How to Choose the Best Dog Wheelchair for Your Pet

How to choose the right dog wheelchair

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. The Walkin’ Wheels is ideal for both long-term use to keep dogs active or short-term rehabilitative use as a dog heals. 

Common mobility conditions in dogs that benefit from a dog wheelchair:

  • IVDD
  • Mobility lose due to natural aging
  • Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
  • Paralysis
  • Neurological conditions
  • Surgical or injury recovery
  • Hip dysplasia or arthritis
  • Physical therapy & strength training

Select Wheelchair Frame Size by Pet’s Weight

The size wheelchair you pet needs is determined based on their breed and weight. Select the wheelchair frame size that best suits your dog’s weight: 

Mini Dog Wheelchair

Mini Dog Wheelchair

Mini Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair is for dogs weighing between 2 to 10 lbs. This mini wheelchair is lightweight enough for toy and teacup dog breeds to use.

With four sizes available, the mini wheelchair fits breeds ranging from chihuahua, mini dachshund, Pomeranian, and even kittens comfortably. 

Since the Walkin’ Wheels Mini wheelchair is specifically designed for the tiniest dogs, this wheelchair’s design is unique. Each mini cart features a special harness and leg rings to support your pet’s tiny frame.

Small Dog Wheelchair

Small Dog Wheelchair

The Small Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair is for small dog breeds that weigh between 11 and 25 lbs.

The wheelchair frame is constructed of lightweight, hollow aluminum to make it easy for a smaller dog to maneuver. With the wheelchair frame 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 specifically for the corgi breed. Featuring an elongated frame to fit the  breed’s long torso. The corgi cart is perfect IVDD wheelchair for corgis. 

Medium Dog Wheelchair

Medium Dog Wheelchair

Dogs weighing between 26 and 49 lbs. will fit perfectly in the Medium Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair. Pets using the medium Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair will receive either 4” or 8” wheels, perfect for medium breed dogs.

Dogs such as Bassett hound, Beagle, or Bulldog tend to 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.

Medium/Large Dog Wheelchair

Medium/Large Dog Wheelchair

The Medium/Large dog wheelchair fits dogs weighing 50 to 69 lbs.

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, the wheelchair gives them the support the need to stand and walk on their own without placing too much pressure on their aching joints.

Large Dog Wheelchair

Large Dog Wheelchair

Large and giant breed dogs with mobility problems will need a Large Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair.

Dogs that fit into a large wheelchair frame weigh between 70 to 180 lbs. Large wheelchairs fit breeds ranging from Labrador retriever, German Shepherd, or even Great Dane! The large wheelchair is popular with dogs struggling with progressive mobility loss from DM 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 them to stand in a natural position. Each Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair is available in different length struts and wheel sizes to make sure 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 their side and measure their back leg from bottom of the paw up to where the leg meets the torso. Make sure not to stretch the back leg, your dog’s leg should be positioned in a natural, standing position to get the most accurate measurement. 

Does My Pet Need a Rear Wheelchair 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 wheelchair? The towel test is a simple way to test out the strength of your dog’s legs at home. Take a bath towel or beach towel and place it in front of your dog’s back legs, under the abdomen. While holding on to both ends of the towel, gently lift up and step forward as you support your dog. 

Evaluate Your Pet’s Health and Mobility

If your dog is able to 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 splay outwards or their front legs begin to sink as they walk forward, they need the additional support of a quad wheelchair. 

With a front wheel attachment compatible for every size Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair, your dog’s wheelchair can convert into a full support cart at any time. 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

dog wheelchair wheels

Medium and Large pets have the option of selecting whether they would prefer foam wheels or air tires for their dog wheelchair. Both wheel styles have their benefits and 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. 

For a fun wheel option, check out our new color 12” foam wheels available in 6 colors!

What Else Might My Paralyzed Pet Need?

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.

Belly Support

Long bodied dogs like corgi or dachshund and pet’s 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!

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 wheelchair harness to make them more comfortable. The Small Front Vest is perfect for pet’s 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 wheelchair, but needs to get outside quickly a rear support harness is exactly what you need. Not only is a rear harness great for bathroom breaks, they 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.

Indoor Mobility

It can be challenging for your dog to use their wheelchair inside the house. To help keep your dog active indoors, and protected against scrapes caused by dragging, we recommend the Walkin’ Scooter or Drag Bag. Keep your dog active indoors while also keeping them protected. Both the scooter and drag bag allow your dog to lie down and rest when they need to making them a great option for extended wear.

Pet Boots

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.

german shepherd wheelchair for DM

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3 thoughts on “How to Choose the Best Dog Wheelchair for Your Pet

  1. Ok I need help. My dog is a fox hound mix. She has been shot with a bb gun several years ago
    prior to me adopting her. I did not know this and now she has sign of problems. My vet took multiple
    x-rays and said surgery is not a option due to 1 bb is laying on top of the spine with much tissue
    and bone chip build up. She is between 9 and 12 years old. She can walk on her own just shows sign
    of pain and the back feet have knuckled a few times. Would a wheelchair help support the spine, hips,
    legs and take stress from this. And if so what kind of wheel chair do I need. She weighs between 49 and 52 lbs.
    as she seems to bounce back and forth between those numbers. I’m just looking for something to help her with
    support and relieve some stress and pain from the bb.

    1. Hi Debbie, I’m so sorry to hear your dog is in pain. To answer your question, yes a dog wheelchair is designed to support a dog’s hips and legs and reduce the weight your dog places on their back legs. The wheelchair can make it easier for your dog to walk and run without pain. The belly belt that comes with the Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair supports the center of your dog’s body and provides additional spinal support as well. Based on your fox hound’s weight range, she will most likely need our Medium dog wheelchair. Please call us at 888-253-0777, we would be happy to help answer any questions you may have!

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