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The 6 Best Vet Recommended Dog Treadmills of 2022

Some dogs seem to have boundless energy, and you may not be able to provide them with enough playtime and walks to burn off their edge. Therefore, dog treadmills can be a wonderful tool to help your dog get the exercise he needs. 

After evaluating more than 20 Dog treadmills, we chose the “GOPET PetRun PR720F” as our favorite because this treadmill is suitable for different sizes of dogs. The track length is suitable to fit the stride length of your pooch. With a silent drive, the motor is quiet so that it won’t disturb your pooch, and it contains safety features to protect your dog while using the machine. 

But I understand you might have different needs, whether you’re looking for a dog treadmill for a large breed or a “smart” treadmill. That is why I prepared a shortlist of our top favorite dog treadmills that address different needs. 

But, before we look at the product reviews, let’s discuss important information you need to know when you’re ready to buy a treadmill for your pooch. We’ll explain some important things you should understand about treadmills before you make a decision, the types of dog treadmills that are available online. Then we’ll go over the steps you need to follow to find the best fit for your pup.  

In addition, we’ll answer some common questions from dog parents and share with you a short veterinary guide on how to teach your dog to use a treadmill without getting hurt

So, let’s get started.

2 Facts You Must Know Before Purchasing a Dog Treadmill

mixed dog breed is happily running

If you have a high-energy dog, it can be a challenge to get enough exercise to keep him happy and healthy. When weather, health, schedule, or other issues prevent you and Fido from getting out for a daily walk or jog, a treadmill may be helpful.  

Before you run out and purchase a dog treadmill, there are some things you need to know. As with people, treadmills aren’t for every pup. And they’re not meant to replace daily exercise. What’s more, there’s a difference between exercise machines for dogs and for humans. So, let’s take a look at how and when treadmills can enhance your pooch’s health and quality of life

When Treadmills May Be Useful to Help Your Dog?

It’s true that your furbaby needs daily exercise along with social and mental stimulation. But sometimes walks outdoors either aren’t practical or enough. For example:

  • Rainy days – Inclement weather like heavy thunderstorms or subzero temperatures may prevent you and Fido from enjoying a daily outing. Under these kinds of circumstances, you can still give your pooch the exercise he needs to burn off excess energy.
  • High-energy pups – Some dogs have so much excess energy that you can’t tire them out with long walks. If you have a pooch that’s still bouncing off the walls after you’re out of steam, a treadmill might help. First, take your pooch for a long walk or play ball for an hour then burn off the excess energy on the treadmill.
  • Incapacitated owners – Seniors or people with disabilities may not have the ability to get their furbaby out for a walk or romp in the park. If hiring a dog walker or finding a friend to take Fido out won’t work, a treadmill could come in handy. Providing daily exercise can help prevent unwanted weight gain and obesity in your pooch.
  • Overweight dogs – When dogs put on excess pounds, it can put a strain on the joints. Treadmill workouts in combination with a reducing diet can help your pup become fit and trim. Regular exercise contributes to strong bones and muscles and helps to build stamina. Talk with your veterinarian before embarking on any exercise plans.
  • Therapy – Water treadmills can be used as a form of hydrotherapy following orthopedic surgery or to help dogs with arthritis or hip dysplasia. 

When a Treadmill Isn’t the Best Idea for Your Furbaby?

In some circumstances, treadmills can be a very useful tool to help your pooch get enough exercise. However, they’re not always the best choice. Besides the fact that dog-specific treadmills can be a drain on the bank account, these machines are not meant to be an all-around substitute for outdoor exercise. 

Your furbaby needs more than just physical stimulation. When you take your pooch for a walk or jog, or head to the local dog park, he gets to enjoy the sights and sounds around him. And there’s the opportunity for social stimulation at a dog park.

Treadmill Types

Dog treadmills come in a variety of types to suit different breeds and needs. It helps to understand the various options and know how they work when selecting the best fit for your pooch.

Motorized Treadmills

Powered by a motor, these machines are available in different sizes to accommodate various-sized dogs. They usually have lower railings or sidewalls for safety. The treadmill powers the belt, so your dog will have to adjust his pace to the belt. As a result, they have limits on the low and high settings and may not match your pup’s natural gait. Never leave your pooch unattended while he’s exercising on one of these treadmills.

Pros

  • Good for a customized fitness regimen
  • Reliable power 
  • Can track exercise stats like time and distance

Cons

  • Noisy
  • Don’t match your dog’s gait and can lead to injury

Hydrotherapy Treadmills

Also known as underwater treadmills, these machines are motorized treadmills in a watertight enclosure. You can add water to the container to provide buoyancy and take pressure off the joints. Often used for rehabilitation, these machines allow for low-impact exercise with high resistance to help build strength.

Pros

  • Reliable power source
  • Low-impact help dogs recovering from an injury or suffering from joint disease
  • Useful for overweight dogs

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Heavy and hard to move
  • High maintenance due to water
  • Noisy

Non-Motorized Treadmills

Non-motorized treadmills can include Carpetmills, Slatmills, and treadwheels, which we will describe below. These machines get their power from your dog, so your pooch is able to adjust his pace and get a more complete workout. Usually, the treadmill has an overhead bar that you can attach to a support harness to provide extra stability.

Pros

  • Some of these are more affordable
  • Supports your dog’s gait and allows for a faster pace
  • Dog controls the belt speed

Cons

  •  Some models are noisy
  • The machines are often large and bulky

Wooden Treadmills (Carpetmills and Slatmills)

Made mostly from wood, these treadmills have no motor. They can be bought pre-made or constructed at home. DIY versions may be less expensive but can also have safety concerns. Depending on the variety, either wood slats or a carpet/shock-absorbing belt moves around a series of rolls. They can be made to fit your dog’s size and are fully powered by your pooch.

Pros

  • Some models are very affordable
  • They support a more natural gait and let your pooch control the speed
  • Allows for strength and endurance training

Cons

  • Can be bulky and large
  • Some varieties are noisy

Treadwheels

Imagine a giant hamster wheel, and you have a treadwheel. These contraptions come in a variety of sizes, but they’re most suitable for smaller dogs. As a motorless machine, the treadwheel is powered by your pooch. It’s safe for your dog to use without your supervision.

Pros

  • It can be less bulky than other treadmills 
  • Some brands are low noise
  • Usually more affordable than motorized treadmills

Cons

  • They’re not as practical for large dogs
  • They can be hard for dogs to learn to use

Human Treadmills Are Not Safe For Dogs

Labrador running in a green filed and looking at the camera

If you think that you can use your treadmill to exercise your pooch, think again. There are some significant differences between machines that are made for humans versus those designed with canines in mind. Below are some ways that human and canine treadmills are different.

  • Human treadmills have a shorter running track because people use them on two legs and have a shorter stride length. 
  • The belt width is usually wider for dogs to allow for their normal body movements.
  • The slowest setting on a human treadmill may be too fast if you have a small-breed dog.
  • Quality treadmills for dogs usually have a quieter motor which makes them more suitable for noise-sensitive pups.
  • Human treadmills usually use fan ventilation to keep the motor cool. Machines for dogs usually enclose the motor with an internal cooling system to protect it from hair and dirt.
  • On a human treadmill, there’s usually a gap between the belt and the side of the machine. This is not the case for dog treadmills. Canine machines are designed to prevent injuries from paws, tails, or hair getting caught in the belt.
  • Good canine treadmills should have a control panel and quick release that are easy for you to access. They’re often on the side of the machine.
  • Human treadmills are usually one-size-fits-all. Dog treadmills can come in different sizes to accommodate large, medium, and small furbabies.

Rules of Thumb to Follow When Buying a Treadmill

medium size dog running at the beach

When you’re ready to buy a treadmill, picking the first thing you see may not be the best option. It’s important to think about the features you need for your pooch. After all, these machines are a significant investment. While you’re shopping, follow these rules of thumb to help you get the best return for your money.

  • Size: Unlike human treadmills, the machines made for dogs are all one size. When you’re choosing a treadmill, look for one that’s made to fit your pup’s size.
  • Weight Capacity: Most dog treadmills are rated for a certain weight. Make sure that the machine you’re considering can handle your furbaby’s body mass.
  • Safety Features and Protective Sides: When you’re checking on safety features for your pooch, choose a machine with side panels or guide bars. Paneling can help to keep your pup focused and prevent him from jumping off the belt. 
  • Track Length: The proper track length is important for your dog’s safety. When choosing a treadmill, you should find one with a track length that’s about twice as long as your furbaby’s body.
  • Incline: An incline can be indispensable for strength training for your pooch. Low incline settings are best for weak or underweight dogs. Higher settings help with weight loss and high-intensity workouts.
  • Speed Range: A speed setting that ranges from 0.5 to 7.6 miles per hour will be suitable for most dog breeds. Having a broad range allows you to pick the most suitable setting for your pooch. 
  • Portability, Foldability, and Storage Features: Picking a machine that’s easy to carry or move around can allow you to take the workout outdoors. Look for a sturdy machine that’s lightweight. If possible, find something with wheels or handles that make it portable. A foldable treadmill is not only more portable, but it can also be easier to store when not in use.
  • Noise: If you have a pooch that shies away from noisy machines like vacuum cleaners, you’ll want a quiet treadmill. Look for a machine that doesn’t make much noise.
  • Settings: Similar to human treadmills, some of the options for dogs include preset workout routines. If you’re using a treadmill for training purposes, check the setting options to see if they suit your needs.
  • Extra Features: Check the bonus features on your treadmill. Some useful options include: 
    • A display screen to help you track your pal’s speed, time, and distance 
    • Remote control so that you can shut the machine off quickly
    • A treat holder
    • A toy attachment
  • Ease of Cleaning: Particularly if you have a pooch that sheds, you’ll need to clean the treadmill from time to time. Look for a product that’s easy to vacuum or sweep off and wipe down. 
  • Warranty: Given the cost of most treadmills, it helps to find one with a warranty. Some machines provide at least a 1-year warranty in the event of an accident or damage. 
  • Made in the USA: The United States and some other countries have strict safety standards for manufacturing products. Check to make sure you’re not purchasing an import that may not have similar guidelines.

Our 2022 Top Favorites 6 Dog Treadmills 

After reviewing more than 20 artificial grass products for dogs using the criteria mentioned above, we chose 6 that we think are the safest and effective for your dog: 

GOPET PetRun PR720F Dog Treadmill

  • Treadmill Type: motorized
  • Safety features: side rails, front bar, safety key
  • Protective Sides: Yes
  • Track Length: 52” x 16”
  • Weight Capacity: up to 132 pounds
  • Speed Range: 0.6 – 7.5 mph in 0.1 mph increments
  • Portability, Foldability & Storage Features: dolly wheels, auto-fold
  • Noise: silent drive system
  • Warranty: Yes, 1-year
  • Made in the USA: Yes
  • Best for: Our Top Pick Overall

Made with small and medium-sized dogs in mind, this treadmill has a 52” track that allows for a comfortable stride length. The platform is low to the ground and easy for your pooch to mount for a workout.

You can operate this machine by remote control or manually using the push buttons on the side. Gradually increase or decrease the speed between 0.6 and 7.6 mph to find your pup’s sweet spot.

The motor has a silent drive for quiet operation. With an automatic folding air cylinder, you can easily store it while not in use. Side safety rails and an emergency stop key provide protection for your pooch when he’s exercising. There’s a front rail with a metal eyelet for a lead or toy attachment. This treadmill is also available in a smaller size for toy dogs and a larger size.

What We Like

  • It’s sturdy and well made
  • The motor is encased to prevent fur from getting caught
  • It folds for easy storage

What Dogs Love About It

  • The track length allows for a comfortable stride
  • The motor is quiet and won’t make dogs nervous

What We Don’t Like

  • The controls are low to the ground and harder to reach

Goplus Dog Treadmill for Small/Medium-Sized Dogs

  • Treadmill Type: motorized
  • Safety features: side panels, overhead bar, safety key, remote stop
  •  Protective Sides: Yes
  • Track Length: 38” x 14”
  • Weight Capacity: up to 200 pounds
  • Speed Range: 0.5 – 7.5 mph in 0.1 mph increments
  • Portability, Foldability & Storage Features: Lightweight, wheels
  • Noise: Low-noise
  • Warranty: not listed, returnable
  • Made in the USA: No
  • Best for: smart treadmill for small & medium dogs

Featuring a remote control and adjustable speed, this treadmill makes it easy to give your pooch extra exercise. You can operate the machine wirelessly from the couch or your desk. In the case of an emergency or accident, you can stop the belt with the push of a button.

The 38” belt is the right length for small and medium dogs to reach a comfortable stride. Speed settings start at 0.5 mph to allow a gentle introduction to the moving belt, and it tops at 7.5 mph which allows athletic pups to trot or run for a high-intensity workout.

Side panels and a safety key also help to protect your pup from injury. The machine is made of iron pipe and ABS to provide a sturdy frame that can support up to 200 pounds.

What We Like

  • There are built-in wheels for easy transport
  • It’s easy to operate
  • The display screen is rotatable and helps you track speed, distance, time, and calories

What Dogs Love About It

  • The belt is long enough for a comfortable stride length
  • It has a quiet motor

What We Don’t Like

  • The remote is all one color, and it’s hard to see the buttons
  • The incline adjustment is hard to work

dogPACER 91641 LF 3.1 Full-Size Dog Pacer Treadmill

  • Treadmill Type: Motorized, rollers
  • Safety features: side panels, overhead bar, emergency stop cord
  •  Protective Sides: Yes
  • Track Length: 71” x 16.5”
  • Weight Capacity: up to 179 pounds
  • Speed Range: 0.5 – 7.5 mph in 0.1 mph increments
  • Portability, Foldability & Storage Features: foldable 
  • Noise: Low-noise
  • Warranty: Yes – 1-year for parts, a lifetime for frame
  • Made in the USA: Yes
  • Best for: Large breeds

Made for large-breed dogs, this motorized treadmill can support dogs up to 180 pounds. The 71” track length allows your pooch to take full, natural strides while walking. Side panels and an overhead bar help to ensure safety and prevent nails from catching on the belt’s edge.

Boasting a whisper-quiet motor, this machine is made with dogs in mind. The low noise should help to prevent spooking and anxious moments. When it’s not in use, you can fold this treadmill and store it out of the way.

With a speed range that fits most dogs’ normal stride lengths, this machine can be adjusted to meet your pup’s needs. There’s an onboard computer with a display panel where you can design pre-set workouts for your furbaby. This product also comes in a mini-size for small dogs.

What We Like

  • It’s easy to set up and use
  • It’s compact and easy to store
  • It has a quiet motor

What Dogs Love About It

  • It’s comfortable
  • There’s plenty of belt length to take a full stride

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s heavy and cumbersome to move around
  • The side panels are flimsy 

SRFDD Dog Treadmill with Display Screen

  • Treadmill Type: motorized
  • Safety features: safety fence, front bars, safety key
  • Protective Sides: Yes
  • Track Length: 57” x 15.7”
  • Weight Capacity: up to 200 pounds
  • Speed Range: 0.5 – 7.5 mph 
  • Portability, Foldability & Storage Features: wheels
  • Noise: silent drive system
  • Warranty: none listed, returnable
  • Made in the USA: No
  • Best for: Extra Large Breeds

This treadmill has a 57” belt to accommodate your furbaby’s stride length. Speed settings ranging from 0.5 to 7.5 mph allow your pup to find the best gait for his needs. There are multiple modes for you to customize a workout.

With a silent drive, this product is made to be quiet and not scare your pooch. A safety fence and emergency stop key help to keep your special pal safe when he’s using the treadmill. The LCD display screen lets you track the speed, time, calories, and distance.

Featuring easy assembly, you should have this treadmill up and running quickly. It has wheels so that you can easily move and store the machine.

What We Like

  • It’s easy to assemble
  • The display lets you track workout statistics
  • The side safety fence is sturdy

What Dogs Love About It

  • The motor is quiet
  • The belt is long enough to find a comfortable stride

What We Don’t Like

  • The Price
  • There’s a gap between the belt and the safety fence that could be a hazard

PETSITE Dog Treadmill, ith 1.4” LCD Display Screen 

  • Treadmill Type: motorized
  • Safety features: side panels, overhead bar, safety key, remote stop
  •  Protective Sides: Yes
  • Track Length: 38” x 14”
  • Weight Capacity: up to 200 pounds
  • Speed Range: 0.5 – 7.5 mph in 0.1 mph increments
  • Portability, Foldability & Storage Features: Wheels
  • Noise: Low-noise
  • Warranty: No
  • Made in the USA: No

Lightweight and portable, this dog treadmill from PETSITE is made for small and medium dogs. The 38” belt length provides sufficient room for smaller dogs to take a normal stride.

Multiple safety features including an emergency key stop, remote control shut-off, and protective side panels should help prevent injuries while your pal is exercising. Featuring a sturdy design with ABS and iron piping, the treadmill can support up to 200 pounds. 

An LCD display on the treadmill shows distance, speed, time, and calories. There are 12 modes with different speed and time settings. You can also adjust the incline for three different heights.

What We Like

  • It’s portable
  • You can track your dog’s workout statistics
  • It has a remote control

What Dogs Love About It

  • It’s sturdy and safe
  • It’s long enough for a comfortable stride

What We Don’t Like

  • The instruction manual is incomplete
  • It can be hard to assemble

SHELANDY Pet Treadmill Smart and Motorized

  • Treadmill Type: motorized
  • Safety features: side panels, overhead bar, safety key, automatic switch-off every 30 minutes
  • Protective Sides: Yes
  • Track Length: 40” x 17”
  • Weight Capacity: up to 80 pounds
  • Speed Range: 0.5 – 7.5 mph in 0.1 mph increments
  • Portability, Foldability & Storage Features: none 
  • Noise: not listed
  • Warranty: not listed, returnable
  • Made in the USA: Yes

Made for small and medium dogs, this treadmill from Shelandy has a 40” track length to allow your pooch to reach a comfortable stride. The speed settings range from 0.5 mph and 7.5 mph to let you help your furbaby find the best speed for his needs.

This machine offers sturdy side panels to keep your dog from catching a nail on the belt. With a safety key that stops the machine in an emergency and an automatic shut-off after 30 minutes, there’s extra protection for your pooch.

An adjustable incline allows you to cater the workout to your pooch. The treadmill includes an LCD display where you can track your pal’s distance, speed, time, and calories.

What We Like

  • It’s easy to assemble
  • The LCD screen lets you track speed, distance, time, and calories
  • The side walls are sturdy and provide extra security

What Dogs Love About It

  • The belt is the proper length for small and medium dogs to reach a comfortable stride
  • It shuts off after 30 minutes to prevent overexertion

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s heavy and hard to move around
  • The instructions are poor

Common Questions from Dog Parents

Vizla dog is exercising

Can I use a regular treadmill for my dog?

We do not recommend using a regular human treadmill for your dog. We have listed several reasons in the section above titled “Human Treadmills Are Not Safe for Dogs.”

How long can a dog run on a treadmill?

When you’re first starting to train your pooch on a treadmill, go slow. It’s best to start with short, 5 minute sessions and slowly add a few minutes at a time to build stamina. Depending on the athleticism of your pooch, workout sessions should max out between 20 and 30 minutes.

How can I make a treadmill for my dog?

You can build a simple dog treadmill/carpetmill with 2x4s, plywood, PVC pipe, copper tubing, nails, screws, and carpet. Helpful resources to show you how to do it include this video by Molan Labe, and these instructions from Exercise With Dogs.

Is it cruel to put a dog on a treadmill?

It is not cruel to teach a dog to use a treadmill for exercise. Once a dog is acclimated to the machine, he may beg to use it to burn off excess energy.

What is the best treadmill for dogs?

Our top recommendation for the best treadmill for dogs is in the review below. When you’re looking for the right fit for your pooch you want the proper belt length, a quiet motor, and suitable safety features.

Veterinary Guide: Teaching Your Dog to Walk On a Treadmill

Once you have a treadmill, you’ll have to teach your pooch to walk on it. In the beginning, these machines can be scary for your furbaby. Remember to be encouraging and take all the time your pup needs to get used to the sound and motion. Follow these tips and steps to train your special pal.

  • Place the treadmill where your pooch won’t feel like he’s walking into a wall.
  • Let your dog hang around the treadmill while it’s not running. Encourage and reward any curiosity so that he associates approaching the machine with a positive experience.
  • Using a leash, gently encourage your pal to get on the treadmill while it’s not running. Reward him with treats for climbing on the contraption. If your dog is clicker trained, you can employ clicks and treats.
  • Let your pal sit or stand near the machine while you turn it on to the lowest setting. Click and treat or reward your pal for reassurance. 
  • Once your pooch is comfortable near the running treadmill, encourage him to get on the machine from behind. Reward positive behavior, but allow your furbaby the freedom to walk away if he’s uncomfortable.
  • When your pup is able to get on the treadmill and start walking, adjust the speed to match a comfortable walking stride for your pal.
  • Stand beside or in front of your pooch holding the leash to encourage him to keep walking. Reward the desired behavior.

Depending on your pal’s compliance, this procedure may take a few days or longer. Here’s an excellent video that shows how a trainer helped three different dogs learn to use a treadmill.

Do’s and Don’ts When Exercising Your Dog on a Treadmill

Once your pooch knows how to walk on a treadmill, there are some best practices to help keep the experience fun and safe.

Do!

  • Keep the treadmill clean – remove drool and hair regularly
  • Supervise your dog whenever he’s using the treadmill
  • Have your dog go potty before starting a treadmill workout
  • Locate the treadmill in a well-ventilated area
  • Use a treadmill that’s the right size for your furbaby
  • Make sure toenails are trimmed before using a treadmill
  • Place a rug behind the treadmill for a cushion 
  • Go slow – start with about 10 minutes per workout and gradually increase the duration
  • Include a warm-up and cool-down in the workout
  • Keep it fun

Don’t!

  • Let your dog walk on the treadmill after a meal – wait 30 minutes to an hour
  • Use the treadmill if your pooch is sick or injured
  • Tether your dog to the treadmill – he may feel trapped and panic
  • Locate your treadmill in front of a wall, stairs, or other potential hazards
  • Force your pooch to get on a treadmill if he’s resisting or refusing

The Final Woof

Shiba Uno is exercising with his woman owner

No matter the reason you’re looking for a treadmill for your pup, you want to find something with enough belt length for a comfortable stride. To protect your pooch, there should be side panels and other safety valuable features. 

You should also look for a machine with a quiet motor and adjustable speeds so that your pooch will feel safe and be able to find a comfortable pace. Other desirable features for your convenience include remote control, portability, and a screen to track workout details.

Based on our review of the above treadmills, we recommend GOPET PetRun PR720F Dog Treadmill Indoor Kit as the best dog treadmill. This product has models that are suitable for different sizes of dogs.

The track length is suitable to fit the stride length of your pooch. It’s a sturdy machine that’s able to support up to 132 pounds. With a silent drive, the motor is quiet so that it won’t disturb your pooch. 

This product includes multiple safety features to protect your pooch. When you’re not using the machine, it has dolly wheels and auto fold capability to make it easy to store. The combination of these features make the GoPet PetRun treadmill our top pick.

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