I bet every dog owner, at some point, wished they had a treadmill for their dog. That’s especially true during cold winter months, when it’s pouring rain or when we’re having a really lazy day – it happens to the best of us! Regardless of the reason, it is well worth teaching your dog how to use a treadmill as it’s a great tool that serves many purposes.
Benefits of using a dog treadmill
- Weight management
- Burning off excess energy
- Stress relief
- Conditioning for canine athlete
- Assist with rehabilitation from injuries
- Substitute for outdoor exercise during extreme weather conditions or while the owner is unwell
Follow these Steps to Teach Your Dog To Use a Treadmill
The most important thing to keep in mind when teaching your dog to use a treadmill is to never use force. Give them time to get familiar with the equipment and accustomed to the sound it makes. Here are some easy steps to get started:
- Let he dog smell the treadmill and reward them for their interest
- Lure your dog onto the treadmill and reward them while they’re standing on it
- Turn it into a game: jumping on and off the treadmill, each time encourage your dog to stay on it a bit longer. Give them a reward while they are standing on the treadmill
- Turn on the treadmill while your dog is in the room, but not on it. Let them get familiar with the sound the treadmill makes.
- Put a flat collar or harness on your dog and a leash *NEVER tie your dog to the treadmill* this will help you assist your dog while the treadmill is moving
- Turn on the treadmill to the lowest setting and help your dog ease into a steady pace. Don’t force them to stay on the treadmill if the want to get off, reward a steady, relaxed pace and repeat, repeat, repeat until your dog feels comfortable and at ease.
- You can slowly increase the speed and the cardio workout will become its own reward for your dog.
Don’t get discouraged, it can take many weeks before your dogs starts getting the hang of it.
Once your dog becomes comfortable with the treadmill remember to:
- Increase the duration and speed in small increments over a period of time
- Don’t forget to do a warm up and cool down
- Don’t feed or water your dog immediately before or after exercising as this may cause bloat.
- Take your dog for a potty break before and after using the treadmill
- Always supervise your dog while on the treadmill
Wow Rocco, that’s pawesome. I don’t think I would do the treadmill though, but good thing I have my yellow raincoat! Wooooowoooooooo!
A Husky Life says
I’m thinking Rocco needs one too. He hates raincoats (or any kind of “clothing”), but maybe we can find one that he won’t mind as much….
Kimberly Gauthier says
Wow! This is so cool. I’ve always wondered about this. Thanks for sharing. How do I teach our dogs to use an elliptical?
A Husky Life says
Hahahahahahahaha….now that’s a trick I would LOVE to see!!!
Ann Paws says
I wonder what Shiner would think of a treadmill… we don’t have one. I think it would be interesting to find out though!
We think that dog treadmills are a great tool for canine fitness. Not only can you use them for walking/running when getting outside is not practical, but you can also use (the better brand models) to do all kinds of other exercises, like the “side step”. You can read about the sidestep on a treadmill here: http://slimdoggy.com/multi-directional-training-for-strength-and-injury-prevention/
If you are going to use a dog treadmill, please be aware that size does matter. The size of the platform needs to be adequate for the dog’s gait, otherwise you can cause some form issues that could lead to injuries down the road.
A Husky Life says
Thank you for your comment. Yes, the size is definitely very important! I also really like treadmills with incline control, which allow you to build up or strengthen specific groups of muscles
Rave looks really happy using it. I hope Rocco gets to like it.
Francesca Villa says
Look at Rave enjoying it!! haha! Love that face!! Joker is a treadmill pro too! Just 30 mins of it even at a extremely slow pace is enough to tire Joker out. 🙂
Cool idea, especially if its not possible to go for a walk. I’m not sure I’d like it but with enough treats I might be tempted 🙂
Very Interesting! Pops has been thinking of getting a treadmill for some time, perhaps we will investigate further, play bows,
Excellent! We’ve been entertaining the idea of teaching our one Husky this as she has quite the spurt of zoomies and uses my hallway to exercise in bad weather! Go Rocco, you’ve got the hang of it, buddy!
I’m always amazed at dogs that use a treadmill. Some make it look so easy and natural. Thanks for the tips on how to get your dog to use one. As will any new thing – patience is always important.
I wonder if Penny would like this…we just might have to give it a try!
M. K. Clinton says
I might have to try the treadmill with Bentley. He watches me walk on it all of the time. Thanks for the information.
Tenacious Little Terrier says
Treadmills are a great resource for dogs who live in places with bad weather!
I had my dogs use the treadmill a few years ago when they were overweight. They seemed to like it just fine, we stopped using it when it warmed up and I never started them up again. I think this winter will be the perfect time to get them back on it.
Neat! I have thought about training mine for the treadmill.
Momma’s always wondered if I’d like a treadmill – she saw a dog specific one and thought we might give it a whirl, so these tips will be very helpful should we go for it!!
Great share! So important to do this properly. We’re in Ontario and there are days that a walk is not possible due to freezing cold weather. The treadmill is a great alternative.
Sweet Purrfections says
that’s pretty cool! Do you think it would work on Mom Paula?
I’ve been very lucky with my own dogs having low energy, but this is something that I have been considering for my father’s dog, Godzilla. Thank you for the helpful instructions!