If you have been following our articles, you would have read the article on Best Treadmill For Pitbulls and Best Treadmill For German Shepherd. The treadmill that we listed there are indeed awesome. However, more often than not, owners do not know How Long Should My dog Run On The Treadmill. This is indeed a very valid question, as you wouldn’t want to overly strain your dog. As such, let us now address the concern on How Long Should My dog Run On The Treadmill.
How Long Should My Dog Run On The Treadmill
Honestly, there are days at which I would just arrive back at home, and I will refuse to do anything else. It can be sometimes really tiring for me at work, hence I would have heavy inertia. This does not bode well for my dogs, as they sometimes would want me to bring them out for a walk. I mean, which dog does not love a walk? Having said that, I do recognize that dogs, no matter if they are inactive or active, does requires an avenue to exercise or to let off their excess energy. For people like me who are too buried in their work, treadmill for dogs work wonders.
Of course, I do read that there are exercise machines that the dogs can use. The awesome treadmill for dogs is specifically designed for this purpose. Having said that, when we humans use the treadmill, we could easily gauge when we can stop running on it. Can it be the same for dogs too? Unfortunately, not quite so. So, then how long should my dog run on the treadmill?
Essentially, for beginners, the dog should walk or run on the treadmill for a maximum of 10 minutes. This is to ensure that your dog is acclimatize to running on the dog treadmill. Once they are adapted to the treadmill, you can lengthen the duration by intervals of 5 minutes each. This is not a hard and fast rule, as the duration is also determined by your dog’s physical condition as well as if your dog is showing signs of exhaustion. For the latter, one of the tell tale signs is that the dogs is panting excessively and is looking at you while walking.
Training The Dog To Use The Dog Treadmill
Of course, you should train your dog to use the treadmill. If you simply try to force your dog to use it, they will grow an aversion to it, and the dog treadmill will eventually be a white elephant. Also, by training your dog to use the dog treadmill, you will be minimizing the onset of injuries to your dog.
Introduction Of Treadmill
As per all equipment, you should always introduce the treadmill to the dog. First of all, ensure that the treadmill is switched off. Usually, foreign machines, when switched on abruptly, will cause confusion for the dog. This will be detrimental if you want your dog to use the treadmill.
To start the introductory training proper, your first immediate objective is to get the dog to on the treadmill while facing in the correct direction. As per all training, you can use treats to achieve this objective. However, this can be done if and only if your dog did not develop an aversion towards the treadmill. If that is the case, then you might have a hard time trying to train your dog to love the treadmill. But none the less, it is completely doable. What you can do, is to ensure that the treadmill is seen as a positive object. Usually, owners will accomplish this by including the treadmill into the dog’s daily routine. In for example, meals can be fed to the dog while they are near the treadmill.
Commanding Your Dog To Get On Treadmill
Once you have properly introduced the treadmill to your dog, and your dog did not develop and aversion towards the dog treadmill, then it is time for you to start the next step towards training your dog to use the treadmill.
To condition your dog to be acquainted with the commands, lure your dog onto the treadmill and add in the command with it. Usually, I would use “Go On”. After awhile, stop using the lures, and use the commands alone. If your dog gets onto the treadmill without you luring it, please do praise your dog or reward her with a treat!
Acquaintance With The Noise
So far, we have yet to switch on the Treadmill. In this step, we will get the dogs to be acquainted with the noise coming from the treadmill. Switch on the machine, and stand close to it. Lure your dog to your location with a treat in hand. You can repeat this over the course of several days. Eventually, your goal is to get the dog to approach the treadmill, when it is switched on, without any extrinsic motivation.
Using The Treadmill For The First Time
Once the above steps are done correctly, your dog should be able to get onto the treadmill by command, and your dog should be acquainted with the noise. Now it is time for the dog to start using the treadmill for the first time.
To start off, turn the speed of the treadmill to the lowest and command your dog to get onto the treadmill. Ensure that the dog is not on a leash, and that you have a hand ready to scoop the dog away if necessary. When your dog starts to move together with the running platform, you can reward him with a treat. What I did was to place treats on the non moving parts of the machine. In this way, my dog had to move forward on the platform to get the treat itself. Once your dog is able to walk comfortably on the treadmill without you providing a treat, you can start to slowly increase the speed over days.
Congratulations! Your dog is now trained to use the treadmill
Common Mistakes When Using Dog Treadmill
There are several dog treadmill mistakes when the owners start the entire dog treadmill ritual for the dog. While not all of them are fatal, they can still cause injuries to the dog. Let us find out more.
Inadequate Warming Up And Cooling Down
This is one of the most common dog treadmill mistakes. Dogs, like humans, still require warming up to loosen the muscles. You should always stretch the muscles along your dog’s legs and neck. This will help to warm up the dog. Also, you should always cool down the dog after they run on the treadmill. When we say cool down, we don’t mean that you should conduct the ice bucket challenge on the dog. Let the dog on a brisk walk for about 5 to 10 minutes as it will help the dog to cool down and hence not tightening the dog’s muscles.
Connecting A Leash On The Dog
Indeed, this dog treadmill mistake is pretty common. Some owners will think that by putting the dog on a leash and tethering it to a point on the treadmill, they are ensuring that the dog is safe. This is totally wrong. By putting the dog on a leash while they are on the treadmill, you are ensuring that the dog have no properly place to maneuver around when it comes to emergencies. This is dangerous as your dog couldn’t leap off the treadmill at all.
If you would want to guide the dog to run on the treadmill, you can still use a leash, but you should give it some slack and hold the end of the leash on your hand.
While running on the treadmill for the first few times can be fun, it will be boring when it becomes to repetitive. To prevent this, add a variety of challenges when your dog runs on the treadmill. As starters, you can vary the speed. You can also add in an incline to vary the difficulty. This leads on to our next dog treadmill mistake.
Too Much Incline
While providing an incline for your dog is a good thing, it can be tricky for your dog if they are not conditioned to run for more than 3 or 5 minutes over an incline of 5 – 7%. For dogs who are thrown to the mill straightaway, their body can’t take the sudden stress on the back and hips of the dog. This is detrimental to the dog’s health.
Even if your dog is conditioned to run on an incline, you should always ensure that the dog is not running on the incline for long periods of time. As a rule of thumb, try to let the dog run on an incline for a maximum of 10 minutes at any one time.