If your pet’s hind legs are completely non-weight bearing and will need the use of the leg straps, the forelegs will require some conditioning time; it will need additional strength in order to compensate for weight the hind legs and for added comfort while in the rear support wheelchair. Please allow about two weeks for full strengthening of the forelegs before using the pet wheelchair for prolonged periods.
Leg Strength & Weakness
Again, to develop foreleg strength, we recommend 10-minute exercise sessions, with your pet walking over a hard surface. Begin with two 10-minute exercise sessions a day for the first few days and go up to three times daily afterwards. When your pet adapts to the 10-minute exercise sessions, you can extend the time to conform to your pet’s stamina.
Is your pet is too weak to stay on its forelegs while in the rear support wheelchair due to being inactive or overweight? Attaching a leash on your pet’s collar or to the wheelchair’s front harness will help encourage your pet to walk or move and eventually work up to completing the conditioning regimen.
If your pet’s forelegs do not display enough strength within a few weeks, it may need something other than what our wheelchair can provide. Observe if your pet is always trying to lie down or is still unable to hold its own weight after a couple of weeks. These are signs that its forelegs aren’t strong enough—and not improving—to use a wheelchair.
Moving Backwards, Not Forwards
Your pet may initially move backward instead of forward once in the wheelchair. No need to worry. Your pet is “backing out” due to unfamiliarity. He or she will eventually settle down, become familiar and comfortable, and start moving forward with some assurance and encouragement.
Your Dog & Water
Get your pet and its wheelchair wet if they are comfortable with water. Our wheelchairs are made mostly of aluminum and will not rust. If the wheelchair is used at the beach and in salt water, just give it a thorough rinse to get the sand, salt water, and dirt off the moving parts; otherwise, getting the unit wet will not damage it.
Slipping, Traction and Tire Pressure
If the wheel traction of your pet’s wheelchair is poor, you may want to check the tire pressure. Remember to keep the pressure slightly below the required PSI. Make sure that the wheels can spin freely.
If the wheels track to one side more than the other, it may simply be due to how your pet naturally walks. You may notice your pet’s gait more due to the new wheelchair, however, he or she will get used to the rear support wheelchair and be able to compensate in due time. Also, check both sides to make sure that your pet is centered on the wheelchair and adjust the straps if necessary.
Important: Do not leave your pet alone in the wheelchair.