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Slimdoggy Tips for Using a Dog Treadmill

Slim Doggy Jack on DogTread Dog TreadmillFor many dog owners, a dog treadmill can be a great tool to help them keep their pet fit and healthy. Treadmills allow you to exercise your dog even if:

  • The weather is too cold or rainy (hello, East Coast USA!)
  • It is too dark outside before or after work
  • If you have an injury and can’t run with your dog
  • If your dog is recovering from injury and needs a controlled surface and speed to re-acclimate their mobility patterns and to build base fitness levels
  • If you need to stay at the house for some reason (e.g. watch the kids, wait for the “cable guy”, etc.)

We recommend using a treadmill that is made for a dog’s frame, like the one from DogTread, versus using a human treadmill.

In a recent eHow video, we share a few tips to make “dog treading” easier, safer, and more enjoyable for both you and your dog.  These include:

  • Make sure the platform length is appropriate for your dog
  • Use the leash to guide the dog but DON’T tie the leash to the railing
  • Stand in the front or side (pictured) position to keep your dog on point
  • Use treats for rewards and to keep the dog focused.
  • Use a lot of positive reinforcement to help your dog enjoy their treadmill workouts
  • Stay on the treadmill for a minimum of 5 minutes to reinforce the movement patterns and acclimate the dog to the moving belt
  • End the workout on the treadmill in the stopped position

Watch Slimdoggy Jack on the treadmill at the fitness room at the Pooch Hotel in West LA.  He hadn’t been on a mill for almost two years but he seemed to re-acclimate quickly. The longer treadmill base made it much easier for him compared to a human treadmill.

Once your dog is proficient on the mill, you can increase speed and duration of the session.  Soon you will be able to exercise side by side with them!   Try squats, burpees, pushups, and planks while your dog is getting in their cardio.

Slimdoggy Jack on the DogTread

 

Slim Doggy Steve and JackAbout the author

Steve Pelletier is the Founder of Slimdoggy.com, where he writes about canine food, fitness, and overall health.  Steve is also the inventor of the Slimdoggy app, a “Runkeeper” and “Weight Watchers”  for dogs, that helps pet owners keep their dogs fit and healthy.  Steve has been on ABC TV and several radio shows and podcasts where he shares his insights on how to keep a dog fit, trim, and healthy.

 

5 responses to “Slimdoggy Tips for Using a Dog Treadmill”

  1. Hi Y’all!

    My Humans used to swim and treadmill their performance horses to give them a change of pace and less strain on their legs. A horse treadmill has sides, a front barrier and a strap that goes behind them…sort of like a stall in a horse trailer without the top of the trailer.

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  2. Great job Slimdoggy! For a different (shorter) perspective, we’d love to get Rocco on the DogTread!
    Your pals,
    Diane and Rocco

  3. SlimDoggy says:

    @Diane: Rocco would be great on a tread. Just think, he could be working out right now even though the ATL is/was covered in ice!

  4. Nailah Bone says:

    Always wanted to get a treadmill for Nailah, this video is so informative! 🙂

  5. Treadmills are great for both humans and dogs! Just make sure its a safe speed before your dog hops on! 🙂