How to Make a Dog Treadmill at Your Home

how to make a dog treadmill

Your pet dog needs at least 60 minutes of exercise to stay healthy; however, different circumstances may not allow you to take your dog for a walk. In such cases, you can easily build a homemade treadmill for your dog to get its necessary exercise.

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How do you make a treadmill for your dog?

Well, first, you will need to measure your dog properly. Then you will need to build a firm frame where you can set rollers and carpets to allow your dog to run. Then you complete the treadmill by attaching the legs to the frame.

Seems complicated? Don’t worry; we are going to discuss the whole process step by step.

Making a Treadmill for Your Dog

A dog treadmill can be the perfect solution for your dog to have the necessary exercise time and burn off extra weight and energy while transforming your “good boy” into a canine athlete. 

However, human treadmills are not suitable for dogs as they can be hazardous to them. It can make your dog nervous, and their far can get stuck in the vent. Also, the noise and vibration can freak out your dog. Overall, human treadmills are not recommended for your dog.

There are specialized treadmills for dogs. You will need to spend $300 – $600 for dog-powered treadmills, while motor-powered ones can cost $500 – $5000 per device.

If you don’t want to spend that much on dog treadmills, you can always build a treadmill for your dog. So, here are the steps you will need to follow to build a treadmill for your dog:

Step 1: Measuring Your Dog

Measure the longest stride of your dog by laying it on its side. Extend its back and front legs as far as possible without hurting it. 

Add 20% to the measurement you have found for your dog. This will be the length of your dog’s treadmill.

Now, measure the width of your dog’s chest. Keep it in the standing position to get an accurate measurement. Multiply the chest length by 1.5. This will be the width of the treadmill’s track.

Measure the height of your dog by keeping it in a standing position. Add at least 5 inches with the measurement. This will be the height of the treadmill’s frame.

Step 2: Building the Frame

Once you have the measurement, you can start working on the frame.

Get a plywood sheet at least ¼ inches thick with the same length and width measurements you got previously. 

You will need 2x4s lumber to build the frame to support the track. You will need to have 5 inches extra in the front and back of the track. This extra length will help accommodate the rollers and ensure that the carpet is not coming off. 

If your dog is overweight or obese, include a couple of 2 x $s across the width of the treadmill. It will act as braces to keep the treadmill stable.

Screw or hammer nails to join all the parts of the frame. Fix your track on the top of the frame.

About ¾ s of the way back of the frame, mark two spots. Take two 2 x 4s with the same length of the track. Secure the 2 x 4 s to the outer frame with screws or nails in an upright position.

Mark another spot a foot ahead of the upright 2 x 4s on both sides of the track and put two shorter 2 x 4 s  in the upright position on those marks. You will need to angle the shorter logs backward until they connect with larger logs from inside. Secure the shorter logs with the frame and bigger logs. This whole thing will work as a brace for the treadmill.

Place a dowel rod between the larger 2 x 4s logs and secure it with screws or nails. Here you can tie the leash of your dog.

Step 3: The Rollers

Cut two pieces of a PVC pipe of the same width as your treadmill. Insert 4 x 4 posts inside both of the cut pieces. Mark the center of the post and drill a guide hole into the post.

Place the PVC pipes on either side of the frame you just built. Make sure to keep the top part slightly above to allow it to catch the carpet. Align the center of the pipe with the frame’s sides and drill holes through the frame.

Insert metal tubing into the holes to act as bearings. Then insert long nails through the pilot holes into the posts inside the pipet to secure them. Make sure that the PVC pipes can spin freely.

Step 4: Adding the Carpet

Find a carpet that matches your track’s width and the length is long enough to go around the tracks and both rollers. Leaving some extra length can be helpful as it will give you fixing room for the future.

Cut the carpet leaving some areas to overlap. Sew the ends together with a heavy-duty fishing line and a curved needle.

Step 5: Adding the Legs to Your Treadmill

Place cinder blocks or 2 x 4s logs under the frame to support the whole machine. While placing the logs, elevate the front higher than the back. 

If you want your dog to get a harder workout, you can add more logs in the front to create an incline.

Congratulations! You’ve read this far, which means you’re this close to making the perfect small dog treadmill for your loved pet.

Bottom Line

Treadmills for your dog are not a substitute for playtime or traditional exercise. However, if you lead a busy life, this is a nice substitute to have.

Constructing a dog treadmill may be more complicated than assembling a store-bought treadmill. However, it can ensure you have the perfect sized and safest treadmill for your dog. So, give this method a try.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does a dog treadmill need to be?

Ans: A dog treadmill needs to be at least 3 feet long and 2 feet wide.