How to Get a Dog into a Quad Wheelchair

A full support wheelchair is a perfect solution for a dog dealing with leg weakness in all four legs. With the support of front and back wheels, a handicapped dog is fully supported and able to lead a normal, active life. But how do you get them into a quad wheelchair?

Easy Ways to Get Your Pet into Their Quad Wheelchair

Since most dogs in a full support wheelchair have trouble standing or supporting their weight, it can be difficult to figure out how to get your dog into their quad wheels. This is especially true if your dog is larger and has limited strength. Sometimes getting them into even a sitting position can be tough. There are a few different ways you can get your pet into their wheelchair, choose the one that works best for you and your dog. Getting a dog into a four-wheel wheelchair is especially daunting if you have a large dog or live alone. Here are a few tips to help you get your dog into their quad wheelchair.

Use a Lifting or Support Harness

If you have a larger dog, we recommend a lifting harness. The process of getting into a quad wheelchair can be easier with a harness that is designed to work with the wheelchair or a regular lifting harness. In addition to taking more stress off you physically and making the experience potentially more comfortable for your dog. 

Lift Harness

With a regular lift harness, you can use this to lift your pet up and over the wheelchair frame and into their leg rings. The harness can stay on with the leg rings if your dog is comfortable, but once secured into the leg rings take the support harness off. You should be able to do so as the leg rings are open and allow for movement of another harness. I have used this method with success with a 100+lbs Saint Bernard. This method of completely lifting your dog into the wheelchair can be difficult alone. We recommend either doing this with a small or medium-sized dog or having a partner that can assist you in getting your dog lifted over and into the wheelchair properly. 

Wheelchair Compatible Harness

An easier solution, that can work whether you have someone to assist you or not, is getting a wheelchair-compatible harness. This is very helpful, especially for getting large dogs into their quad wheelchair.

If you have a Wheelchair compatible front and rear harness you will not need to use the leg rings. You can clip the harnesses you have directly into the frame of the wheelchair where the front and rear leg rings would have connected. To start put the harness on your dog. Then maneuver the wheelchair so it is around them. They can be in a sitting or lying position for this if they cannot stand. If sitting or lying, assist them by lifting them into a standing position. Start in the rear and get the back legs secured. Then lift the front harness to the front of your dog is now up. Hook the front portion of the harness into the wheelchair

Use the Buddy System

It can be helpful to have the support of another person. With one person supporting your dog’s hind end and the second person supporting the front legs. The buddy system is a great way to safely lift and support your dog into their quad cart quickly.

Support harness for quad dog wheelchair
Walkin’ Combo Harness Front & Rear
Walkin’ Lift Rear Harness
Walkin’ Lift Rear Harness
drag bag for paralyzed dog
Walkin’ Drag Bag

How to Get Your Dog into a Quad Wheelchair by Yourself

If you can’t pick your dog up whether it is due to injury or size, I recommend disconnecting the leg rings in the front and back on either the right or left side. This way you can roll the wheelchair from behind your dog and all you have to do is place their legs into the leg rings and then clip the sides of the leg rings to the wheelchair. 

Move the Quad Wheelchair, Not Your Dog

 If it is just you attempting to put your dog into the wheelchair there is another way that may be easier. This process will be easier if you already have the wheelchair frame above your dog. This way you will not need to move them far.

First, you will want to disconnect the leg rings entirely in front of the wheelchair, making sure they have been properly adjusted. From that point, you can then roll the wheelchair around your dog. Take care to not roll over them with the wheels of the wheelchair. Now your dog’s body is resting under the opening of the frame. Begin in the front or the back, this will depend on what is easiest for you and your dog. Or you may base this on where your dog has more strength.

You can connect the included handles to the leg rings, both front and back. Once you have done so you can use the leg rings as makeshift lifting harnesses. Once they are positioned to lift, put your dog’s legs in the leg rings properly, and pull them up like a pair of pants. Use the handles to then lift the leg rings and your dog. Now connect the leg rings into the wheelchair, and repeat the process for the other pair of leg rings.  

Use a Low Stool for Support

Dogs that can stand up on their own, but need a little extra support: Simply help your dog to stand up and slide a low stool/ottoman under their belly to help stabilize them as you reposition the quad wheelchair. Once the wheelchair frame is in place, attach the front and back leg rings around your dog and clip them onto the frame. Once your dog is safely in the quad wheelchair remove the stool.

Mini and Small Frames:

Mini or Small Walkin’ Wheels Quad wheelchair, have the leg rings in the front and rear connected into the wheelchair. Lift your dog up and over the frame placing them into the leg rings. As these are for dogs from 2 to 30lbs getting them into the Quad Wheelchair is quite easy.

What to remember once your full support Quad Walkin’ Wheels is set up

At first, this process may be a bit more difficult for both you and your pet, but it will become easier. With practice, you and your dog will find a rhythm. After a few weeks with the wheelchair, it will become routine and you will get your dog in and out of their quad cart quickly. Make the process of getting into the wheelchair a fun one. Use encouragement, praise, and positive reinforcement, for every step. Using treats, toys, and praise will help your pet become more comfortable with their new wheelchair.

There are many different ways to secure your dog into the wheelchair so find the way that works best for you! There is no 100% correct way that works for each dog as every case is different. 

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