your pet spends on the treadmill depends on its overall health and intensity levels. At first, it should work out for few minutes. You can then increase the time gradually. After a few weeks of training, your canine should comfortably clock 15 – 25 minutes. If you notice it needs more exercising time, split the exercise program into two, one session in the morning and another one in the evening before feeding.
Exercise suggestions for different breeds
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 accordingly.
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 are bred to look endearingly cute. A 15-minute walk each day is enough to satisfy their activity requirements.
If you are looking for the best dog treadmill to purchase, you should consider buying DogPacer LF 3.1 which topped our list. Owing to its size and powerful motor, this machine gives your canine solid performance. Its pre-programmed workouts help you identify the right workout formula, which optimizes your dog exercise regime.