So apparently, dog treadmills are a thing. As a dog trainer, this kind of blew my mind.
One of the things I always tell my clients is “A tired dog is a good dog.” That is very true. Many of the bad behaviors that dogs do, come about because they are bored and need a way to release built up energy. Dogs require both mental and physical stimulation regularly. And when they don’t get it, that is when they start digging holes, chewing things up, barking, getting into the trash and such.
I know for most people, it is hard to give your dog as much exercise as they truly need. I get it, life is busy. We have so many things to cross off of our to-do list, in addition to working, raising our family, taking care of ourselves and just surviving the rat race. And when we are done with our day, it’s hard to get motivated to tire your dog out.
Some people have mastered a daily routine that includes walking or running with their dogs. Walking my dogs has always been a very enjoyable part of my day. Except while in my last month of pregnancy and having a newborn baby. I still walked my dogs, but not as much as they needed.
My perfectly well-behaved dogs started acting up. One of them dug a hole in the wall… for no good reason other than I wasn’t providing enough stimulation so he was stressed and bored and needed to burn energy.
They had plenty of toys and things to chew on. I still gave them attention and treats. I still had training sessions with them. I still took them out daily. But it was not enough. Everything was different, our routine was completely askew and there was a lot of change in the house. There were new smells and sounds and I wasn’t focused on them. They needed more from me, and I had my hands full with a newborn baby while I was also still recovering.
As silly as the idea of a doggie treadmill is to me, they may have benefited from it at the time.
I don’t really think a treadmill is an answer. Nothing beats real quality time with your pup. Walks are a time for the two of you to bond and soak up the day. That is what I recommend most.
But I guess if you are in a position where you can’t provide the exercise or mental stimulation as much as your dog needs, then maybe you should check out the doggie treadmills.
I personally think it’s best to find 10 mins here and there throughout your day and spend stimulating your pup. This can be done with toys, walks or just good old fashioned snuggle time.
Some dogs just have SO MUCH ENERGY. That when trying to exercise them, the owners tire out way before them. Everyone’s situation is different, and I’m not judging. So if you think a dog treadmill is what you need or even just want to check out this contraption, here are some pretty cool ones that I found.
This is my favorite. It is essentially a hamster wheel for dogs. What a conversation starter you would have when people visit your home! I almost want to get one for the entertainment of watching my dog try to figure it out.
There are other acceptable reasons for a dog to use a treadmill as well, like Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation.
There are certain injuries and disorders that may cause a dog to need physical therapy. I am not a medical professional, therefore I will not get into detail on this topic. But I have worked for a veterinarian that also had a physical therapy and rehabilitation center. I witnessed the benefit of a treadmill for dogs and seen the improvement in the quality of life for many animals (miniature horse included!)
If you are looking for a treadmill for these purposes, I recommend the flat or inclined style and not the wheel. Also, it is important to find a knowledgeable veterinarian or canine physical therapist and work under their direction. We want the best for our companions, and that requires seeking medical advice from a true professional and not just the internet.
Below you can check out some of the top dog treadmills. If anyone tries one, please leave a comment and let us know how it worked!
Comment below with any questions or feedback. I would like to hear about your experience if your dog has used a treadmill.
Thanks for reading,