Buying a dog (or pet) wheelchair is not easy! How to Choose.
To begin with, just the fact that your pet needs a wheelchair can be stressful. The numerous features, options, price ranges, and measurement requirements can be daunting. In this article I’ll review the purchasing process, discuss options, measurements, companies, reviews, and pricing.
Why buy a dog (or pet) wheelchair?
There was a day when disabled pets were “put to sleep” (I hate that term!) Now, as it has become normal to make pets a family member there are more options. When a member of our family needs help, he or she deserves the healthcare they need. Fact is, exercise is critical to your dog or pet’s health and any device, harnesses, splints, or wheels that help them get the exercise they need will prolong their life and improve their quality of life.
Mobility problems have a number of causes from ageing, injury, birth defect, accident, disease, and more. Some of the common medical issues include:
Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) – Deterioration of the discs, or pads that cushion the vertebrae of the spine.
Muscle soreness – Due to age, injury, not enough exercise, diet, and more.
Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) – The animal is not in pain, but there is a disconnect between the animal’s brain and nervous system causing wobbling, dragging feet, and more.
Any type of weakness of the limbs
Injuries of any kind can make it hard for an animal to walk.
Recovery from Surgery – After surgery, animals can experience a difficulty walking, or the surgeon may recommend the animal “stay off his feet.”
Paralysis – Animals can experience paralysis, temporary or permanent
Arthritis – A common ailment that can make it hard to walk.
Amputations – Often due to accident or cancer
Neurological – Any type of brain damage can result in mobility issues
Dysplasia can make it difficult and painful for a dog or an animal to walk
Knee, ACL tear – Often an injury or accident will cause a tear in the knee or ACL.
The dog wheelchair manufacturers reviewed here are:
Walkin’ Wheels by HandicappedPets.com – Amherst, NH
Excellent, informative website. Expert customer service. Available on their website, Amazon, Walmart, other. Broad range of products. Features their “Pet Wheelchair Sizing Wizard. Top rated with high customer reviews. One of the biggest benefits is that it can be shipped same day and adjusted to your dog without tools.
Best Friend Mobility – Little River, SC
Low cost wheelchair available on Amazon. Comes unassembled with poor instructions. No apparent customer service. Although they have a lot of good reviews on Amazon, ReviewMeta.com, an independent review analysis company reports that they are highly suspicious reviews.
Eddie’s Wheels – Shelburne, MA
Custom made carts of the highest quality. They build dog wheelchairs to exact specifications of your dog. Highly accurate, made in the USA.
K9Carts East – Oxford, MD
Dr Parks, a retired veterinary surgeon was actually the inventor of the dog wheelchair and received the first patent. His chair looks a little antiquated with lots of tubing, clips, and straps but it appears to be a quality product.
K9Carts West – Freeland WA
High quality wheelchair, modern and up-to-date. Good website with lots of information. They have a full line of products and a faithful following.
Doggon Wheels – Hawaii
A quality wheelchair made of tubing, clamps, and straps. They are custom made and very versatile. As one of the original cart manufacturers, they have a long and positive track record.
Huggie Carts – No Address found
These chairs are relatively new and look very basic. Definitely a “no Frills” dog wheelchair. Website does not give an address and has grammatical errors and typos.