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Choosing the right dog wheelchair is easier than you might think. Here’s a simple step-by-step process in determining what you dog needs for a wheelchair to make sure they get the best mobility cart for your dog:
Finding the Right Size Walkin’ Wheels Dog Wheelchair
A fully adjustable dog wheelchair, adjusts in height, length and width allowing for a customized fit for every dog. Unlike a custom dog wheelchair, the Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair only requires a few simple measurements to order and ships out the same day! Walkin’ Wheels wheelchairs provide an extremely simple solution for pets experiencing mobility problems. A dog wheelchair is ideal for both long-term use to keep dogs active or short-term rehabilitative use as a dog heals.
The benefits of an adjustable dog wheelchair are clear, you can easily (and correctly) size your dog for their cart and get it quickly. There are no long delays and your dog is back up and moving right away.
Common mobility conditions in dogs that benefit from a dog wheelchair:
Mobility lose due to natural aging
Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
Surgical or injury recovery
Hip dysplasia or arthritis
Physical therapy & strength training
Knee injuries and cruciate tears
Recovery from injury or surgery
Select Wheelchair Frame Size by Pet’s Weight
The size wheelchair you pet needs is determined based on their breed and weight. Select the frame size that best suits your dog’s weight:
The wheelchair frame is lightweight and made of hollow aluminum, making it easy for a smaller dog to maneuver. The frame is available in four colors. Pet parents can choose the color that best matches their pup’s personality.
The Corgi wheelchair is a specially designed version of the small wheelchair made for the Corgi breed. The Corgi cart features an elongated frame to fit the breed’s long torso. The corgi cart is the perfect IVDD wheelchair for corgis.
Medium Dog Wheelchair
Dogs weighing 26 and 49 lbs. will fit perfectly in the Medium Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair. Pets using the medium Walkin’ Wheels cart will receive 8” wheels, perfect for medium breed dogs.
Dogs such as Bassett hound, Beagle, or Bulldog rely on the Medium wheelchair for mobility.
Don’t worry about the wheelchair being too big to travel with you! Wheelchairs size Medium or Larger, fold flat for easy transport in the car or storage.
Featuring larger wheels, of either 12” or 16” this mobility cart is designed for medium-sized dogs who are a little taller.
Boxer, Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, and Husky are just a few of the dog breeds who fit in the Medium/Large Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair. Many of these breeds struggle with hip dysplasia and arthritis, and this cart gives them the support the need to stand and walk on their own without placing too much pressure on their aching joints.
Dogs that fit into a large wheelchair frame weigh between 70 to 180 lbs. are typically, the Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, or even Great Dane!
The large cart is popular with dogs struggling with progressive mobility loss from Degenerative Myelopathy or other mobility conditions.
Determining the Struts and Wheels Needed Based On Rear Leg Height
The rear leg height measurement determines how tall your dog’s wheelchair needs to be for the pet to stand in a natural position. Each Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair is available in different length struts and wheel sizes to ensure your pet gets the right level of height adjustability for their comfort.
The rear leg height measurement is simple to take. Lay your dog on its side and measure their back leg from the bottom of the paw up the leg to where it meets the torso. Make sure not to stretch the back leg. Your dog’s leg should be positioned in a natural, standing position for the most accurate measurement.
Does My Pet Need a Rear or Quad Wheelchair
One of the many benefits of an adjustable dog wheelchair is its ability to convert from a rear support cart into a full support wheelchair by adding the optional front attachment. But how can you tell if your dog needs rear support or a 4-wheel quad?
The towel test is a simple way to test the strength of your dog’s legs at home. Put a bath towel or beach towel in front of your dog’s back legs, under the abdomen. While holding on to both ends of the towel, gently lift and step forward as you support your dog.
If your dog can walk forward with your support, they require a rear support wheelchair. If your dog shows signs of front leg weakness, such as their front legs splaying outwards or their front legs beginning to sink as they walk forward, they need the additional support of a quad cart.
With a front wheel attachment compatible with every size Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair, your dog’s wheelchair can convert into a full support cart anytime. So, if your dog’s weakness worsens or their mobility condition is progressive in nature, their wheelchair can adapt to suit their changing mobility needs.
Deciding Between Foam Wheels or Air Tires
Medium and Large pets have the option of foam wheels or air tires. Both wheel styles have their benefits so you should choose the one that will best fit your dog’s needs.
Foam Wheels – the most popular wheel option. The foam wheel comes standard with every Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair. This rugged, all terrain wheel will never puncture or go flat and is designed to take your dog anywhere!
Air Tires – designed for more active dogs, the air tires provide a more natural suspension and natural bounce. Air tires are an upgraded wheel option, ideal for dogs who like to hike, run, and adventure across rougher terrain.
Now that you’ve found the perfect wheelchair for your pet, what’s next? Depending on your dog or cat’s diagnosis, they may need additional support in and out of their new mobility cart.
Long-bodied dogs like Corgi or Dachshund and pets with back problems may require additional mid-body support. The neoprene belly support attaches to their wheelchair frame and cradles the center of their body to support the spine.
If your dog has a bad back – this neoprene wrap is a must! The belly wrap will lift and support the center of a dog’s body. This keeps the back level and properly aligned, which is perfect for dogs with spinal issues.
Front Harnesses for Comfort
Different front harnesses can be used for additional support or to make your dog more comfortable in their wheelchair. Small dogs with broad chests like Corgi, Dachshund, French Bulldog or Pug often need a different style harness to make them more comfortable. The Small Premium Front Vest is perfect for pets using the small wheelchair.
The Warrior Front Harness is comfortable to wear and features a handle to help stabilize your dog if needed, this can be incredibly helpful as you help your dog in or out of their cart.
Rear Lifting Support Harness
When your dog isn’t in their cart but needs to get outside quickly, a rear support harness is exactly what you need. A rear harness can help support your dog on the stairs or help get them into your car.
Depending on your style and the level of support your dog needs, Walkin’ Pets makes several rear support harnesses that are also wheelchair compatible.
Full Body Lifting Support
A full support harness such as the Buddy Up Harness is ideal for larger dogs and for those that require support for both front and hind legs simultaneously.
This harness is perfect for pets struggling with progressive mobility loss and elderly dogs who require assistance getting into the car, going outside, climbing stairs, and also make it easier for pet owners to lift their dogs and help them in and out of the cart.
Using their cart inside the house can be challenging for your dog. To help keep your dog active indoors and protected against scrapes caused by dragging, we recommend the Drag Bag.
Keep your dog active indoors while also keeping them protected. The scooter and drag bag allow your dog to lie down and rest when needed, making them an excellent option for extended wear.
Boots protect your dog’s feet from more than just the cold. There are many reasons why a handicapped pet needs to wear dog boots. Boots protect the paws against scrapes and other wounds caused by dragging or knuckling. Dog boots provide traction on slippery floors and can help a dog to grip the floor so they can easily stand or walk.