Dog Treadmill FAQ (13 Questions Answered)

You can meet your dog’s daily exercise needs with a treadmill instead of taking them out every day.

Your dog running on the treadmill will both strengthen your dog’s weak body parts and help them increase agility. 

However, many pet owners have reservations about using treadmills. Here are the most Frequently Asked Questions about Dog Treadmills and our expert answers.

How Long Should A Dog Be On A Treadmill?

The length of time your dog stays on the treadmill varies from dog to dog, but on average between 5 and 20 minutes is the ideal timing for your dog.

Are Dog Treadmills Bad For Dogs?

The downside of treadmills is overuse. Exclusively using the treadmill to meet your dog’s exercise needs isn’t healthy. Dogs do need to go outside regularly. It is good for their physical health but also their emotional and intellectual health too.  

There are both good and bad sides to treadmills. One of the good things about it is that it is a great piece of equipment that will allow you to meet your dog’s daily activity needs, without having to take your dog out in adverse weather conditions, or if you have suffered an injury or illness and can’t take them out as frequently as you normally would.

Can Dogs Run On Human Treadmills?

Yes, dogs can run on treadmills.

You can use regular treadmills for dogs so long as you adjust the speed setting accordingly and you supervise them at all times with a lead.

There are special treadmills for dogs that have harnesses and other features included for your dog’s safety and we highly recommend using one of these instead of a normal treadmill. Dogs should always be supervised, with either treadmill type you chose to use.

Are Dog Treadmills Worth It?

Treadmills provide an excellent way to meet your dog’s daily exercise needs. Treadmills, which help your dog achieve agility and athleticism, also create a great training opportunity for dogs preparing for dog shows and agility competitions.

However, treadmills can be expensive. This may be a factor you wish to consider before buying, as walking outside may be a little more time-consuming but it is free, and you get more exercise too!

How Long Should A Dog Use A Treadmill?

How long your dog should use a treadmill varies according to your dog’s breed and body structure. 

While some dogs have endurance, others get tired more quickly. But in general, your dog’s daily treadmill time should be between 5 and 20 minutes. You can build from there as your dog gets used to the treadmill and becomes fitter. But treadmill use should never exceed 30 – 45 minutes.

How Do You Introduce A Dog To A Treadmill?

  • Step 1: Put your dog on a leash and walk him to the treadmill, and perhaps around the treadmill a few times. This is a gentle exercise to help them get used to the equipment.
  • Step 2: Encourage your dog to get onto the treadmill while it is stationary. Keep your dog on the lead.  Give your dog a treat when they are on the treadmill to reinforce the positive association.
  • Step 3: Once your dog is comfortable with the treadmill, start it on the lowest possible setting. Dangle treats in front of your dogs’ nose to encourage them to walk forwards and allow them to reach the treat from time to time.
  • Step 4: Once your dog is comfortable with the lowest setting, gradually increase while repeating step 3. Always make sure your dog is correctly leashed at all times.

What Does A Treadmill Do For Dogs?

Regular treadmill exercise is great for your dog and improves cardiovascular health. 

In addition, dogs with weight problems can easily lose weight, with a little additional treadmill exercise on top of their daily walks. 

Dog treadmills are great for developing your dogs’ muscle structure, and they are fun for your dog too!

How Do I Get My Dog To Not Be Scared On A Treadmill?

So that your dog is not afraid of the treadmill, you can persuade him to move towards the treadmill with a treat. 

  • Step 1: Hold the treat against the tip of your dog’s nose and move the treat a little further each time it approaches. Keep the treadmill turned off.
  • Step 2: Keep your dog calm on the treadmill by always using a calm and positive tone of voice and rewarding them regularly with treats and attention.
  • Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2 with the treadmill turned off. Do this regularly, over the next few days. After your dog is happy on the stationary treadmill, make the treadmill run at the lowest level. After a while, gradually increase the speed and continue in this way.

Are Manual Dog Treadmills Quiet?

Treadmills in general do not run silently, but the higher end the treadmill, the smoother and more advanced the belt system is, so they tend to be quieter overall.

Although manual treadmills don’t run as loud as electric treadmills, they still make noise. The hum created by the friction effect of the belt on them and the rotating movement of the belt on the roller causes the manual treadmill to run loudly.

How Do You Make A Dog Treadmill From Scratch?

  • Step 1: According to the size of your dog, assemble the metal or wooden frames parallel to each other to create a frame.
  • Step 2: Connect a reel to both ends for the belt to loop through.
  • Step 3: Acquire a base with legs and attach it to the frame. The belt must be secure and not touching any part of the floor.
  • Step 4: If you want to make an inclined treadmill, you can tilt the frame a little. Make sure that the longer sides can support it.
  • Step 5: Be sure to place a rail or a similar safety feature at the front and sides of your treadmill.

See our full article on DIY Dog Treadmills here.

Can Puppies Use A Treadmill?

Although treadmills are healthy for your dog’s muscle development and condition, it is not recommended for puppies to participate in treadmill exercise.

Puppies that do not have sufficient eye-foot coordination may experience various injuries when they are on the treadmill.

Treadmills with different speeds and levels can be used for adult dogs at advanced levels. This will help your dog get stronger with each training session. However, the same is not the case for a pup. Assuming that the puppies’ musculature is still developing, this type of training will do them more harm than good.