Uses a mix of lightweight aluminum and stainless steel hardware in the frame to provide durability. Can select from multiple sizes to find the right fit for small dogs. Frame is adjustable in terms of height, length, and width to provide a better fit. Very easy to use.
Build quality is questionable. Adjustment knobs and screws will likely loosen over time.
Although affordable, this model has features similar to pricier options, including a durable aluminum build and easy-to-adjust components. Wheels are foldable. Available in a choice of 5 sizes.
Somewhat bulky, especially for very small dogs.
Will fit dogs weighing between 70 and 180 pounds, so it can accommodate large dogs. To obtain the right fit, 5 sizes are available, depending on the rear leg length. Offered in 3 colors. Harnesses are adjustable for best fit.
Extremely expensive. Contains more plastic in the frame than is desirable.
Multiple size options ensure that you can find just the right fit for your small dog. Available in 3 colors. Aluminum frame doesn't weigh much, so it won't weigh your dog down, but it's extremely durable. Uses rubber-treaded foam wheels, so they won't go flat.
Only designed for dogs weighing 11 to 25 pounds. Instructions could be better.
There are multiple points of adjustment across the entire wheelchair to ensure that your dog has the most comfortable experience, and one that won’t hinder their movement any further.
It’s expensive. The size can be off by an inch or so.
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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?
The key thing to determine before you start shopping for dog wheelchairs is what type of support your dog needs.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 you should increase 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.
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.
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. You should unhitch 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. Consider 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.
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