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Using Your Dog Wheelchair in Water

Being in a wheelchair does not mean your dog can’t splash around and play in the water like they used to! Our Walkin’ Wheels Wheelchairs are all designed so your dog can still spend quality time with you whether at the lake, beach, or poolside! It is important that wherever you go, your fluffy companion can follow right by your side! A dog wheelchair can allow them more independence getting in and out of the water!

Please note: Supervise your pup at all times while in his wheelchair, especially around water. The Wheelchairs may help some dogs with buoyancy however, they are not designed as floatation devices. 

Walkin’ Wheels Dog Wheelchair
Walkin’ Wheels Dog Wheelchair
Walkin’ Lift Rear Harness
Walkin’ Lift Rear Harness
drag bag for paralyzed dog
Walkin’ Drag Bag

Can My Dog’s Wheelchair Go in the Water?

Yes, a dog’s wheelchair doesn’t just help your dog to stay active, it lets them enjoy their favorite activities. From running on the beach, playing fetch lakeside, and during their rehab sessions. Here are a few of the most common places where your dog makes use of their wheelchair near or in the water:

Fresh Water and your dog’s wheelchair

A disabled dog can still enjoy walking along the lake’s edge or playing catch in shallow water. Just because a dog needs a wheelchair, doesn’t mean they can’t still have fun! While we at Walkin’ Pets cannot attest to how other dog wheelchairs on the market perform in fresh and salt water, we can confirm our dog wheelchair is able to work at both your favorite beach spot and lakeside. Walkin’ Wheels are designed to not rust even if they are submerged in water. 

If used in freshwater you will need to make sure the bolts on the larger wheelchairs are dried and you remove the wet harnesses from your dog. The harness should air dry. We recommend getting a second set of harnesses if your dog will be using this in the water as we do not recommend using damp soft goods on your dog. Having wet fabric on your dog is never a good idea as it can cause them skin irritations. 

We recommend hosing and drying off the wheelchair, including the wheel hardware and bolts after the wheelchair is used in either fresh or saltwater.

Salt Water and your dog’s wheelchair

Your wheelie dog can still run through the sand at the beach or play in ocean water. Regardless of size, the wheels on a pet’s Walkin’ Wheels can take your dog through any terrain. Whether your dog is chasing a frisbee along the beach or playing in low tide, your dog’s wheelchair can keep up with them!

Our Walkin’ Wheels wheelchairs’ aluminum frame is designed not to rust. We do recommend rinsing the wheelchair after use in saltwater or at the beach. Make sure that the wheelchair frame, as well as the soft goods, or harnesses, are rinsed thoroughly. Once they dry make sure they are clear of salt as it can be irritating on your dog’s skin. 

When you dry your dog’s front harness, leg rings, or any of the upgraded wheelchair compatible harnesses, make sure you are keeping them out in direct sunlight. This ensures that while they are drying they are still going to stay in the best condition overtime. 

Wheelchair Use for your dog’s Rehabilitation and Underwater Treadmills

Water is just as therapeutic for a dog as it would be for a human. While in the water the increased buoyancy makes it even easier for a disabled or elderly dog to exercise. Waterproof wheelchairs are perfect for splashing around and having fun but are also a great tool in rehabilitation. Easily incorporate a dog wheelchair into your pet’s exercise program. Benefits of using a wheelchair during water therapy:

  • A wheelchair helps reduce the pressure placed on weak hind legs, making it easier for a dog to walk unassisted.
  • The wheelchair’s support helps a dog stand up and maintain their balance on their own.
  • Walking in water improves a dog’s coordination and makes it easier for a dog to walk pain-free

Many pets, even use their dog wheelchair during underwater treadmill therapy. It will help keep them up without a technician physically holding them. This frees the CCRP to focus their attention where it’s most needed, getting the paws and legs placed properly to retrain movement and build muscle. 


Water safety is vital for a handicapped dog. A wheelchair is not a floatation device and you should never leave your pet in one unsupervised, whether near or far from water. That doesn’t mean your disabled dog needs to stop enjoying its favorite water activities! Always keep an eye on your best friend and make sure they play in a safe area. A mobility cart is an incredible tool to help your injured, disabled, or aging pets enjoy a stop at their favorite pond. From a fun beach day to rehabilitation, a little water isn’t going to stop your pet from enjoying their Walkin’ Wheels.

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