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What are the Different Types of Wheelchairs for Dogs?

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  • Written By: Debra Durkee
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2016
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Exploring the options available in wheelchairs for dogs can give a disabled pet the chance at a happy and active life. Whether the dog has lost the use of front or rear legs, options are available to help him or her regain independence and mobility. Sizes are available for the smallest to the largest of dogs, with a number of options that will allow the animal to get the most out of life.

Among those available are wheelchairs for dogs who have lost the use of their rear legs. These wheelchairs often provide support for the rear half of the dog, while letting the shoulders and front legs walk and power the chair. Depending on the severity of the injury, models are available that have slings in which to place the dog's legs so they do not drag. If the animal is still capable of some movement, there are other options that take the weight off the legs while still leaving them free to move.

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Dogs who have lost the use of one or both front legs can benefit from a front support wheelchair. The front half of the dog is supported by a sling, either taking the weight off the front legs or supporting them so they are off the ground entirely. Many options come with a device that adjusts the weight distribution of the dog; this allows for an animal that has lost the use of one leg to get extra support while still exercising the functioning leg.

Some wheelchairs for dogs offer support for front and rear legs. These often still allow the dog's paws to touch the ground and offer various levels of support. This can be helpful for pets that are undergoing rehabilitation for an injury, as it will allow freedom of movement while exercising the muscles of the legs and body.

Wheelchairs for dogs can generally be built to exacting standards to best fit the animal in need. Measurements such as weight, height, and length are usually taken to ensure the best fit for each individual animal. Some places will custom-build the chair for each client.

Some options are generally available on wheelchairs for dogs to also help ease the transition into the chair. Large wheels and a suspension system can make rough terrain easier to navigate for dogs regaining an active lifestyle. Some are available with removable slings that are easy to wash, also ideal for active dogs. In the case of dogs who have lost the use of one front or one rear leg, many chairs can be outfitted with bars or other supports to keep the damaged leg safely out of the way.

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