Skip to content

Is It Safe For Dogs To Run On Treadmills? | Yes, Here’s How!

Owning a dog can be very fun, but it also comes with some responsibilities. For instance, your companion will need plenty of exercise to keep stay healthy, busy, and happy. If you’re an active person, it’s simple to go out hiking or running with him. However, not everybody is able or wants to do such intense sports with their furry friend. Thus, you might wonder if it’s OK to let dogs run on treadmills!

Running On Treadmills

The weather is bad? You’re not suitable to run or walk? You don’t have enough time to exercise with your dog? Or you’re simply not in the mood to play with him? That’s alright, but it’s not a good reason to let your pup getting bored. For example, you could teach him how to run on a treadmill to ensure he has the physical activity he needs without too much effort from you. However, you probably wonder if running on treadmills is safe for dogs?

Absolutely, dogs that can run are suitable to exercise on treadmills. However, certain types of treadmills aren’t safe for dogs. Moreover, your companion should never walk or run alone on these running machines. With proper training, precaution, and supervision, treadmills can be an excellent way to keep your dog active and healthy!

Exercise Needs Of Dogs.

As every dog owner knows, these furry animals are full of energy. But did you know that around 56% of dogs are overweight? The APOP found these outstanding results that just blew me away. The lack of knowledge about dogs’ exercise requirements is probably one main reason for this high percentage of obesity in dogs!

That’s why I want to make sure you understand how to give enough exercise to your pup. In general, most dogs will need around 30 to 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Thus, you MUST provide at least half an hour of exercise to your companion EVERY DAY. Don’t worry, I totally understand that it’s not easy at all. However, you could simply teach him how to run on treadmills safely if there’s no other way to meet his exercise requirements!

Furthermore, some very energetic breeds will need much more than 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Your dog’s breed, level of energy, size, and health will determine how much exercise he needs. Here are some high-energy dog breeds and low-energy ones!

Dogs That Needs a Lot of Exercises! (Up To 2 Hours/Day)

Husky Running
  • Airedale Terriers.
  • Siberian Huskies. 
  • Irish Setters. 
  • Jack Russell Terriers. 
  • Vizslas. 
  • Weimaraners. 
  • Corgis.
  • Dalmatians.
  • Labrador and Golden Retrievers.
  • Border Collies.
  • Australian Shepherds.
  • Poodles.
  • Beagles.
  • Etc.

Dogs That Needs Less Physical Activity! (Around 30 Minutes/Day or Less)

Bulldog Sit Inactive
  • Bulldogs.
  • Pugs.
  • Newfoundlands.
  • Basset Hounds.
  • Saint Bernards.
  • Great Danes.
  • Greyhounds.
  • Whippets.
  • Neapolitan Mastiffs.
  • English Toy Spaniels.
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
  • Malteses.
  • Etc.

What If You Don’t Let Your Dog Spend His Extra Energy?

Unfortunately, there are many consequences if you’re not able to provide him with enough exercise. First of all the lack of physical or mental stimulation could easily lead to boredom. If your dog is bored, he will find a way to entertain himself.

In other words, not enough exercise leads to bad behavior such as chewing, digging, or barking for nothing. If you don’t want your dog to be destructive, make sure he has the physical and mental entertainment he needs. That’s where running and treadmills become interesting!

Can Dogs Exercise On Treadmills Safely?

Not only most dogs can run on a treadmill, but it’s also a great way to let them exercise as much as they want. They generally love running, so we shouldn’t restrict them to enjoy it. For people with serious health or physical conditions, it can be very difficult to walk or jog with their companion. In this case, you should consider teaching him how to run on an appropriate treadmill. It’s the “pawfect” solution to keep your dog fit, healthy, and happy!

Person Running On Treadmill

Is Your Dog Suitable To Run On A Treadmill?

Unfortunately, not every dog is suitable to enjoy intense canine sports. That’s why you must make sure your buddy can run safely before teaching him how to do it on an appropriate treadmill. Even active dogs may have issues with running so don’t assume they are suitable to run without proper analysis. This activity could hurt him seriously if your buddy has any health or physical conditions of which you’re not aware. Thus, here are some things to look at before letting any dog running on a treadmill!


Your dog’s origin will tell you so much useful information about him. For example, some breeds such as Huskies, Labradors, or Border Collies are natural runners. They were bred to run so they shouldn’t have any issue to enjoy it on another surface. On the other hand, some other breeds such as Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers, or Mastiffs may not be suitable to work out on treadmills for various reasons!


Even if your dog looks well suited to run safely on a treadmill, he could have problems with his health. Joint, hip, or any other structural issues are generally the most common health conditions that could restrict him to enjoy intense physical activity. It can be very painful and dangerous for your buddy to run with any type of medical restrictions. That’s why it’s highly recommended to ask your vet before changing anything to his exercise routine!


Most of the time, puppies and senior dogs aren’t suitable to run. Even if running on a treadmill is less vigorous than doing it on the street, it’s still not safe for them. They are too fragile to be over-exercise or do intense sports. Most dogs will be able to start running on treadmills after 1 year of age. However, it’s always more accurate to ask your vet when it’s OK to start or time to stop!


Ultra-small or giant dogs are rarely suitable to run for long distances. Toy breeds simply won’t be able to keep up running because of their little legs. Very large companions are too heavy and running can be painful for them. If your dog isn’t excessively small or big, he should his size won’t restrict him to exercise on a treadmill!


You might think running on a treadmill is the best way to regulate the weight of your companion, but it’s not. In fact, too intense sports are very likely to hurt an overweight dog. His extra pounds (or kg) will put too much pressure on their joints. If your buddy isn’t at a healthy weight, I highly suggest you stick with walking for now!


Normally, you won’t have very much difficulty knowing if your dog can run. If you have any hesitation, go see your vet or find safe ways to exercise him such as walking. Now that you’re more conscientious about your dog’s physical ability, it’s time to understand how to let your dog use a treadmill safely!

Types of Treadmills Suitable For Dogs!

Unfortunately, a normal human treadmill isn’t suitable for dogs. You must invest in a machine that’s adapted for your furry companion. Electric treadmills (normal or underwater) are safer and more efficient than manual ones because most dogs aren’t strong enough to make the belt turn themselves. Thus, our four-legged companions should run on dog-friendly electric treadmills (not powered by the dog’s energy)!

Adapted dimensions are also important to provide comfort and move freely. If you want to make that investment, verify that it’s the best one for your dog’s needs. My favorite option on the market is the dogPACER Treadmill. (Check It Out On Amazon!) By the way, a treadmill session gives a full-body workout to your pooch. It’s also a great way for high-energy dogs to spend their extra energy!

This is an awesome way to build stamina, speed, strength, and other athletic qualities. Both for active or sedentary dogs, this workout machine allows them to walk or run safely inside your house. Even if your buddy shouldn’t have issues with treadmills, you should still mention it to your vet just in case!

Unfortunately, not all dogs are comfortable on a treadmill. Thus, you should always respect your dog’s limits and conditions. You can’t force them to exercise on a running machine if they don’t want it. To avoid that, the earlier (not too young) you introduce them to this running alternative, the more likely they will enjoy it. Around 3 to 6 months of age is the sooner you introduce your puppy to a treadmill walk!

Two Dogs Running

10 Steps To Teach Dogs How To Run On Treadmills!

Using a treadmill isn’t very complicated. However, it’s not innate for dogs so you must introduce them slowly to this new training gear. It could take some days or even weeks before your buddy masters this running machine. To help you out, I’ve found some simple steps to teach your dog how to run properly on a treadmill. Please take your time and be patient to not rush this simple and safe process. Here are the 10 steps to help your dog start running on a treadmill safely!

  1. Make Sure Your Dog Is Ready To Run.
  2. Build Motivation For Your Buddy. (Emotional, Food or Toys.)
  3. Teach Voice Cues «Treadmill» + «OK».
  4. Introduce Him To The Treadmill When It’s Turned Off. (From Every Side.)
  5. Get Him Used With The Machine On.
  6. Slowly Start To Walk Him On The Treadmill.
  7. Make Sure He Can Walk Easily On The Machine Before Speeding Up The Pace.
  8. Find The Good Pace For Him To Run On The Treadmill.
  9. Make Your Dog Feel Free By Letting Him Running Off-Leash.
  10. Build A Habit. (Regular Walks Or Jogs.)

Here’s a video as visual support that explains all the steps in more detail. Personally, I wouldn’t let my dog run alone on a treadmill. It’s not safe, and your dog could hurt himself without any person to help him. If your buddy’s safety really counts for you, always be near him and watch him when he’s on a treadmill!

5 Tips To Exercise Your Dog Safely On A Treadmill!

Whether it rains or it’s too hot outside, your buddy will always be able to run on his treadmill. If it sounds good, I highly recommend you teach him how to use this indoor running gear properly. Using it the wrong way can be very bad and dangerous for your dog. Thus, here are my safety tips to exercise your dog on a treadmill!

Start Out Slow!

Just like any other sport he starts, it will take time for your buddy to completely understand how to walk or run on a treadmill. That’s why you should begin with slow walking to make sure your companion has no chance to hurt himself!

As you can see in the video, it’s not easy for the dog to understand how the treadmill works. Therefore, you should start with the slowest mode of the treadmill at the beginning. With short and regular training, it shouldn’t take too much time before he improves his running skills!

Keep Your Dog Hydrated!

Even if your dog isn’t outside in the heat, he can still overheat or get dehydrated. That’s why it is important to give water before (not too much), during, and after his treadmill training. Just to make sure, it’s the same thing with every intense sport. It’s not always easy to make your dog drink a lot of water but it’s crucial!

Pay Attention To Your Dog!

Too many people will let their dog run alone on the treadmill. However, it’s your responsibility to make sure your companion is alright before, during, and after working out on this running machine. Be there for him and keep giving him love, positive energy, and congratulations.

You may be less careful once it becomes a routine, but the risks will always be there. Check his paws, energy level, and general shape constantly to not exercise him when he shouldn’t!

Prepare Your Buddy For Workout!

If you never trained your dog to walk properly before, the treadmill wouldn’t be the best place to start. Make sure he masters loose-leash walking before introducing him to another environment. To enjoy this type of exercise, your buddy should also be in good shape and health!

Another important consideration is to not give too much food or water to your dog before running on the treadmill. This could cause a big mess and cause him cramps, bloating, and possible nausea!

Your Dog Loves To Run? If it’s the case, I highly recommend you to read my article about the 21 dos & don’ts about running with your dog!

Try Other Sports!

You should be aware that this physical activity isn’t always enough to make your pooch fit, healthy, and happy. Dogs also need to be entertained mentally and try new things. Furthermore, running or walking on a treadmill shouldn’t replace your daily walks!

There are plenty of other fun things to do if you want to be more active with your buddy. A treadmill training could be ideal to prepare your companion to go on real runs outside. He will certainly love to take fresh air and enjoy the great outdoors!

Labrador Running Off-Leash

Last Thoughts About Letting Your Dog Running On A Treadmill!

Finally, investing in a treadmill could be the perfect solution to exercise your dog whatever the weather looks like. It’s also ideal to provide high-energy breeds with the physical activity they need. Thus, treadmills for dogs are awesome for people that don’t have a lot of time or that aren’t able to keep up with their companion! 

Nonetheless, I think it’s always better to go outside and run with your dog if you can. It will allow you to spend a great time with him, keep you both fit and improve your life in general. I hope this article helps you to understand that it can be safe for dogs to run on treadmills. It would be a real pleasure to see you on running trails one day!