How to Exercise Your Dog on a Treadmill

By Coty Perry

Treadmills and treadwheels are a great form of exercise for dogs of all ages. However, learning how to exercise your dog on a treadmill can be tricky if they are not used to it. 

Pet treadmills have become helpful for both pups and dog owners alike, as they can be used indoors, outdoors, and during all seasons. Your dog might even enjoy using a treadwheel, as they can easily hop on and begin a fun form of exercise.

What You Will Need

For your dog to receive the exercise it needs to stay healthy, you will need a device for them to use for the activity. 

Dog Treadmill

By using a treadmill, you are helping your pup stay healthy and not become an obese dog. Canine obesity is dangerous, as it can lead to several health problems, like diabetes mellitus, cancer, heart disease, osteoarthritis, hypertension, and faster degeneration of their affected joints. 

Treadmills can also help with conditioning for dog sports if your furry friend is an inspiring athlete.

Types of Dog Treadmills

There are several dog treadmills, and choosing the right one for your pup can be a challenge. You have to consider your dog’s size, age, overall health, and existing health conditions before deciding to purchase a dog treadmill.

Electric Dog Treadmills

Electric treadmills for most dogs can offer many health benefits for your pup. These benefits include strength and endurance conditioning, a high-intensity workout, and the ability for your dog to exercise indoors when the weather outdoors isn’t the best. Electric treadmills are an excellent way for your dog to conveniently get the physical exercise it needs.


  • Humans control the speed
  • Builds endurance and strength
  • Great for dogs recovering from a surgery or injury
  • It can be used to walk frontward, backward, or for sidestepping
  • Dogs can easily be trained to use this type of treadmill


  • Can be noisy
  • Fall risk for your dog
  • Can take up sizable space

Popular Electric Treadmills for Small Dogs

GoPet Petrun PR700 Treadmill for Small Dogs

The GoPet Petrun PR700 is an excellent motorized treadmill for a small dog to use for exercise. This treadmill is not loud, as it has a silent driving system to help keep it quiet. The dolly wheel on the treadmill helps make it easy for your pup to move around the treadmill. You can even attach a toy by using the metal eyelet. 

You are in total control over the speed and can use the push button to make the treadmill either speed up or slow down. You should know your dog’s length and weight before purchasing this treadmill since it is geared toward smaller dogs. 

It is meant for dogs that weigh up to 44 pounds, and the running area is 28 inches long by 16 inches wide. The speed can go as slow as 0.6 miles per hour, and it doesn’t get any faster than 8 miles per hour. The treadmill itself weighs 63 pounds. 

DogPACER Minipacer Folding Fitness Treadmill 

The DogPACER Minipacer Folding Fitness Treadmill is another great treadmill for small dogs. This treadmill is best for dogs up to 55 pounds and is highly compact, light, ad portable. The DogPACER’s onboard computer allows you to pre-set different exercise programs for your pup, or you can even create custom exercise programs for your dog’s specific needs. 

The treadmill has side panels to help your dog not become distracted, so it does not fall. The treadmill itself weighs 48.4 pounds. It is 42 inches long by 21.5 inches wide by 28.5 inches high when it is unfolded. The running area is 36.6 inches long by 16 inches wide and has a 4.5-degree incline. The speed can range from 0.5 miles per hour to 7.5 miles per hour.

Popular Electric Treadmills for Medium to Large Dogs

GoPet Petrun PR720F Treadmill for Dogs

This treadmill for dogs, the GoPet Petrun PR720F, is excellent for dogs up to 132 pounds that need some exercise. This treadmill is designed for medium to large-sized dogs who are energetic and their owners don’t have enough space to get the training they need. This treadmill is not too loud because it has a silent driving system. 

There is even an air cylinder auto fold design so you can easily store your dog’s belongings inside, which is one of the reasons many dog owners love this treadmill. You can control the speed yourself using the push button. 

The running area of this treadmill is 52 inches long by 16 inches wide, and the speed ranges from 0.6 miles per hour to 7.4 miles per hour. The product itself weighs 100 pounds, so you might need the help of a friend when carrying the treadmill into your home. 

DogPACER LF 3.1 Folding Fitness Dog Treadmill for Dogs

The DogPACER LF 3.1 treadmill is an excellent choice for dogs up to 179 pounds that need to get some exercise worked into their daily routine. It is easy to fold, portable, lightweight, and compact. The DogPACER’s onboard computer allows you to create custom-made activities for your dog, or you can choose from a preset exercise. 

This treadmill is safe and stable, mainly because the side panels help prevent your pup from falling. The entire treadmill weighs 84.4 pounds, and the running area is 71 inches long by 16.5 inches wide. 

It has an incline of 5 to 9 degrees, and the speed ranges from 0.5 miles per hour to 7.5 miles per hour. Overall, this is an excellent treadmill for your medium to the large-sized pup to get in some exercise.

Manual Dog Treadmills and Treadwheels

Manual treadmills and treadwheels for dogs are sometimes preferred because your dog controls how fast they want to exercise. A manual treadmill for your pup offers the same benefits of exercise as an electric treadmill. 

However, your dog is in control, and you are not. Sometimes, older dogs should use a manual treadmill or treadwheel to keep up with the exercise without overworking themselves.


  • No electricity required
  • An excellent option for pets who are afraid of electric treadmills
  • Works well in small spaces
  • It helps build endurance and strength
  • Pets can run at their own pace


  • You cannot control the speed

Popular Manual Treadmills for Small Dogs

GoPet CG4012 Indoor/Outdoor Treadwheel for Small Dogs and Cats

The GoPet indoor/outdoor treadwheel is an excellent form of exercise for both dogs and cats up to 25 pounds. This treadwheel is completely pet-powered since there is no electricity involved. If you are worried about how you will fit a treadwheel into your home or yard, it should not be an issue. 

The treadwheel weighs 46 pounds and does not take up a lot of space. The running area is 40 inches in diameter and 12 inches wide. The wheel is easy to clean, mildew resistant, and UV resistant, making it great for outdoor use. The running surface is safe and stable, allowing your pet to exercise freely without having much fall risk. 

This GoPet treadwheel is the perfect way for your high-energy dogs or cats to let some of that energy out and is especially helpful for overweight dogs. 

Popular Manual Treadmills for Medium to Large Dogs

GoPet CS6020 Indoor/Outdoor Treadwheel for Medium and Large Dogs

This GoPet treadwheel is an excellent way for your medium to large-sized dog up to 150 pounds to get some exercise throughout the day. 

This treadwheel is great for pets with several struggles. Whether your pet doesn’t have much room to run around freely or your dog is overweight, this treadwheel will allow your pet to get the exercise they need at their own pace. 

It can be used year-round and is especially helpful in the winter when you can’t take your dog outside as often as you would in the warmer months. Many dogs love using this treadwheel to relieve their boredom, and it is excellent for energetic breeds to let out their energy. Your dog is ultimately in control of the speed, as no electricity is required. 

The matted running surface is cushioned and helps protect your pup’s paws when they run. The product weighs 200 pounds, so you must have help when bringing the box indoors after you purchase it. The running area is 60 inches in diameter and 20 inches wide. It is easy to clean, UV resistant, and mildew resistant if you use the wheel outdoors.

Hydrotherapy Dog Treadmills

For dogs, hydrotherapy, or water therapy, is typically used for rehabilitation purposes. Hydrotherapy can help with multiple factors. These factors include weight loss, ACL injuries, post-surgical recovery, metabolic conditions, orthopedic injuries, injuries from dog sports, and neurological problems. 

Hydrotherapy is well-liked by dog owners because it is beneficial for dogs of any age and geared towards your dog’s unique needs. Underwater treadmills provide a different experience for your pet when it comes to exercise. 

Water therapy can help rebuild muscle mass, improve your pup’s stamina, and promote good cardiovascular health.

Can Dogs Use Human Treadmills?

While some toy breeds may be able to use a human treadmill, it is typically not safe for dogs to use human treadmills. Dog treadmills have additional features to help keep your dog safe, like the protective running surface. 

What Is the Difference Between a Dog Treadmill and a Human Treadmill?

Dog treadmills come in various sizes, depending on what kind of dog you have. The average human treadmill is about 64 inches long and 28 inches wide, but these dimensions can vary. 

There is also the potential for your dog’s claws to get caught or become ripped on the treadmill’s end caps. 

Dog treadmills are usually wider than human treadmills, allowing your dog to run with all four legs. Human treadmills are designed for humans to run, making it difficult for dogs to run because of how narrow it is comfortably. 

How to Train Your Dog to Walk On a Treadmill

Here’s a quick guide any dog owner can use for treadmill training.

1.Introduce your dog to the treadmill

Gradually introduce your dog to the treadmill. Start by having your dog stand on the track while it’s not moving.

2. Introduce Obedience 

Practice commands your dog already knows while your dog is on the treadmill. If your pup responds to these commands, reward them for performing, so they begin to establish obedience on the treadmill.

3. Use a Leash 

Face your dog forward on the treadmill while using a leash. When turning the treadmill on, use the slowest setting and tell your dog “ready.” 

4. Encourage Forward Walking

Encourage your pup to walk forward when standing in front of the treadmill. This will allow your pup to feel more comfortable running and walking your dog on a treadmill.

5. Slightly Increase Speed

Once your dog becomes more comfortable with the treadmill moving, you should slightly increase the speed. If increasing the speed makes your dog nervous, slow the pace down.

6. Teach Commands

Do not allow your dog to jump off the treadmill. Instead, you need to teach your dogs commands like “stop” and “exit.” Have your pup wait on the treadmill until you say “off”. Your dog will only get off the treadmill if you speak to it. 

Having commands set in lace for the treadmill is essential, so your dog does not try to jump off the treadmill while it is moving. 

Questions About Walking Your Dog On a Treadmill

Here are some common questions about walking your dog on a treadmill.

How long should a dog walk on a treadmill?

Your dog should not exceed any longer than thirty minutes on the treadmill during one session. 

Is it OK to put your dog on a treadmill?

Yes, a treadmill is a great way for your dog to get sufficient exercise throughout the whole year. 

What is a good pace for a dog on a treadmill?

The speed your dog should walk or run at varies based on the size of your pup. For moderate exercise, a small to a medium-sized dog should be able to jog at 3 to 3.5 miles per hour. A medium to a large dog should be able to jog between 3.5 and 4.5 miles per hour, and a giant breed should handle 4 to 5 miles per hour. 

When your dog becomes comfortable with the treadmill, you can gradually increase running speed. For medium or small breeds, a good pace is 4 to 5 miles per hour. Medium dogs should be able to run between 5.5 to 6.5 miles per hour, and large or giant breeds can handle about 6.5 miles per hour.

How do you make your dog comfortable with a treadmill?

You should be patient with your dog because many dogs are afraid of using a treadmill at first. Praise your dog for stepping on the treadmill and encourage your dog to get used to standing on it. 

Slowly get your pup used to walking by starting at the lowest speed setting. You can gradually work your way up with the pace, as long as your dog begins to cooperate. It should only take a few days to get your dog accustomed to using a treadmill or treadwheel.

Is it safe for all dogs to exercise on a treadmill?

Most of the time, dogs of all ages and breeds can exercise on a treadmill. However, there are a few factors that can prevent your dog from being able to use a treadmill. If your dog is very old, you should talk to the vet before having your dog use a treadmill

If your dog has heart disease, joint issues, bone issues, or muscle issues, your dog should avoid any strenuous activity. It is a good idea to always talk to your dog’s vet before having them use a treadmill.  

Safety Tips When Exercising Your Dog On a Treadmill

  • Be patient while training your dog to use a treadmill
  • Position the treadmill where your dog will be able to see you
  • Always supervise your pet
  • Never use a leash to tie your dog to the treadmill
  • Do not overwork your pup
  • Consult with your dog’s vet before exercising your dog on a treadmill regularly


Now that you know more about how to exercise your dog on a treadmill, you can consider getting a dog treadmill or treadwheel for your pup. Dogs of all ages can benefit from treadmill exercise, whether it is used to let out some extra energy or aid in your dog’s weight loss. Just don’t forget that dogs need mental stimulation as well as physical activity!

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Coty Perry
Coty is a self-proclaimed cat whisperer and animal lover. Growing up his mom ran a dog training business out of his childhood home so you can say it was complete chaos 24/7. Today, when he comes home after a long day of writing about animals, he’s greeted by his two loving cats Marley and Cozmo.