When your dog gets diagnosed with something that hinders him from freely moving around, playing, running and doing anything he wants, it can get tough. But luckily, there's a wheelchair specially made for your disabled dog.
"The kind of wheelchair that's right for your dog will depend greatly on your dog's disability."
Wheelchairs help dogs regain their freedom (and mobility!). Here, we'll give you tips to help your dog get acquainted with his new "wheels," making the transition process as easy and as comforting as possible.
Choosing the right wheelchair
The kind of wheelchair that's right for your dog will depend greatly on your dog's disability. Does he have neurological problems? Hip Dysplasia? Arthritis? Paralysis? Weakness in the limbs? Spinal problems? Recovery from Surgery? Amputations?
The wheels should be customized to fit your dog and will allow them to walk properly with just the right height.
Getting him acquainted
Wheelchairs are new for your dog. He might get scared or get out of control during the first time you put it on him. First times are always overwhelming, both for you and for your dog.
To help your dog keep his calm, introduce the wheelchair and let him wear it a few minutes a day, then as he gets accustomed to the feeling of having something attached to him, increase the length of time of your dog wearing it.
Give your dog enough time to adjust to changes. Oftentimes, they will see new things and new routine changes as a threat. Don't try to control your dog. Let him explore and see how the wheelchair will move naturally.
You can also offer and praise him with treats by the time he has calmed down. With this, he'll change his mind about the wheelchair and will begin not to worry about it.
Begin the training
Once your dog does not freak out anymore whenever the wheelchair is attached to him, it is time for training. Walking with wheels can be a great adjustment for them, and to make them adjust quickly:
- Begin in a wide and open space to prevent your dog from crashing and bumping into things.
- Make sure the wheelchair harnesses fit well (not too tight, not to loose).
- Use treats to encourage your dog to take steps and move around.
- Once he begin to walk around, praise/reward him.
- Give enough time for your dog to rest as transitioning can be stressful.
"Give your dog enough time to adjust to changes. Oftentimes, they will see new things and new routine changes as a threat."
Know what to expect since even if with a wheelchair, your dog will still have limitations on moving. Give time, patience and extra love so your dog will be able to do the things he loves to do in no time!