Should You Buy a Treadmill for your Dog?
Being a dog owner comes with a lot of responsibilities, and one of the primary ones is to ensure that your pet stays healthy, both mentally and physically. A regular walk schedule is a key method to accomplish this. However, some pet owners have trouble keeping their dog on a regular walking schedule because of job requirements, poor health of the owner, or dismal weather conditions.
Worry no more for the solution is at hand. To replace the crucial park walks and play dates, the dog treadmill was invented. Just like the machines for us humans, dog treadmills mimic a pet’s walking patterns and can be set to various speeds depending on the size and weight of your dog. According to various vets and first hand witnesses, dog treadmills are some of the most effective ways to keep your dog active despite the numerous limitations. If you’re planning to get a dog treadmill for your dog, keep reading to learn how to choose the ideal one.
Reasons Why you May Need a Dog’s Treadmill
There are a few dog owners who are against dog treadmills. They claim that we can’t replace the physical activity of a dog outdoors. Some of the reasons they highlight include;
- They are repetitive. They only allow the dog to run and walk, locking away activities like jumping and rolling.
- They aren’t very refreshing. Besides exercise, park walks expose the dog to nature, including other people. Too much indoor exercising on the dog treadmill could affect the dog’s mental health.
Nothing could be further from the truth. However, we all agree that these devices have their place in maintaining your dog’s health. Not all dogs are in a position to exercise outdoors. Below are some of the reasons why it may be necessary to purchase a dog treadmill;
- You may have a recovering dog that may have undergone a recent operation. You definitely wouldn’t want to make such a dog run in the field. A dog treadmill is ideal to help gradually reintroduce physical activity for your ailing pooch.
- If your work involves being away from home for a very long time, you should consider getting a dog treadmill for your dog. Since you can’t take him for a walk at night, you can have him exercise on the dog treadmill as you unwind your day.
- When there are harsh weather patterns such as heavy rain, winter, or hurricanes, you can use the dog treadmill to exercise your dog indoors.
- Hyper active dog- There are those dogs that are super active in the sense that daily walks aren’t enough physical activity for them. In such a case, you can use the treadmill to give your dog extra physical activity.
- Obese dogs- Hyper active dogs are self motivated and don’t need much supervision to exercise when outdoors. However, obese dogs need a push. The only way to do that is to use a dog treadmill to gradually introduce physical activity in such dogs. You can increase the intensity with time.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Dog Treadmill
- The Size, Weight and Portability – Ensure that you purchase a dog treadmill that fits in the space you have. Ensure you get a foldable and light dog treadmill if you have to fold when it’s not in use. If you have to travel with it or move it from one room to another all the time, a lighter model would be the best.
- Size and Weight of your dog – Each dog treadmill is equipped to sustain a certain weight and size of a dog. If you used a small treadmill for large dogs, you’ll just destroy it. If you use a large treadmill for a small dog, you may be exposing your dog to potential danger. Small dogs have short paces which may not be accommodated in a large treadmill. Also, if the dog was to fall off, the protective side walls may have been designed for a large dog, rendering them ineffective for a small dog.
- Speed – Get dog treadmills with slower speeds for old, sick, and relatively large dogs. Smaller dogs are faster so you can consider faster treadmills for such dogs.
- Gradient/slope- The more steep the treadmill’s slope is, the more calories your dog can burn. However, don’t get steep slopes for old dogs or small dogs.
- Side walls – Ensure that the treadmill you get has protective sidewalls to prevent your dog from injury if he falls off.
- Motor Noise – Some dog treadmills tend to be quite noisy due to their motors. You need to go for one that’s quieter, especially if it’s close to your living room or bedroom.
- Cost – In most cases, you may be buying a dog treadmill out of necessity. Since they are quite expensive, forego some capabilities to purchase cheaper dog treadmills. However, don’t buy low quality dog treadmills just because they are cheap.
It’s not surprising to find a dog that won’t hop on a dog treadmill. Training strategies such as the use of affection and treats can come in handy. You can offer your dog treats or complete meals on the dog treadmill to ensure that he gets used to it. Don’t start him off with high speeds. Start with slow speeds and increase gradually. Your dog shouldn’t spend more than one hour daily on the dog treadmill. You can split this into smaller sessions.
It is the dog owner’s obligation to ensure that the dog gets daily physical activity to ensure both mental and physical health. Dog treadmills help us achieve this physical activity while indoors. While its effectiveness is still up for debate, dog treadmills have their place in our dog’s life, especially in unique situations.
When planning to purchase a dog treadmill, you need to consider its size and weight, the size of your dog, the gradient, cost, and motor noise. You should also consider the sped, to ensure that your dog can handle the speed. The side walls are effective protectors especially when you place the dog treadmill close to a wall.
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