A dog wheelchair can be a great pet mobility aid to help dogs suffering from degenerative health issues or injuries to move around.
We always say that an active dog is a happy dog, and by choosing the best dog wheelchair, you can give your pup the best possible chance of staying active as he grows older or suffers from mobility issues.
There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a dog wheelchair, such as your dog’s weight, height, and type of mobility issue. We’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of the best dog wheelchairs on the market, so you can make the best decision for your furry friend.
Our top choices include the Best Friend Mobility Wheelchair, the GaoFan Support Stroller and the LOTBH Adjustable Wheelchair. We’ll run through their pros and cons below, but first let’s take a look at the conditions that can be helped by a wheelchair – and why they’re such a positive force for good.
- What Conditions Are Suitable For a Dog Wheelchair?
- What Are The Benefits For A Dog Using a Wheelchair?
- What Are The Best Dog Wheelchairs?
- Factors To Consider in a Dog Wheelchair
- Investing In A Dog Wheelchair
What Conditions Are Suitable For a Dog Wheelchair?
There are numerous reasons why a dog might require a wheelchair.
One of the most widespread reasons is that the dog has a form of complete or partial paralysis in its legs. This is typically caused by Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). IVDD can cause partial paralysis, and in certain instances, the paralysis is irreversible.
Other degenerative spine illnesses like degenerative myelopathy, diabetic neuropathy, and arthritis can cause excessive weakness in a dog’s hind limbs. Dogs with these conditions can certainly benefit from a wheelchair that enables them to continue to live an active life outdoors.
Another condition that a doggy wheelchair can improve is a loss of motor control due to neurological damage.
In dogs with unilateral hind limb amputation, a wheelchair can stop the dog from putting all their rear weight on their remaining hind limb. Too much weight on one rear limb can result in knee injuries or early arthritis.
What Are The Benefits For A Dog Using a Wheelchair?
The best dog wheelchairs are designed to offer mobility and support to dogs that struggle to move around independently.
Research has shown that exercise has various benefits for any animal, such as increased mental awareness, muscle growth, and blood circulation. Increased muscle growth is particularly pertinent for dogs with diminished leg muscles.
Wheelchairs enable dogs to use their weakened limbs in ways that let them regain muscle that has been lost due to atrophy as a result of their condition.
Additionally, allowing the dog to maintain their health through frequent exercise via a wheelchair can help them regain a sense of freedom, independence, and fun. This is especially true for dogs that have seen their mobility restricted due to chronic or sudden conditions.
A suitable dog wheelchair should have an adjustable design which enables it to help you and your pet find the best equilibrium in terms of wheel support. It can also enable you to change the settings as your dog begins to recover its confidence and strength.
Wheelchairs can also help prevent secondary injuries that might appear due to weakness in the hind limb.
When a dog’s hind limb is paralyzed or weak, they tend to hold the affected limb close to their body while they walk. This movement can create stress and tension in the leg muscles, eventually becoming even more painful.
When a dog has weakness in both hind legs or is incapable of holding its leg close to its body, it will often drag the legs on the floor as they walk. This behavior can result in abrasions, bruises, and cuts. The additional unsupported weight also places stress on their spine leading to further damage.
Whether due to loss of control or paralysis, dogs unable to use their hind legs can benefit from a wheelchair’s padded foot straps. This feature ensures their hind limbs are comfortably supported.
Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, numerous special needs dog owners tend to not realize the benefits that a pet wheelchair can bring to them.
When a dog relies on its owner for movement, it means the owner needs to devote a considerable amount of time to carry the dog from one place to another. The freedom a wheelchair provides reduces sadness and stress levels for the entire family.
One of the major downsides, of course, is that they are quite expensive to buy.
We’re about to take a look at six of the best dog wheelchairs on the market today, but if you don’t have the budget to buy a top end model, you can always try making your own.
What Are The Best Dog Wheelchairs?
1. Best Friend Mobility BFML Elite Dog Wheelchair
Best All-Round Dog Wheelchair
At the top of our list is the hugely popular Best Friend Mobility Wheelchair.
This is one of the bestselling mobility wheelchairs for dogs, and it comes with a sturdy design that has been manufactured for various different breed sizes.
- Best Friend Mobility BBFML Elite Dog Wheelchair is a great dog wheelchair that comes in various sizes.
- The XX-Small size weighs 1.36 kilograms, ensuring your dog isn’t tied down by a heavyweight behind them. The Large weighs 12 pounds making it sufficiently robust to handle the largest dogs. It is helped thanks to its lightweight aluminum non-rust frame.
- It can seamlessly provide comfort and mobility for dogs weighing up to 200 pounds.
- Assembling this dog wheelchair is easy, thanks to its modular design.
- The deluxe neoprene front and rear harness are added to provide additional support and comfort for your dog’s hind legs.
2. Best Friend Mobility BFMM S&J Elite
Best Adjustable Dog Wheelchair
The Best Friend Mobility BFMM S&J Elite is one of the top dog wheelchairs on the market, thanks to its high quality design, easy adjustability and durability.
This wheelchair features a lightweight aluminum frame that is sturdy yet flexible enough to provide support for dogs of all sizes. The wheels are made from durable plastic that can easily roll over rough surfaces like grass and gravel, making it an ideal choice for active dogs who love to explore outdoors.
And with adjustable harnesses and calf straps, you can quickly customize this wheelchair to fit your dog perfectly, providing ultimate comfort and support no matter how much he moves around.
- The Best Friend Mobility BFMM-S&J is a patented, orthopedic surgeon-designed dog wheelchair. It is available in 5 different sizes, and you can adjust its width, length, and height to provide maximum comfort while in use.
- Its adjustable design ensures that it can be further adapted to your dog’s specific dimensions, comfort level, and needs. It can fit dogs ranging from 5 to 175 pounds ensuring your pug or great Dane can regain mobility.
- This dog wheelchair has been created to consider all the factors that cause mobility impairments, the breed, weight, size, and any special needs your dog might have.
- The measurement of this best dog wheelchair is accurate; however, you will need to ensure that you measure your dog’s hindquarter starting from the floor.
3. GaoFan Dog Wheelchair, Adjustable Full Support Stroller
Best Full Support Dog Wheelchair
If you’re looking for a dog wheelchair that is highly customizable to fit your pup’s unique needs, the GaoFan Dog Wheelchair is an excellent choice.
This wheelchair features a fully adjustable design with aluminum alloy frames and adjustable harnesses, making it easy to find the perfect fit for most dogs up to 220 pounds.
The wheels are made from heavy-duty plastic, so they can handle all types of terrain, including grass, gravel and uneven surfaces like wooded trails or hiking paths.
And if you need some extra help transporting your dog around when he’s not using his wheelchair, this model also includes a detachable stroller function that works great for canine companions recovering from injuries or surgery.
- This full dog wheelchair from GaoFan has been designed to helpfully paralyzed or disabled pets walk. It can also be used as a wheelchair for dogs with hind or foreleg injuries. Its full carry design helps alleviate any discomfort your dog might face due to uneven weight distribution. This helps reduce the risk of further injury.
- It has a lightweight design which provides two benefits: 1) it is lightweight enough for your dog to walk easily with it while maximizing comfort 2) it is easy for your to transport from one place to another if the need arises.
- In regard to portability, this full dog wheelchair can be easily assembled and disassembled thanks to the inclusion of instruction manuals and installation tools. Its removable aluminum frame design promotes convenient carriage and storage.
4. LIXFDJ Metal Frame Pet Wheelchair
Recommended Wheelchair For Large Dogs
If you’re looking for a larger pet wheelchair that offers top-notch quality and durability at an affordable price, the LIXFDJ Metal Frame Pet Wheelchair is a great choice.
This wheelchair features rugged metal frame construction that is designed to support dogs up to 220 pounds without breaking or bending, even on rough terrain like gravel or sand.
The rubber wheels are also built tough, providing excellent traction and shock absorption so your dog can freely explore his favorite outdoor spots with ease. And thanks to its adjustable harness design, this wheelchair can be customized for any type of mobility issue without compromising your dog’s comfort and safety.
- This wheelchair has a versatile and lightweight design. It is created to ensure that your dog can easily walk with it. In terms of its versatility, it can be adjusted to suit your dog’s needs thanks to its abdomen support belt that effectively holds the abdomen while protecting the spine.
- You can use it on dogs with hindleg paralysis and also on dogs with front leg paralysis. This is due to its two detachable support belts on the front and the back. They provide support to the aforementioned legs and can be detached as necessary.
- This wheelchair from LIXFDJ can be conveniently taken apart if required. You can also install it yourself without any experienced help. While this dog wheelchair comes in 2 sizes, it is important that you measure your dog before finalizing your purchase.
5. LOTBH Adjustable Dog Wheelchair
Recommended Wheelchair For Smaller Dogs
If you’re looking for a dog wheelchair that is specifically designed for small breed dogs, the LOTBH Adjustable Dog Wheelchair is one of the best options on the market.
This wheelchair features a lightweight aluminum frame that supports pets up to 20 pounds without adding extra stress and strain on their joints. And with adjustable harnesses and calf straps, this wheelchair can be customized to fit many types of smaller breeds perfectly, giving your pup the freedom to explore his favorite outdoor spots safely and comfortably.
- The LOTBH dog wheelchair is specifically designed for dogs with hind leg injuries and dogs with limited mobility as a result of age. This wheelchair breathes new life into any injured pets, enabling them to run and walk around as normal.
- It has been constructed from lightweight aluminum alloy, making it easy to move around and carry. The wheelchair is dirt and wear-resistant, ensuring it will last a long time. The wheelchair weighs just 1160 grams, light enough to not add more pressure on your dog.
- You can also adjust the width, length, and height of this mobility wheelchair to provide a comfortable fit for your dog. This feature enables your dog to remain comfortable and mobile throughout its latter stage in life.
6. Walkin Wheels Dog Wheelchair
Best Wheelchair Design for Storage and Convenience
The Walkin Wheels Dog Wheelchair is one of the most popular dog wheelchairs on the market, thanks to its easy adjustability, high quality construction and durability.
In our opinion, it offers one of the most ‘user friendly’ experiences for owners who are concerned about setting up and putting the wheelchair to use.
Walkin Wheels is one of the top brands in the space and has a number of excellent designs available.
- Provides your large dog with hind leg support, so they can run, play, and enjoy quality time with their family. It keeps your dog mobile and comfortable.
- Has a durable and lightweight aluminum frame that offers stability but keeps it light enough for you. It also features dense foam wheels with rubber treads that will not puncture, so your dog can continue to explore a wide array of terrain types, including rough terrain.
- It is easy to store, transport, and clean. The Walkin Wheels Dog Wheelchair folds down flat, making this best wheelchair easy to take with you and can be more conveniently stored when it is not in use. All of the wheelchair parts are also washable, including the foam and rubber wheels.
- The Walkin Wheels Dog Wheelchair also have a patented design that is adjustable, allowing you to find the best fit for your dog to help with their mobility issue. This adjustable dog wheelchair can be tailored to your specific dog’s size and current needs. It is adjustable in height, length, and width.
Factors To Consider in a Dog Wheelchair
Every dog wheelchair is designed to aid injured or handicapped pets, but some do a better job than others.
For some dogs, the wheelchair can be viewed as a short-term solution to aid your dog’s mobility issues, especially after an accident or surgery. In others, it is a long-term solution, especially if a dog is paralyzed or suffering from IVDD.
Dogs suffering from arthritis, limb loss, or hip dysplasia can benefit from dog wheelchairs.
Seeing your dog’s mobility become affected due to a disability or injury can be heartbreaking. It can also be quite frustrating for your dog to be unable to run and play like it used to. Using a wheelchair gives your dog back her mobility and, ultimately, her freedom. While your dog might not be able to run around like it used to, it can still move around.
Understandably, there’s a lot to consider in choosing a wheelchair that is going to be right for your dog.
You also have to know if your dog requires rear, front, or full support.
One thing to note is that the term “dog wheelchair” is a misnomer. You shouldn’t be on the lookout for some chair-like contraption!
Rather you should watch out for a couple of wheels attached to a harness that supports your dog’s front or rear legs…
Here’s what you need to consider:
What Type Of Support Does My Dog Need?
Full-support dog wheelchairs cater to dogs with limited use of all their limbs.
And while this type of wheelchair requires your dog to have some use of their front limbs to move around, most of these models can be configured to take various amounts of weight off the front legs and completely support the hind limbs. This design makes it easier for infirm or injured dogs to move around.
You also need to be aware of if your dog requires spine support. Some models come with special straps that can be placed under your dog’s belly to support its spine.
If your dog has strong rear legs but no or weak front legs, then it will need a front-support dog wheelchair. Finding such a wheelchair is more difficult, as amputation, ailments, and injuries affecting the front limbs are rarer compared to hind legs.
The most popular type of wheelchair is the rear support model – these are for canines with amputated or injured hind limbs. We’ve reviewed many of them on our site, including popular new models like the Haute Wheels.
A rear support wheelchair comes with 2 wheels at the back attached to a harness that tethers your dog to the wheelchair. The harness is adjustable to fit your dog’s unique body shape, and the wheels can be switched out for different terrain types.
There are a couple of factors you will need to consider regarding the wheels. The first to consider is size. Smaller wheels tend to have an advantage due to maneuverability, especially in tight spaces.
Nevertheless, bigger wheels are great for navigating the outdoor or rough terrain. You will need to consider where your dog spends most of its time when selecting a suitable wheelchair.
The other factor you need to consider is what the wheels are made from. While air-filled wheels can offer more natural suspension, foam rubber or solid rubber wheels can’t be punctured.
As you might imagine – a wheel puncture halfway through a walk is NEVER a good thing!
If you select the right dog wheelchair size, it should be roughly the same size as your dog after assembly.
However, the best dog wheelchairs should offer you the ability to adjust size, so that the device fits your dog perfectly. For example, a good wheelchair for handicapped pets will have an adjustable harness and can be adjusted to accommodate dogs of different sizes.
In terms of adjustability, the height should be adjustable, but the length and width should also be able to accommodate dogs of all body types, from stocky, tall mastiffs to slender, long dachshunds.
Pet wheelchairs don’t just come in a single size.
You can find them in various sizes to support the smallest to the largest of dogs. Most of the best choices on the market come in a weight range; however, you must check if the frame has an adjustable height, particularly if your dog is shorter or taller than the average for its height.
You will need to consider how heavy your dog wheelchair is.
This is important as you don’t want the device to be too heavy for your dog to move around comfortably. The better dog wheelchairs are typically made from lightweight aluminium; however, some manufacturers include stainless steel in the frame or increased durability and strength.
On the one hand, you don’t want your dog’s wheelchair to be too lightweight that it becomes flimsy; on the other, you don’t want it too heavy for your dog to move around with freedom.
How Much Does A Dog Wheelchair Cost?
Pet wheelchairs can come in a wide range of prices, and in this instance, you really do get what you pay for.
You can get cheap dog wheelchairs for about $50 to $150; however, these usually aren’t of the best quality. They might be great for temporary use, but you will need to increase your budget if you want a dog wheelchair to use permanently.
Mid-range dog wheelchairs typically fall between $150 and $300. While they might not come with all the features that the most expensive types have, they can sufficiently help your pooch move from one point to another.
High-range dog wheelchairs tend to cost between $300 to $600. These wheelchair models are easy to maneuver, highly durable, and designed for all-terrain use.
How Long Will The Wheelchair Last?
When purchasing one of these expensive mobility aids, you need to consider its durability.
Durability might not be an important factor when using a wheelchair for a temporary period – like when your dog is recovering from an injury. If your dog uses a wheelchair for the rest of its life, you will need to select a model that lasts for a long time.
Investing In A Dog Wheelchair
A good wheelchair can be a great investment for your dog’s physical and mental health.
It can offer permanent or temporary mobility depending on what your dog needs. Dogs that use wheelchairs are a lot more active and healthier. Likewise, wheelchairs can offer comfort and assistance to dogs that might otherwise be in discomfort.
These priceless mobility aids can help any dog get back to its regular activities while providing adequate mental stimulation.
How long does it take before my dog gets used to its dog wheelchair?
Getting your dog acclimated to a wheelchair can vary depending on the dog in question. Some dogs instantly take to their dog wheelchair, while others appear nervous at first. Speak to a vet before purchasing to ensure that your dog is a good candidate for this particular mobility device.
Should I put my dog in its wheelchair all day long?
While a dog wheelchair can be great for when your dog needs to move around the house, play in the yard, or go on a walk, it isn’t suitable for prolonged use. This is because your dog cannot lie down while in a dog wheelchair.
You need to unhitch your dog from the wheelchair once he/she is done walking or playing.
How do I find the right size dog wheelchair for my dog?
While you can purchase a dog wheelchair using your dog’s weight, you can get a better fit if you take accurate measurements. The points you need to measure will vary depending on the dog wheelchair model you select; however, you should only have to measure your dog from the top of its hindquarters or shoulders to the floor.