Is your dog having trouble walking? Perhaps their rear legs are appearing weak for some reason. Did your vet recommend looking at dog wheelchairs? What’s that, how much are they, and can you rent a dog wheelchair?
Yes, you can rent a dog wheelchair. There are several online companies that provide rent-to-own dog wheelchairs.
In addition you can buy them new and used online.
Lastly, you may be able to pick them up free from local freecycle groups and other online sharing groups.
As dog’s age they can lose control of their hind and/or front legs due to arthritis, bone disease, or nerve damage.
Our rescue dog Ella is a chihuahua mix with a long body. She may have a little daschund in her. Many of our friends have warned us that we need to be careful of her jumping up and down from the couch or bed. This can lead to nerve damage that could cause problems with their rear legs.
One of our neighbor’s chihuahuas just had this problem. He can barely move his rear legs. He no longer can run through the yard or even sniff around to take a quick pee. He’d love to run up to you and say hi but he can’t. Not anymore.
Due to that we were inspired to dive deep in dog wheelchairs and other options. Both to possibly help our friend. But also to help Ella as she gets older. Plus we want to help anyone else that may consider using a wheelchair for their dog.
Note: If you click some of the links in this article we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Table of Contents
- Definitions – Rear Support Carts Versus Dog Wheelchairs Versus Rear Leg Harnesses
- How Dog Wheelchair Rentals Work
- The Top Reasons to Rent A Dog Wheelchairs
- The Top Reasons to Buy A Dog Wheelchairs
- Pricing For Dog Wheelchair Rentals
- Where To Find Dog Wheelchair Rentals
- New or Used?
- What Size Cart Do I Need?
- Are Dog Wheelchairs Adjustable?
- Can You Ship A Dog Wheelchair?
Definitions – Rear Support Carts Versus Dog Wheelchairs Versus Rear Leg Harnesses
There are basically a few devices you can use when your dog’s legs are struggling:
- Rear Support Carts or Dog Wheelchairs – these are just two different names for the same thing. It’s usually an aluminum frame that straps around the rear legs and hips of your dog. They come with Wheels.
- Front Leg Wheelchairs – These are for amputated front legs or for dogs with front leg issues. Eddie’s Wheels makes a 2-wheel front leg cart. Why not 4 wheels? Two wheels lets you dog pivot allowing them to sit down or bend forward and sniff the ground. Check out their awesome pics and setup here.
- Full Dog Wheelchairs – For dogs that can’t use any of their legs well
- Rear Leg Harness – This is a type of strap that goes under your dogs hips. You gently pull and provide support to help them move around. This is more work for you but it gives them more freedom of movement and choice. With wheelchairs they frequently can’t sit down.
How Dog Wheelchair Rentals Work
Most dog wheelchairs work off a rent-to-own system. You pay monthly for a period of time, usually 2 or more months.
If your dog recovers you can sell the wheelchair back used for 50% of the full price. If you need to keep it past the term then you end up owning it free and clear.
Most rentals are refurbished. In other words they cleanup and repair the units that were sold back to them and rent them out again.
Rentals make the best sense if it’s not clear if the problem is permanent or not. You can rent them while working things out with your vet.
If you need it forever you’ll have it. The full term price usually is roughly the same as buying it new.
Renting just helps lower your risk if you need to return it if you don’t need it permanently.
To help you decide if renting or buying is better we’ll cover the top reasons for each next
The Top Reasons to Rent A Dog Wheelchairs
Renting is better for short-term disabilities such as those listed below. Wheelchairs keep them active and happy which may help in recovery. Consult your vet. In the end your vet will help you decide whether to rent or buy based on how long this might go.
- Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) – For mild cases caused by an acute injury where recover is expected. Dog Wheelchairs can help with recovery.
- Surgical Recovery
- Short Term Injuries – Knee, ACL, etc.
- Help Your Dog Improve Balance and Stability from Surgery, Injuries, and During Physical Therapy
The Top Reasons to Buy A Dog Wheelchairs
It’s better to buy a new or used dog wheelchair if your vet diagnoses your dog with a permanent affliction or anything they expect to last longer than 8 weeks.
- Your Dog Has Permanent Hip Dysplasia – Common In Larger Breeds
- Permanent Arthritis
- Full or Partial Paralysis
- Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) – a chronic disease affecting the spinal cord
- Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) – For severe cases where surgery fails
- Other Long-Term Chronic Neurological Issues
Pricing For Dog Wheelchair Rentals
Prices range depending mainly on the size of the wheelchair and the length of time you need it. Expect to pay full price as if you bought a new chair by 8 weeks of renting.
Here are two online suppliers that’ll give you an idea of what renting costs.
- K9 Carts
- Small Dogs – $105 every two weeks up to 6 weeks, $315 to buy (same coast as 6 weeks of renting)
- Large Dogs – $185 / 2 weeks, $555 to buy
- Walkin Pets (Handicappedpets.com) – Maker of the Walkin Wheels brand of dog wheelchairs
- Small Dogs – $249 – $299 – Pay in full up front for 8 weeks. At 8 weeks you can return for 50% back (if in good condition)
- Medium to Large Dogs – $399 – $499
Where To Find Dog Wheelchair Rentals
You can get rentals from the two online companies above. In addition you can search for “dog wheelchair rentals near me.“
New or Used?
Check this question with your vet first. Renting wheelchairs only works if you plan to rent for 1 month or less. If not you’re better off buying.
Both new and used are fine. In fact, most rental companies are renting out used equipment.
Finding used dog wheelchairs can be tricky. We’ll cover that below.
Where To Buy New Dog Wheelchairs
First stop you should try for new dog wheelchairs is Amazon.com. They’ll have one of the largest supplies. As of today most of what they sell comes from Walkin Dogs brand but this could change in the future.
- CREATES A HAPPY, HEALTHY LIFE FOR PETS & PET PARENTS! - The Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair gives your best friend the happy, healthy life they deserve. Our pet wheelchair provides support for your dog’s back legs allowing them to run, play and enjoy quality time with the family.
- KEEPS YOUR DOG MOBILE & COMFORTABLE - Nothing makes our pets, with limited to no mobility in their hind legs, feel loved more than being able to run, play, and explore with their family. Our wheelchair for dogs has a durable, lightweight aluminum frame that makes your dog mobile while also keeping them stable. Its dense foam wheels with rubber treads won’t puncture and they will allow your pet to explore all types of terrain.
- EASY TO STORE, TRANSPORT, AND CLEAN - Our Medium to Large size dog wheelchairs fold flat making it easy to load into your car when your family travels or to conveniently store when not in use. Additionally, all of the pet wheelchair parts are washable including the foam/rubber wheels making it easy to clean.
- PATENTED ADJUSTABLE DESIGN FOR THE PERFECT FIT - Walkin’ Wheels’ rear support dog wheelchairs feature our patented adjustable design making it the only dog wheel cart that can be tailored to your dog’s size and changing health. This wheelchair for dogs is also adjustable in height, length, and width ensuring that your pet is both mobile and comfortable throughout their life stages.
- VETERINARIAN APPROVED - Many Veterinary professionals have spoken about the positive impact that the Walkin Wheels have had on their clients. By helping their patients stay mobile despite their limitations, these pet wheelchairs allow them to remain active and maintain a great quality of life. Our pet wheelchair provides support for dog’s hind legs making it suitable for injured or disabled pets as well as dogs with limited mobility due to age.
If you have a dog with front leg issues we highly recommend checking out Eddie’s Wheels. They sell a front wheel version that’s much better than the 4 wheel option. They also don’t appear to sell on Amazon so you’ll have to go straight to them.
Where To Find Used Wheelchairs
First check with Eddie’s Wheels to find used dog wheelchairs.
Next scan for models you like on Amazon and see if anyone’s selling used ones. If you search Amazon for “dog wheelchair used” that will help a bit.
You’ll still have to check each listing to see if there are any used sellers.
Lastly try the following other outlets to find used dog wheelchairs:
Where To Sell Used Dog Wheelchairs
Want to sell your used dog wheelchair? The best place is through Amazon. You can donate to Eddie’s Wheels but they don’t have a resellers market.
What Size Cart Do I Need?
Use the table below to get a rough idea of the size cart or dog wheelchair you’ll need. Confirm this with the rental company or the use/new product listing. Measure twice, order once!
- X-Small Dog Wheelchairs – Dogs that weigh 6-15 lbs.
- Small Dog Wheelchairs – Dogs that weigh 16-20 lbs.
- Med-Small Dog Wheelchairs – Dogs that weigh 20-35 lbs.
- Medium Dog Wheelchairs – Dogs that weigh 35-45 lbs.
- Med-Large Dog Wheelchairs – Dogs that weigh 45-65 lbs.
- Large Dog Wheelchairs – Dogs that weigh 65-100 lbs.
- X-Large Dog Wheelchairs – Dogs that weigh 101-120 lbs
Are Dog Wheelchairs Adjustable?
Yes, most styles come with straps that let you adjust the fit to your dog. Keep in mind that a long dachshund dog body will require a different setup than a Yorkie even if they weight the same.
Can You Ship A Dog Wheelchair?
Yes, online rental companies and suppliers will ship a wheelchair to you. Depending on their pricing and terms shipping the rental back may or may not be included in the rental cost.
Check with your rental provider.