Life has a way of spitting and sputtering. Like Forrest Gump’s iconic quote from the movie of the same name: "My momma always said, life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." Similarly, from one day to the next, we often never know when we might need physical assistance.
Limited mobility could occur due to an accident, broken bones, spinal injury or ensuing old age. In many of these instances, we might need assistance getting from one place to the next. Whether it’s a wheelchair, scooter, golf cart, Segway® or "other power-driven mobility device" (OPDMD), there are a lot of mobility options available. But what about our dogs? They incur some of the same setbacks as humans? What are their options?
In the Market for Pet Wheels?
Today, it’s almost as common for our pets to get a pair of wheels to extend and enhance their lives as well. “Disc disease, spinal problems, hip dysphasia, degenerative myelopathy, nerve disease and even a blood clot are some of the reasons you may find yourself in the market for pet wheels,” notes Deb D’Andrea, the founder of 4TheLuvofDogs, a canine agility service.
“Wheels come in a variety of styles, and are typically a cart that supports your pet’s midsection, allowing the freedom for their front or rear legs to do the work moving them around.” adds D’Andrea.
Mobility Resources for your Dog
There are a number of organizations that can assist you in finding just the right type of wheels for your dog.
The Handicapped Pets Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit can assist you with mobile devices through their crowd funding and donations initiatives. Their mission is to support caretakers of the elderly, disabled and special needs pets with equipment, especially dog wheelchair carts. Dog owners can apply for assistance by filling out one of their ‘request forms for help’.
In order to make sure their assistance goes to the families who need it the most, HPets ask that you show you are already receiving support from state and/or local government assistance programs. Proof of financial hardship involves a document in your name that shows you are getting state aid or assistance. These may include disability, welfare, food stamps, or section 8 housing assistance.
The Rocky Mountain Veterinary Neurology located in Englewood, Colorado is also able to find that perfect set of wheels for your dog. While there are several companies who custom-design carts for pets, RMVN supports Doggon’ Wheels. If interested, they suggest you contact your family veterinarian or RMVN prior to ordering a mobility device. This will ensure that the correct mechanism is prescribed to meet your pet’s specific needs.
Wheelchair Carts for your Dog
Wheelchair carts are one of the more preferable mobility devices available in the market today. But, the idea of using one of these devices at the onset might make a pet owner anxious. However, in reality, most pets seem to acclimate to wheelchair carts faster than their masters might have thought.
These carts offer one’s pooch a chance for them to perform more of their normal daily activities with a very small learning curve. They also aid in the recovery and rehabilitation process for animals recuperating from spinal surgery, spinal cord injuries and/or neuromuscular disorders.
Wheels are the Real Deal
Offering your dog a new lease on life is priceless. The rewarding look in your pets’ eyes will tell it all after they learn that wheels can easily become their new legs, allowing them once again to get out into the world. Plus, once your dogs become more mobile, they will spend less time in sedentary positions, avoiding unnecessary bedsores, muscular atrophy and pain caused by arthritis and stiff joints.