Things To Know When Conditioning a Dog To Use the Chase Pro Dog Treadmill
It’s tempting to just have the dog jump on the treadmill and start a workout. But just like with outdoor running, it’s important that you warm your dog up before getting into the more challenging part of the intense work out.
A light 2- 5min walk is efficient.
A warm-up raises your heart rate, sends oxygen to your muscles, and raises their temperature so they’ll be more efficient.
Know Your Treadmill
To maximise your dogs workout, learn the different functions of the treadmill. If you are using the Chase pro slat treadmill, ask Chase pro to walk you through its functions before you hop your dog onto it, since it’s not always obvious at first glance.
Use a Slight Incline
Set the treadmill incline between 5 and 10 percent. Since there’s no wind resistance indoors, a gentle uphill better simulates outdoor running. Of course, if you’re just getting the dog started, it’s okay to set the treadmill’s incline to zero until you build up his or hers fitness and increase there comfort level as they progress.
Keeping the incline at zero is actually like running on a flat road. Too easy!
Try and increase the dogs speed, so that he or she feels challenged, for at least part of the workout. Interval training, where you run hard for a period of time and then rest for another interval (alternating between the two) is a good way to push the pace without pushing it for the entire run. You can do interval training up to 5 days a week.
Don’t Make It Too Steep
At the same time, don’t set the incline too steep (more than 10 percent)—this places too much strain on your dogs back, hips, and ankles when starting off.
Some dog conditioners assume they’re giving there dogs a great workout if they challenge themselves to complete their entire run on a steep incline (anything over 10 percent). But that much straight hill running is never a good idea and could lead to injuries. Mix it up steep inclines with some flat running.
Don’t hold on to the walls
Some people assume that they need to hold onto the walls or top brace, when the dogs walking or running on a treadmill. But they are only there to help the dog position them selves in the centre of the platform safely.
If you’re concerned about the dog falling off the edge be rest assured the the 3 point lead system is there to prevent this from happening.
Pay Attention to Your Dogs Stride
Your dog should be running on the treadmill the same way they would be running outdoors. Try and teach the dog to run with your natural gait, and avoid taking short, choppy strides. If the dogs form feels off, slow the pace until they feel like they’re using proper form. Then gradually increase the pace. Another common form mistake is over striding, or landing face first with the dogs head well ahead of their body’s centre of gravity. Since the treadmill’s belt is moving forward, over striding creates a braking force with the belt. To avoid this, try to keep your dogs feet under their head, not ahead or behind it.
Don’t Step On or Off While the Treadmill Is Moving
One of the biggest causes of injury on treadmills is jumping on or off a fast-moving treadmill. Always have the treadmill fully stationary before putting the dog on or off .
Don’t Forget to Hydrate
Your dog can can lose much more water running on a treadmill than they would if running outside since there’s little air resistance to help keep the dog cool.
You may feel like taking the dog off the treadmill as soon as the timer hits but its always best to let the dog walk it off for another 2-5 mins.
But stopping suddenly can cause light-headedness because your dogs heart rate and blood pressure drop rapidly. Winding down slowly allows them to fall gradually.
Just as you raised your heart rate gradually at the start of your workout with a warm-up, you need to lower it slowly at the end. Cool down by walking or slowly jogging for 2-5minutes. Follow up with post full body rub down light massage if you like.