How to keep fit with your dog during lockdown
Happy New Year from Gravitis Pet Supplies! We hope you’re having a good one so far. Did you make any resolutions to work on your fitness this year? Perhaps you want to walk more with your dog too? As you know, on the 4th of January 2021 we entered another strict lockdown in order to curb the spread of coronavirus, which could make it difficult for you to achieve you fitness goals easily. All gyms are closed and our access to outdoor facilities is restricted as the government says we can only exercise in our local area. But we may be able to help! Back in March last year the first lockdown prompted us to develop the world’s first unique treadmill designed especially for dogs AND humans, it is the first of its kind that is designed for use by both pets and their owners.
A lot of pets are now staying in with their owners during the new lockdown and not many people are going to want two running machines side by side in their home – particularly if they don’t have much space. Which is why we developed our own machine that can be quickly converted for human or canine use - this is especially useful if you are shielding and not able to leave your home at all as you can walk your dog and make sure that it is getting enough exercise without putting yourself at risk.
More people than ever now own a dog, with one in four dog owners admitting to impulse buying a puppy during the last lockdown. It is very important to ensure that your dog remains happy and healthy at home – but what makes our purpose-built dual design so special and why can’t you simply use a standard running machine for your pooch?
What's the difference between treadmills for humans and dogs?
You can’t use a standard running machine for a dog because they need panels and accessories to keep them on track. You can’t use a dog running machine for a human because dog treadmills are not built to withstand the weight of a person pounding on them.
Our machine comes complete with special canvas side banners and a rail at the front which can be detached quickly and easily to transform it into a regular human running machine and it is able to support up to 100kg - that’s 220lbs - in weight, making suitable for any-sized dog or most humans (up to almost 16 stone).
Tips for getting started with your dog on the treadmill
Every dog is different. Some prefer to start out with the machine running slowly, others prefer to get on when it is stopped and build up gradually from a standing start.
Keep your dog on a lead and stand close by with treats and encouragement.
Keep your first session short and increase the length of your sessions gradually over time so that your dog builds confidence. Give them lots of praise and treats afterwards.
Once your dog has gained confidence on the treadmill, start to focus on their gait. Ideally the dog needs to be trotting – so that their opposite legs are moving at the same time. At first your dog may be pacing – where both right legs or both left legs are moving at the same time. To encourage tour dog to trot, turn up the speed a little until you see them transition into a trot, then reduce the speed again to a comfortable running pace for your dog.
Encouraging them to trot will enable your dog to get the maximum health benefits from using the machine. Just like a human, your dog will need to cool down so before stopping the machine, slow it down and allow them 5-10 minutes to walk slowly and cool down before they stop.
Although this is a dual-purpose running machine, it is worth noting that you can’t use it at the same time as your pet. You will have to take turns and as your dog starts to look forward to their sessions, you may have to flip a coin to see who’s going first! If your dog is running, there is a handy remote control that you can use to start and stop the machine and control the speed. This has a wrist loop attached, so if you are running there is no chance of you dropping it or accidentally flinging it across the room.
Tracking your run
At the base of the unit there is a bright digital LED display to help you keep track of your run, showing you how many steps you have taken, the time taken, speed, distance and calories burned (by humans), so you can make sure that you and your dog are training consistently. If you’re going to use the machine as well as your dog, it is better suited to slow jogging or brisk walking with a top speed of 8 km/h (Approx. 5 mph).
The other great feature of this design is the fact that it can be stored away easily. The canvas side panels and dog safety bar are detachable and the whole treadmill folds very flat so that it can easily be stored away under a bed or sofa until you need to use it. Making it ideal for home use.
If you’re interested in getting a machine you can find them in our online shop – and please let us know how you get on! We’d love to hear about your experience of using the treadmill, either for yourself or your pet.