• Training Dogs to Use a Wheelchair

    You might be surprised by how quickly your dog will take to a wheelchair. Most of K9 Carts’ thousands of patients were up and rolling very soon after they got their new chair.

    The process will take some work. But don’t worry: none of the clients we spoke to reported tears (on their part) or howling (on the dog’s part.)

    That’s even true for very sick dogs. Brick was a one year old German Shepherd who suffered from a malignant tumor. His owner, Doug Faber, who’s from the Seattle area, got Brick a wheelchair about a week before Brick died. Even at a late stage in his life, when Brick was having a very hard time doing much of anything, he took to the cart quickly.

    “It took him a little while to get used to it,” says Faber. He says that Brick’s reluctance to use the wheelchair wasn’t his comfort or understanding of the cart—it was Brick’s depleted energy.

    “If I tugged him on leash a little he’d get going. But early on he would sit down. I’d pet him and have him come to me, about six inches to a foot at a time.”

    It wasn’t long before Brick was rolling around his favorite dog park. The biggest challenge for him early on was acclimating to the cart, and the amount of effort he’d have to use to get around.

    “At first, [Brick] did better on pavement than he did on grass,” Faber says. “But he loved Marymoor Park—” a large park in the Seattle suburbs with an off leash area ”—finally, I took him over there. The first time I had to have him on leash, but the second time he did go off leash. By the third time, he was going through tall grass and hanging out with other dogs.”

    Brick, who was a a very sick and very worn out dog, only took about a week to get acclimated to his wheelchair.

    The guardians of dogs in wheelchairs all said that their dogs took to the cart without much effort, and mostly on their own. They have a few tips to make the process easier.

    First, consider putting the dog in a kiddie pool or your bathtub early on in the training process. The water will make their movements easier. Humans do it all the time for physical therapy—dogs can benefit from hydrotherapy also.
    Reja and Jazz in their Dog Wheelchairs
    The other helpful hint we heard from dog owners is one you probably thought of already: treats.

    “Treats are really helpful,” says Claire Carver. She’s also got a German Shepherd, a fourteen year old named Reja. “It’s just kind of encourages [dogs] to try [using the chair.]”

    With some snacks on hand, Carver says, her dog and a friend’s disabled German Shepherd were rolling around in no time.

    “It only took five minutes.”

     

     

    Photos by Claire Carver

  • Reja in a K9 Carts Dog Wheelchair Playdates for Dogs in Wheelchairs

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  • Brick in a K9 Cart Dog Wheelchair Going to the Dog Park with Wheelchair Bound Dogs

    Dogs love making friends and roughhousing at the dog park. If you’re putting your dog in a wheelchair, you’re probably worried whether they’ll still be able to go.

    We have good news: dogs in wheelchairs can still enjoy trips to the park. Continue Reading

  • Exercise For Dogs In Wheelchairs

    Meet Andy. He’s an active, six-year-old Bichon mix with a herniated disc, and he loves his wheelchair.

    “It took him five minutes to adjust to it,” says Mary Denys. She and her sister Patricia, who live in Long Beach, California, have cared for several dogs in wheelchairs. Andy was the youngest to get in his cart, and he didn’t miss a beat. Continue Reading

  • K9 Carts Awards Veterinary Scholarship 2017

    K9 Carts is proud to announce that the winner of our 2017 Annual Veterinary Medicine Scholarship is Sarah Fick of Washington State University.

    “I am very honored to have been selected for the K9 Carts Scholarship,” Sarah stated. “This scholarship will help me immensely as I pursue my Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine.” Continue Reading

  • Lab on Beach in Dog Wheelchair Which Dog Wheelchair Design Should I Choose?

    Our dog wheelchair is fully convertible. Therefore, if your pet needs more or less support, parts can be added or subtracted to make sure it is the correct support system that your pet needs at its particular stage of mobility loss. Continue Reading

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    The most common question we’re asked is, “Will my pet be able to go to the bathroom in the cart?” The answer is… Continue Reading

  • Golden Retriever in Dog Wheelchair by K9 Carts When Does A Dog Need A Wheelchair?

    Seeing your dog lose partial or complete mobility is not easy for any owner. Whether the condition is due to an injury or permanent paralysis, it’s never fun watching a pet struggle.

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  • Woman Veterinarian K9 Carts Awards Veterinary Scholarship 2016

    K9 Carts is proud to announce the winner of our 2016 Annual Veterinary Medicine Scholarship is Lia McCoy of Colorado State University.
    “I am honored to have the 2016 K9 Carts Scholarship Award,” Lia said.

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  • Traveling with Disabled Dog How to Travel with a Disabled Dog

    According to a 2014 survey by Tripit, 56% of Americans travel with their pets for major holidays. Whether those surveyed traveled with their pets to save the expense of a kennel or because they love taking their pets on trips, it’s clear that taking a pet on the road is a fact of life for over half of all pet owners.

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