Dog Treadmills – What to Know (+ How to Build A Dog Treadmill!) – Exercise With Dogs

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It ’ s a rule of flick that most dogs need around 60 minutes of drill a sidereal day. But did you know that most dogs need doubly that to stay in flower health ? You ’ five hundred sleep together to be able to do that for your whelp .
unfortunately, if you ’ re like most Americans, then there international relations and security network ’ thyroxine adequate time in the day to do it !
That ’ south why I ’ ve written this ultimate guide for chase treadmills ( + how to build your own frank treadmill ! ). They’re the perfect way to supplement your dog’s exercise time, burn off excess energy and weight, as well as turn your dog into a canine athlete!
Dog treadmills are no substitute for traditional exercise and playtime, though. But more on that later.

In this article we ’ ll cover :

  • The dangers of canine obesity
  • How much exercise your dog actually needs
  • The basics of dog treadmills
  • Choosing the best treadmill for your dog
  • Training your dog to use a treadmill
  • How to build your own dog treadmill

Dog treadmills can be expensive, indeed deciding to buy or build one requires a distribute of remember. however, they make a fantastic addition for anyone who is strapped for time, pups that need to lose a few elevated railway bees, or people who want to train with their frank !

The Dangers Facing Overweight Dogs

Obesity is merely as prevailing among dogs as it is among humans. According to a 2014 survey conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, over 50 % of dogs are either corpulence or corpulent .
Dogs are considered overweight when they weigh 15 % or more over their standard weight. Dogs are considered obese when they are 30 % or more over their standard weight .
The cause of fleshiness in dogs is alike to that of fleshiness in humans. namely, they consume more energy in the shape of food than they spend in the phase of forcible activity .
There are other causes, of naturally. Older female dogs that have been spayed are at a higher risk for fleshiness. A lack of exercise sure doesn ’ t assistant the situation !
In general, dogs that have been fixed face a higher risk of fleshiness than those that haven ’ thymine, probably as a leave of an adapted metabolism adenine well as hormones. Dog owners who ( responsibly ) get their pups fixe must besides ( responsibly ) make certain they ’ re getting adequate exercise !
Age can besides play a factor in fleshiness. Like humans, dogs become less active as they get older equally well as lose lean body multitude. This requires an adjust diet. Dog owners should consult their veterinarian to develop a nutrition plan that will satiate their pup while besides maintaining their weight .
There are besides factors that play into a lower risk for canine fleshiness. One major factor is breed. many active breeds such as terriers, hounds, spaniels, and retrievers being at much lower risk for fleshiness than other breeds .
Overweight dog looking sad.

Health Problems Caused by Dog Obesity

sure, a fat cad international relations and security network ’ thyroxine aesthetically pleasing, but that ’ s not the alone downside to an corpulent pawl. early issues can develop, as well .
Issues such as :

  • High blood pressure
  • Arthritis
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Breathing problems 
  • Orthopedic disorders
  • Certain types of cancer

An corpulent frump may experience one or a combination of these health problems. however, they all lead to one inevitable decision : an early death .

Behavioral Issues Due to Lack of Exercise

An corpulent cad is a bored dog, and a blase frump is an unhappy frank. What ’ second deplorable is that many frank owners are promptly to label their pups as hyperactive when it ’ s not the fault of the cad. The truth is that it ’ s more frequently the fault of the owner !
Does your dog show any of these unwanted behaviors ?

  • Barking or whining for attention
  • Constantly play biting
  • Playing too rough
  • Destructive scratching, chewing, and / or digging
  • Getting into the garbage and other places they shouldn’t
  • Jumping on furniture, counters, and people that they shouldn’t

If so, then you shouldn ’ thymine be asking yourself, “ Is my pawl hyperactive ? ”
What you should be asking yourself is, “ Am I exercising my andiron adequate ? ”
To be net, I’m not saying that hyperactivity doesn ’ t exist in dogs any more than it does in humans. I am saying that there are steps that should be taken before you put your whelp on medication or, much worse, send her to the proverbial “ farm upstate ” .
I ’ meter not a veterinarian. Always talk to your vet first about any problems you may be having and how to address these issues.

How much exercise does my dog need?

This is a standard doubt for any chase owner. The problem is that there are a set of variables that go into figuring out the answer ! A dog ’ mho age, weight, overall health, and breed all play a agent .
then there ’ s the fact that no two dogs are precisely the lapp. You ’ ve got a little individual on your hands and they have individual needs !
Consider this section a template rather than a mold. While I ’ ve dig for the best information on the internet, you should placid consult your vet when developing an exercise design for your dog .
Dogs head photoshopped onto a bodybuilder's body.Who’s a ripped boy?!


Age is crucial because it affects your chase ’ s energy level, which determines how much exercise your frump can handle. amply ripen dogs need the baseline for their breed. Puppies, on the other hand, will have a fortune more energy and need a fortune more exercise .
Older dogs ( normally around 7 – 8 years honest-to-god ) hush need exert, but not closely equally much. A good rule of ovolo is to decrease their exercise time by 20 – 30 % .


Dogs with a normal weight for their breed or size should follow the standard guidelines. That being said, overweight or obese dogs should reduce the criterion amount by 20 – 30 % .

Overall Health

Like system of weights, full matured dogs should be able to do the full 100 %. however, frank owners should tailor exercises for dogs that are older or have specific ailments. For example, a frump with arthritis or hip dysplasia will need particular considerations that a healthy frump doesn ’ thymine .


A dog ’ south breed is where things become more concrete. The majority of breeds require a minimum of 60 minutes of drill per day if they ’ re in full matured .
This is because these breeds come from sporting, working, or herding backgrounds. They have a draw of energy and require a lot of exercise to stay physically and mentally goodly .
There are exceptions, though. Toy breeds, giant breeds, and certain types of hounds don ’ metric ton need about that much .
I ’ ve split this section by breed groups so you can get an idea of what a amply matured chase may require for exercise. Again, this is a template and not a model. Talk to your vet before starting your dog on any exercise regimen.

Sporting Breed Group 

Sporting dogs were bred for hunting aboard humans. These dogs specialize in finding game that has been killed on land or in water. They are besides some of the most democratic dogs for families in the United States .
Sporting breeds include :

  • German Short Hair Pointers
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Gordon Setters
  • Springer Spaniels

They require 60 – 120 minutes of exercise per day.

Working Breed Group

Working breeds were bred to, well, sour. They ’ ve been used for farming and drafting and what we normally think of as “ sled dogs ” .
Working breeds include :

  • Dobermans
  • Huskies
  • Rottweillers

They require 60 – 120 minutes of exercise per day.

Herding Breed Group

Herding breeds are some of the most energetic and intelligent breeds out there. They require just as much mental stimulation as physical stimulation. As I pointed out in my post about the best frank breeds for hike, people will buy these dogs because they ’ re so pretty .
unfortunately, many owners are not fix to meet the demand of such energetic and intelligent dogs. I highly recommend getting a pawl that fits your life style. otherwise, you ’ ll be forced to fit your life style to your chase .
Herding breeds include :

  • Border Collies
  • Cattle Dogs
  • Corgis
  • German Shepherds

They require 60 – 120 minutes of exercise per day.

Terrier & Vermin Breed Group

It may surprise some people to learn that these weren ’ thyroxine constantly considered lap dogs. They were actually bred for hunting little game like rodents. Like the herding breed group, terrier and vermin breeds are highly healthy and need a mental exercise equally much as a physical one !
Terrier and vermin breeds include :

  • All the terriers
  • Dachsunds
  • Pinschers (excluding Dobermans)

They require 60 – 90 minutes of exercise per day.

Scent Hounds Breed Group

These dogs are similar to the sporting breed group. They ’ re popular with hunters who use them to hunt prey using their pawl ’ south potent sense of smell. This breed group is frequently described as “ thinking with their nose. ”
Scent cad breeds include :

  • Beagles
  • Basset Hounds
  • Blood Hounds (more medium energy)

They require 60 – 90 minutes of exercise per day.

Other Breeds

other breeds don ’ thyroxine require closely angstrom much exercise as the ones I ’ ve listed above. They have either medium or moo energy .
other breeds include :

  • Brachycephalic breeds like bulldogs and pugs
  • Toy and small breeds like Chihuahuas (or, as I like to call them, “bait for real dogs”)
  • Sight hounds like Greyhounds and Whippets
  • Giant breeds like Great Danes and Saint Bernards

These breeds require a maximum of 60 minutes of exercise per day, and even that is too much for some of them .

What’s my point?

Most dogs require a minimal of 60 minutes of exercise per sidereal day, but 120 minutes ( 2 hours ) is much more ideal. The fact is that it ’ s not realistic for a fortune of people. even exercising breeds that don ’ thyroxine want as much can take a big collocate out of your day .
Responsibilities like exercise and basic human survival ( fudge, sleep, using the bathroom, etc. ) eat up a lot of time, and we have to go to bed to do it all again tomorrow ! then there are factors like the weather which can prevent you from going external .
You could dress your frank up in a pair of frank boots and a pooch rain jacket. The trouble is that getting them on and off is only going to eat up more your fourth dimension .
There are besides physical limitations. Some people aren ’ t able to take their dogs for a walk outside. People with certain disabilities who love their dogs may be limited in the types of exercise they provide .
What you want is a supplement for your pawl ’ s regular exercise. Something that will allow your frump to move while you do chores and fulfill early responsibilities around the firm. That ’ s where chase treadmills come in .

Dog Treadmills

Dogs on treadmills are like dogs wearing boots or jackets – at first glance, it equitable ain ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate right ! But as we equitable established, treadmills can make a antic supplement to your dog ’ mho exercise regimen .
You ’ ll have to make some specific considerations when deciding what treadmill to choose, or to evening use one at all ! Let ’ s take a attend at some of those considerations to see if a chase treadmill is correct for your frump ( and for you ) !

Can dogs use human treadmills?

The majority of what I have read says no. many people do walk their dogs on human treadmills, but it adds more hazards to an natural process that will make your cad nervous when first starting out .
For starters, the position of the motor on a human treadmill international relations and security network ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate ideal. Your frank ’ s long fur could get caught in the vent and motor. think of it as how you were taught to ride an escalator clause properly as a kid ( and how that fear has haunted you ever since ) .
then there ’ mho noise and vibrations. They may not bother you, but they ’ re surely to freak out some dogs and make them more anxious. What makes dog treadmills different is that they ’ re designed to be quieter and more stable than human ones .
Side rails act as a ocular usher and guard caution for human runners. Treadmills for dogs have the same feature, but they ’ re placed much lower so they ’ ll actually work for your frump !
You should besides consider track length and width. Dogs air bladder more when they run, meaning that they ’ ll float back, forward, and side to side while they run. They need a wide and longer track for utmost safety when using a treadmill .
Floating besides creates a trouble for the gaps between the belts and edges. Human treadmills have a wider gap to make fabrication easier. A dog could get a claw adhere in there and experience a serious wound !
last is speed. A homo treadmill should be very well for larger dogs. however, you may have trouble finding a speed boring adequate for smaller dogs .
none of this is to say that you absolutely can ’ t use a human treadmill for your pawl. You just need to be mindful of the dangers they present if you choose to use one .

Types of Dog Treadmills

Treadmills for dogs come in two types :

  • Mechanical
  • Dog-powered

As you may have guessed, mechanical treadmills for dogs work using a drive. These are specifically designed for dogs and avoid the issues with human treadmills that we good discussed. They can range anywhere from $ 500 – $ 5,000 ( ! ! ! ) .
Dog-powered treadmills come in two types : treadwheels and dog carpet mills. Treadwheels are basically giant hamster wheels for dogs. Dog carpet mills are built using wood, nails, and carpet for the path. These normally range between $ 300 – $ 600 .
The mechanical option will be a bunch more expensive than non-motorized frump treadmills, though the latter can get expensive truly quickly. Buyers should make certain that they ’ ll get enough use out of the treadmill to justify the purchase !

The Limitations of Treadmills for Dogs

Dog treadmills make a capital append for when your schedule, the weather, or some early variable prevents you from exercising your cad as you should .
however, preceptor ’ t make the err of thinking that it should be your puppy ’ randomness main source of physical natural process !
If you ’ ve ever worked out then you know that there ’ south more going on than just exercise. You ’ re having to mentally keep track of what you ’ re doing at the same time, so your brain is getting a exercise a well .
Do you go to a gymnasium, take some kind of exercise class, or exercise with a friend ? If indeed, then you know that social interaction can be an important part of the exercise know .
All of this is true for your cad, if not more so. Like humans, dogs need mental foreplay, social interaction, diverse smells, and lots of assortment when they exercise .
That ’ mho why chase treadmills are a supplement rather than a cure for corpulent and fleshy dogs. They can ’ metric ton satisfy all of your whelp ’ randomness needs in a one activity, but they ’ re a great tool for sneaking in some extra steps !

Choosing a Treadmill for Your Dog

There are sealed features you should be looking for depending on your goals. Of class, you want to keep your andiron active when you can ’ metric ton walk them, but different features will allow you to personalize their exercise experience .
besides, knowing what you want gives you an idea of how a lot you ’ re going to spend. This means that you can save money on your pooch treadmill or that you ’ re getting the most slam for your buck with features .


Treadmills for dogs have can have ramp just like homo treadmills. The tend allows your cad to get a more acute exercise on the treadmill.
This can come particularly in handy if you ’ re wanting to help your cad lose weight. It ’ randomness besides useful for urban dogsled, agility train, canicross .

Track Length

You ’ ll choose your treadmill based on the size of your dog. The bigger the cad, the longer the track you ’ ll need .

  • Small breeds: 29 x 14-inch length
  • Medium breeds: 47 x 17-inch length
  • Large+ breeds: 75 x 17-inch length

person dogs within a breed can vary in size. Measure them first to make certain that you ’ re not buying something besides curtly !

Time & Distance Meters

This feature credibly won ’ triiodothyronine be necessary for regular walk. however, it will come in handy for folks who want a sport frank treadmill to train their athletic frank. People who want to turn their pups into marathon dogs will find this sport specially helpful .

How to Train Your Dog to Use a Treadmill

Training your andiron to use a treadmill is similar to training her to use a frank preview. You want to acclimate your pawl to the treadmill ’ s presence before you even think of turning it on .

Getting Started

  1. The first thing you want to do is build the treadmill and put it in the proper position. According to Pippa Elliott, MRCVS, you should never face a dog treadmill toward a wall. Otherwise, she’ll think that she’s going to walk or run into it!
  2. Let your dog get used to the treadmill. Don’t turn it on, yet! The sound can easily frighten her. Let her smell and explore it for a couple of days, first.
  3. Help her make positive associations with the treadmill by giving her treats and meals near it. You should also place her water bowl and some toys near it.
  4. You can lure her onto the treadmill by placing treats on it. Don’t turn it on! Use commands like “Get on” to familiarize her with the command. Make sure to reward her with plenty of treats!

Turn It On

  1. Set the treadmill to its lowest speed and get on it yourself. This is assuming you bought one that supports your weight.
  2. Give your pup plenty of time to watch, sniff, and understand what’s happening. Encourage her to get on if she’ll fit on the track with you.
  3. Give lots of treats.
  4. Continue this process until she’s comfortable walking with you.

Getting Your Dog to Walk Alone on the Treadmill

  1. Put your dog on her leash before letting her on the treadmill alone. 
  2. Set the treadmill on its lowest setting.
  3. If your dog doesn’t adapt quickly, then stand in front of the treadmill and encourage her to keep walking.
  4. Do this for 30 second to 1 minute sessions until she’s comfortable.
  5. End the session if she looks anxious or unhappy. Watch for a tucked tail or larger eyes than normal, or any other signs of discomfort.
  6. Build up to longer sessions once she’s comfortable: 2-3 minutes, then 5,  slowly working your way up to 20 – 30 minutes.
  7. You may also want to increase the intensity to burn excess weight or energy. Experiment with speeds to see what she can handle. Don’t do too much all at once, though!

This process will credibly take longer than my instructions make it seem. Be patient ! Make sure to give your pup plenty of treats and words of boost. They ’ ll be running on their new treadmill soon adequate !

How to Build Your Own Dog Treadmill

Earlier I mentioned chase carpet mills and how you can build your own. There are a short ton of great web log resources and videos on YouTube, but I wanted to give you an estimate of what to expect if you decide to build your own .
This will credibly take longer than assembling one you bought on-line. however, building your own DIY cad treadmill will save a short ton of money !
Dog running on a DIY carpet mill.See Spot run…in place.

Measuring Your Dog

  1. Measure your dog’s longest stride by laying her on her side and extending her back and front legs out as far as possible without hurting her
  2. Add 20% to this measurement.

Your result will be the length of your track.

  1. Now move her to a standing position and measure the width of her chest. 
  2. Multiply your result by 1.5.

Your result will be the width of your track.

  1. Still in standing position, measure from the floor to the top of her.
  2. Add at least 5 inches to your result.

Your result will be the height of the frame.
now you have the dimensions you ’ ll be working with. Let ’ s act on to the cutting !

The Frame

  1. Get a piece of plywood that’s:
    1. The size of the length and width measurements you just made.
    2. 1 / 4 inch thick or thicker.
  2. Use 2 x 4s to build the frame that will support the track.
    1. Your 2 x 4s should extend about 5 inches past the front and back of your track. This will give you room for the rollers as well as enough length to where the carpet won’t come off.
    2. Pro Tip: If your dog is obese or overweight, add a couple of 2 x 4s across the width of the frame. They’ll act as braces to stabilize the treadmill.
  3. Drive your screws or hammer your nails to hold the frame together and fix the track to the top of it.
  4. Mark a spot about 3 / 4s of the way back on both sides of the frame. 
  5. Take two 2 x 4s that are the length of the track.
  6. Secure the 2 x 4s to the outer frame in an upright position with nails or screws.
  7. Mark another spot about a foot ahead of the upright 2 x 4s on both sides of the track.
  8. Position two shorter 2 x 4s in an upright position on these marks, angling them backward until they connect with the “inside” of the longer 2 x 4s.
  9. Secure the shorter 2 x 4s to the frame and to the longer 2 x 4s so they act as braces.
  10. Place and secure a dowel rod between the two longer 2 x 4s to create a place to tie your dog’s leash.

The Rollers

  1. Measure and cut two pieces of PVC pipe to fit the width of the track at both ends.
  2. Insert a 4 x 4 post inside both pieces of PVC pipe.
  3. Mark the centermost point on each end of wood inside the PVC pipes.
  4. Drill a guide hole into each marked point.
  5. Place the PVC pipes at either end of the frame to where the top is slightly above the running board. This will keep the carpet from catching when your dog runs on it.
  6. Align the center of the pipe with the frame sides and carefully drill holes through the frame.
  7. Insert short lengths of copper tubing to act as bearings.
  8. Insert long nails through the pilot holes into the posts inside the PVC pipes to secure them while allowing the PVC pipes to spin freely.

The Carpet

  1. Measure a piece of carpet that:
    1. Matches the length of your track.
    2. Is long enough to go around the track and both rollers.
  2. Leave some extra length on the carpet so you can adjust it if needed.
  3. Cut the carpet, leaving some extra length to create an overlapping area.
  4. Sew the ends together using a heavy-duty fishing line and a curved bag needle.

The Legs

  1. Place 2 x 4s or cinder blocks under the frame for support.
  2. Make sure the front is elevated higher than the back.
  3. For a harder workout, add more 2 x 4s or cinder blocks to the front to create an incline.

make ? OK Go !

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Category : Dog

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