Learn all About Wheelchairs for Dogs
Not too long ago, the only solution for handicapped dogs was euthanasia. Fortunately, these animals can now have a better quality of life thanks to wheelchairs for dogs. Are there limitations? Of course. But you can tell even from watching videos online how a dog in a wheelchair can have an almost normal life. They can play, run, and even climb up and down stairs.
On the market, there is a wide variety of wheelchair models for dogs that have unfortunately suffered physical incapacitation.
These days, veterinary technology is very advanced. The care available for pets is increasingly specialized and aimed at improving their quality of life.
Despite the level of veterinary medicine, sometimes medical care isn’t enough. When a dog’s rear legs are paralyzed, there is little that a professional can do to restore mobility.
Causes of loss of mobility in dogs
A loss of mobility is normal after some surgical procedures, fractures, or accidents.
It can also be caused by some diseases or degenerative processes. This is the case with severe canine osteoarthritis, dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, hernias, paralysis, etc.
Permanent paralysis of the front or hind legs is often a major cause of the loss of mobility. Other causes are amputations or birth defects in the extremities that prevent proper mobility.
Reduced mobility can be caused by neurological issues, problems with the spine, hernias, or any type of trauma. Limited mobility typically occurs in older dogs or obese dogs. As a result of age or weight, animals lose their ability to move normally.
Different models of wheelchairs for dogs
There are many options of wheelchairs for dogs to help them overcome their disability. You can choose a brand name chair. These are generally manufactured following a standardized industrial process. There are also models that some people make by hand. Another option is to build your own.
A new, exciting option is to use a 3D printer to create a wheelchair. That way a dog in a wheelchair is comfortable because the chair perfectly fits him. For more information, there are many websites that have files and instructions on how to make this type of chair.
Models currently on the market take into account different characteristics:
- Wheelchairs for the front legs. These models are difficult to make. There also aren’t many options available currently.
- Wheelchairs for the back legs. These are more common because there are more animals with this type of disability.
- Fully supported wheelchairs. This is for dogs with very low mobility.
- Rehabilitation wheelchairs. There are very few models of these.
Things to consider when purchasing a wheelchair for a dog
Firstly, keep in mind that you’ll need to figure out the exact measurements of your dog. Any error in measurements can lead to the wheelchair not fitting your dog properly. You want to make life as comfortable as possible for a dog in a wheelchair.
Once you have the exact measurements, if you’ve decided to order a wheelchair for a dog, you give them to the company or manufacturer in charge.
There are also usually options for special models that can adapt to any specifications. The turn around time is usually short. Most companies have designs that allow the wheelchair to be adapted during use. These models are ideal for puppies, so you can adapt the chair as the dog grows. In some cases, the chairs are collapsible, and this makes them very travel-friendly.
Some companies also make wheelchairs for dogs out of light materials for smaller breeds.
Build wheelchairs for dogs at home
There are many materials that you can use to make a wheelchair for a dog: steel, methacrylate, aluminum, PVC pipes, etc. Besides the structure, it’s important to choose what type of wheels you’re going to use. You should consider where the animal will be using the chair when picking the wheels.
If your pet is primarily in urban areas, the wheels should be small for increased maneuverability. On the other hand, if you live in the countryside or an area with lots of gardens, dirt, or grass, you’ll want larger, strong and resistant wheels.