There are so many reasons you might need a wheelchair for your dog. Whether it’s old age, injury, or just an inability to use their legs due to being born with the condition, there are some really great options out there that can help your pup get around!
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How to Make a Dog Wheelchair
Measure your dog’s height as well as their length from nose to tail before you start anything. You’ll want to have solid numbers before you start cutting to avoid any mistakes.
Once you have this part down, take a look at the following steps to help your dog get mobile again.
1. Put Together Your Parts
To build a dog wheelchair, you’ll need the following:
- Lawn mower wheels
- Bolts & nuts
- PVC pipe caps
- Four T&L connectors
- 12 pcs. of ½”x10″ PVC pipe
- 2″ Velcro pack
- Rubber cement or comparable adhesive
Once you have your parts all together, you’ll want to do a test fitting to ensure that they go together properly. Don’t use any glue at this point!
2. Assemble the Cross Braces
Take two pieces of piping and place an L-shaped joiner on the ends of each of them. Push them together tightly and use two other pieces of pipe to put them together into a brace.
Use a T-shaped connector to hook this to a set of wheel arms, which will be used to actually mount the wheels in place. Keep in mind that you won’t want to even touch the adhesive until you’re certain that everything is going together properly and you want it to stay in place.
3. Connect a Lower Brace Piece
Attach smaller pieces of ½” piping to each of the T-shaped connectors and then place the open end into a second connector on each side. This should give you four staggered holes on the underside of the brace to connect the bottom of your doggie wheelchair.
Push an additional set of pipes into these connectors and then join them with your L-shaped elbow brackets. That will give you the general shape of a shoulder support that could also serve as a front strap section.
Assuming that everything is fitting together properly, there’s a good chance that you can now make out the general shape of a dog wheelchair.
4. Cap the Ends
Once you have these cross pieces in place, cap the ends with blunt plumbing caps so nothing can get into the pipes. These will help to prevent any debris from making its way into the pipes when the wheelchair is in use.
Depending on how well the pipes fit together, you may want to consider using a mallet to force the pipes together. Use even pressure and tap the pipes together with the end of the mallet so you don’t do any damage to them.
Consider putting a shop towel or other piece of cloth over the ends of the caps before doing this so you don’t crack them. These caps will also prevent the straps from coming off when your dog is in the chair, so it’s important not to damage them.
5. Assemble the Wheels & Struts
Run lag bolts through the centers of both of the lawnmower wheels and affix them with a washer on the other side. Take one of the remaining pieces of pipe and drill a hole ½” from the bottom to attach the wheels on and then do the same with another piece of pipe for your second wheel.
Attach both of the wheels using a pair of nuts each and then spin the wheels with your hands to make sure that they turn freely. If they don’t, then there’s something wrong and you’ll want to adjust it.
Once you have it spinning properly, make sure to tighten the ends.
6. Attach the Wheel Stems
Check your frame to make sure that all of the pipes you have attached to it are at solid 90° angles. As soon as you have it perfect, angle the wheel arms 5° out and slide them into the remaining slots on the T-shaped connectors.
Use a good amount of solid downward pressure to fit the wheel stems into the frame, but don’t use so much that you start to stress any of the plastic. The wheels should jut out toward the sides slightly so your dog won’t be too uncomfortable when walking with it.
7. Put on an Abdomen Brace
Wrap one of the Velcro strips around the front of the cart’s frame and make sure that it’s on there well enough that your dog won’t pull it straight off. Loosen it slightly so that your dog won’t mind wearing it.
Rock the strap back and forth a few times until you have it on tight enough to adhere to the cart but not so tight that it’s going to choke your dog.
8. Attach the Shoulder Straps
Turn the cart around and use the remaining Velcro to make a shoulder strap for your dog. You’ll want to use the same degree of caution with this strap as you did with the front one.
In general, you want it secure but you don’t want it wrapped too close together. If you need to, then don’t hesitate to glance back at the measurements you took of your dog.
9. Take it For a Test Run
Get your dog to back into the wheelchair, giving him or her any help they might need to do so. When you’re sure that they’re calm and won’t move around, secure the straps and see if they’re the right size.
If you notice that the fit isn’t right, then try moving it around now that you have your dog there to act as a guide. Talk to them in a soothing voice so they don’t get worked up about what’s going on.
You’ll be able to take the wheelchair for a test drive just as soon as you have the fit right and you’re sure that your dog is comfortable.
9 Dog Wheelchair Plans
This DIY Dog Wheelchair project is for Dachshunds. It’s cheap and easy to make, so you’ll definitely want to give it a try!
For small dogs
This Dog Wheelchair DIY For small dogs is fun and easy to make. In this video I will show you how to build a wheelchair for your dog or puppy, it is inexpensive and fairly simple with some scrap wood that you can get from any hardware
Fair warning – this one is in Portuguese. You can still follow the steps visually. We just wanted to share a great plan set for our Chihuahua friends.
For low to the ground dogs
This dog wheelchair DIY is for small dogs. It’s especially useful for puppies recovering from hip dysplasia, but can also be used by other breeds as they age.
For hairy dogs
If you think that dogs are too hairy for a wheelchair, then you’re wrong. They can be put in one of these wheelchairs and they do not have to stop moving because it helps them move more freely.
For German Shepherds
This dog wheelchair is great for German Shepherds with hip dysplasia or any other disability that affects their mobility.
A corgi’s long body puts a lot of stress on their rear legs. This can be problematic because they have short front legs and an arched back, which makes them prone to spinal problems. This is a DIY dog wheelchair tutorial for corgis.
For extra large dogs
This DIY dog wheelchair provides larger dogs with a way to get around.
It’s made of high-quality materials that are strong and durable, but lightweight enough to carry around.
For long dogs
This dog DIY wheelchair for long and tall dogs is a great option if your pet has difficulty walking. It’s easy to put together, even if you’re not the best handyman around!