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Should I Buy a Dog Treadmill to Help My Dog Lose Weight?

Published on October 24, 2012 by

Should I Buy a Dog Treadmill to Help My Dog Lose Weight?

Small_DogTread_Weight_Loss_ProgramThis is an older article – but as of late we have received a lot of questions about whether or not to use a dog treadmill  to help a dog lose weight.
In October of 2012 I responded to an article posted on the well-trafficked site Dogster.com regarding “Would You Buy a Treadmill So Your Dog Could Lose Weight?” I thought it might be helpful to re-post my response here in our Blog for more to read….

A Treadmill for Your Dog to Lose Weight? The answer is YES! A  Dog Treadmill is a proven and effective tool by many Trainers and Veterinarians. But not just any treadmill will do, and it should not be the only tool one uses. As a former product line manager for one of the largest health and fitness companies in the country we know fitness, and we know that Human Treadmills were designed for the two-legged variety. A dog was never considered. A dogs anatomy or behavior was never even considered. Especially, preferred dog movement was NEVER considered.

A dog treadmill can help you safely monitor an overweight dog at a consistent speed and in a controlled environment. With so many issues that already impact a dog that is overweight – eliminating weather factors (excessive heat and cold), distractions, and terrain challenges – can be useful and make it easier to watch for signs of excessive stress, movement changes and to provide the consistent horizontal walking surface needed to eliminate joint stress while walking off the weight.

Sure you can train(make) a dog run on a human treadmill, but it is not in the best interest of most dogs, especially large dogs like the German Shepherd Dogster.com showed in the picture – they don’t have enough room to stride efficiently and do not promote the right way to walk or run your dog. Shortened gait and rear roller running for large dogs is common on a human tread and leads to injury. Especially, those that are already prone to joint issues and dysplasia. For smaller dogs a running platform, with no vibration or noise, that is built to their size is often preferred by smaller breeds.

A well-made dog treadmill designed with a dogs behavior, unique movements and anatomy in mind can make a lot of difference in results. It is a great tool to help keep the weight at bay, but also great for encouraging good behavior. The mental focus helps your dog in a way that many never dream.

As for extreme cases of obesity First Rule of Paw: Take your dog to a Vet for a workup – make sure nothing else is wrong. Rapid and fast weight loss using a treadmill (whether it is human or dog) is risky and ill advised. Every dog, like every human is unique in its needs – proposing a one size fits all is a dangerous game. Be advised a dog treadmill is not the only answer to pet health, but combining the right exercises, the right tools, proper nutrition and hydration you will be well on your way to helping your overweight pooch.


JasperKristaFallDance-150x150About the Author: As a dedicated athlete and co-inventor of the award winning DogTread® dog treadmill, K9 FItness 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 line manager Krista created best selling products used by the biggest names in 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 born and 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 Step-by-Step Treadmill Program, please email info@dogtread.com for more information.

Copyright © 2012 – DogTread – Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission from PetZen Products, LLC is prohibited. DogTread and PetZen are registered Trademarks of PetZen Products, LLC

6 responses to “Should I Buy a Dog Treadmill to Help My Dog Lose Weight?”

  1. These are a great help for the elderly, incapacitated or an owner who doesnt want to go outside because of snow, ice, or freezing temperatures. Its fun to watch your dog exercise yet know your doing something to keep him healthy.

  2. SlimDoggy says:

    Great advice and a good investment to help keep your dog in shape. Thanks for joining the Hop!

  3. GizmoGeodog says:

    This would be a great investment for those with dogs that need to lose a significant amount of weight and, as Patricia mentioned, are unable to do regular walks for any one of a variety of reasons

  4. SlimDoggy says:

    We wanted to add that the treadmill provides some really cool ways to exercise your dog besides just walking or running.

    We posted about the SideStep a few weeks ago, which is a move that is very beneficial and is harder to do w/out the tread. http://slimdoggy.com/multi-directional-training-for-strength-and-injury-prevention/

    We learned of the treadmill version of this exercise at SuperZoo from who else but Krista at DogTread!

  5. Sounds good for Canada in winter as I hate getting cold feet.

  6. Dog Health says:

    Great post! Been reading a lot about tips for helping my dog lose weight. Thanks for the info here!