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The best dog treadmills help Shih Tzu parents give their dogs extra exercise when needed. Regardless of the weather conditions, you can always walk your Shih Tzu inside using a treadmill. Plus, many dogs are entertained by this form of walking, especially if they get rewarded for doing so.
Not every dog will feel comfortable walking on a treadmill, but it can be a great way to keep them in shape year-round. So, we’ve compiled a list of the seven best dog treadmill products to help you find one that’s right for your furry friend. Before you use one, it’s a good idea to talk to your vet to make sure it will be safe for your Shih Tzu based on their health history.
Best Dog Treadmill Products for Shih Tzus
Best Dog Treadmill for Large Dogs
This is an excellent option for large dogs because it can hold up to 180 pounds. It has over 71″ x 16.5″ of running space, and it has a quiet 1.5 horsepower motor while it’s in use. It comes with red barriers to put on each side so your dog doesn’t fall off when they’re walking on it. When it’s not in use, you can fold it down for easy storage, but it’s about 85 pounds, so it’s not easy to transport. This product is a great exercise tool if you’re too busy to go for walks or if the weather isn’t suitable for your dog.
This dog treadmill is unique because it doesn’t have a motor. Instead, it moves when your dog runs, so if your dog stops, the treadmill will too. It’s the perfect way to ensure your dog is never forced to run. The product is raised off the ground higher than its competitors, so it’s extra important that you tether your dog’s harness to the machine using a leash so they don’t fall off. It takes about 20 minutes to assemble, and you can adjust the height based on your dog’s size. It’s quiet when running and can support up to 220 pounds. As with any of these products, it’s important to supervise your dog whenever they’re using it.
Best Small Dog Treadmill
- Comes with customizable workout options, including preset programs, incline levels, and countdown modes
- Speed ranges from 0.5 to 7.5 mph
- 39" x 14.5" of walking space
- Quiet 1.5 horsepower motor
- Safety fences prevent dogs from falling off
- Has wheels for easy transport
- Can be controlled through the digital screen or remote control
With this product, your dog will have lots of customizable workout options. It has 12 preset programs, three incline levels, and three countdown modes that pet parents can use. It has a quiet 1.5 horsepower motor, with speeds ranging from 0.5 to 7.5 miles per hour. The running belt is 39″ x 14.5″, making it a good choice for small or medium dogs. It’s also made with four layers of shock-absorbent, slip-resistant materials. The treadmill has a safety fence on each side to prevent your dog from falling off. It has two wheels on the front so you can roll it away when you want to store it. It has a digital screen to adjust the settings, but it also comes with a remote control so you can control the treadmill up to 65.5 feet away.
The LifePro Dog Treadmill is another great option for small and medium breeds. It has many great ways to exercise your dog because there are 12 preset exercise programs and several adjustable speeds. You can control the setting on the digital control panel or from a distance using the remote control. It comes with two side panels to prevent your dog from falling off and wheels to make it easy to move to a different spot. Pets up to 130 pounds and 35 inches tall can safely use this treadmill to help them stay in shape even when the weather is bad.
Safety is a priority with this item. It has barriers on each side to keep your dog secure. It also has a safety key on the control panel so you can stop the treadmill immediately during an emergency. The fabric on the sides of the treadmill is removable and washable. If you’re seated across the room, you can still control the treadmill using the remote, which reaches up to 65.5 feet away. You can set a timer on the treadmill, select one of 12 preset exercise programs, and adjust the speed up to 7.5 miles per hour. When it’s not in use, it can easily be rolled off to the side using the two wheels on the front.
This product is very similar to the dogPACER treadmill, but this one is designed for small dog breeds. It has a running space that’s 38″ x 16″. It has preset fitness programs, and the speed can be adjusted from 0.5 to 7.5 miles per hour. It has red safety barriers on each side, along with a bar above to tie your dog’s leash to. Part of it can fold for easy storage, but it takes up much less space than the large breed version.
This product is unique from the other options because it looks like a hamster wheel. It moves as your dog runs, so they can hop on it and get it moving all on their own whenever they’d like. It’s the perfect product for high-energy dogs that need some extra exercise. This version of the product is for small breeds up to 25 pounds, but there are larger versions available. It comes with a training door in case you want to prevent your dog from going on it when you’re not around.
Buyer’s Guide for the Best Dog Treadmill for Shih Tzus
Every dog treadmill is unique, so the following are aspects you should consider before purchasing one.
Not all treadmills cater to dogs of all sizes. The walking space needs to be large enough to fit your dog with room to spare, but too much excess space could take up unwanted room in your home. So, look at the product’s measurements to decide if it will be ideal for your dog’s breed.
Safety is key with any type of exercise. Most dog treadmills have barriers on each side to prevent your dog from falling off. They may also have a bar above your dog that you can tie their leash to. If so, make sure you attach the leash to your dog’s harness instead of their collar to avoid a choking hazard. Also, make sure you always monitor your dog when they’re using the product, regardless of how many safety features it has.
Dog treadmills take up a lot of space, so if there are features to make them easier to move and store, that’s beneficial for most dog parents. The treadmill may fold up to make it more compact or it may have wheels to make it easier to move out of the way when it’s not in use.
The rest of the features on the product will depend on what type of workout you want for your dog. If you want workout routines to be casual, a low setting on any dog treadmill should suffice. However, if your dog loves to run, you may want to look for treadmills that reach higher speed settings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it Okay to Walk a Shih Tzu on a Treadmill?
Yes, many dogs can benefit from walking on a treadmill. However, human treadmills don’t have settings and safety measures specifically for dogs, so you’ll need to monitor them extra close if you use that instead of a dog treadmill.
What’s the Difference Between a Regular Treadmill and a Dog Treadmill?
Dog treadmills differ from human treadmills because they have features that cater to dogs. For example, they’re often wider, have barriers on the sides, and have a spot to tie a leash. The size and shape of a human treadmill may prevent dogs from moving as freely as they would on one made for dogs.
Are Dog Treadmills Safe?
Yes, dog treadmills are safe, as long as you monitor your dog and never force them to use it. Most come with added safety features, such as side barriers and leash attachments, to ensure that your dog doesn’t get injured while exercising. However, it is important to always monitor your dog while they use it, and never leave them unattended on a dog treadmill. If you’re ever unsure if your dog should use a treadmill, ask your vet for personalized advice.
Are Dog Treadmills Illegal?
Dog treadmills may be illegal in some areas because dog fighters often use them to train dogs. Check your location’s laws before purchasing one, and most importantly, never force your dog to use it if they seem scared or uncomfortable.
How Long Should a Shih Tzu Run on a Treadmill?
Treadmill sessions for Shih Tzus shouldn’t exceed 20 minutes at a time. If your dog seems uncomfortable at any point during their exercise routine, take them off of the treadmill to avoid further complications.
How Do I Train My Shih Tzu to Use a Treadmill?
If your Shih Tzu is hesitant about the treadmill, use treats to coax them toward it. When they get near the treadmill or stand on it, reward them with whatever word you use to indicate good behavior, and then give them a treat. Once they’re comfortable on the treadmill, start with short sessions of only a few minutes at a time. Never force a dog to use the treadmill if they’re uncomfortable on it.
The best dog treadmill can be a great tool for Shih Tzus who love to exercise but can’t do it as often as they’d like. Whether busy schedules or bad weather are in the way, a dog treadmill can help your dog get their energy out in a fun and convenient way. If you’re ever unsure if a treadmill is safe for your dog, ask your vet for advice based on your dog’s medical history.