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Last updated: 06 Sep 2019

The Best Wheelchairs For Dogs (Review) in 2019

Walkin' Wheels Dog Wheelchair

Walkin' Wheels Dog Wheelchair

premium pick dog wheelchair

Best Friend Mobility Revolution Dog Wheelchair

affordable dog wheelchair

Anmas Sport Adjustable Dog Wheelchair

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Dr Tracy Douglas
Published 10:10 am

Mobility options are widely available for dogs that need them today. If your dog requires permanent or temporary mobility assistance, you should have no trouble finding the right aid. From walking sling harnesses to carts, there is something for all pups, yet wheelchairs are undoubtedly one of the best options. In this buying guide, you will discover everything you need to know about purchasing a wheelchair for your dog. This includes our selections in terms of the best wheelchairs for dogs, as well as some useful tips on what you need to consider when choosing a wheelchair.

The Best Wheelchair For Dogs

1

Walkin' Wheels Dog Wheelchair
Walkin' Wheels Dog Wheelchair

If your little dog is in need of some support when walking, this wheelchair features a frame that is both lightweight and durable at the same time. This helps to keep it stable while your pooch manoeuvres around from place to place. The harness is made to be fully adjustable, thereby offering a high level of both comfort and mobility.

Whether your dog has limited or no movement in their hind legs, this is a suitable product to offer the support that they so badly need. As for the wheels, they are made from dense foam to avoid getting punctures, so your dog can happily explore the outdoor world as well as inside the house.

Fits dogs between 11 and 25 pounds

Dense foam wheels with rubber outer layer

All parts are washable

Specification:
  • Brand: Walkin’ Wheels
  • Weight: 3 pounds
Pros

Fully adjustable

Durable, lightweight frame made of aluminium

Cons

Only suitable for smaller dogs

2

This wheelchair is designed to help dogs with rear leg mobility issues, including pain and weakness. It features an aluminium frame, which is easy to adjust and lightweight, making it easy to use too. It has been designed and tested by a K9 orthopaedic surgeon, which will give you complete peace of mind. It is suitable for dogs that measure between 20 and 26 inches when you start this from the floor to the top of their back at the hindquarters. The wheelchair has been designed with comfort in mind, featuring a padded seat and a double rear leg harness and adjustable shoulder harness. Your dog can still go to the bathroom while wearing the rear harness. Plus, it is suitable for all terrains.

Suitable for dogs with rear leg weakness or pain

Adjustable and lightweight non-rust frame

All-terrain pneumatic wheels with waterproof Swiss bearings

Rear harness and deluxe neoprene front

Specification:
  • Brand: Best Friend Mobility
  • Weight: 13.69 pounds
Pros

Easy to assemble, use and adjust

Designed and tested by a K9 orthopaedic surgeon

Comfortable for your dog

Suitable for all types of terrain

Cons

The manufacturer recommends that you get in touch before purchasing to confirm sizing

Your dog needs to have good front length strength to use this cart

3

This is a wheelchair that has been veterinarian designed, built, and tested. It is made in the USA, and boasts the status of being the lightest wheelchair on the market. The wheelchair is the product of more than 50 years of experience, so you can be confident that it delivers. Not only does this wheelchair give your dog the freedom to be active, but also it features cable leg rings that are contoured with dense foam padding to stop your dog from suffering pressure sores.

Made in the USA

Lightest wheelchair on the market

Made using aircraft grade aluminium

Contoured cable leg rings

Front support can be added at any time

Specification:
  • Brand: K9 Carts
  • Weight: 5.5 pounds
Pros

Years and years of use promised thanks to the aircraft grade aluminium

Designed and tested by orthopaedic surgeons for complete peace of mind

Prevents pressure sores

Fully adjustable

Exceptional customer feedback

Cons

Only designed for dogs that have good strength in their front legs

Only fits dogs between 26 and 35 lbs

4

Another one of the best wheelchairs on the market is this product from Walkin’ Wheels. This wheelchair is for dogs with little or no mobility in their hind legs features an aluminium frame, which is lightweight and durable, making it stable yet easy for your pet to move. The wheelchair is fully adjustable in terms of width, length, and height, and it comes with a fully adjustable harness for mobility and comfort. The wheelchair is also suitable for all terrain due to the dense foam wheels.

Suitable for dogs with legs between 17 and 20 inches long, and weighing between 70 and 180 pounds

For dogs with limited or no mobility in their hind legs

Dense foam wheels with rubber treads

Fully adjustable

Veterinarian approved

Specification:
  • Brand: Walkin’ Wheels
  • Weight: 10.9 pounds
Pros

Allows your dog to explore all types of terrain

Comfortable wheelchair, which can be adjusted in many different ways

Your dog will have no trouble going to the bathroom while using this wheelchair

Cons

Not suitable for all dogs: must meet the weight and leg-length requirement

Only suitable for dogs with movement in their front legs

5

This wheelchair is one of five different sized wheelchairs that Best Friend Mobility has for sale. As the name suggests, it is suitable for every small dogs. It boasts the following dimensions: 5.9 x 3.2 x 1.6 inches. Not only are these wheelchairs great in terms of substance, but style too. They look good, as well as operating efficiently and comfortably, and this is because they have been created by industrial designers who are pet owners themselves, as well as veterinary orthopaedic surgeons.

Accommodates pets ranging from under 5 to 175 lbs.

Stainless steel hardware

Lightweight aluminium frame

Fully and easily adjustable

Sturdy materials and design

Specification:
  • Brand: Best Friend Mobility
  • Model: BFMXS
  • Weight: 1 pounds
Pros

Great value for money

100& satisfaction guarantee

Maximum adjustability offered – feels like it has been custom built for your pet

Offers both style and substance

Cons

Only suitable for dogs that have normal front leg strength

Only suitable for dogs that are small in size

6

Several different sizes are available in this dog wheelchair, so you can choose the one that suits your pooch best. The frame both durable enough to withstand your dog’s movements, yet lightweight so it doesn’t hold them back when they want to explore the world with confidence.

To adjust the height, length, and width of the chair, all you need to do is use the push button. To add further protection to your dog’s spine, there is a special belly band. A leash is also included in the set, as well as a manual telling you how to use everything, helping to ensure that there is no confusion along the way.

Range of sizes available

Tough, lightweight aluminium frame

Specification:
  • Brand: Homend
  • Weight: 8 ounces
Pros

Soft and comfortable harness

Adjustable design features

Cons

Not suitable for larger dogs

7

Best Friend Mobility SitGo Pet Wheelchair
Best Friend Mobility Revolution Dog Wheelchair

This wheelchair does not have the word ‘revolution’ in the title by coincidence; it is truly revolutionary. This is because it is the first wheelchair that enables dogs to voluntary lie and sit down while using it. It is also easier to get your dog out of the wheelchair because the rear can be lowered. It has been designed and tested by an experience K9 orthopaedic surgeon, giving you full peace of mind. Not only this, but it comes with a wide range of features, including an easy clip-on function front harness and all-terrain wheels.

Designed and tested by a K9 orthopaedic surgeon

Easy clip-on function front harness system

All-terrain polyurethane wheels

Stainless steel hardware

Lightweight adjustable aluminium frame that does not rust

Specification:
  • Brand: Best Friend Mobility
  • Weight: 18.5 pounds
Pros

Your dog can sit and lie down while using this wheelchair

It is easy to get your dog out of the wheelchair

Can be used on all terrains

Complete comfort promised

Cons

It is only suitable for dogs that have rear leg weakness or pain

Instructions aren’t the best

8

Anmas Sport Adjustable Dog Pet Wheelchair
Anmas Sport Adjustable Dog Wheelchair

Once again, we have a frame here that is made of aluminium to provide enhanced comfort and mobility. Height, length, and width can all be adjusted as required. Choose the correct size based on your dog’s height. The harnesses also have adjustable features.

When your dog is rehabilitating, it is so important that you make them as comfortable as possible, and this is exactly what this pet wheelchair aims to do. But they also want to be able to explore different territories that are not limited to the indoor world, This is why the wheelchair features dense foam wheels with rubber treads to ensure that your pooch can happily traverse a range of different surfaces as they would like.

Dense foam wheels with rubber treads

Durable, lightweight aluminium frame

Three different sizes available

Specification:
  • Brand: Anmas Sport
  • Weight: 2.65 pounds
Pros

Adjustable features to offer maximum comfort to your dog

Different terrain can be explored

Cons

Some customers report poor lifespan

Best Wheelchairs For Dogs Buying Guide

How Dog Wheelchairs Work And Why Should You Use Them?

The way in which the wheelchair works depends on what type of wheelchair your dog needs – full support, rear limb support, or forelimb support. The dog’s rear limbs or fore limbs will either be supported by the wheelchair so that they can walk using their stronger limbs while the wheels do the rest of the work. There are many benefits associated with dog wheelchairs. They can assist with rehabilitation, as well as giving your dog the freedom to live a happy life despite mobility issues. You will be amazed by what a wheelchair can do for your handicapped pet.

When Should Wheelchairs For Dogs Be Considered?

Wheelchairs are suitable for dogs that have mobility issues. There are many different reasons why a dog could have mobility issues. This includes the following:

  • Neurological issues
  • Amputations
  • Arthritis
  • Paralysis
  • Spinal problems
  • Surgery recovery
  • Accidental injuries
  • General limb weakness
  • Soreness
  • Knee and ACL problems
  • Sudden paralysis
  • Arthritis and dysplasia
  • Degenerative myelopathy (DM)
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

This is a mere handful of examples that can lead to a wheelchair being required. Let’s take a look at some of the more common conditions in further detail, starting with DM.

  • Degenerative myelopathy: This tends to occur in dogs that are a bit older, i.e. aged between eight and 14-years-old. The condition occurs when there is a loss of connectivity between your pet’s spinal cord and brain. Dragging of the feet and excessive wobbling are just two of the common symptoms pets will display when suffering from this type of condition.
  • Dysplasia and arthritis: Joint stiffness is something that dogs will experience if they suffer from dysplasia or arthritis. Dysplasia can be caused due to your dog’s overall health while arthritis is because of old age. No matter what condition your dog has, it can make it challenging for him to be supported by his own legs. Basic tasks like walking or running can be incredibly painful, which is why a wheelchair is advised.
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD): This is a common condition that is caused by the deterioration or displacement of the cushion between the spinal discs. This is a painful and uncomfortable disease that can impact any type of dog. Paralysis or weakness of the legs may happen depending on the level of damage. The stage of the condition will determine what type of wheelchair is needed and what for. For example, in the early stages, a wheelchair may be used for rehabilitation. However, it may become a tool required for your dog’s daily needs if your dog becomes paralysed because the damage is so severe.

Will All Dogs Benefit From A Wheelchair?

No – wheelchairs are not designed for all dogs. They are only suitable for dogs that have mobility issues. There is no need to purchase a wheelchair for your dog if it can move freely with ease. If you are unsure as to whether a wheelchair would be right for your dog, the best thing to do is consult with your vet.

What Makes A Good Dog Wheelchair?

There are many different types of wheelchairs on the market for dogs today, and it is not so much what makes a good dog wheelchair, but more what makes a good wheelchair for your dog specifically. There are a number of different factors you should consider when looking for a wheelchair for your dog. This includes the following:

  • The towel test

The towel test is one of the best ways to determine what sort of wheelchair you should be looking for. In fact, this is something that most canine wheelchair manufacturers recommend. So, what exactly is the towel test? This is designed to help you determine how strong your dog’s forelimbs are. Basically, you are to support your dog’s hips and abdomen using a long towel. Make sure their feet do not touch the ground. Is your dog strong and can he move forward with ease using just his forelimbs? If so, it is likely that a rear-support canine wheelchair will be best suited. However, if your dog finds it a challenge to take steps or stumbles, a full-body support wheelchair or a forelimb support wheelchair will be better suited.

  • Your dog’s diagnosis

Aside from the towel test, your dog’s diagnosis will also be considered when determining the right type of wheelchair. So, let’s take a look at each type of wheelchair in a bit of further detail…

  • Full-body mobility support

These wheelchairs are designed for dogs with partial paralysis or rear limb and forelimb weakness. A lot of these pets will fall or stumble whenever they try to walk. These devices are the most costly, as they come with a number of settings to make sure the right level of support is provided for your dog especially. Not only this, but these dog wheelchairs can also help dogs post-surgery to relieve stress along the spine, or if your pet sufferings from some sort of spinal disease. Essentially, your dog will benefit from this type of wheelchair if he has one of the following conditions:

    • Generalised weakness
    • Spinal trauma
    • Amputation
    • Arthritis
    • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
    • Cerebellar hypoplasia
    • Ruptured disc
    • Degenerative myelopathy
    • Post-surgical support for hip, disc, or knees
  • Forelimb wheelchairs

This type of wheelchair is most beneficial for a dog that is experiencing mild to severe forelimb dysfunction or weakness. Some of the models can help to eradicate roughly 70 per cent of the weight bearing experienced on your dog’s front legs. These wheelchairs can also come with head rests, which provide added relieve from pain and support. Your dog will typically benefit from forelimb support if he has one of the following conditions:

    • Generalised weakness
    • Spinal trauma
    • Amputation
    • Arthritis
    • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
    • Cerebellar hypoplasia
    • Ruptured disc
    • Degenerative myelopathy
    • Post-surgical support for hip, disc, or knees
  • Rear limb wheelchairs

Last but not least, we have rear limb wheelchairs, which are typically beneficial for dogs that are weak in their rear limbs yet strong in their forelimbs and otherwise want to be active. There are many different designs you can choose from when going for this type of wheelchair. For example, if your dog still has some mobility, choosing a wheelchair whereby his feet touches the ground is worth considering, especially if you have a dog that is looking to regain some mobility after rehabilitation. Your dog will typically benefit from rear limb support if he has one of the following conditions:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
  • Post-surgical rehab for hip, spine or knees
  • Rear limb amputation
  • Trauma
  • Ruptured disc
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Generalised weakness
  • Arthritis
  • Wheels

You need to consider the wheels carefully. They need to have a deep tred, as well as being flexible, large, and lightweight. Anything too big will be too difficult to move, though, but equally a smaller tire will get stuck easier, which is why you need to find a good balance.

Related Post: Best Dog Boat Ramps

How To Help Your Dog Get Used To A Wheelchair

You cannot expect your dog to simply know how to use a wheelchair – you will need to train it. Here are some tips to assist you:

  • Apply common sense training tips

The first thing you need to do is apply a bit of common sense. Let your dog get used to the wheelchair and do not foster anxiety. Let your dog sniff it and get comfortable, rather than diving right in.

  • Make sure the training is consistent

Some dogs will find the transition very difficult, and so consistency is key. They may even be frightened of the wheelchair, so you need to be patient yet ensure that training is regular.

  • Take things very slow

Even if your dog responds well to being in the wheelchair, you should only keep him in it for a short period of time and reward heavily. In between sessions, give long breaks. Once your dog starts to move around in the wheelchair, reward it with praise and treats every step of the way.

  • Contact your vet if you need further help

If you are still struggling to get your dog to tolerate being in the wheelchair, you should speak to your vet or contact a local dog trainer for assistance.

Related Post: Best Dog Knee Braces

Sources:

  1. Tips to Help Your Dog Get Used to a Dog Wheelchair - Walkin’ Pets Blog
  2. Dog Wheelchair Comparisons – How to Choose a Wheelchair? - Dogs With Disabilities
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Dr Tracy Douglas
Dr Tracy Douglas
General Practice Veterinarian, currently working at the Glenwood Veterinary Clinic, Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Dr. Douglas began her veterinary career as a Veterinary Nurse in Highton Veterinary Clinic, Highton Victoria, and then as an Emergency Veterinarian in Uintah Pet Emergency, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Tracy is particularly interested in surgery, neurology and internal medicine, which gives her a well-rounded knowledge on animal health and well-being. She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Melbourne, while her undergraduate bachelor of science is from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.
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