If your beloved dog suffers from arthritis, a leg injury, or any other debilitating condition, getting around may be a painful and/or hazardous proposition.

Fortunately, you can help your four-legged friend regain mobility and comfort by getting him a top-quality wheelchair that suits his size and situation perfectly. But how exactly do you shop for a dog wheelchair, and what features should you put on your priority list?

Here’s a helpful guide from pet mobility specialist K9 Carts:

1. How Dog Wheelchairs Work

A dog wheelchair seeks to address the same needs as a human wheelchair — namely, allowing its mobility-challenged occupant to move about freely, easily, and without pain. The main difference, of course, involves the differences in anatomy.

A human wheelchair is quite literally a chair equipped with wheels. Since dogs must employ at least two of their feet for locomotion, a dog wheelchair is constructed to serve as an upright mobile support. They improve comfort and mobility primarily by taking unnecessary weight off of ailing or unsteady legs.

2. What Type of Dog Wheelchair to Buy

One of the first questions you must answer when selecting a wheelchair for your dog is whether he needs a rear support wheelchair or a full support wheelchair. Your choice will depend on the severity of your dog’s disability and which limbs are affected. Let’s take a quick look at the difference between the two designs.

Rear support dog wheelchairs – Rear support wheelchairs are ideal for dogs who have trouble with their rear legs but retain good strength and mobility in their front legs. This design features a pair of wheels mounted on a chassis, which in turn straps around the dog’s rear legs. A pair of rails extends forward to the dog’s midsection, where they’re secured by an additional strap.

Full support dog wheelchairs – If your dog is having trouble either with his front legs or with all four limbs, you’ll want to get a full support dog wheelchair for him. This design resembles the rear leg support wheelchair in the back, but the side rails extend all the way to the front legs, attaching to an additional set of supportive front wheels. A comfortable harness pad supports the dog’s belly.

Your veterinarian can evaluate your dog and advise you on which kind of wheelchair your dog needs. You can also try wrapping a towel around your dog’s underside and lifting it gently as he walks to see if it allows for greater mobility (a good sign that he can benefit from either a rear or full support wheelchair).

3. Key Wheelchair Features to Consider

Once you’ve determined the type of wheelchair your dog needs, you can examine the variables that will ensure a comfortable fit and safe, reliable support. Here are some key points to consider.

Size – All dogs are good awesome dogs, but they’re not created equal where size is concerned. Some dog wheelchair providers offer only a limited range of size options, which can make for some awkward fitting problems. K9 Carts makes a point of offering no fewer than nine different sizes for our full support and rear support dog wheelchairs, ranging from XXS (which can accommodate dogs under 6 lbs) all the way up to XXL (for dogs weighing over 150 pounds). Our wheelchairs are guaranteed to fit your dog’s height, length, and width. You can determine exactly what model your pet needs by making 4 simple measurements

Weight – The weight of your dog’s wheelchair is a critical issue, since the last thing you want is to make your dog’s legs do more work than absolutely necessary. We make the lightest wheelchairs for dogs available on the market today, with our products weighing in at approximately one-third the weight of competitors’ wheelchairs.

Wheels – The wheels on your dog’s wheelchair must offer the right combination of traction, free rolling, and shock absorption to ensure safe, comfortable mobility. Some wheels are simply foam, while others feature an air-filled construction for superior support over many kinds of terrain. K9 Carts’ custom-made EVO wheels are specially designed for pet wheelchairs, and stamped with our seal of approval. Simply put, we guarantee that they will never go flat!

Adjustment -The more adjustable your dog’s wheelchair is, the more precisely you can give your pet an optimal fit in height, length, and width. We offer infinitely-adjustable wheelchairs for large dogs and small dogs alike.

Composition – Yes, you want a lightweight dog wheelchair, but not at the cost of strength and quality. That’s why K9 Carts makes its wheelchair frames out of aircraft-grade aluminum, a material that keeps the wheelchair light but also makes it strong and rigid.

Vet Approved – Nothing gives dog owners more reassurance about an assistive device than their veterinarian’s seal of approval. Our products have been designed and approved by certified U.S. veterinarians since 1961.

4. Meet America’s #1 Wheelchair for Dogs

Discover K9 Carts’ Revolutionary, All-New RX Model Dog Wheelchair – Made with Aircraft Grade Aluminum for the Lightest Ride in the Country.

  • America’s lightest dog wheelchair grants extra comfort and mobility while reducing physical stress on your pooch – it’s easy to carry, too.
  • Custom-made frames and support add-on kits make it easy to build a dog wheelchair personalized to your dog’s frame and unique physical challenges.
  • Easy to assemble, use, and fit, the RX model is designed to improve your dog’s quality of life without adding new complications to yours.
  • Fully convertible from Rear Support to Full Support and vice versa, providing adjustable mobility support for different environments & situations.
  • Designed and approved by United States Veterinarians since 1961 – discover the dog wheelchair that professionals recommend.
  • Made in the USA and guaranteed to fit with a 1-year warranty, our team is here to help you make a decision that gets your pup’s tail wagging for walkies.

Introducing a New Standard in Pet Wheelchairs

Our dogs are so much more than pets – they’re valued members of the family…

…And if there’s one thing that they love more than gulping down food faster than light and slobbering all over your face, it’s the sound of a leash being picked up and the promise of a walk around the neighborhood!

It can be hard to see your pet immobile – but with the RX model, it’s now easier than ever to get your four-legged friend back on their feet and out and about.

Whether disabled, injured, or getting old, a K9 Carts dog wheelchair gives them back the gift of mobility and the joy of exploring the world around them once again.

Welcome to a New Era of Stress-Free Dog Walks

Our custom-designed, fully adjustable dog wheelchair frames come in sizes XXS to XXL, bringing back fun walks for pets weighing less than 6 lbs to over 150 lbs. With infinite adjustability in just seconds, it’s now easier than ever to go on walks & play.

Thanks to the use of aircraft grade aluminum in the design, the RX model is the lightest in the marketplace. Coming in at a third of the weight of all competitor models, the RX offers a smooth ride that both you and your pooch will love.

  • Pimp your pet’s ride in style with cool black, royal blue, or hot pink strap covers for a head-turning dog wheelchair that looks as good as it feels on your pooch.
  • Superior construction and fit to handle exploration in the city and out on rugged terrain with custom-made certified wheels that never deflate.
  • Dedicated customer support pre-sales and post-sales to help you make the right choice and get the best experience out of your dog wheelchair.

Give Your Mobility-Challenged Dog a New Leash on Life

With over 57 years of designing and manufacturing dog wheelchairs here in the United States, K9 Carts is America’s top pick for high-quality dog wheelchairs.

Certified by United States Veterinarians, our fully adjustable wheelchairs and premium customer service ensure that you’re making the best possible decision not just for your pet, but for your peace of mind.

Get started today by measuring out your dog and providing us with the details – or contact us for assistance.

Tips to Help Your Dog Adjust to His New Wheelchair

Even the highest-quality, custom-fitted dog wheelchair takes some getting used to. Here are four things you can do to help your dog make friends with his new assistive device.

  1. Introduce your dog to the wheelchair. Put the wheelchair near his bed, toy pile, or other familiar area so that he will understand that this wheelchair belongs to him. Don’t try to put him into the chair until he has had a chance to smell it, hang around with it, and accept it as an everyday part of life.
  2. Practice with a harness. Rehearse the actions of putting a harness onto your dog and snapping it into place. Once you’ve done this a few times, your dog will get accustomed to the feel and the sound of the routine.
  3. Move on to the wheelchair assembly. Now that your dog is comfortable with the idea of the wheelchair, it’s time to let him take a test drive. Keep your dog distracted and rewarded with plenty of treats. Move slowly away with the treat extended, and watch him roll forward in his wheelchair to get his reward!
  4. Get your dog to take short daily walks. Your dog may need time to figure out that those daily walks won’t be so difficult and painful now that he has his wheelchair. Establish a routine of little 5-minute walks until the use of the wheelchair becomes second nature to him. Extend the duration of these walks gradually, including plenty of rest breaks and encouraging your dog with whatever treats or other motivators will keep him going.

Let K9 Carts Be Your Guide

For the ultimate ease in choosing the best wheelchair for your dog, turn to K9 Carts for guidance. We’re the experts at high-quality dog wheelchairs and customized fittings. Contact us today and let us help you make your choice!