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Dog Tread Workout: Boost Your Dog’s Health with Interval Training

DogTread Dog TreadmillsAlternating periods of intense effort with periods of moderate to low efforts is known as Interval Training and it is not just for humans. Your dog can easily achieve the same benefits when performed outside on the trail, at the park, from a bike, and yes, even a dog treadmill.

The advantage of the dog treadmill is that you will be able to monitor and obtain a consistent speed and track time while paying very close attention to form.  Proper form, whether inside or outside, can not be under-emphasized and is essential in strengthening your dog’s muscles.

Interval Training Benefits:
Increases Metabolic Rate – Translates to Burning More Calories
– Strengthens and Increases Muscle
– Promotes Smoother Transitions Between Gaits – Walk to Trot, Trot to Run
– Releases Feel-good Endorphins – Improves Your Dog’s Mental State

Before beginning any exercise program, make a trip to the Vet to establish a clean bill of health and then follow these steps:

1      Start Slow – If your dog is not currently exercising, or is overweight, start slow and build his or her cardio and strength safely. Overweight dogs may only be able to do 5-10 minutes to start. That’s ok – it’s a start and is better than nothing.

2      Build Your Dog, Don’t Push Your Dog  – Add intensity gradually in short bursts (smaller amounts more frequently). Your goal is to strive for a consistent 20 minute workout.

3      Always Cool Down – Provide time for your dog’s heart rate to return to normal and muscles to ease into a resting state (cool down). Stretching and Massage are ideal and dogs love it!

BEGINNER WORKOUT: Ideal for dogs not involved in an exercise program or for overweight dogs
Duration: 5-10 minutes – watch your dog for excessive panting
Interval Workout: Start with a slow walk (3-5 minutes), stretch (3 minutes), slow walk (3-5 minutes), stretch (2 minutes)

10-15 minutes
Interval Workout:
Slow walk (3 minutes), Slow Jog (1-2 minutes), slow walk (2-3 minutes), Slow Jog (1-2 minutes), slow walk (2-3 minutes), stretch (3-5 minutes)

Duration: 20 minutes
Interval Workout: Normal Walk (3 minutes), Brisk Jog ( 1-2 minutes), Normal Walk (2-3 minutes), Brisk Jog (1-2 minutes), Normal Walk (2-3 minutes), Brisk Jog ( 1-2 minutes), Normal Walk (2-3 minutes) – Cool Down (3-5 minutes)

30 minutes
Interval Workout: Walk (3 minutes), Stretch (3 minutes), Slow Jog (2-3 minutes), Run (2 minutes), Slow Jog (2-3 minutes), Run (2 minutes), Slow Jog (2-3 minutes), Run (2 minutes), Slow Jog (2-3 minutes), Run (2 minutes) – Cool Down (3-5 minutes)

*Remember to watch your dog during these interval cycles, especially at faster speeds. You may need to adjust the time that your dog is in a particular cycle. If your dog’s form changes then the speed could be too fast and uncomfortable. Movement should be free and easy. If you want to have your dog’s movements analyzed, please send your video to for a free consult.



KristaJasper_smAbout the Author: As a dedicated lifestyle athlete and co-inventor of the award winning DogTread® Dog Treadmill, K9FIT Vest™ and the StayBall® Balance Ball, Krista Wickens has a unique understanding of the mechanics of fitness for both the human and canine body. As a former fitness product manager, Krista created best-selling products used by the biggest names in Human Fitness for such iconic brands as Reebok, Gold’s Gym and NordicTrack. Her love for animals, particularly dogs started on a Montana Cattle Ranch where she was raised. She trained her first dog Bear at the age of 7. These experiences have led to the development of a unique line of canine fitness products that are designed from a dog’s perspective and take into account the unique aspects of canine behavior and anatomy. Krista is also the co-author and producer of Treading for Dogs DVD and 30-day Dog Treadmill Training Program, please email for more information.

One response to “Dog Tread Workout: Boost Your Dog’s Health with Interval Training”

  1. Love our interval training. Easy to do when biking with the dog too. From trot to full gallop for intense 30 second bursts. Try not to over do it though & always have a water dip at the end. Don’t do it more than twice a week either