Older dogs may tend to develop issues with their hips, arthritis or spine and nerve damage. These disabilities can potentially create mobility challenges for your pet.
Fortunately, various dog mobility aids are available on the market today. Items such as slings, harnesses, stretchers, steps and ramps, carts, strollers, wheelchairs and wagons are all offered to provide assisted or independent means of movement to your senior friend. I was amazed at just how many mobility aids are available!
Certain pet stores may carry various items to help your pet become more mobile, as well as your dog’s veterinarian. There are also many on-line stores carrying a wide range of mobility products.
Slings and harnesses are used for dogs needing a bit extra lift or support, usually in the hind quarters. Generally, they are manufactured of canvas, cloth or vinyl, and consist of a large piece of material with several handles on either side. Your dog will gain confidence and much needed relief as you wrap the sling or harness around his/her torso, and bear some or all of your partner’s weight.
A dog stretcher is one of other mobility aids available, often used in emergency situations or with highly immobile or injured animals. Similar to human uses, a dog stretcher provides full support and containment during transportation.
As dogs age, their jumping precision may lesson, and their legs may weaken. Steps and ramps are beneficial dog mobility aids for pets that have difficulty climbing or jumping into cars, beds or other high level platforms.
Many steps are constructed from Styrofoam, providing a softer surface for your pet’s paws. Sometimes, the Styrofoam may be protected with carpet or outdoor floor covering, which also provides a better gripping surface for your senior canine. These also have the added benefit of being fairly lightweight and so easy to move about.
Ramps provide an alternative to steps, and may be more beneficial for pets with increased mobility challenges. Ramps may be custom built to your specifications, and are usually made from wood.
For your pets with extreme deficits in their legs or spines, human assisted dog mobility aids are also available. Carts, strollers, wheelchairs and wagons come in many forms, colours, sizes and prices. All provide extensive comfort and stability to senior pets, while allowing the pet owner peace of mind and control while transporting immobile canines. Wonderful arrays of options exist in the senior pet aid market for the unique needs of your senior dog. Providing a suitable mobility aid to your friend will ensure they remain happy and content in his/her golden years.
The following video shows various dogs using wheelchairs. It is from a company called Handicapped Pets who produce the Walkin' Wheels adjustable wheelchair. They also stock an excellent range of mobility aids for the disabled dog including amongst other things wheelchairs, ramps, slings, beds and diapers. I was amazed when I first saw this video at just how easily the dogs adapt and how much their quality of life is improved. It really is great to see especially when you think that it use to be standard procedure to euthanise disabled dogs like these.