What Types of Dog Treadmills Are There?

Filed in Dog Health, Dog Products on January 26, 2021

Types of dog treadmills

Are you wondering what types of dog treadmills are there?

Maybe you need a way to exercise your dog indoors and wonder which is the best dog treadmill to buy.

Dog treadmills offer many health benefits. They can help your dog burn off extra energy by providing a high-intensity workout. If you’re training your dog, these treadmills can also provide strength and endurance conditioning.

They also provide the option to exercise your dog when walking outdoors isn’t possible.

Below are descriptions of different types of dog treadmills, along with a list of the pros and cons of each. Some specific models may belong to more than one category.

Because purchasing a dog treadmill can be a large investment, it pays to know what your options are before you buy.

Motorized Dog Treadmills

Motorized dog treadmills are the dog version of what you might find at a gym or fitness club. These treadmills are created specifically for dogs to use, with lower railing to prevent falls and smaller vents to prevent clogging by pet hair.

Although there are different sizes of motorized treadmills, the design allows for some variation of dog sizes.

These treadmills offer many of the same options you might find on a human treadmill. You can set the speed and duration of the workout, as well as adjust the incline. Because these treadmills are motor-driven, their features may allow you to track time and distance.

I also wrote an article on the best dog treadmills, consisting mainly of motorized versions.

Dog running on a treadmill

Motorized dog treadmills are powered by the treadmill itself, and not the speed of your dog’s run. Because of this, there are limitations on how slow or how fast your dog can go.

Your dog should always be supervised while using these treadmills, as they have no way to control the machine’s speed. With a motorized treadmill, you should never secure your dog to the machine.

Some dogs may not like the noise of a motorized treadmill. While the design of most of these treadmills allows for easy use, some dogs may not like using these machines.

Price:

Motorized treadmills range in price from $400 to $2000, with more expensive models available.

Pros:

  • Reliable power source
  • Good for customized fitness plans for your dog
  • Built-in features allow you to track time and distance

Cons:

  • Don’t support a natural gait
  • Can pose higher risk of injury to dog
  • Limitations of low and high speed
  • Loud noise during operation

Non-Motorized Dog Treadmills

Non-motorized dog treadmills offer a different kind of workout for your dog. These treadmills are often propelled by your dog’s movement. There are many different types of non-motorized treadmills: Slatmills, Carpetmills, and treadwheels.

On a motorized dog treadmill, your dog can only really trot. Trotting is a more difficult movement that requires more energy and concentration, but may not be the best movement for your dog if you’re looking to improve his strength or stamina.

On a non-motorized treadmill, your dog can gallop or canter. These types of movement are much more natural for your dog. A workout on a non-motorized treadmill can be good for training your dog to run at a high speed or for a long distance.

Unlike motorized treadmills, non-motorized treadmills get all of their power from your dog. The slats or belt only move when your dog moves, leaving your dog in control of the speed from start to finish.

Since non-motorized treadmills are powered by your dog, your dog can get a full workout from just one machine.

Many of these treadmills have an overhead bar that can be attached to a harness. Although dogs should never be attached to a motorized treadmill, a harness on a non-motorized treadmill can add additional safety and stability for your dog.

Price:

Non-motorized treadmills may be less expensive than their motorized counterparts, but not always.

Pros:

  • Supports a more natural gait
  • Allows for strength and endurance training
  • Often but not always less expensive than motorized treadmills
  • Dog has control of speed
  • Free turning slats or belts mean your dog can go faster than on a motorized treadmill

Cons:

  • Machines can be large and bulky
  • Certain styles are still expensive
  • Can have loud noise during operation

Hydrotherapy Dog Treadmills

dog on hydrotherapy treadmill You may have seen videos of obese pets using hydrotherapy treadmills. These motorized treadmills have an enclosed space around them, allowing you to add water.

This type of treadmill takes advantage of the natural buoyancy of objects in the water, creating a low-impact, high-resistance workout for your dog.

Hydrotherapy dog treadmills can be a great option if your dog is training and conditioning, overweight, or recovering from an injury. While these treadmills are great for helping rehab an injury, they aren’t meant to be the entire recovery plan if your pet is injured.

Most motorized treadmills allow you to adjust to speed or incline to change the workout for your dog. With hydrotherapy treadmills, you can also adjust the water level.

With slightly higher levels of water, your pet may experience less impact on their joints and higher resistance. You can adjust the water higher or lower based on the workout plan for your dog.

Price:

These dog treadmills are expensive. Most brand websites had an option to “contact for quote” in place of the price.

Pros:

  • Reliable power source
  • Good for overweight or injured dogs
  • Good for customized fitness plans for your dog
  • A low-impact workout puts less stress on your dog’s joints
  • Built-in features allow you to track time and distance

Cons:

  • Most expensive dog treadmill option
  • Heavy and difficult to move
  • Additional maintenance needed for water tank
  • Limitations on speed
  • Loud noise during operation

Wood Dog Treadmills

Wood dog treadmills are often Carpetmills or Slatmills that are made from (primarily) wood. These non-motorized treadmills offer flexibility for your dog’s workout.

They can be purchased or made from home. Many sites offer DIY solutions for creating a wood treadmill at home that is the perfect size for your dog.

A homemade wood dog treadmill can be a great way to save money on the cost of a dog treadmill. Pre-fabricated wood treadmills can be costly, but the materials to make one from home are readily available at any home improvement store.

Unfortunately, making your own wood treadmill can prove risky for your dog. If your materials are not strong enough or secured well, the treadmill breaking down can cause injury to your dog.

Most Carpetmills and Slatmills use materials that are specifically chosen for their strength and durability, making them a safer option for your dog.

Price:

Wood treadmills typically cost between $300 and $2000, although nicer ones can cost more. Creating one at home from materials at the home improvement store can cost less than the premade options.

Pros:

  • Supports a more natural gait
  • Allows for strength and endurance training
  • Often less expensive than motorized treadmills
  • Dog has control of speed
  • Free turning slats or belts mean your dog can go faster than on a motorized treadmill

Cons:

  • Machines can be large and bulky
  • Some units are still expensive
  • Can have loud noise during operation
  • Poorly made DIY models may pose risks

Slatmills

Dog on a slatmillSlatmills are non-motorized dog treadmills that work by using rolls and slats to create a space where your dog can walk and run. These machines are great for building muscle and stamina in your dog.

It often has no incline, although some Slatmill models may provide the option for an adjustable incline. Because the Slatmill’s movement is based upon your dog’s speed, this treadmill can go as fast or as slow as your dog wants.

This provides more options for creating a workout that is tailored to your pet’s needs.

Slatmills come in a variety of sizes, depending on the size of the dogs that will use them. Because of the variety of sizes available, it is important to find the Slatmill that is the right size for your dog.

Price:

Slatmills often range in price from $500 to $2000.

Pros:

  • Supports a more natural gait
  • Allows for strength and endurance training
  • Often a more affordable option
  • Dog has control of speed
  • Free turning slats mean your dog can go faster than on a motorized treadmill
  • Some models may be almost noise-free during operation

Cons:

  • Machines can be large and bulky, especially if you have a larger breed of dog
  • Certain models are still expensive
  • Some models may still be loud during operation

Carpetmills

Carpetmills are very similar to Slatmills. However, instead of slats moving around rolls, a “carpet” forms the track that turns as your dog walks or runs.

Most store-bought models of Carpetmills do not use the actual carpet for the track, but a material that absorbs shock and prevents slipping.

This material is sometimes very similar to what you would find on a motorized dog treadmill, except that it is placed around rolls instead of being fed through a mechanical machine.

Like other non-motorized dog treadmills, the Carpetmill treadmill allows your dog to move at their own pace. The track’s speed is determined by the movements of your dog, meaning the machine can reach higher speeds.

The friction created by the “carpet” running along the supporting roles can add a small amount of resistance, leading to a more intense workout for your dog.

Most Carpetmills can be adjusted to different levels of incline. A higher incline can provide a more challenging workout for your dog.

This type of treadmill typically has a bar over the top of the machine, where a harness can be attached to help secure your dog. Because the speed of the machine is determined by your dog’s movement, having your dog secured does not pose the same risks as a motorized dog treadmill.

There is some debate about whether Carpetmills (and some Slatmills) are legal for use in the United States. Some areas, like New York, have created legislation outlawing their use because of a possible connection with dog fighting.

These treadmills provide a vigorous workout that can be used for training dogs for deviant purposes. However, Carpetmills in themselves is not an indication of animal abuse.

Before you purchase this type of treadmill for your dog, you may want to look into local laws about their use in your area.

Price:

Carpetmills are very affordable, often priced between $500 and $1000, although nicer models may cost more.

Pros:

  • Easy to set up
  • Some models can be folded and put away
  • Supports a more natural gait
  • Allows for strength and endurance training
  • Often the most affordable dog treadmill option
  • Dog has control of speed
  • Free turning belt means your dog can go faster than on a motorized treadmill
  • Some models may be almost noise-free during operation

Cons:

  • Machines can be large and bulky
  • Certain models are still expensive
  • Some models may still be loud during operation
  • Legality questionable in some areas

Treadwheels

Treadwheels are like hamster wheels, but bigger. Treadwheels are a great option if you have a smaller dog or a smaller space. Because they come in a variety of sizes, you should take the time to select the treadwheel that is the right size for your dog.

Like other non-motorized treadmill options, treadwheels are powered by your dog, allowing them to move at their own pace. They can be a great physical outlet for high energy dogs.

Treadwheels are even safe for your dog to use when you aren’t home. Because they aren’t motorized and don’t require your supervision and aide in starting and stopping the workout, your dog can get on and off the treadwheel whenever he wants.

It has two major downsides. First, they are not a great option for larger dogs, as it would take a large treadwheel to accommodate a large dog.

Second, it may be harder to get your pet to use a treadwheel if they don’t want to us it. With other types of treadmills, it is easy to position yourself and lead your dog in exercise. It may take longer to help your dog adjust to working out on a treadwheel.

Price:

Treadwheels can be purchased at prices between $500 and $3000, with some more expensive models available.

Pros:

  • May be smaller than other options, especially if you have a small dog
  • More affordable than motorized treadmill options
  • Dog has control of speed
  • Some models may be almost noise-free during operation

Cons:

  • Treadwheels can be large
  • Certain models are still expensive
  • May be harder for your dog to learn to use

Conclusion

As you can see, there’s a number of different choices when deciding which type of dog treadmill to choose.

Since most dogs need 30 to 60 minutes a day of exercise, it’s important to weigh your options carefully.

By reviewing the list above, you can decide which choice is best for your dog.

Then, you’ll need to choose the right treadmill within that specific category.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments below.

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