How do I know if a dog wheelchair is right for me?

Maintaining your dog’s mobility and activity level is crucial to their physical and mental well-being. Assistive devices, such as a dog wheelchair, have been developed specifically for this purpose. Although the idea of ​​a dog wheelchair may have seemed ridiculous a few years ago, it now plays a vital role in helping countless dogs with mobility issues.

Not sure if a wheelchair is right for your dog? You’re not alone. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming. If you’re not sure what the right mobility solution is for your dog, we can help.

What is a dog wheelchair used for?

When you think of a wheelchair, you probably picture someone who is immobile, sitting, unable to stand or move their legs. A dog wheelchair is very different from this one. Although there are paralyzed dogs who benefit from a wheelchair, the experience is much closer to a set of crutches or even a walker.

Just like a walker, when a dog uses a cart, he stands and can move his back legs. The wheelchair frame provides support and stability allowing them to walk (and even run) with its help. The rear wheels of the wheelchair are aligned with the dog’s hips and serve as additional support for the dog’s legs. In short, a dog wheelchair is a mobility tool that helps a dog walk and stay active.

Assessing the Need for a Dog in a Wheelchair

  • Does your dog get tired easily?
  • Do their back legs shake or give out from time to time?
  • Is your dog having trouble standing up?
  • Has your dog’s rear atrophied?
  • Is maintaining balance a problem for your dog?
  • Has your dog’s mobility changed noticeably?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, your dog might benefit from a cart. Dog wheelchairs aren’t just for completely paralyzed puppies. There are many reasons why a dog may need a wheelchair for temporary use while recovering from a knee injury or for longer-term mobility support for older dogs with pain. joint pain or loss of mobility. Talk to your veterinarian for help and advice. Your veterinarian understands your dog’s diagnosis, the level of support they need, and can guide you toward the right mobility solution for your pet.

Test your dog’s paw strength

The towel test is a quick and easy way to test your dog’s paw strength. Take a towel and place it under the abdomen and hips. Lift gently until your dog’s back legs are off the ground and move forward. The towel supports your dog in the same way that a cart would support him, if your dog can move forward easily, his front legs are strong, and this is a good indication that your dog would do very well with a wheelchair for rear wheel dog.

8 reasons why a dog might need a rear wheelchair

1. Arthritis

As a degenerative disease, many pet owners don’t realize how much impact arthritis has on their dog’s mobility. Often attributed to old age, “slowing down” may be an indication that your dog’s joints are hurting and he is becoming less active because it is too difficult for him to walk. A wheelchair can significantly reduce the weight your dog puts on his arthritic joints and help him move without straining or causing unnecessary pain.

2. Leg weakness

Signs of leg weakness can start very subtly. Physical signs may include difficulty on stairs, difficulty getting up after a nap, or occasional loss of balance, to name a few. Physically, your dog’s rear end may appear thinner and bonier as he loses muscle mass in his rear legs. A wheelchair can provide additional support and help your dog regain some strength in his legs.

3. Rehabilitation and recovery

Exercise is vital for any dog, but one recovering from an injury or surgery must remain active in a safe manner to prevent muscle atrophy. A wheelchair provides stability, giving your dog a safe way to stand and walk without further injury. Many rehabilitation specialists will incorporate the use of a wheelchair into their therapy sessions as this allows the dog to stand and be supported while they work to help them regain strength, improve your range of motion and increase your endurance.

4. Knee injury

Whether waiting for crossbreeding surgery, rehabilitating an injury, or protecting your dog’s remaining healthy knee, a dog wheelchair is a great option for canine crossbones. The balance and support provided by a cart reduces strain on your dog’s knee while it heals and helps him stay active.

5. Hip dysplasia

Although the impact of hip dysplasia on a dog’s mobility can vary greatly, in severe cases, joint pain can make it difficult for a dog to stand or walk without assistance. A cart can ease the burden on a dog’s hips and reduce pressure on the legs, which can make it easier for the dog to walk.

6. Degenerative myelopathy

Degenerative myelopathy, or DM, is a mobility problem that gets progressively worse over time. In its early stages, a dog with DM may have weak hind legs or drag its legs when walking. An adjustable wheelchair is essential as the loss of mobility will worsen, and exercise is vitally important to slow the progression of the disease.


Also known as intervertebral disc disease, IVDD is a spinal disease that can impact the function of a dog’s hind legs and even cause paralysis. Quite common among Dachshunds, IVDD dogs often use a wheelchair to support them while they heal.

8. Hind limb amputation

Many tripod dogs get around just fine on three legs, but as they age, the strain of supporting all their weight on one hind leg can catch up with them. They may have arthritis in their remaining limb or even struggle to fully support themselves, which is where a wheelchair can really help. Instead of leaning to one side, the wheelchair allows the tripod to stand level to reduce weight on the remaining leg.


Maintaining your dog’s mobility and activity level is crucial to their physical and mental well-being. The decision to get your best friend a cart shows your love and commitment to your pup. With the right assistance and support, your dog can continue to enjoy the activities he loves. So, if you are still wondering if a dog wheelchair is the right choice for your pet, consult your veterinarian, explore the possibilities and give your beloved dog the gift of mobility and freedom that he deserved.

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