How to Get Your Dog Into a Wheelchair

disabled german shepherd ready to meet his new kids

Once you’ve got your new Walkin’ Wheels your pet up and moving in it is most likely the first thing on your mind. In this article I am going to take you through the steps of getting your pet into the Walkin’ Wheels Rear Wheelchair.

Size the Wheelchair Before You Put It On

Adjust the wheelchair to approximately the right size before putting your dog into the wheelchair. This can help make that first experience with the wheelchair a positive one for both of you.

  • Roll the wheelchair next to your pet or even up behind them. By doing this, you can make a better judgment of the height your dog needs as well as the width and length needed. When the wheelchair height is correct, your pet’s hips will be aligned with the knuckles on either side of the wheelchair. 
  • To ensure a good fit you will want to make sure the extender bar and frame of the wheelchair are following along the midline of your pets body and are parallel. Note some pets, such as Dachshunds, Basset Hounds, and Corgis tend to have back legs 3x the height of the front legs making this difficult Not every pet will be able to have the bars perfectly parallel which is ok! You’ll just want to get them as close as you can! 
  • For a proper fit please not that the previously mentioned Extender bars should stop at their shoulders and not go past or too far back as they will either be in the way if your pet is looking back, or not give the proper support

How to get your pet into their wheelchair

Step 1: Put on the front harness

Before you start lifting your pet into the rear wheelchair you will need to first put them into the front harness. All of our Walkin’ Wheels will come with a basic front harness, and a set of leg rings to support the rear end.

Medium & Large Wheelchair Front Harness:

Walkin' Wheels Front Harness
Front Harness

Medium through Large Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair sizes have a harness with a blue, black and red strap.

When worn correctly, the blue strap is on the back, black in front of the chest and red underneath the body, behind the front legs.

Small Wheelchair Front Harness:

Small Wheelchair has one with two black straps and one red. The Small wheelchair harness is similar to the larger sizes, however one black strap will run across the back while the other black strap runs across the chest. The red harness strap goes underneath the dog’s body and behind the front legs. 

Tip: for the Mini wheelchair attach the front harness to the wheelchair frame before putting it on your dog. This will make it much easier to get your dog into the wheelchair.

Step 2: Attaching the rear leg rings

dog wheelchair for back legs

Now that the harness is properly secured, it’s time to attach the leg rings to the wheelchair frame. The leg rings should form two C’s back to back and NOT V’s. This allows your pet to have the space they need for their back legs to move naturally.

The leg ring straps should go over the frame with the circular portion of the clip facing down. This allows the wheelchair frame to properly support a dog’s back legs.

Step 3: Getting your pet into the wheelchair

Roll the wheelchair frame behind your pet with the front extenders touching the ground. Your pet can be standing, sitting or laying down, but it is usually easier if you can get them into a standing position.

With the Walkin’ Wheels behind them you will want to lift their back end into the leg rings. This can be done in one of two ways:

  1. Lift the dog’s whole back end up and place both legs through the leg rings at one.
  2. Lift one rear leg at a time into the corresponding leg ring.

Step 3: Lift the side extenders and clip the harness into the wheelchair

Once you have secured your pets rear end into the wheelchair, via the leg rings or upgraded harness you will want to carefully bring up the side extenders so they are parallel to the ground. You will then clip the side extender bars through the D-Ring Clips on the front harness. Once this has been done your pet will successfully have been placed and secured into the Walkin Wheels Rear Wheelchair!

Although, this is often the easiest way to get your dog into their wheelchair, it’s not the only way. Find the way that’s easiest for you and most comfortable for your dog. It will take you a few tries before you and your pet are comfortable, but it gets easier. Give yourself time to get used to using the wheelchair and find out what works best for you both. Eventually you will establish a pattern and it will only take a few seconds to get your best friend into their wheelchair.

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