Guide To Choosing Dog Wheelchair – Our In-Depth Reviews
Owning a pet is undeniably one of the most fulfilling experiences. Whether it is a pet guinea pig, squirrel, bird, cat or a dog, you are bound to develop a very personal connection with your pet. Dogs are often referred to as man’s best friend, evidently, we love them so much that we are willing to go to great extents to give them special care. One such situation is when your dog is injured, born with a disability or paralyzed and they need a dog wheelchair.
As a dog owner, you will likely go through multiple online reviews searching for the perfect wheelchair for your four-legged companion to scoot around much easier. It is important to understand what you should look for to get the most suitable wheelchair for your dog. In this article, I will use my experience with these wheelchairs to give you an honest review that will make the decision as easy as possible for you.
If you need durable and vet approved wheelchair- Walkin’ Wheels is the right choice. This option works the best with the dogs with weight from 70 to 180 lbs. Frame is lightweight and comfortable for your furry friend. Wheels is large, which is great when your Pup going up on stairs.
You love your pet; you feel a burst of joy when you see your dog run towards you when you get back home. This is a great feeling but sometimes, for one reason or the other, your pet can get immobilized. One such scenario is when your dog gets injured on both hind legs or both front legs and your vet recommends a wheelchair for the period of recovery. This is a temporary situation. On some occasions, our pets can get a permanent prescription to use a wheelchair.
Some diseases, conditions and injuries result in permanent paralysis of your pet and this means they will need mobility support for the rest of their lives. A pet may be born without one or both legs on the front or back and depending on the severity of the situation a wheelchair may be needed. Some conditions that may cause your dog to be paralyzed include; meningitis, rabies, slipped disks, spinal infections or inflammation, distemper, disco spondylitis and many more.
Some tick bites also contain neurotoxins that are injected into your pet’s body when they get bitten and may lead to permanent paralysis. One such example is a Dermacentor tick bite from the female ticks.
What to Look for In a Wheelchair According to Dog Wheelchair Reviews
Before you set out on your hunt for a pet wheelchair, there are a few things you should keep in mind as you go along with your search. The first and most important is to know the size and weight of your dog. This is important because buying a wheelchair that is too large may be tiresome for your dog. Measure the size of your dog. If you want a dog wheelchair for back legs then measure the hind legs from where the thighs meet the body, do not pull the leg straight. Do this with your dog laying down. Use the same logic to measure the size of the dog’s front legs as well. Once you know these two measurements, weight and size, your search can begin.
Consider also, the layout of your house and where the dog goes a lot of the time. It would be unfair to get a dog front wheelchair with tires that are too big to allow your dog up the stairs. Consider the kind of mobility you expect of the dog before you make a purchase. Another point worth noting is the material of the wheels. It is best if you find foam tires as they do not get punctured even if the dog gets its teeth in them, and, it most likely will.
If you have a small puppy that happens to need a wheelchair, consider the longevity of the wheelchair in terms of flexibility of the frame to allow use for longer. It can save you the trouble of recurrent expenditure on wheelchairs if you get one that can be adjusted to your growing best friend.
Hind Legs Wheelchair & Front Legs Wheelchair – The Difference
All wheelchairs serve the same purpose, increased mobility for your pet yet not all wheelchairs are made equal. If you have a dog with rear legs paralyzed, you will need a rear support dog wheelchair. This is custom-designed to help support your pet’s rear weight that would have been supported by the hind legs. A front support dog wheelchair is used when your dog has been injured or when they are unable to adequately support their front weight. Be sure to remember that these two types of wheelchairs serve different uses and cannot be used interchangeably.
Having taken a look at the best dog wheelchair on the market, it only makes sense to check which other options are available. Here are in-depth reviews of 6 wheelchairs that might also be best for you. The reviews take a look at some of the top features of each wheelchair with the pros and cons to make your buying decision a lot easier.
This is the first pick on my list of the top-performing pet wheelchairs. The reasons for include the durability of the frame and wheels, the lifespan that the adjustable size guarantees and the ease of use and storage. Those reasons aside, this wheelchair does have some more neat features including a push-button that allows you to not only adjust the size but also disassemble the whole contraption. This makes for an easy and stresses free cleanup of the wheelchair and also means that you can easily store the whole chair when you no longer need it.
The strap that holds it in place on your dog is also very comfortable. The strap fits without hampering mobility and also allows for a leash to be added on in case you need to go for a walk. Be sure to carry a leash when you are going up or down a hill with your dog. Given the size of the wheelchair and the inability of your dog to use its hind legs, going up and down a hill may need you to steady the speed.
The big dog wheelchair is first on this list as it sets the bar quite high. It is fantastic for pets weighing between 70 to 180 pounds and holds up very nicely over a long period. Some of its best features include:
Adjustable height and length
Light aluminium frame weighing 10.9lbs
Durable foam wheels
Easy to fold and store
Comfortable for dog
Walkin’ wheels have wheelchairs for all dog sizes, which proves why it is the best you can buy. Other than the chair for large dogs, it has one for medium dogs that weigh between 50 -69lb, and another for small dogs that weigh under 25lbs.
K9 Carts is a specialist at making wheelchairs and the Original Wheelchair for dogs is the most suitable dog wheelchair cart to prove this. In comparison to our first pick, this wheelchair is much wider and can be used with various sizes of dogs from the smallest to those that weigh about 50 to 80 pounds which makes it a medium dog wheelchair. It is pretty easy to see how sturdy the construction of this wheelchair is when you see it. It takes the weight to clean off your dog’s hind legs. The straps on the back keep the legs of the ground avoiding any further injury.
Large wheelbase allows more comfortable movement
Sturdy aluminium frame
Easy assembly and storage
Adjustable height using push button
The large wheels mean easier mobility over rough surfaces but present a challenge with stairs. They can be used appropriately with dogs without both hind legs, paralyzed or broken hind legs. The rear support rings on this wheelchair do not hinder your dog from wagging its tail. The tail can go under it easily. The space at the back is dependent on the size of your dog, the larger it is, the less space. The dog can however still do the business without any problem and the easy mobility over grass is an added advantage.
I like this wheelchair for several reasons but at the top of that list is how well thought out this is. Best Friend Mobility made a wheelchair that kept in mind that dogs get tired too. It is made to allow your dog to sit and get up on its own. Needless to say, this is not a paralyzed dog wheelchair as the sit and goes feature will be wasted on them. The upside of this is that you can leave it on your dog for longer periods. However, you should not leave your dog in a wheelchair all day.
Allows dog to sit and get up independently
Adjustable size to fit your dog
Puncture proof foam wheels
Aluminium frame is rustproof and light
The large wheelbase and tires mean that your dog may be stuck on furniture or going in between seats at the dining table. It is made from stainless steel and aluminium, it will not rust. The frame is will last for a while. The large tires allow for easy mobility over tall grass and rough surfaces. Be sure to attend to the dog when going up the stairs of a hilly place.
Sylphid has a fine offering with this wheelchair. Specifically designed to facilitate easy pet rehabilitation after injury, it offers support and mobility while also working those hind legs. It is useful for walking your dog and should be taken out when the dog gets tired because they cannot sit. It allows for easy mobility in and around the house and the small wheels are unlikely to get stuck in furniture.
Hip size specific allowing a better fit
Has a rust-proof aluminium frame
Foam wheel cannot get punctures
Small wheel won’t get stuck in furniture
Strong aluminium frame and adjustable size mean you can use them for a while as long as your dog’s hip can still fit in them. They do come in a variety of patterns and designs. The straps are durable and will last the lifetime of the wheelchair. You do not need to worry about the longevity of these wheelchairs a whole lot because they are meant to be for rehabilitation but they do last a while. Commonly used as a small dog wheelchair, the limits of this can be pushed to about 44 to 77-pound dogs which are quite large.
Durable aluminium frame
Easy assembly and storage
Small wheels can be difficult to navigate tall grass
The Huggiecart is a lightweight wheelchair that is meant for use for a very small dog weighing less than 20 pounds. They are comfortable and your dog can litter with ease. It is not hard to adjust the height but it cannot be adjusted beyond afoot. Being a dog wheelchair for front legs, it does not keep the rear legs off the ground. If you have a paralyzed dog secure its hind legs with a harness on the rear bar to prevent them from being dragged along.
Strong adjustable aluminium frame size
Foam wheel and long lasting
Durable straps last whole lifetime
Closely supervise your dog’s usage of the chair as it can be cumbersome to sleep in the chair. It is light so the dog will move around in them easily with the aluminium frame guaranteeing durability. The light material makes them the best extra small dog wheelchair. It also comes with foam tires so you never get a flat. If you have a small dog they already have a hard time going up the stairs, this will make that harder. Be sure to carry your dog up the steps if you want them upstairs. This is a cheap dog wheelchair that will not break your bank.
HiHydro makes many products for dogs. Their cart is one such amazing product they have. It is a very strong aluminium frame with two bars with wheels attached that snaps onto a body frame that is strapped to the dog. The set up allows for push-button adjustable sizes for a range of sizes depending on your selection. You can get a strap for your extra small dog or for the larger dogs that also need a height of about 25 inches.
Straps come in different colors
Comfortable body harness
Easy modular assembly
Adjustable frame size
Light aluminium build
The ease of set up and removal from your pet means you can be out of the house and on your way to the park in minutes. Your pet can do its business in this wheelchair comfortably. It is a perfect large dog wheelchair for rehab as it allows your pet some degree of mobility for the hind legs as they recover. If your dog suffers from paralysis use a diaper as they cannot control they urinate. It is easy to store the wheelchair when it is not in use because of the modular parts.
Sometimes, you may find your dog in the unfortunate situation needing support for both front and hind legs. It is extremely useful to find 4 wheel dog wheelchair to provide adequate support all around. The full support dog wheelchair has four wheels, two small ones at the front and two large ones at the back. Your dog can’t go up the stairs or a slope in this. It will be prudent to be close by to assist in such situations. It allows your dog to urinate or do a number two with easy as well.
Full body frame support
Aluminium body is light weight
Adjustable frame height
Puncture proof wheels
Durable body harness straps
Modular parts for easy assembly
The sturdy aluminium construction means the weight of the dog is no issue, you just have to get the size right. It may be worth noting that the smaller front wheels may require you to pay closer attention to the height you set the front at. Some dogs may feel a little nervous about this contraption gave how cagey it feels so be sure to take your time when putting your dog in it.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wheelchairs for Dogs
What is a pet wheelchair? It is a cart that is strapped on to the torso of a dog to aid in mobility or aid in the rehabilitation of previously injured or otherwise affected limbs. It can be used on pets that were born disabled or have had an encounter that adversely affected the use of their limbs.
Can a dog poop in a wheelchair? Yes. Every wheelchair dog owners use is made to allow easier day to day life for a dog with hampered mobility and pooping is one important consideration.
How do you measure a dog for a wheelchair? For the hind legs, lay your dog on the side and measure the length from where its body meets its thigh to the paw with the leg having the natural bend it has when upright. To measure the front limbs, lay your dog on the side and repeat the same process as for the hind legs. Ensure you measure the front for where the chest meets the back of the front legs. In the case of a wheelchair requiring a hip size, measure the width of the dog standing upright from left to right.
What is degenerative myelopathy in dogs? Degenerative Myelopathy is a disease of the spinal that progresses slowly as the dog ages. Typically has a start at about 8 to 14 years and symptoms include decreased coordination of hind legs, ataxia, which manifests as wobbling and shaking of hind legs.
Does a 3-legged dog need a wheelchair? This is dependent on the health status of the three legs. Consult a vet first before deciding what to do. If they are all healthy and strong then your dog can go about without the weight of the cart slowing them down. It also depends on which leg is missing, if the dog is short and is missing a front limb them mobility up steps can be difficult and a wheelchair may be necessary.
Final Take on Wheelchairs for Dogs
To sum it all up, to get the best wheelchair for your dog, you need to know the dog size as well as the kind of help and support you need. There are many considerations you have to make, for example, an older wheelchair you had may not be the right fit or may not meet the vet prescription for a different dog. Be sure to keep in mind your living conditions concerning the dog and the amount of time you intend to have the dog in the wheelchair. More importantly, use dog wheelchair reviews to pick the right wheelchair for your dog. This will ensure you do not make blind purchases.
As a veterinarian practicing for 48 years, Dr. Cropper brings her priceless experience to all our readers. She is currently taking care of her two rescues, Ollie the Greyhound and Bryce the Pitbull mix, that is why she always sees things as a veterinarian and a pet owner simultaneously.
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