Tips to Choosing the Right Wheelchair for Your Dog: A Guide to Mobility and Happiness

Posted by Andrea ,Sep 20, 2023
Tips to Choosing the Right Wheelchair for Your Dog: A Guide to Mobility and Happiness
Pets are beloved members of our families. When our furry companions face mobility issues due to age, injury, or illness, it can be heartbreaking to watch them struggle. Fortunately, there is a solution that can significantly improve their quality of life: dog wheelchairs. Let’s explore how choosing the right wheelchair for your dog can be a game changer and why these products are a blessing for both pets and their owners, literally giving your dog a new lease on life! 

Will a wheelchair help my dog? 

Before diving into the details of choosing the right dog wheelchair, it's essential to understand why these mobility aids are necessary. Dogs can face mobility challenges for various reasons, including:
  1. Injury: A traumatic injury or surgery can leave a dog temporarily or permanently unable to use their hind legs.
  2. Degenerative Diseases: Conditions like arthritis, hip dysplasia, or degenerative myelopathy can gradually reduce a dog's ability to walk.
  3. Neurological Disorders: Neurological issues, such as intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), can result in paralysis or hind limb weakness.
  4. Old Age: Senior dogs often suffer from joint pain and muscle weakness, affecting their ability to move comfortably.
  5. Birth Defects: Some dogs are born with congenital disabilities that require mobility assistance from an early age.
It's important to note that not all dogs with mobility issues will require a wheelchair. Some may benefit from physical therapy, medications, or other forms of treatment. The decision to use a wheelchair should be made in consultation with a veterinarian or veterinary specialist who can assess the dog's specific condition and needs. Wheelchairs assist to maintain your dog’s mobility, muscle mass and allows them to continue to enjoy activities like walks and playtime with their owners. This is fantastic not only for their physical health but equally for the positive effect on their mental wellbeing. In some cases, using a dog wheelchair over consistent short periods weekly or daily in conjunction with physical therapy works wonders to improve various conditions related to balance or muscular dystrophy.

Dogs Experiencing Freedom With Their Wheelchairs


How a Wheelchair Can Benefit Your Dog

  1. Regained Independence: A dog wheelchair provides mobility to dogs who might otherwise be confined to a small area or struggle to move at all. This newfound freedom allows them to explore, play, and maintain a sense of independence.
  2. Physical Exercise: Regular exercise is vital for a dog's physical and mental well-being. A wheelchair enables dogs to exercise their front limbs and maintain muscle strength, even if their hind legs are compromised.
  3. Improved Mental Health: A dog that can move around freely have a good sniff is a happier dog. Wheelchairs combat boredom and depression that often result from immobility.
  4. Pain Relief: By taking the weight off their weakened or injured limbs, a dog wheelchair can reduce pain and discomfort, promoting a better quality of life.
  5. Prevent Further Damage: For dogs with neurological issues, wheelchairs prevent them from dragging their hind legs, which can lead to sores and injuries. This helps in preserving their overall health.

Tips to Choosing the Right Wheelchair for Your Dog 

Size and Fit: Ensuring a proper fit is crucial. Measure your dog's length, that is the pet length from shoulder to rump. Measure your pets rear leg height, that along with their body weight will determine the appropriate size.

Measure your dog for the wheelchair

Dog Weight: Choose the right wheelchair size based on your dog’s weight.
The Mini is suitable for pets between 2-10 lbs. (0.9-4.5 kg)
The Small is suitable for pets between 11-25 lbs. (5 - 11kg)
The Medium is suitable for pets between 26-49 lbs. (11-22 kg)
The Med/Large is suitable for pets between 50-69 lbs. (22-32 kg).
The Large is suitable for pets between 70-180 lbs (31-82 kg)

  1. Wheel Type: Consider the terrain your dog will encounter. If you have a large yard with rough terrain or walk along off-road paths, opt for all terrain pneumatic wheels. Foam, smoother wheels are better for indoor or paved surfaces.
  2. Adjustability: The frame struts alongside the body also fit into the stuts that connect to the wheels and floor. The frame struts must be adjustable. It may take a few goes to get the ratio and proportion in balance to your dog body and rear leg height. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, so customization is essential.
  3. Comfort: Check for padding and support in the wheelchair harness design. The wheelchair harness fits around the chest, shoulders, and belly. The more comfortable the harness is for your dog the more likely he/she will feel confident moving around in the wheelchair.
  4. Stirrups: In the case where your dog’s hind legs are affected, ensure the dog wheelchair includes a stirrup system. This will allow you to safely secure the hind legs above the ground and avoid any dragging or injury.
  5. Ease of Use: It will likely take some time to train your dog to get in and out of the wheelchair. Patience and practice will assist to make this process easier. As time goes on, with positive reinforcement your dog will soon look forward and be eager to get into the wheelchair.
  6. Durability: Invest in a sturdy, high-quality wheelchair that can withstand your dog's activity level. You want a product that will last.
  7. Veterinary Consultation: Always consult with your veterinarian before purchasing a wheelchair. They can offer guidance on your dog's specific needs and help you make an informed decision.    

 Large Dog Wheelchair

Types of Dog Wheelchairs 

There are several types of dog wheelchairs available, each designed to address specific mobility challenges:
  1. Rear Support Wheelchairs: These wheelchairs support the hind legs, allowing dogs with rear limb paralysis or weakness to regain mobility.
  2. Front Support Wheelchairs: These wheelchairs support the front legs and are suitable for dogs with front limb weakness.
  3. Quad Full Support Wheelchairs: For dogs with both front and rear limb issues, quad support wheelchairs offer comprehensive support and mobility.
Choosing the right wheelchair for your dog can be daunting. You may not be sure if your dog will take to the wheelchair or if the timing and situation are worth the investment you will make. However, these devices offer a newfound sense of freedom and independence to dogs, and they are worth considering. Here at Pets Own Us we offer a 14 day back money guarantee if the wheelchair is not suitable for whatever reason. Give your dog the chance to experience the joy, freedom and support these wheelchairs can provide


Contact us for expert advice.

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