Treadmills and mini-tramps aren't just for people anymore.
My dog, Moxie, used to walk on a home treadmill several times a week. She also swims laps in the pool during the summer months.
You may be shaking your head, thinking: a dog on a treadmill? Well, it all started when I enrolled Moxie in obedience training several years ago and quickly realized that I’m a terrible dog walker (although I recently overcame this deficiency by starting my newest dog on a leash at 3 months of age). Putting Moxie on a leash quickly became an un-fun dominance challenge between me and the dog, each of us battling to see who could pull whom down the sidewalk.
So, I taught her how to use a treadmill as if she were a personal training client of mine. I combined dog training techniques with personal fitness methods. We took everything step by step, beginning with standing on the machine in the proper position. We progressed to turning it on in the lowest speed to get her used to the sound and feel of the belt moving under her feet.
Moxie caught on quickly. Over a period of several months, she worked up to being able to walk for an hour, including a gradual warm-up to prepare her for vigorous activity and a warm-down to allow her heart rate to return to normal. Our veterinarian was pleased with the results: fit dog, a happy owner, and a fun trick to show house guests.
Now that she's a senior citizen, she walks on a leash just fine. But the treadmill is handy for winter and rainy days.
The mini-tramp, on the other hand, makes a wonderful dog bed. It's elevated off the cold floor, has some give to it and is easy for older dogs to climb up on. We found ours at the thrift store for twenty bucks. I'd bought it for myself to jump on, but Moxie loved it so much as dog furniture that I gave it to her. She's the only pup I know with her own home gym.
Lover of dance, dance-fitness and aquatic fitness.