Best Dog Wheelchairs

Updated March 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

14 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
102 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

Shopping guide for best dog wheelchairs

Last Updated March 2019

An injury or disability that affects your dog’s mobility is heartbreaking to watch, not to mention extremely frustrating for your canine companion who can’t run and play like he used to. By using a dog wheelchair, you’re giving your pooch back his freedom to move around. He might not be able to do everything he once did, but dogs are extremely adaptable, and he’ll soon be zooming around, running over your toes.

Understandably, the majority of people have never purchased a dog wheelchair, so selecting one for your furry friend can seem baffling. What features should you opt for? Does your dog need full support, front support, or rear support? Our guide will help you answer all these questions and more.

The term “dog wheelchair” is a misnomer. These products aren’t chair-like in any way but are rather a set of wheels with a harness to support your dog’s rear and/or front legs.

Key considerations

The key thing to determine before you start shopping for dog wheelchairs is what type of support your dog needs.

Rear support

The majority of people in the market for canine wheelchairs are buying for dogs with injured or amputated rear legs. If this is your situation, what you need is a rear-support dog wheelchair. These consist of two wheels at the back with a harness to attach the wheelchair to your dog. They’re suitable for dogs with strong front legs but no or limited use of their hind legs.

Front support

If your canine companion is the other way around and has strong rear legs but weak or amputated front legs, she’ll need a front-support wheelchair. These models are harder to find, as injuries, ailments, and amputations of both front legs are rarer than those of both hind legs.

Full support

Full-support canine wheelchairs are designed for dogs who have limited use of all four legs. They’ll still need to have some use of their front legs to move themselves around, but these models can be set to take varying amounts of weight off the front legs (in addition to completely supporting the rear legs), making it much easier for injured or infirm dogs to move around.

FOR YOUR SAFETY

If your dog is suffering from an injury that requires the use of a wheelchair, always consult your vet first.

Light and easy

The HiHydro Dog Wheelchair is a lightweight option that’s easy to adjust and is available in six sizes to support dogs between two and 130 pounds. The extra-light frame makes it easy for your dog to maneuver. The small wheels mean this dog wheelchair is not the greatest for off-road use, but it’s fine for walking around the neighborhood.

Features

Frame size

Dog wheelchairs aren’t available in just one size – you can find them in a wide range of sizes to support the tiniest to the hugest pooches. The bulk of dog wheelchairs on the market list a weight range, but you should also check if the height is adjustable, especially if your dog is taller or shorter than average for his weight.

Wheels

You need to consider a couple of factors regarding the wheels of a dog wheelchair. First off is the size. Smaller wheels have a slight upper hand when it comes to maneuverability, especially in tight spaces. However, larger wheels are better for navigating rough terrain, so they’ll make life easier if you want to hike with your pooch.

The other factor to consider is the material the wheels are made from. Although air-filled wheels provide more natural suspension, those made from solid rubber or foam rubber can’t be punctured.

Weight

Consider the overall weight of your chosen dog wheelchair and be sure it’s not too heavy for your canine companion to lug around. Canine wheelchairs tend to be made from lightweight aluminum, though some add stainless steel into the mix for increased strength. While you don’t want a dog wheelchair that’s so lightweight it’s flimsy, you also don’t want one that’s prohibitively heavy.

Adjustability

If you choose the correct size, your dog wheelchair should be roughly the right fit for your furry friend straight out of the box. But you should also be able to fine-tune the size so that it fits perfectly. Ideally, not only the height should be adjustable but also the length and the width to accommodate dogs with all kinds of body types, from long, slender Dachshunds to tall, stocky Mastiffs.

EXPERT TIP

Some dog wheelchairs are designed to support injured hind legs and aren’t suitable for amputees. If your dog’s rear legs have been amputated, check that your chosen wheelchair will work.


Staff  | BestReviews

Price

Dog wheelchairs range quite widely in price, but as the old adage goes, you get what you pay for.

Budget dog wheelchairs start at around $60 to $100, but these aren’t of the highest quality. They’re fine for temporary use, but we recommend increasing your budget if your dog needs a wheelchair permanently.

Mid-range canine wheelchairs generally fall between $100 and $250. They might not have all the bells and whistles of the most expensive models, but they’ll help your dog move from point A to point B.

High-end dog wheelchairs cost between $250 and $600. These wheelchairs tend to be highly durable, easy to maneuver, and suited for all-terrain use.

For diminutive dogs

Looking for a wheelchair for a small-breed dog? The Best Friend Mobility Extra-Small Dog Wheelchair is an excellent choice. It’s easy to adjust the height, length, and width of this canine wheelchair to tailor it to your pet’s needs. The design makes it easy for your pet to eliminate while in the wheelchair without making a mess. It’s also available in extra-extra-small for teacup pooches.

Tips

  • Consider the durability of your chosen dog wheelchair. Durability isn’t as important if your dog will only need the wheelchair for a few months while getting over an injury, but if your dog will be using it daily for the rest of her life, pick a model that will last.

  • Think about how your dog will relieve himself. A well-designed dog wheelchair should allow your dog to freely eliminate without dirtying the chair.

  • Choose a wheelchair that’s easy to clean. The frame and wheels of a canine wheelchair can obviously be wiped clean, but harnesses can be trickier. Any fabric parts should be removable and machine-washable.

  • Know whether your dog requires spine support. Some dog wheelchairs have special straps that go under the belly to support the user’s spine.
EXPERT TIP

You can find dog wheelchairs with a range of harness colors. While this is far from the most important factor you should consider, it doesn’t hurt to choose a color or pattern you like if you are going to purchase the wheelchair anyway.


Staff  | BestReviews

Other products we considered

While searching for the best dog wheelchairs, we considered a huge number of models. The Walkin’ Wheels Dog Wheelchair for Medium/Large Dogs is an excellent choice for pooches between 50 and 69 pounds. The frame is both durable and lightweight, and the large puncture-proof wheels are perfect for exploring off the beaten track. Another exceptional option is the K9 Carts Original Dog Wheelchair, which was developed by top veterinarians in an orthopedic veterinary hospital. Made from rugged aircraft-grade aluminum, it’s the lightest dog wheelchair on the market without sacrificing strength. If your dog needs a little more support than a rear-support wheelchair can offer, check out the Newlife Mobility Quaz Four Wheels Adjustable Dog Wheelchair. This full-support model takes much of your dog’s weight off the front legs, too, so even dogs without stront front legs can enjoy increased mobility.

Dog wheelchairs can be used for rehabilitation purposes while your dog is covering from an injury – they’re not necessarily permanent.

FAQ

Q. How do I find the right fit for a dog wheelchair?
A.
Although you can buy a dog wheelchair based on your canine companion’s weight, it’s more accurate to take measurements. The exact points you need to measure will vary depending on the model you choose, but you’ll usually only need to measure your pooch from the floor to the top of the shoulders or hindquarters.

Q. Should my dog remain in the wheelchair all day?
A.
While dog wheelchairs are great for when your furry friend wants to go on a walk, play in the yard, or simply potter around the house for a while, they’re not suitable for all-day use, as your dog can’t lie down while using one. We generally recommend unhitching your dog from the wheelchair and settling her down in her favorite spot when she’s finished her chosen activity.

Q. How long will it take my dog to get used to the dog wheelchair?
A.
That really depends on the dog in question – some instantly take to their canine wheelchairs, whereas others are nervous at first. We recommend consulting your vet or an expert in the field before you start using your dog wheelchair to find out the best way to introduce it to your canine companion.

The team that worked on this review
  • Alice
    Alice
    Web Producer
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Kyle
    Kyle
    Writer
  • Lauren
    Lauren
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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