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Can a Dog Use Their Back Legs While Using a Dog Wheelchair?

Yes, a dog can use a wheelchair and still walk using all four legs. True, many dogs that rely on a wheelchair are paralyzed. However, a mobility cart can also greatly benefit a dog that can still walk. A dog wheelchair can be used as a supportive device to make it easier for dogs to walk without bearing their full weight on weak back legs. 

Dog wheelchair for senior dog

Start using a dog wheelchair early. Dogs with difficulty walking on their own can benefit from additional support sooner rather than later. Providing your dog a wheelchair early on in their mobility loss may prevent further injury or slow down their mobility loss’s impact on their health.

The ideal candidate for a dog wheelchair are senior dogs who are at the early stage of mobility loss, struggle to stand on their own, and dogs who lose their balance occasionally. A dog with arthritis, hind leg weakness, or a senior dog who struggles with longer walks can use a wheelchair to relieve the pressure on their legs and allow them to walk without placing too much stress on their hind limbs. 

How a Dog Wheelchair Works:

The Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair gently supports a dog from underneath to support its hind end, making it possible for a dog to walk and run on its own. The wheelchair is designed to take the weight off your dog’s legs while allowing them to use their back legs and maintain muscle mass. A wheelchair acts as the hind leg support for dogs with weak or paralyzed back legs.

Supporting Your Dog’s Back Legs

Walkin' Wheels dog wheelchair frame

The dog’s hind legs are placed through the leg rings. This creates a comfortable saddle to support the back end. When attached correctly, the leg rings look like back-to-back “c’s” and should dip three inches below the wheelchair frame for a comfortable fit.

The leg rings support your dog’s hind end while allowing them to pee and poop in their wheelchair. When the dog is in the leg rings, the wheelchair should sit comfortably in the middle of their hip.

Dog Wheelchair Height Adjustment

dog wheelchair adjustment

We know that every dog is shaped differently, which is why an adjustable cart is ideal. To determine the correct wheelchair height, we ask you to measure your dog’s rear leg height. The correct size wheel and strut will be selected based on that one simple measurement, ensuring that your dog gets the right level of adjustment.

The correct wheelchair height is based on both the height of your dog and its condition. Dogs that still have the use of their back legs should have their cart adjusted so that their toe pads are just touching the ground so that your dog can still walk and move comfortably.

When the wheelchair is fitted correctly the wheelchair frame should run through the center of a dog’s body to provide balanced support.

Wheelchair Front Harness

Walkin' Wheels Front Harness
Front Harness

Each Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair comes with a three-point front harness with straps over the dog’s shoulder, in front of the chest, and behind the front legs.

The sidebars of the wheelchair run through the harness clip and attach the harness to the cats. When correctly adjusted, the wheelchair harness helps to keep them properly positioned.

How to Get Your Dog Into a Walkin’ Wheels Dog Wheelchair

Watch this video to see how one pet parent helps her German Shepherd dog get into their dog wheelchair:

5 Reasons Why a Senior Dog Needs a Dog Wheelchair

  1. To promote continued use of a dog’s hind legs while fully supported
  2. Dogs can pee and poop while in their dog wheelchair 
  3. Rehabilitative support to help dogs rebuild leg strength and minimize muscle loss from atrophy
  4. An adjustable dog wheelchair will adapt to fit your dog’s changing mobility needs.
  5. Wheelchairs allow dogs to exercise, run, and play like any other “healthy” dog. Ultimately a dog wheelchair allows you to spend more time with your best friend
Dachshund wheelchair buy now


  1. Agree that it’s best to introduce a wheelchair to a dog earlier rather than later. When a wheelchair was needed for my geriatric Dutch Shepherd with advanced spondylosis, it was really too late for him to learn the ropes. Fortunately, the wheelchair was able to be returned with a payment of the stocking fee. Should have started earlier. Live & learn, eh?

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