Dog wheelchairs, also called dog "carts" are used by dogs that have had some type of injury or disease process which affects their ability to use their hind end. Don't worry though; you don't have to push your dog in the wheelchair. Like a person in a wheelchair, a dog in a cart gets around just fine.
Most dog wheelchairs are designed so the dog can use its front legs to walk, while its hind end is supported. Dogs acclimate surprisingly well to the cart, can maintain muscle tone and get much needed exercise.
There are also dog wheelchairs available for dogs with front leg amputations or diseases that affect the chest or front legs of a dog. There are even four-wheel dog carts for pets that are quadriplegic.
In the past, otherwise healthy dogs suffering from diseases like degenerative myelopathy, (DM), neuromuscular disease, fibrocartilaginous embolism (FCE) osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, cancer, severe muscle or back injuries, spondylosis, lumbosacral disease and balance disorders have had to be needlessly euthanized. Dogs that were recovering from arthrodesis (joint fusion surgery), joint replacements, fractures, cruciate (ACL) injuries, amputations, and patellar luxations needlessly suffered.
Many dogs spent much more time in the healing process, sometimes never really healing completely because it was so difficult to keep the dog from being active. There are a number of different brands of dog wheelchairs, also called dog carts and canine carts (K-9 Carts), you can find on the internet for handicapped pets. Top sites include HandicappedPets, WalkinWheels, DogKarts, and several others.
Until recently, your dog had to be custom fitted to the wheelchair, a lengthy and exacting process. The dog’s owner needed to take up to 13 exact measurements and wait two to three weeks for the wheelchair to arrive.
Once the wheelchair arrived, sometimes it didn't fit and would need to be returned to the manufacturer. In the meantime, the handicapped or injured dog who needed the wheelchair was experiencing a very poor quality of life. These custom carts, the only kind available until now, certainly served a purpose, but they were cumbersome, couldn't be easily put in an automobile (most didn't fit in the back seat or even the trunk of a car) and of course, were difficult to resell. If the dog's size changed, the cart had to be sent back to the manufacturer to be refitted. Plus, they were not very attractive!
The Gold Standard of dog wheelchairs is Walkin' Wheels. Released in 2008, Walkin' Wheels is a unique, patented dog wheelchair invented by dog lover Mark Robinson, founder of the Handicapped Pets Website and the recently formed Handicapped Pets Foundation. The cart is portable, adjustable, easy to use, lightweight, and attractive!
The Walkin' Wheels dog cart was designed with both the dog's comfort and the owner's convenience in mind. A Walkin' Wheels dog cart can be easily ordered online. Tedious measurement of your dog is not necessary, the online "Cart Wizard" takes care of the details after one approximate measurement. The cart can be adjusted, without tools, to fit your dog or any other dog. It's lightweight, folds flat with the twist of a knob and is shipped next day.
No wonder there is a dog cart revolution! So don't lose hope - pets that might otherwise suffer or even be put to sleep can have a new lease on life! Dogs in wheelchairs can not only walk again, they can run, play fetch, and even swim! Unlike the other dog carts on the market, the Walkin' Wheels dog wheelchair company has a decent return policy, and the resell value is very high. So, if your dog has trouble with his back legs, consider the Walkin' Wheels dog wheelchair to help him enjoy life again!