How to choose a wheelchair for a pet?
If your pet cannot walk independently, do not deprive him of the opportunity to walk and live a normal life. The wheelchair will help to provide almost full-fledged mobility. But how to choose it correctly?
What are wheelchairs?
Before you make a choice, it is worth considering the main types of wheelchairs:
- Frontal. They are attached to the front of the body of the animal and are intended for pets who have lost mobility of the front paws.
- Classic or rear strollers are designed for animals with injured, amputated or paralyzed hind legs. This design is attached to the back of the torso.
- The so-called stroller is "quadro", that is, four-wheeled. It is useful if the mobility of both the hind legs, and the front ones, is either completely or completely lost, or coordination is disturbed in the animal. Also, such models are often used after serious operations, if the rehabilitation period requires limited mobility.
- The stroller is designed for walking completely paralyzed animals or healthy, but quickly tired (for example, old or having problems with the joints or the musculoskeletal system). This design looks like a regular baby carriage, but smaller. Pet is placed in it completely and conveniently located. In such a stroller may be the so-called luggage compartment - compartment for things at the bottom.
A wheelchair usually consists of several main parts:
- Wheels. They provide the mobility of the whole structure.
- The harness is designed to secure the animal in the stroller and allows you to securely fix the device and synchronize movement. Pet mobility with quality harness is practically not limited.
- Saddle. It accommodates the immobilized part of the body of the animal. Thus, it does not hang and is not pressed down by the straps, but is fixed and supported. But at the same time the animal can self-defecate, which is very important.
- Stirrups are designed for fixing fixed paws, so that they do not interfere and distract the pet, almost merged with the design.
- Frame.This is the main part of the stroller, and the comfort and safety of your pet will depend on its configuration and strength.
What should I look for?
How to choose a wheelchair for your pet? Pay attention to the following important points:
- The size. It is selected individually, which ensures maximum comfort to the pet. There are many options, so you can pick up a pram for a dog of impressive size, for a cat or for a small dog.
- Wheels. Their size will depend on the size of the stroller and the size of the animal. As for materials, small wheels are usually made of polyurethane, and large ones are pneumatic with inflatable chambers, which allows for sufficient cushioning and excellent maneuverability. Pay attention to how far they are, because if the pet is full, the wheelchair may seem narrow to him. In addition, the wheels can touch the paws and distract your pet. But usually they are located at a sufficient distance and even at a certain angle.
- All attachments must be reliable and durable, it will ensure maximum safety of the pet.
- Please note whether there is an adjustment function. This will allow you to adapt to changes occurring with the pet.
- Frame. Most often it is made from durable, but at the same time fairly lightweight aluminum pipes.
- The soft parts, that is, the stirrups and harnesses should be made of breathable and soft material, such as aeroprene. It provides maximum pet comfort, as well as perfectly breathable and evaporates moisture, which is especially important for active animals.
- Some parts of the device may be removable, and sometimes this is necessary. So, if the pet recovers from the injury, and mobility is lost partially or temporarily, then the stirrups can be removed. Thus, the animal will periodically rely on the paws and give them the necessary load (otherwise they can atrophy).
- Some models, in addition to the main parts, also have a hard corset. And it can be useful or even necessary, for example, if the pet has a broken spine and needs to be fixed in a certain position.
- Pay attention to the features of harness. Firstly, it should be fixed on the pet in several places, so that during active games the stroller does not accidentally jump off.Secondly, this part of the device must comply with the characteristics of the structure of the animal. Thirdly, the straps should not be tight or hard.
- The price will depend on the configuration, features and dimensions of the stroller. So, usually simple models for small dogs or cats are inexpensive, their cost varies between 3-5 thousand rubles. But strollers for large breeds can cost about 10-20 thousand and above.
Some useful tips:
- To accurately not miscalculate and choose the right option, bring your pet with you to literally "try on" the chosen model and evaluate it in action. The animal should feel comfortable and move without much effort.
- You can try to make a stroller yourself. For example, if the dog is large, it is best to make such a device from a garden cart or car. And all supporting components can be made of special sports breathable fabric. If you have wheels (for example, from a children's bicycle), then the pillars and axle can be made of aluminum or steel tubes. All metal parts are fastened together, usually by welding, and soft ones - by adhesive tape.
- Purchase a stroller in a specialty store. And by all means ask the seller whether the supplier has any components, whether warranty service is expected (if the device breaks, it will be very difficult to fix it yourself).
- Before you purchase a stroller, consult your veterinarian for advice on a specific model, and also give advice on the correct, safe and effective use of such a device. For example, if an animal is recovering from an injury, then a stroller may not be necessary. If you teach your pet to it, then mobility may decrease and eventually get lost completely. With some injuries, it is necessary to provide regular loads, and the wheelchair can slow down the process of healing and repairing tissues.
- You can buy a wheelchair on the ad, so to speak, "with the hands." But it should be serviceable and fit your pet.
Let your pet live a full life!
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