Do you have a chubby pup or a disorderly dog who needs more exercise? Dog treadmills are trending now as we learn more about a dog's exercise needs. Of my three dogs, Pearl "Pound Puppy" Moustaki is the "plus size model," with a layer of blubber that would make a seal envy her. My other two dogs eat the same food and the same amount -- Pearl was just born with chubby genetics. I know I need to give her extra exercise, but it's not always easy when 1) it's 10 degrees outside 2) it's 100 degrees outside 3) it's raining or snowing 4) I'm busy 5) or I want to sit around and watch Family Feud.
Enter The dogPACER treadmill. I never thought I'd use a treadmill for dogs, seeing as that I don't use a treadmill for humans. But it's actually really cool and easy to use. Common sense says that a dog will not like using a treadmill, and that mortal fear will set in upon standing atop it, causing Fido to freak out on a level best described as "Code Red." But canine sense says otherwise. Using the old "carrot and stick" trick, simply lure your dog onto the treadmill and keep a treat in front of his nose as he walks. Offer the treat from time to time, and replace it with a new treat in your hand.
Within a few minutes, most confident and/or food-motivated dogs will learn to walk on the treadmill -- and start to like it. Some dogs will stand on the treadmill and wait for you to turn it on! It seems that dogs think differently about exercise than most humans -- if dogs bought gym memberships, they'd actually go to the gym.
The dogPACER has three prescribed exercise patterns that you can utilize with the press of a button, or you can simply use it manually and go at your dog's pace. This little unit is great for rehabbing injured dogs, too.
I have the Mini Pacer, which is for smaller dogs -- it's still bulky, but it's attractive. The dogPacer regular size looks almost big enough to be a child's treadmill, and is for dogs up to 179 pounds -- that's a lot of dog! Both are solid, well-built units. As you can see from the photos, they also have flexible sides that help keep the dog in the middle of the tread.
Pearl took to the dogPACER the minute I put her on it. Of course, I was luring her with treats, Pearl's Kryptonite, but still, it worked. I recommend dog treadmills not only for chubby pups, but for "unruly" dogs who have behavioral issues. Remember, a tired dog is a good dog.