Choosing the right harness is important for every dog, but it is especially important when you are considering a harness for a handicapped pet! Mobility loss is extremely common, once a dog reaches the age of 7 the chance of them developing arthritis doubles. Other conditions such as degenerative myelopathy, hip dysplasia and IVDD can all lead to canine mobility loss. Choosing the right harness for your handicapped pet can keep them supported and on their feet longer.
Choosing the right harness will start with what kind of support they need!
Most of the time, hind leg weakness is easy to diagnose. A dog with hind leg weakness will have trouble getting up from a sitting or laying down position, their legs might shake when they stand, and may begin to fall or refuse going on walks. The rear support harnesses will all have some for of leg ring for your pup's hind leg and a strap that will allow you to pull up and take your dog's weight off of the hind end. The rear support harness are great for dog's with IVDD, Degenerative Myelopathy, spinal trauma, and rear limb arthritis.
For hind leg support, you will want to make sure the harness is padded around the legs and groin for comfort and make sure the dog is able to pee and poop without interference from the harness! Fit is super important to make sure the harness doesn't rub or squeeze.
For a front support harness you might be looking for a more comfortable fit for the Walkin' Wheels Rear Wheelchair like the front neoprene harness or the front vest smaller breeds. If your dog is still mobile, conditions like elbow dysplasia, arthritis, and a general front end weakness might benefit from some extra support when your pup is getting around, getting out to the bathroom or up the stairs.
When you put the front harness on your dog, you want to make sure it is loose enough to not choke your pup but tight enough to hold them in, no more than 2 fingers of space around the chest and middle.
A full body lifting harness supports both the front and hind end of your pet. Giving pet parents the ability to to suspend their dog when needed and support pets during post surgical care.
A lifting harness that supports a dog's entire body is a safe and effective way to lift a paralyzed pet around your house. By providing comfortable support underneath the dog, beneath the chest and pelvis dogs can remain mobile as they joint stress and pressure is greatly reduced. A full body harness allows you to assist your dog outside, up and down the stairs, or in an out of your vehicle without injuring yourself or your dog.