Products for Handicapped Dogs That Can't Use Their Hind Legsby Jean Marie Bauhaus
An aging dog might need mobility aids to help him get around.
Seeing a beloved companion lose the use of his hind legs, whether due to aging and arthritis or because of a severe injury, can be heartbreaking for owners and dogs alike, but there's no reason to lose hope. Many products are available that can restore mobility to disabled or pain-ridden dogs, make them more comfortable and less likely to sustain further injury, and restore their overall quality of life.
Dog wheelchairs are a popular option for dogs that have lost the use of their hind legs. Many options are available, so you should consider all of your dog's mobility needs when selecting a wheelchair for him. If your dog will spend a lot of time outdoors, look for a sturdy chair with broad wheels that can handle rough terrain. You also should look for padded straps for comfort and stirrups that will keep his feet from dragging on the ground. The right wheelchair will go a long way toward restoring his quality of life, confidence and happiness.
For traveling long distances, or for aging dogs with arthritis or joint pain, a stroller cart is a good option for those too big to be carried. This type of cart lets your dog rest while you push or pull him, allowing him to get outdoors and accompany you on long walks. Some stroller carts can even be attached to a bicycle so that your canine friend can continue to keep you company on bike rides.
Slings and Harnesses
If your dog has limited use of his hind legs, a handheld sling or rear harness might be all that's needed to help him get around. This also is a good option for older dogs who are content to be less active and only need occasional help getting around. As with wheelchairs, many options are available, so shop around to find one that's sturdy and comfortable for you and your dog.
A portable pet ramp also is a good product to have on hand to aid your dog's mobility. This type of ramp is useful for helping wheelchair-bound dogs and aging, arthritic dogs navigate steps, climb in and out of vehicles, and even climb onto furniture. Look for a sturdy ramp that collapses or folds for easy storage and transport.
Many paralyzed dogs will drag their feet on the ground, wearing down fur and skin without even realizing it, which can lead to infection. A good pair of safety booties will protect his feet and prevent this type of injury. Another difficulty that disabled dogs sometimes face is incontinence. Doggy diapers can help to prevent accidents and remove the worry over how, or where, your dog will relieve himself.
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