I know they may sound funny at first, and you’ve probably got a comedy image in your head of how dog treadmills look, or even work but there are real benefits to your dog using one.
They are a great way to keep your pup in shape, and there are plenty of options to choose from. We’ve rounded up the best dog treadmills of 2024, so you can pick the perfect one for your best bud.
Generally speaking, the best dog treadmills are sturdy and easy to use, with plenty of features to keep your pup safe, comfortable, and fit. Some also come with remote controls, so you can start and stop the treadmill from a distance should you need to at any point.
What is a dog treadmill?
So let’s answer the first question, what is a dog treadmill?
Well, a dog treadmill is a machine that helps dogs get exercise by walking or running on a belt that moves around a closed path – much like a human treadmill.
7 important things to think about when buying a dog treadmill
The most important things to look for when buying a dog treadmill are:
1. The size of the treadmill and whether to not it can be folded and stored away.
2. The weight capacity or weight of the dog that it can handle.
3. The top speed – some high energy dogs will need higher-speed treadmills to get a decent workout. This matter in the same way it does to us humans when following treadmill workouts.
4. Whether or not the incline can be adjusted.
5. Can it be remote controlled in case you need to stop it quickly? For that matter does the machine itself have an emergency stop button or safety key to attach to your dog.
6. Does it have side panels or ‘blinkers’ to stop your dog from getting distracted while running or walking on the doggy treadmill.
7. Make sure it comes with a warranty or a good returns policy in case your dog is scared of using it and it’s too much of a struggle to train them to do so.
Dog treadmills come in various different sizes and specifications for all the different types of dogs out there – yes there really is a treadmill for every dog – haha.
Here are my top suggestions if you’re pressed for time:
- If you have a very energetic dog weighing up to 179lbs then I would recommend going for the DogPACER 4.
- If you have a small dog who needs extra exercise to take the edge off at home go with the affordable Lifepro PawRunner Pet Treadmill.
- If you have a large dog weighing up to 198lbs or a high-performance sport dog, go with the Dog Runner Tracks Electric Treadmill – it’s expensive but the elite choice and a great choice if you need a treadmill for a large dog.
For example, Trail & Kale’s resident trail dog Kepler is a Border Collie and weighs just under 50lb. He’s a strong dog with long legs who has bags of energy and can run for miles on the trails. This makes him best suited to the Dog Runner Tracks and the DogPACER 4.
The Best Dog Treadmills To Exercise Your Dog Indoors [Our Top Picks]
DogPACER 4 – [BEST OVERALL]
This treadmill is the best overall and has all the features you could possibly want for your dog to use a treadmill to help them recover from injury, or train for their next canicross event.
The DogPACER 4.0 is the World’s first Smart Dog Treadmill and one of the best treadmills for dogs.
It has a maximum speed of 7.5 mph, is adjustable with 5 incline settings, can be folded away, and has a maximum weight capacity of 179lbs – so will suit most dog breeds and sizes.
What’s also cool about the DogPACER treadmill is its patented folding design making it extremely light and portable – who wants a treadmill living in the middle of their living room or office full time? Not me, fold it up and it takes up less space. WINNING!
The DogPACER 4 comes with a manufacturer’s warranty on parts and build quality, and a lifetime warranty is provided for the frame.
Also, consider the MiniPacer for smaller dog breeds who are also energetic and athletic in their physique.
Dog Runner Tracks [Large and Sports Dog Treadmill]
The Dog Runner Tracks treadmill is one of the most expensive dog treadmills on the market (and this list) and should be considered for professional dogs, think agility, or high-performance athletic dog breeds. It is also a great dog treadmill for large dogs.
It comes equipped with an LCD display with multiple onboard workout programs to train your dog with and has 3 levels of incline manual adjustment.
The treadmill itself weighs 96lbs, which is the same as the DogPACER 4 listed above, but this one has a larger maximum weight capacity of 198lbs making it a better option for extra big dogs.
The speed of the treadmill can be dialed in from 0.5 mph to 8.7 mph which makes it the fastest dog treadmill on this list and perfect for high-energy dogs.
The Dog Runner Tracks electric treadmill comes with a 2 Year Warranty for peace of mind.
LifePro Dog Treadmill [Great For Small Dogs]
The LifePro Dog Treadmill is a great all-round affordable treadmill for the general fitness of smaller dogs. This is a good option for a more traditional walk on a treadmill rather than intense running sessions.
It’s also much more affordable than some of the other options on this list and comes with a remote control to stop it immediately like a safety key of sorts.
It does also have a more traditional safety key which can be attached to your dog’s harness or collar and there’s an emergency stop button on the machine too
It also comes with side panels or ‘blinders’ to help reduce distractions during your canine companion’s workout session.
The side panels also help to focus your dog’s attention forward, so that they walk in a straight line and don’t wander off the treadmill track.
2 new from $399.99
PETSITE Dog Treadmill [MOST AFFORDABLE]
It’s good for small to medium sized dogs, has a 1.4” LCD display screen and a weight capacity of 200 lbs.
1 new from $309.99
Should you buy a dog treadmill for your pup?
If you’re considering buying a dog treadmill, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
First, they can be a great alternative to outdoor walks or runs, especially if you live in an area with bad weather or limited access to safe outdoor spaces.
That being said we would always recommend taking your pup for outdoor stimulation as much as possible! Dogs need to sniff and explore for enrichment – which they don’t get running indoors (the same as you don’t on a human treadmill!).
They’re also a good option for dogs who are elderly or have joint problems that make walking difficult.
However, dog treadmills can be expensive, so be sure to read this post carefully to get all the research you need, and check our price comparison widget before making a purchase.
Also, keep in mind that some dogs may not take well to treadmill walking, so it’s important to introduce the treadmill gradually and make sure your dog is comfortable using it before relying on it as their sole form of exercise.
If your dog doesn’t enjoy walking or running on a treadmill then you’ll be thankful you bought one that has a good returns policy!
Are Dog Running Machines Good For Dogs?
A doggy treadmill is a piece of equipment that can be very beneficial for dogs who need to get indoor exercise.
A dog treadmill is specifically designed for canine use and can help your dog stay in shape year-round, regardless of the weather outside but we still recommend taking your dog outside for walks, runs (especially if you can go trail running or hiking with your dog), frisbee or fetch sessions.
Being outdoors is always more enjoyable, especially for dogs who are stimulated by smells.
Can a Dog Use a Human Treadmill?
Some dog owners may be curious about using treadmills to exercise their dogs but may not be sure if a human treadmill can be used for a dog.
If you are considering using a human treadmill for your dog, it’s not the best option… and if you do still choose to, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
First, make sure the treadmill is the right size for your dog – most arent, especially if you have a larger dog.
Second, start slowly and increase the speed gradually.
Finally, make sure your dog is supervised at all times while on the treadmill.
We recommend using a proper dog treadmill like the DogPACER 4, for example, as they are longer than human treadmills with walls that stop your dog from veering off the treadmill.
Is it okay to exercise a pet on a treadmill?
It is okay to exercise a pet on a treadmill if recommended by a veterinarian. This could be part of your pup’s recovery program after picking up an injury, for example.
Regardless of your dog’s age, fitness level and health, it would be best to consult your dog’s vet before using a doggy treadmill with them.
How can I help my dog adjust to the treadmill?
Getting your dog used to the treadmill can take some time and patience but it should be possible with these steps.
If not though, there’s always that returns policy that I mentioned you should check on earlier! 😉
- Start by letting them sniff and explore the machine.
- Then, try walking next to the treadmill while it’s turned off to help them get a positive association with it.
- Consider using toys or treats as rewards and to create a positive association with the treadmill, before you even turn it on, and after.
- Once your dog is comfortable, you can start the machine at a slow speed.
- Gradually increase the speed as your dog gets more comfortable and if he seems scared or hesitant, take a break and try again later. This is supposed to be a fun and healthy experience, after all!