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Dog Wheelchairs: 5 Buying Tips For Fur Parents

Once the veterinarian advises that your dog needs a wheelchair, it may be really hard to accept at first. Remember, it’s essential to research before buying your dog’s wheelchair. You may be buying in a store or online, but knowing the right information is vital for buying what’s best for your fur baby.

There are a lot of wheelchairs available but not all of them will work for your dog. You might want to look for the most reliable and suitable one to let your fur baby enjoy using it. During this time, there is a transition period as your pet adjusts using the wheelchair. Don’t fret, as it looks overwhelming, but everything will be worth it. 

 

Dog Wheelchairs
Disabled animal, French bulldog dog in wheelchair

 

Here are the five tips that would serve as a guide in buying your dog’s wheelchair:

  • Choose The Right Style

Veterinarian-approved dog wheelchairs are generally custom built for each pet. It comes in several categories to aid your dogs with various mobility issues. Here are the common styles of wheelchairs that dogs use:

  • Front support wheelchair: It’s a wheelchair that provides support for animals with front limb problems. These issues can be due to an injury, an amputation caused by an illness, an accident, or a birth defect. The wheels are in front, and dogs use their hind legs to push themselves around.
  • Rear support wheelchair: It’s the most common style of a dog wheelchair. This type of support is for dogs experiencing hind end paralysis or weakness in their back legs. It has two rear wheels, a saddle to support the pelvis, and a harness to keep the wheelchair strapped in. There are also stirrups at the back that keep their hind legs from scraping or touching the ground.
  • Quad cart or full-support wheelchair: It’s a type of wheelchair that has four wheels, two in front and two at the back. It has a saddle that supports a dog’s torso. It looks like a bed with wheels and is used by animals who cannot move properly on their own. These dogs have birth defects, end-stage degenerative diseases, or those who experienced a stroke. Quad carts are also used for dog rehabilitation after a spinal operation.

  • Select The Correct Size

Your dog’s wheelchair is determined by its height and breed. If you’re purchasing one online, you might want to check these tips on how to make sure your fur baby fits the wheelchair you’ll buy:

  • Remember, getting the measurement of a dog must be done by two people. One person is holding the dog steady and the other one making sure measurements are taken correctly.
  • You need to measure your dog’s height at the withers and another one for the groin. Next is the length from the end of the shoulder to the tip of the tail. After that take the width of the pelvis, and width behind the shoulders.
  • Make sure your ballpen and paper are ready to take down the measurements. You can also use a camera to take photos while the dog’s being measured.

If you’re having a hard time getting your dog’s measurement, you can seek help from the supplier you’ve chosen to buy a wheelchair.

  • Decide Which Tires To Use

Choosing the type of wheels for your dog’s wheelchair can be confusing and tricky. You might want to consider the dog’s activities and lifestyle to get the right fit. They must offer the correct traction, shock absorption, comfortable mobility, and free-rolling capacity. Here are two kinds of wheels you can choose from:

  • Air-filled tires: These wheels offer a more natural-feel suspension. They’re a good choice for active and playful dogs who love hiking and running. They also provide superior support for almost all kinds of terrain. 
  • Foam wheels: These are the most popular tires used for dog wheelchairs. They’re made from a very durable, rugged, and dense foam, and they’ll never go flat at all. Just like the air-filled tires, dogs can use them for any terrain.

  • Vet Consultation

It may be hard for you to accept and see your fur baby in a wheelchair, but you may be forgetting that it’s harder for them as they need to adjust their lives. Consulting a professional can provide significant help for you and your dog. Using a wheelchair can be hard because some dogs will struggle against using it. 

It’ll be a big challenge because these animals feel discomfort in using the wheelchair for the first few weeks. For dogs that underwent surgeries and need to undergo rehab and use wheelchairs, don’t hesitate to ask your veterinarians for help and guidance throughout your dog’s journey.

  • Adjustment Period

Your fur baby needs to get familiar with the new wheelchair you bought. It’ll not be easy to strap the dog and take it out immediately for a walk. Remember that it’s new to your pet and there’s this uncomfortable feeling that they are experiencing, so make sure to understand your fur baby.

 

A tip for getting your dog adjusted with the wheelchair is to leave the wheelchair near his bed. Let your pet see it as a typical household item, and it’s harmless. Start strapping your dog and place it in the harness from time to time. That way, your fur baby will get used to the wheelchair and get comfortable with it in no time.

Final Thoughts

Dog wheelchairs are really helpful for animals that want to get back walking and running with their humans. As they get adjusted to using wheelchairs, you can go on short walks within your neighborhood. When everything else goes smoothly, that’s the time you can take your fur baby on hikes and more adventurous activities. 

Your dog will feel happy with the newfound freedom of using a wheelchair, and you’ll surely love the sight of your dog getting back on track. These tips will help you and your dog get through the hardship of not being able to walk for some time. Don’t worry because once you find the right wheelchair, it’ll be worth it.

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