Unsure about the fit of your Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair? Take the following steps to ensure the correct fit for your pet to lead a happy, healthy life.
How to Fit a Dog Wheelchair
Getting the perfect wheelchair fit is crucial for every pet. Your dog’s wheelchair may need adjustments throughout the life of your pet. This can be due to changes in weight or your pet’s activity level. Using push buttons, a Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair can be easily adjusted in height, length, and width. These pushbuttons are similar to the adjustment on crutches.
How Should my Walkin’ Wheels Fit?
When a pet uses Walkin’ Wheels, they should look similar to the photo above. Follow the steps below if you think your dog’s wheelchair needs height, length, or width adjustments.
Adjusting the Height of a Dog Wheelchair
To ensure your Walkin’ Wheels are adjusted to the correct height, the knuckle (black circular block on wheelchair frame) should be in line with the center of the dog’s hips. Use the push buttons on the leg of the wheelchair frame to adjust the height. The wheelchair frame and side extenders should be parallel to the ground, with equal distance between the top and bottom of the dog’s abdomen.
If the dog maintains use of its back legs, the toe pads should be touching the ground (this may require loosening or tightening the leg rings, which will hang 2-3″ below the frame). For a dog with complete paralysis in the rear, the dog should use the included stirrups to keep the back legs from dragging. There are optional boots that can be added if your dog drags its paws.
Adjusting the Length of a Dog Wheelchair
You can check the length of your Walkin’ Wheels by the position of the front harness clips. The D-Ring clips should be just behind the dog’s shoulder blade, leaving room for defecation behind the dog’s rump. We recommend placing your dog’s tail over the back of the wheelchair frame to help your dog poop cleanly while in the wheelchair. Adjust the length by using the push buttons on the wheelchair frame and side extenders. You might have to loosen or tighten the black strap of the front harness to achieve the correct positioning. When using Walkin’ Wheels, the dog’s back should be in a straight line. If her back sags, either use the included belly belt or purchase a Walkin’ Belly Support for additional security.
Adjusting the Width of a Dog Wheelchair
To figure out the correct width of your Walkin’ Wheels, determine the widest part of the dog; this is usually the dog’s chest. When the dog is in the wheelchair, the side extenders should lightly touch the dog’s shoulders with at least 1/2″ of space on each side of the hips. If the width needs adjustments, you can use the push buttons on the back of the wheelchair and width connector. Remember that you may have to tighten or loosen the leg rings after this adjustment.
Walkin’ Wheels Fit Tips
Adjusting the Side Extender
When fitted perfectly, the sidebar of the wheelchair should run through the center of your dog’s body.
The wheelchair frame and extender should be parallel to the ground with your dog in a natural standing position.
Troubleshooting: Frame is Angled Upwards
If the sidebar of your dog’s wheelchair is pointing upwards, you need to adjust the wheelchair harness to get the proper fit and alignment.
Loosen the blue strap of the harness (the strap across your dog’s back) and tighten the red strap of the harness (under your dog’s belly). Continue adjusting the harness until the sidebar runs parallel to the ground.
Troubleshooting: Frame is Angled Downwards
Similar to the adjustments made above, we will need to adjust the harness straps to level off the wheelchair frame.
Starting with the red harness strap (under your dog’s belly), loosen the strap and tighten the blue strap (across your dog’s back). Continue to adjust the harness until the wheelchair frame runs parallel to the ground.
Need Additional Help Adjusting Your Walkin’ Wheels?
If you are still unsure about the fit of your Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair or would like a professional opinion, we are more than happy to help! Please send us an email with rear and side view photos of your pet, as well as the name, phone number, and sales receipt number the wheelchair was purchased under.
Our wheelchair experts will review your photos and give you step-by-step guidance on how to adjust your wheelchair for the perfect fit! We’re also happy to schedule a FaceTime call for fitting help!
Resources for Happy, Healthy Pets
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