Ask two people what they think of treadmills for dogs and you’ll get opposing opinions.
Of course there’s not much more that’s exciting for a dog than being out in the fresh air unless it’s being there with his/her best friend. The best exercise for a dog is a good, long walk, a romp in the dog park if one is available and game playing with you. A dog’s every sense is engaged and stimulated – sight, smell, hearing. Being out and about also teaches and encourages socialization with other dogs and humans.
But there are times when treadmills can be useful tools. There are occasions when your time is limited and going for a walk just isn’t possible. Examples are: you’ve taken your dog out walking, but s/he is still full of energy; you’re not physically able to take your dog out except perhaps for a short walk; your dog needs to lose some weight; your dog is recuperating from illness or injury and requires mild exercise. A treadmill can work as a substitute until you are able to walk your dog.
Then there’s the price of special doggie treadmills. The cost can be anywhere from $500 to about $2,500 depending on your pocketbook and the model you choose.
If for whatever reason you can’t walk your dog, you might want to consider hiring a pet sitter or asking a relative or neighbor to help out.
Let’s face it, when we use a treadmill, we usually listen to our iPods, watch TV or read because it can be boring. Your dog can’t do any of those things and has nothing stimulate him/her – it’s just mindless walking.
Treadmills do serve a purpose, but in your dog’s mind, nothing takes the place of a walk outdoors.