Using a dog treadmill is a great way to exercise your dog when you can’t get out and about or in addition to outdoor walks. Dog treadmills aren’t an alternative to walks, since your dog needs the mental stimulation that comes from seeing the outside world and sniffing all the neighborhood scents, but they’re great for days when it’s too hot, cold, or wet to walk outdoors, or as an extra bit of exercise for dogs you just can’t seem to walk enough.
Our vet advisor, Dr. Chyrle Bonk, chose the best dog treadmills for inclusion in this article. They selected the dogPACER Full Size Dog Treadmill as their top pick overall, due to its durability, ease of use, and foldability for easier storage when not in use. Read how she chose the top 5.
If you choose to buy a canine treadmill, you’ll need to learn how to train your dog to use a treadmill.
Our Vet’s Top 5 Dog Treadmills
|Editor’s Picks||Brand||Rating||Foldable||Emergency stop||Maximum speed|
|Best Overall||dogPACER Full Size Dog Treadmill||7.5 MPH|
|Best Budget Buy||Goplus Dog Treadmill||7.5 MPH|
|Best for Small Dogs||dogPACER MiniPACER Treadmill||7.5 MPH|
|Best for Large Dogs||GoPet PetRun PR725 Encloseable Treadmill||16 MPH|
|Best Manual||GOPET Treadwheel for Small Dogs
*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers
In This Article
Who Should Buy a Dog Treadmill
- People who live in areas where extreme weather is an issue – If you live in an area where temperatures rarely dip below 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer or you regularly get several feet of snow in the winter, it can be tricky to safely give your dog enough exercise. A treadmill is perfect for those days when outdoor exercise just isn’t possible.
- Dog owners without a yard – Although pet parents with yards still need to walk their dogs, said dogs can get some extra exercise in the yard to tire themselves out. If you don’t have a yard, giving your dog some treadmill time, in addition to regular walks, is a great idea.
- Owners of dogs with a huge amount of energy – While you should choose a dog whose energy levels suit your lifestyle, some would happily walk all day and are still full of beans after a three-hour walk.1 In this case, a treadmill is useful to supplement their walk schedule.
Who Should Not Buy a Dog Treadmill
- People who can walk their dogs practically every day – If weather conditions and other circumstances allow you to give your dog adequate walks daily, with only the odd few days a year when it’s too hot or cold to go out, you probably don’t need a dog treadmill.
- Owners of dogs who are very nervous – Although all dogs need some training to comfortably use a treadmill, especially nervous dogs are unlikely to take well to treadmills and may simply find them stressful.2
Research Tips (from a Veterinarian)
As a veterinarian, I’m sometimes asked how to select a good dog treadmill. Below, you’ll find my top tips for purchasing a dog treadmill. You should do your research on the product you’re considering buying and you can always ask your friends, family, or veterinarian if they have any dog treadmill recommendations.
- Choose the right size – Make sure you choose a dog treadmill that is big enough to comfortably fit your pup but not so big that your little dog is nearly drowning in space. You want them to be comfortable, not intimidated.
- Check the weight limit – Also take the weight limit of a dog treadmill into consideration. If you have a 120-pound dog, the treadmill you choose better be able to handle that much weight. And vice versa, if your little pup is only 10 pounds, a 150 pound rated treadmill might be a little much.
- Find out about maximum and adjustable speed – If your pup is older or debilitated, you might want a treadmill with variable speed to match their ability. If your dog prefers to go fast, make sure to get them a treadmill that can keep up.
- Consider noise levels – Different treadmills make different levels of noise. If your pup has issues with loud noises, you might want to steer clear of those treadmills that emit a lot of sound. Opt for one that is a little quieter.
- Pick a treadmill with removable sides – Most dog treadmills come with protective sides to help keep your pup corralled on the treadmill. While this may be comforting to some pups, it may be nerve-wracking or even scary for others. Treadmills with removable sides may be beneficial until you know how your dog will feel about them.
- Take a look at the warranty – A dog treadmill has a lot of moving parts. You may want to protect the integrity of those parts with a long warranty to ensure that breakdowns can be quickly and easily fixed.
How Much Do They Cost?
Between $350 and $1,500
You can find some basic dog treadmills starting at around $350. These might not be the most sturdy and heard-wearing options, however, so they’re best for occasional use only. Larger dog treadmills are usually more expensive than smaller ones, as are those that have a higher maximum top speed and more impressive safety features.
Our Methodology: Why Trust Pet News Daily
In my work as a veterinarian, I’ve spoken to many pet owners and other vets about using dog treadmills to help ensure dogs get enough exercise. I’ve chosen these treadmills based on my professional experience, but also urge buyers to consider factors such as their dog’s personality, how much space they have at home, and their budget. Careful consideration has gone into my top five choices, with a range of options to suit the majority of dogs. – Dr. Chyrle Bonk
The Best Dog Treadmills: Full Reviews
The dogPACER Full Size Dog Treadmill is an excellent choice for dogs big and small. It has a maximum weight capacity of 180 pounds, but it’s best to look at the length of the running area when deciding whether it’s big enough for your dog. This one measures 71 inches, which is a good size for all but the largest dogs.
If you’re worried about a dog treadmill taking up too much space in your home, this is a great option for you because it folds in half for easier storage. You can set the speed anywhere from 0.5 to 7.5 MPH, adjusting it in increments of 0.1 MPH.
- Safety key for automatic emergency stops
- Extremely simple to adjust the speed settings
- Folding design for easy storage
- Sides are removable
- Doesn’t record dogs’ lifetime mileage
- The sides are a little flimsy
If you’re buying on a budget, the Goplus Dog Treadmill should be one of your top choices. The running area measures 38 inches, and though it technically has a weight limit of up to 200 pounds, large dogs will be too big to run safely on this treadmill. You can easily adjust the speed between 0.5 and 7.5 MPH using the control panel or remote control.
The safety key has a cord that attaches to your dog’s collar or secure dog harness so that the key will be pulled out of the machine if your dog slips backwards, bringing the treadmill to an emergency stop.
- 12 preset programs
- Sides are securely attached in place
- Remote control with emergency stop button
- Casters on the feet make it easy to move around
- Not as durable as some models
- Running area is relatively small
A smaller version of our top pick, the dogPACER MiniPACER Treadmill is our favorite model for exercising small dogs. It costs less than the full size model and takes up less space, as well, although it doesn’t fold for storage. The running area measures 38 inches long.
This is a high quality machine, offering excellent value for money. Like its larger counterpart, it runs at speeds between 0.5 and 7.5 MPH, so you can exercise your dog at any pace from a slow walk to a full run.
- Safety key for emergency stops
- Pre-set programs for well-paced workouts
- 55 pound weight limit
- Feels strong and sturdy
- Some reviewers received damaged or defective units
- Doesn’t come with a remote control
An excellent high-end choice for exercising big dogs.
Many dog treadmills simply aren’t large enough to accommodate big dogs, but the GoPet PetRun PR725 Encloseable Treadmill has a running area measuring 71 inches long and can hold up to 176 pounds. It has a maximum speed of 16 MPH to allow big dogs with long strides to run quickly, plus you can adjust the incline to increase your dog’s effort and improve fitness.
Not only is this treadmill sturdy and well-made, it has loads of great features that make it worth the $1,250+ price tag. We love that it has an air cylinder to auto-fold the treadmill for easier storage when it’s not in use and that the side railings are sturdy but removable.
- Silent driving system for quiet operation
- Dolly wheels in the base for easy moving
- Low running platform is safe and easy to access
- Remote control for easy operation
- Too expensive for some buyers, especially for occasional use
- Some dogs may not like the non-opaque sides
The GOPET Treadwheel for Small Dogs is akin to a large hamster wheel. Unlike electric treadmills, this one is powered by your dog’s legs, so they can set their own pace, with no minimum or maximum speed. It’s a compact treadwheel and suitable for small and toy breed dogs under 25 pounds.
Some dogs prefer manual treadmills over electric treadmills because they get put off by the noise of electric treadmills or the continuous motion of the belt. Dogs can use these anywhere, indoor or out, because there’s no need for access to a power outlet.
- Running surface provides plenty of traction
- Dogs can hop on and use it any time
- Minimal safety concerns
- Costs more than many electric treadmills
- Suitable for small dogs only
Frequently Asked Questions
Pet News Daily uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
- George Z, Roth Port D. The Most Important Factor in Choosing a Dog (Hint: It’s Not Breed). Rd.com. Updated April 19, 2021. Accessed April 30, 2021.
- Kriss R. Understanding, Preventing, and Treating Dog Anxiety. Akc.org. Published January 15, 2021. Accessed April 30, 2021.