There are some wonderful benefits of treadmill training for dogs, as it is an excellent supplement to their normal physical activity.
While going out for a walk is best (since it stimulates the mind, too), sometimes that’s just not an option.
That’s where treadmill training comes into play.
With a dog treadmill, you can be sure your dog always gets the exercise he needs.
Today, we’re going to talk about the benefits of training your dog to use a treadmill and why it can be a great addition to your dog’s exercise routine.
Benefits of Treadmill Training for Dogs
All dogs require some level of exercise, although that varies from breed to breed. In general, however, an active dog is a healthy dog
. It’s important to play with them often and take them on walks to get out their energy and stimulate both their bodies and their minds.
As mentioned above, though, sometimes that’s just not feasible, which is where a treadmill comes in super handy!
At first, you might shy away from the idea. After all these treadmills cost a few hundred dollars – some more so than others – and your dog might not actually use the thing.
However, with proper training, you can teach your dog to use a treadmill, allowing both you and him to reap the benefits of having a ready-made walk in the house at all times.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of having a dog treadmill on hand at all times.
1. Inclement Weather
All dogs need their daily walks and outdoor playtime, however, sometimes the weather just won’t cooperate.
Some dogs like Pugs and other “squishy face” breeds don’t do well in the heat. So on hot days, these guys can’t go for extended walks.
No dog (or their owner) wants to go for a walk while it’s raining buckets, either.
Finally, people who live in areas where the winters get particularly brutal can’t take their dogs out for long walks on days when the temperature has dropped extremely low.
During these times when the weather puts a kink in your plans, treadmill training comes in handy.
When your dog knows how to walk or jog on his treadmill, he can get in his exercise for the day no matter what the weather may be outside.
2. Work Off Excess Energy
Almost all puppies and younger dogs have a ton of energy. Likewise, some dog breeds seem to have an almost limitless well of energy, no matter their age.
This is especially true of working and sporting dogs who were bred to have the energy and drive needed to do vigorous activity for extended periods of time.
Dog treadmills are an excellent way to add even more exercise into your dog’s daily routine with backyard play and long walks just won’t cut it.
With a dog treadmill, your dog can work off all of that excess energy. It’s better for his health and better for your house, as excess energy often leads to undesirable behavior.
Better Physical Health
Just like people, dogs need exercise to be as healthy as possible.
While daily exercise is generally all that’s required to keep the average dog in good shape, there are some instances when treadmill training can be a powerful tool in a dog’s better health.
Obese dogs need exercise to help them get the weight off, however, hot days can be hard on their already taxed bodies.
In addition, all that extra weight can make it hard for them to walk for prolonged periods.
With a dog treadmill, you can exercise your pudgy pooch without having to calculate an optimal distance so your dog can complete the walk.
In much the same way that obesity limits a dog’s ability to walk, so does being older.
Dog treadmills allow you to exercise your older dog without the fear of him getting exhausted before he gets back home. In addition, it’s a great way to take him for “mini walks” to keep his joints mobile if he has arthritis.
3. Better Mental Health
Treadmill training for dogs can help with their mental health as much as it can with their physical health.
All dogs need both physical and mental stimulation, and treadmill training can add both at the same time.
The physical activity of treadmilling can help alleviate anxiety, while the training aspect of teaching your dog to walk on the treadmill builds more confidence in a timid dog as he masters the training and is rewarded liberally.
In addition, treadmill training also gives working dogs a “job” to do. Working dogs were bred with an innate desire to do activities.
Over the years, dogs have become beloved household pets rather than working partners, so many working breeds are left with a desire to work but no job to do. Walking on the treadmill gives them that job.
Treadmill Training Watch-Outs
While treadmill training your dog is an excellent way to increase his physical activity, self-confidence, and overall better health, as well as being convenient during bad weather, there are a few watch-outs you should be aware of.
1. Never Leave Your Dog Unsupervised
Never leave your dog unsupervised while he’s on the treadmill. No matter how used to the device he is, something could go wrong.
In addition to being prepared for accidents, your presence also prevents possible accidents.
If you leave the room, your dog might decide to follow you and attempt to jump off the moving treadmill. This could lead to injury.
2. Leash Your Dog
While you might initially think that leashing your dog to the treadmill is a bad idea, it’s actually far safer than leaving him unleashed.
Leashing your dog to the treadmill helps him remain centered on the belt, lessening the likelihood of falling or injury.
3. ONLY Use a Dog Treadmill
If you have a treadmill of your own, it might be tempting to forgo the expense of a dog treadmill and simply train your dog to use yours. However, dog treadmills are designed with dogs in mind.
Dog treadmills are longer and wider than human treadmills, allowing for a dog to use his natural gate and “drift” from side to side a bit as he walks.
In addition, there is very little space between the belt and the edge of the treadmill, unlike human treadmills.
Finally, dog treadmills are designed to operate much more quietly than human treadmills, reducing the likelihood that your dog will be afraid of the apparatus.
Treadmill Training is a Winner
Treadmill training your dog is one of the best additions you can add to you and your dog’s life.
It allows you to exercise him regularly no matter what the weather may be, and it allows you to control his exercise level.
This is exceptionally convenient for obese or elderly dogs.
With proper training and patience, almost any dog will do well with treadmill training. So if you’ve been thinking about getting a dog treadmill, pull the trigger.
Your dog will benefit greatly from it.