Late fall / winter of 2012 my 9 year old boxer began to have trouble standing and walking on his own. By February of 2013 he would fall or stumble as he walked. I learned from the vet that he has arthritis and that his hindquarters would continue to lose strength. Before he lost full control of his rear legs, I researched dog wheelchairs and purchased a Walkin’ Wheels Dog Wheelchair. I am very happy with my experience, and I recommend Walkin’ Wheels to anyone with an aging dog.
Boston, my boxer, was still able to get around at the time, but he was getting significantly less exercise. Before his arthritis began to impact his ability to walk, he would walk for upwards of an hour at a time. As he lost strength in his hindquarters, I used a Silver Tail Bottom’s Up Harness to help keep him upright. I also recommend the Silver Tail harness and I still use it for short distances. A rear harness is great for quick trips and getting in and out of vehicles, but it did not allow him to get around under his own power. Because a rear harness requires me to hold it at all times, Boston would only go out for short trips. He could not follow his own path, stop to sniff or relieve himself without help.
I assumed that I should wait to look into dog wheelchairs until he lost the ability to walk at all, but my girlfriend suggested I purchase a wheelchair while he still had some strength and control. She believed that it would help support Boston rather than become his only way to get around. She was 100% correct. We researched all the options available, but most dog wheelchairs were bulky and poorly designed. Many products received poor reviews with users stating that the wheelchairs they selected were uncomfortable for the dog and awkward to use. The only product consistently receiving positive feedback was Walkin’ Wheels.
I purchased a Walkin’ Wheels Dog Wheelchair late winter of 2013, and I am very happy with our choice. The Walkin’ Wheels product is way ahead of the competition by form and function. It is designed with high quality materials, and it has both the dog and the owner in mind. The wheelchair is easy to use, fits him well, is easily adjusted and can fold up to fit in the trunk of our car. The setup was simple and fast. He took to it immediately.
Although it states that you slowly get your dog accustomed to the wheelchair by using it for small periods of time, Boston walked for 30 minutes with no signs of discomfort. On his first day of use, he started walking and kept on walking. The first video below was recorded during his first few moments in the wheelchair. The second video shows Boston on a dirt trail moving faster than we could keep up.
The Walkin’ Wheels Dog Wheelchair is an excellent product. He continues to use his rear legs, and if anything it is extending his life. It supports him rather than replacing his legs as he moves. He doesn’t know the difference. All he knows is that he can walk as long as he wants at the speed he wants. The product is slightly more expensive than some out there, but it is very well designed. He is comfortable, it is easy to use and very easy to collapse for travel. Just seeing him still using his rear legs and watching him enjoy walking is worth the cost. If you are considering purchasing a wheelchair for your dog, do it before your dog loses full control of its legs, and strongly consider a Walkin’ Wheels Dog Wheelchair.