Training your Dog to Run on the Treadmill

Dogs, by nature, are designed to be active. Just as they need to be provided with healthy foods, enough water, and a comfortable home, these canines also need to be physically active to stay healthy. For most pet owners, walking their dogs has become a habit. Either they have their pets as a jogging companion starting the day or let them enjoy a relaxing walk at night after work.

But not all pet owners have the luxury of walking their pets during the mornings or the evenings. Some may not have safe access to the neighborhood, maybe busy, or the apartment or house may not have enough space for your pet to roam around. Dogs need some physical activity for them to stay healthy; if they don’t get it, they might develop some kind of physical, emotional, and mental health issues. So what will you do about it?

Treadmill exercise for dogs

A treadmill workout is great alternatives to outdoor walks and can be a great physical exercise for your dogs. This is a great way to provide your pet with work out. Training your dog to exercise using a treadmill requires a lot of patience, but a soon as they get used to it, you will have no more problems.

How to get your dog to exercise using a treadmill

This can be very challenging, but with time and effort, your dog should learn to use the machine with your help, of course.

Get your furry friend familiarized to the treadmill: introduce your dog to the machine while it is still turned off. Allow them to sniff the machine. This is their way of familiarizing the machine. Allow them to get familiar with the machine for a few days. Turn the machine on. Your dogs may react negatively, like bark on the machine or back away. Don’t worry as this is a normal reaction.

Turn on the machine once in a while to keep them use to it. Try to give them goodies or food near the machine so that they get used to it. You may also place their toys and water near the machine while it is off. Finally, you may use the machine. Try to get on the treadmill. This would also show your pet that this machine is safe. Dogs also have trust issues, so letting them see that this equipment is safe will make things better for you and your pet.

Get your pet to walk on the treadmill while it is turned off. Allow your pet to get familiar with the equipment while they are on it. Reinforce the behavior by giving them treats. This trick is perfect for luring them into getting on the treadmill. As soon as they get on, praise your dog and give them the treat.

Practice your dog on the treadmill a few times every day until they get used to them.

Let your dog come near the treadmill while you are using it. Try to get on the treadmill. This would also show your pet that this machine is safe. Dogs also have trust issues, so letting them see that this equipment is safe will make things better for you and your pet. Let them come near the machine while you are using it.

Time to get them on the machine. Set the treadmill at the lowest possible speed. Let them get on it. You may lure them with a treat. Let them be comfortable with the speed so that they won’t be overwhelmed. Before they get on it, allow them to sniff the treadmill. This is their way of examining the machine.

Use the trick every day. Be patient. They’ll get used to the speed after a few days. It may take days or weeks for them to get comfortable.

Again, start at a slow pace. Once they are familiar with the routine, you may increase the speed gradually each day.

You may start walking your dog with the lowest setting. Start with the lowest speed at about a minute until your dog gets used to the exercise.

As soon as your dog is used to the machine, you may gradually build up to higher speeds and longer periods.

A treadmill workout can be very helpful to our dogs. You have to be sensitive to your dog’s behavior and feelings during this process. If you see some discomfort at the beginning, be patient as the dog is still adjusting with the machine or the whole exercise scenario.

Treadmill workouts are a great alternative to outdoor walks for your pets. This is the best way to let them stay active and keep them emotionally and physically healthy.

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Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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