We found the best dog wheelchairs after carefully reviewing 25+ products and considering vet recommended criteria.
From walking to hiking, or to a simple loo break, the loss of a pet’s ability to run, play or even walk can be difficult for both – them as well as you. Carrying your furry friend around, especially larger breeds, is difficult as well as dangerous. If you dropped the injured pet, his health issues can worsen but you also need to help them move about and carry on with their life.
Dog wheelchairs are a terrific alternative that will enable your canine buddy to participate and enjoy all the daily activities both of you love doing together. We have reviewed seven different dog wheelchairs to assist owners of canines with mobility issues with buying one for their pet.
The 7 Best Dog Wheelchairs of 2023
Editor’s Pick: The Walkin’ Wheels Dog Wheelchair for Small Dogs is the best because of a lightweight and durable frame coupled with the stability of the wheelchair while maneuvering from place to place. The harness is fully adjustable for added comfort and mobility. Made for small dogs with no strength in the hind legs, what more can dogs with mobility issues ask for?
Dogs with mobility issues now have alternatives. If your dog needs permanent or temporary mobility assistance, there is no dearth of aids available on the market. From walking sling harnesses to carts, there is something for all pups, but wheelchairs are the best option. We have researched a number of dog wheelchairs and have reviewed, in this section, ten products we believe are the best.
1. Walkin’ Wheels Wheelchair for Small Dogs
When your small dog needs some support while walking, this wheelchair features a frame that is both lightweight and durable. These features of the frame help to keep the wheelchair stable while your pooch maneuvers around from one place to another. The harness of this wheelchair is fully adjustable, offering a high level of comfort and mobility.
This is a great product to offer support to your dog, who has limited or absolutely no movement in the hindlegs. The wheels are made from dense foam to avoid getting punctured so that your dog can engage in activities outdoors as well as inside the house.
- Fully adjustable
- Durable, lightweight frame made of aluminum
- Only suitable for smaller dogs
2. K9 Carts Dog Wheelchair designed & tested by Veterinarian
This is a wheelchair designed, built and tested by a vet. It is made in the USA and has the distinction of being the lightest wheelchair on the market. This product is the outcome of 50 years of experience, so you can be sure that it delivers what it promises.
This wheelchair not only gives your pooch the freedom to be active but it also features cable leg rings contoured with dense foam padding to prevent your dog from suffering pressure sores.
- Extremely durable due to use of aircraft-grade aluminum
- Designed and tested by orthopedic surgeons
- Prevents pressure sores
- Fully adjustable
- Exceptional customer feedback
- Only designed for dogs that have good strength in their front legs
3. Homend Adjustable Dog Wheelchair with Belly Band & Leash
This wheelchair is available in several different sizes enabling you to choose the one that suits your pooch the best. The frame is durable enough to withstand your dog’s movements and is lightweight so as not to hold him back when he wants to explore the world.
In order to adjust the height, length, and width of the chair a push button has been provided. There is a special belly band to protect your dog’s spine. A leash is also included in the set and a user manual to set to rest any doubts you may encounter while using.
- Soft and comfortable harness
- Adjustable design features
- Not suitable for larger dogs
4. Best Friend Mobility Extra Small Dog Wheelchair
Best Friend Mobility has five sizes of wheelchairs and this is one of them. As the name suggests, it is suitable for only very small dogs. The dimensions are 5.9 x 3.2 x 1.6 inches. This product is great both in terms of substance as well as style.
The product looks good and operates efficiently offering utmost comfort to the dog because it has been created by industrial designers who themselves own pets in association with veterinary orthopedic surgeons.
- Great value for money
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Maximum adjustability – seems as if it has specially designed for your pet
- Style with substance
- Only suited for dogs that have normal strength in the front legs
- Only suited for small dogs
5. HiHydro 6 Types Cart Pet Wheelchair for Handicapped Dogs
This is suitable for dogs that have no mobility left in their hind legs. This wheelchair will offer the freedom to your dog to either walk or run. It also has the maximum maneuverability so your dog will have absolutely no issues in getting from one place to another. The best thing about this wheelchair is that it is unbelievably lightweight.
It is also easy to assemble and disassemble.
- Extremely lightweight
- Easy for the pooch to use
- Great for pets with mobility issues in the hind legs
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
- Available in various sizes
- Very affordable
- Fasteners do not work great
- Parts will fall apart from time to time
6. Anmas Home Adjustable Dog Wheelchair for Back Leg Rehabilitation
We have a product whose frame is made from aluminum for greater comfort and mobility. Its height, length, and width are all adjustable. Make sure you select the correct size based on your dog’s height. The harnesses also have adjustable features.
When your dog is recuperating, it is so important to make them feel comfortable and that is exactly what this wheelchair aims to do. Even while rehabilitating, dogs want to be able to explore different places that also include the outdoors. That is why the wheelchair features dense foam wheels with rubber treads to ensure that your pooch can happily move over any type of surface as and when they like.
- Adjustable features for maximum comfort
- Can be used to traverse different types of surfaces (indoors as well as outdoors)
- Durability can be an issue with this product
7. SYLPHID Adjustable Dog Wheelchair for Hind Legs Rehabilitation with Free Belly Band & Leash
This dog wheelchair has a durable and lightweight aluminum frame and adjustable harnesses for greater comfort and mobility. The height, width, and length can be adjusted with the help of a push-button.
A belly band is included in the purchase which will provide support to the spine. It arrives with a user manual to remove any confusion you may have on how to use it.
- A durable and lightweight frame
- Height, width, and length can be adjusted with a push button
- Belly band included in the purchase to support the spine
- Only suited for small dogs
Our Buyer’s Guide on Dog Wheelchairs
This section of our article will discuss why a dog would need a wheelchair, important factors to be kept in mind before purchasing the wheelchair and the different types of wheelchairs available on the market. Lastly, this section also has attempted to answer a few FAQs to remove any lingering doubts that our readers may still have about wheelchairs for their canine companions.
Why Would my Dog Need a Wheelchair?
If your dog is showing signs of reduced mobility, the thought of buying a dog wheelchair should cross your mind. A wheelchair may also be needed if your vet has diagnosed that the dog is suffering from a condition that will eventually cause paralysis.
Some dogs suffer accidents and need to have a leg or two amputated. A wheelchair may increase the mobility of dogs suffering from any of the above conditions. Many dogs who find mobility difficult, still love to go for their daily walks and the use of a wheelchair would mean that they can still remain active and enjoy being active and independent.
Important Features to Consider
A dog wheelchair must have certain features. The following considerations need to be kept in mind while buying a dog wheelchair:
Type of Wheels
If you plan to take the dog on the wheelchair to places such as a park or the beach, check out the type of wheels. Larger wheels, with a deeper tread pattern, will be of great use for the outdoors.
To make your dog feel comfortable, select a wheelchair with adjustable sections. This will allow you to adjust the height and length of the wheelchair to match your dog’s measurements.
If too many heavy materials are used to make the dog wheelchair, your dog may find it difficult to move around with ease. Look for wheelchairs that use lightweight materials in their construction.
If you want to take your dog on walks which you reach by driving, you’d be interested in a dog wheelchair that is easily collapsible because it can be easily accommodated in your car. Also, if you happen to live in an apartment or a small house, you may want to fold the wheelchair and store it when not in use.
Number of Wheels
Most dog wheelchairs are designed for dogs with limited or no movement in their hind legs. Such wheelchairs have two rear wheels. Some dog wheelchairs are meant to help dogs with no movement in their front legs as well. Such wheelchairs have four wheels and offer complete support.
Weight of the Dog
It is very important to consider weight before buying the right wheelchair. We are including weight as a key determinant to prevent issues related to breakage. For instance, how would you find riding your kid’s bike? That is impossible even to think. The same concept holds good for dogs. Buying the right size depending on their weight is being practical.
Quality is what varies from one wheelchair to the other. If you love your dog, buy the best quality wheelchair for him. You buy the best presents for your buddies. Why not extend the same courtesy to your canine pal? Get them the best wheelchair on the market or at least get something worth their status.
Just like quality, durability also varies from one product to the other. How long would you want the wheelchair to serve your dog? Strength depends on various factors, including how careful you are in handling the wheelchair. However, there are some wheelchairs that can unfortunately never be stable.
For that reason, you should consider the materials used in the construction of the wheelchair to get an idea about durability. Expressing confidence about a product’s durability without trying it out can be tricky. It is therefore important to try the wheelchair first.
How deep are your pockets? All wheelchairs have a different price. But you must buy something with a price that makes you comfortable. However, the cost must not override your pet’s health concerns. Don’t buy inferior quality stuff because it is cheap. It would have disastrous consequences for your pet’s health and comfort.
Types of Dog Wheelchairs
There are three major types of wheelchairs. The first is forelimb wheelchairs, the second is rear limb wheelchairs and the third is for full-body mobility support. We are going to discuss each one in some detail.
1. Forelimb Wheelchairs
This type of wheelchair is beneficial to dogs that are experiencing mild to severe dysfunction/weakness in the forelimbs. Some models can relieve 70% of the weight experienced by your dog’s front legs. These wheelchairs also come with headrests to provide added relief from pain and support.
2. Rearlimb Wheelchairs
We have rear limb wheelchairs for dogs who are strong in the forelimbs but weak in the rear limbs and yet want to stay active. There are different designs to choose from when opting for such wheelchairs. For instance, if your dog still has some mobility left, choosing a wheelchair whereby his feet touch the ground is worth considering if your dog is looking to becoming mobile again after completion of treatment.
3. Full-body Mobility Support
These devices are for dogs that are suffering from partial paralysis and have both weak forelimbs as well as rear limbs. Such pets stumble or fall whenever they try to walk. These devices come with a number of settings to provide the right level of support to your dog. These wheelchairs can also be used for dogs recovering after surgery to relieve stress on their spine.
FAQs About Dog Wheelchairs
How to measure my dog for a wheelchair?
To measure the height of your pet for a wheelchair, measure from the ground to the “Fold of Flank” (FoF). The FoF is a thin piece of skin that connects the dog’s upper rear leg to the body. It is something similar to the webbing between your thumb and the index finger.
- For Overweight Pets:
For overweight pets, the FoF will hang down from the body making the FoF measure shorter than it really is. You will need to try and move the flank up to a normal position, to get a precise measurement.
- For Long-haired Pets:
If your pet has long hair, you can locate the FoF by pushing the hair back and feeling for the FoF skin.
- If your Dog cannot stand:
If your dog cannot stand, you can measure the FoF with the dog lying on his side. To get an exact measurement, position the dog’s rear leg in a usual standing position: knee joint and hock joint will be slightly bent. Also, bend the dog’s foot at his ankle (like it would be if the dog were actually standing).
Be careful not to stretch leg and foot out as this would add several inches to the FoF measurement and make it inaccurate.
How much does a dog wheelchair cost?
Dog wheelchairs are available on the market to cater to all sorts of budgets. Some are pretty budget-friendly whereas some others come at a huge premium. The dog wheelchairs we have covered in this article range between $70 to $250.
How do I get my dog used to a wheelchair?
At the start of the process, you can use the dog’s favorite treats to reward him for walking forward during the training process. Work with the dog in short sessions (5-10 minutes) several times a day, and allowing your dog resting sessions in between.
As a next step, snap the wheels into the frame and leave it out in the open, allowing your dog to touch it, smell it, and get used to it being there. Keep the assembled wheelchair in a place where your dog feels comfortable. Keeping the wheelchair in a place easily accessible to your pet will allow him to get used to the device on his terms.
Once the dog feels at ease around the wheelchair, try to put the front harness on and allow your pet time to adjust to the harness. Let him get used to the feel of the harness and the sound it makes when you click it into place. Be sure that the harness is properly fitted as that will help to make the dog comfortable and put him at ease.
After the dog is comfortable in the harness, put him in the wheelchair. Speak comforting words as you do so and offer treats to connect positively. Next, hold the treats at the nose level and give them several before holding the reward treat in front of you and walking away a bit. The dog will start walking towards you for the treat. Encourage the dogs with encouraging words. Most dogs take cues from their owners. If you have a positive approach and excited for them at every stage, then your dog will feel motivated too.
Can dogs in wheelchairs lie down?
Elderly dogs often suffer from mobility issues and often have a problem staying active and would no longer enjoy physical activities like running and walking. The dog may spend most of his time lying on his/her bed out of compulsion. Even getting up from the lying down position is very difficult in this condition. Dog wheelchairs are available which will allow the dog to lie down and get up without having to use the rear legs.
Can a dog poop while in a wheelchair?
Whether a dog can defecate while in a wheelchair totally depends on the design of the wheelchair. However, most wheelchairs are designed in a way so as to allow your pooch to easily defecate or urinate while in a wheelchair.
It was a great pleasure to research dog wheelchairs and review them for our readers. We hope that you have enjoyed reading this article as much as we have to put all of it together especially for you. We believe that no pet should find life burdensome because of mobility issues. As pet parents, it is our responsibility to ensure that even paralyzed pets get an opportunity to enjoy life to the fullest.