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Self-Propelled Dog Treadmill: Do You Need One? [ANSWERED]

Self-Propelled Dog Treadmill: Do You Need One? [ANSWERED]

Many people do not have the luxury of time to take their dogs out daily for a walk. Even when you are set to go on a walk, bad weather can sometimes hinder you from exercising your dog outdoors. Your dog can easily exercise and release some pent-up energy even without leaving the house, thanks to treadmills.

Dog treadmills are indoor workout devices that allow your dog to run, jog, or walk. When you cannot exercise or walk your dog for some reason, they are a terrific alternative. They are ideal for providing your dog a complete body workout while keeping it comfortable and safe at home.

If dogs do not get much exercise, they might become unhealthy and overweight. As a pet owner, you are responsible for ensuring that your pet remains healthy, which you may achieve by purchasing a self-propelled dog treadmill.

dog at gymWhat Is A Self-Propelled Treadmill?

A self-propelled treadmill, also known as a manual or a dog-powered treadmill, is a workout machine that relies on the movement of a dog’s paws against the deck to function. This treadmill is different from the motorized or mechanical treadmill that relies on electricity and other controls to work.

Treadmills are effective in keeping dogs fit and healthy while exercising indoors. Getting a treadmill for dog owners who are disabled or have a hectic schedule could help their energetic dog get busy and burn off some built-up energy.

With a self-propelled treadmill, your dog is in control of its speed since it works based on the rate of the dog’s movement. Also, self-propelled treadmills help in saving electricity since they work manually. Below are some self-propelled treadmills you can purchase.

AssaultRunner Elite Treadmill

The AssaultRunner Elite Treadmill is a fully manual machine that does not require any electricity to operate. Handrails and steel structures, corrosion-resistant fittings, and powder-coated frames are used to construct it. The slat belt can last for about 150,000 miles if it is not motorized.

Instead of a single belt that moves beneath, the slat belt consists of rubber planks that move horizontally along the track. Unlike powered treadmills, this one reacts to your foot tempo, whereas the belt accelerates as well if you accelerate. This gives you a natural jogging experience.

TrueForm Runner Treadmill

This treadmill is targeted toward serious athletes searching for a more user-friendly manual curved treadmill. The TrueForm Runner has a softer curve than similar models, making it safer and easier to use while still maximizing the efficiency of curved training. If you are ordering for a gym or sports facility, the flexibility to choose custom paint is a great advantage.

Can Dogs Use Human Treadmills?

If you have a treadmill at home you often use for your workout, you might be curious if your dog could also use it for a workout. To give a straight answer to the question, dogs can use human treadmills. However, this is not usually advised due to certain reasons we will be explaining below.

Short Track Surface

The human treadmill’s track surface is designed to accommodate shorter gaits, which could be because human legs cannot stretch beyond certain lengths. Now, considering dogs, they are four-legged animals, of course, with longer gaits than we humans.

If a dog is allowed to use a human treadmill, the short track surface could affect the dog’s gait. The implication of doing this is that it could cause some joint problems in a dog. A dog should only be allowed to use a treadmill if the length of the track surface is two times the length of the dog.

Noise and Vibration

Dog’s treadmills are designed with certain technologies that hinder them from making noise or vibrating while in use. This design initiative could be because some dogs get anxious when they hear the slightest noise.

However, human treadmills often vibrate and make noise, which is not usually a concern. So, to prevent your dog from getting anxious or scared, you are better advised not to place the dog on your treadmill.


Speed is another reason why a human treadmill is not ideal for dogs. Humans have a longer stride than most dogs, especially small-sized dogs. Considering the speed of a human treadmill, it is usually very fast and not often advised to be used by dogs, regardless of how you try to reduce it. It was designed for humans and not dogs, so do not expect a dog to be able to cope with the pace.

Treadmills Width

Dogs tend to float whenever they are running. The implication of this is that a dog could begin to float sideways when on a treadmill. The width of human treadmills is usually not wide enough to accommodate a dog. So, there are chances of a large dog falling off the track when exercising on a human treadmill.

Side Rails

When using a treadmill, the side rails are there to act as a guide for safety. Human treadmills are designed to position the rails where hands could easily be placed. It is not advisable to place a dog on a human treadmill with this design, as there is nothing to act as a safety guide.

dog treadmill whiteSelf-Propelled Dog Treadmill DIY

Your dog may not have enough room to maneuver and exercise if you live in a small flat or apartment. In poor weather, letting your dog out may be impossible; your dog will remain healthy if you use the dog treadmill DIY approach. A dog treadmill can be constructed in a variety of ways.

However, the Easy Carpet Treadmill is one of the greatest; the resources needed are plywood, 2 by 4s, a piece of carpet, 2 large PVC pipes, and 4 by 4s. Let your dog stretch by extending his or her back and front legs and measuring the length of the dog’s longest step. This dimension should be increased by around 20-percent to 50-percent to account for the treadmill’s length.

Measure the diameter of your dog’s chest while standing and multiply it by two to get the treadmill’s diameter. The length of the frame of the dog’s treadmill is determined by measuring the dog’s height in a standing posture and adding roughly 5 inches. This ensures that your dog is secure while on the treadmill.

To make the treadmill’s base, chop the plywood to the breadth and length dimensions. If your dog is overweight, you can add another layer of plywood or a pair of 2 by 4s for additional stability. Construct the frame out of the 2 by 4s, make sure the carpet is not falling out, and ensure there is enough room for the PVC pipes.

Use the screws and a hammer or drill to fasten the plywood; then, take four 2 by 4s and fasten them to the track. To tighten the leash, construct a brace out of the 2 by 4s; measure the diameter of the two PVC pipes against the treadmill’s diameter. For further stability, place a piece of 4X4 within each pipe; drill holes through the middle of the wood piece.

Drill holes through the structure with the middle of the pipe aligned with the sides; secure the pipes by drilling screws through the holes. Then, cut the carpet and wrap it around the pipes. Sew them together, and you have your dog treadmill.

Final Thoughts

A doggie treadmill is a dog’s second-best buddy, whether you have a dog that wants to lose weight, a situation that prevents runs and walks, or a dog sprinter that has to prepare for his next tournament. Remember that a dog treadmill is not a replacement for outside activity but rather a supplement. For a happy and healthy dog, you must strike a balance between indoor exercise, enjoyment, and overindulging.

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