When my veterinarian recommended, I buy a wheelchair for my dog Sophie, I spent hours researching which one would be the right fit. But when it arrived, it took me by surprise that I couldn’t figure out how to put a dog into a wheelchair.
It’s trickier than you think, especially if you have a large dog. You’re maneuvering an animal who can’t bear weight and is therefore unable to help as you lift half of their body into place while holding the cart steady.
That’s when I realized, learning how to place a paralyzed pet into a cart by yourself takes practice.
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We love dog wheelchairs
Please don’t think I don’t appreciate wheelchairs for dogs. They’re a wonderful invention that’s brought mobility back to millions of pets. And today they come in the sizes, shapes and prices to meet the needs of nearly every animal.
There are carts for dogs with paralyzed rear limbs and those who can’t use their front legs. Quad wheelchairs are available for dogs who need full support for all four limbs and there are even carts for pets with amputations.
But for all of the wonderful benefits they bring into our dogs’ lives, there’s one frustrating aspect. Each dog wheelchair brand requires a different set of skills to place a dog into them.
Videos that show you how put a dog into a wheelchair
Thankfully each of the top 3 brands makes a video that demonstrates what you need to know. That translates to 3 easy ways to become a pro.
The first two videos feature a seasoned pet mom who has 6 dogs with mobility problems. Tracey was first introduced to Walkin’ Wheels carts when her dog Hayden, pictured in the video, became paralyzed. After Hayden passed away, Tracey has continued to save the lives of many unwanted paralyzed pups.
Walkin’ Wheels is a popular sturdy cart that’s fully adjustable. It’s sold by HandicappedPets.com.
Here’s a recap of what to do:
- Put on the dog’s front harness.
- Pull the wheelchair behind the dog and line up the hind legs with leg rings (saddle) on the cart.
- Grab the dog’s lower belly so you can pull the legs through each of the leg rings.
- Stand the dog upright.
- Pull one front bar forward so that it clicks into place on the harness. Repeat on the other side.
- Make any sizing adjustments needed for the height.
- Place each rear leg into a stirrup and go.
The next video is from Eddie’s Wheels for Pets. It features one of the owners, Leslie Grinnell, putting a dog into a wheelchair. Eddie’s Wheels is a popular custom-made cart that’s been helping disabled animals since 1999.
- Set the cart upright.
- Open the front neck yoke.
- Move the dog in front of the wheelchair.
- Lift the hind legs and place them through each ring of the saddle.
- Move the tail out of the way.
- Stand the dog up in the cart.
- Click the yoke back in place.
- Tighten support straps under the chest and buckle them.
- Begin walking.
The last video is from K9 carts. This is the first dog wheelchair brand made in the USA. The company’s been assisting paraplegic pets since 1961.
Getting the dog ready:
- Tip the cart forward so the leg rings are on top.
- Lift the dog’s hind legs and place them through each leg ring.
- Move the tail out of the way.
- Stand the dog upright in the cart.
- Fasten the chest strap.
- Take off.
One more video from my favorite European brand
Since we have readers from all over the world, I’ve included a video from Modullo Dog Wheelchairs. The company makes innovative custom wheelchairs for disabled dogs that provide comfort and safety.
- Place the dog’s hind legs onto the rear saddle.
- Secure the rear strap over the dog’s back.
- Place the front paws through the front straps and let the chest rest on the saddle.
- Secure the front yoke strap over the dog’s back.
- Run and play.