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As faithful family members that give us unconditional love, dogs deserve to be loved, cherished, and respected, regardless of any disabilities they are dealing with. If your canine best friend is dealing with mobility issues, a wheelchair gives them the ability to thrive. Included here are our best tips to help your dog get used to a dog wheelchair.
Getting your dog used to a dog wheelchair
Getting your dog used to a dog wheelchair is usually easy. Be patient. It may take a few moments for your dog to realize he is mobile again. Sometimes, though, there is an adjustment period.
Dog wheelchairs give pets the mobility they need to live active, healthy, and happy lives. The dog uses their front legs to move about, play, and explore. They can go to the bathroom in a wheelchair. The back legs may lightly touch the ground in the wheelchair or can be safely held up by stirrups.
Types of mobility issues aided by dog carts?
There are many different conditions and diseases that can impact a dog’s mobility and ability to walk independently. The most common dog mobility conditions that a dog wheelchair can help dogs with include:
Weakness in the limbs
Whether or not a dog can benefit from using a wheelchair depends on the severity and nature of the disability. A dog wheelchair will provide additional balance and support and allow a dog to move naturally.
In some instances, the personality or age of the dog can cause your pet to be cautious of the wheelchair. Some dogs are put off by the sounds the wheelchair makes and can become troubled if it gets hung up on furniture.
Most pets eventually adapt to the wheelchair, but some need extra TLC to get through the process. The best results will come from being patient, reassuring, and calm.
1. The Perfect Fit
A dog may have trouble getting used to their wheelchair because they are uncomfortable. Usually, a few simple adjustments are all it takes for a more comfortable fit. This is why it’s essential to have a fully adjustable wheelchair. The Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair is the only wheelchair that easily adjusts in length, width, height, and wheel angle. This ensures your dog a constant proper and comfortable fit in their wheelchair.
Simple changes like adjusting the tightness of the front harness or increasing the height of your dog’s wheelchair can make a big difference for your dog. The wheelchair experts at Walkin’ Pets can help you find the perfect fit for your pet’s new wheelchair. Send them a photo or video of your dog in the cart or FaceTime with us for a virtual fitting.
If you are not sure your dog’s Walkin’ Wheels are adjusted correctly, Contact our Wheelchair Experts:at 1-888-253-0777
2. Make the Wheelchair a Positive Experience
When starting this process, we suggest using the dog’s favorite treats to reward him or her for walking forward during the training process. It’s a good idea to work with the dog while they’re hungry. They’ll be more eager to pay attention if it means getting a treat as a reward. The following are tips that can help get a dog ready for a wheelchair. Work with them in short sessions (5 to 10 minutes), several times a day, giving your dog rest periods between sessions.
If your pet isn’t food motivated, find out what does motivate them. A favorite toy or even encouragement from their favorite person may be all they need.
Tip: Stay Calm. If you’re feeling stressed, you’re dog may become anxious. If you feel frustrated, take a break and try again later.
3. Let Your Pet Get Comfortable Around the Wheelchair
Snap the wheels into the frame and leave it out in the open. Let your dog smell it, touch it, and get used to it being there. Keep the assembled wheelchair in a place where your dog feels safe and comfortable with its presence. Keeping the wheelchair somewhere easily accessible to your pet will allow them to get acclimated to it on their terms.
4. Put on The Harness
Once your dog is at ease around the wheelchair, put the front harness on them – this may take them a bit to get used to. If your dog is timid, give it time and move at their own pace. Allow them to adjust to the feel of the harness and the sounds it makes when you click it into place.
Harness-fit is essential! Ensure the harness is adjusted correctly; a well-fitting harness will be more comfortable and put your dog at ease! The harness straps should be snug, but you should be able to fit two fingers under each strap comfortably. A harness too tight can be restrictive and make it hard for your dog to move – too loose, and your dog’s harness will not keep them properly positioned in the wheelchair frame.
5. Add the Rest of the Wheelchair Parts
Once your dog seems comfortable with the harness, attempt to put them into the dog wheelchair. Comfort your dog as you do so, and offer treats as a positive connection. Next, hold the treats at their nose level. Give them several, then move away a bit, holding the treat reward out in front of you. Your dog will start to walk toward you for the treat in most cases. Encourage your dog with positive praise. Most pets pick up on their owner’s cues, and if you have a positive attitude and are excited for them at every stage, your dog will get excited!
Many veterinarians in the US and around the world are actively recommending and using dog wheelchairs for their patients. Wheelchairs can help pets recover from surgery, get exercise, and build muscle mass. Wheelchairs can be used for the long-term. Once your dog gets used to its dog wheelchair, it becomes a simple part of a happy, healthy life.