The content on this page is specifically geared towards the XXS Rear Support Wheelchair, Extra Small Rear Support Wheelchair, Small Rear Support Dog Wheelchair, and Medium Rear Support Dog Wheelchair.

About the Rear Leg Wheelchair

Sizing:

Specifications:

  • Lightweight, adjustable non-rust aluminum frame
  • Stainless steel hardware
  • Deluxe neoprene front and rear harness for complete comfort
  • Designed and tested by a canine orthopaedic surgeon
  • Easy hex wrench adjustment of height, length, and width
  • Great for pets needing assisted walking or full weight support (zero weight-bearing) for hind legs
  • Allows pets to go to the bathroom even while in the wheelchair
  • All terrain polyurethane wheels with precision-sealed ball bearings
  • Easy clip-on front harness system
  • Durable and easy-to-clean rear harness

The Rear Support Wheelchair is good for:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Arthritis
  • Neurological problems such as osteomyelitis or degenerative myelopathy
  • Fracture of the spine/back
  • Rear limb amputation
  • Ligamentous injuries such as PCL or ACL
  • Thoracic or lumbar disc injuries
  • Rehabilitation
  • Any other condition that results in rear leg or joint pain, or weakness and discomfort from any weight-bearing activities

Assembling the Wheelchair

Your rear support wheelchair is shipped partially assembled. All that’s left to do is to insert the left and right wheel assemblies the corresponding side arm connector and make some adjustments.

Pre-assembled Parts of Dog Wheelchair

Above: Pre-assembled dog wheelchair parts.

Alternative View Preassembled Dog Wheelchair

Above: alternative view of pre-assembled rear leg dog wheelchair.

Other pre-assembled items:

 

Your Rear Support Wheelchair is shipped partially assembled. All that’s left to do is to insert the left and right wheel assemblies the corresponding side arm connector and make some adjustments.

Before you start assembly, make sure you can tell the wheelchair frame’s right side up. To determine this, with the frame’s rear against you, the side arm bars will be positioned noticeably higher. Mark it with a piece of tape if needed. For shipping purposes, the side arm bar screws may have been loosened to allow for easier packing. Turn the wheelchair frame right side down and move each side arm bar so that the back end cap is one and a half inches off from the side arm connector. Use the hex wrench to lightly tighten the screw on top of the side arm connector. This is also how you will adjust the side arm bars later as you start the fitting process.

Rear Leg Dog Wheelchair Diagram XXS XS S M
Above: Fully assembled rear leg dog wheelchair diagram

To attach the left and right wheel assemblies:

  1. Remove rubber end cap from the end of the right wheel assembly (B).
  2. Loosen the thumbscrew on the right side arm connector in the cart frame assembly (A).
  3. Insert right wheel assembly through the side arm connector. Keeping the side with the divots facing out. This will help you make height adjustment easier.
  4. Adjust to desired height and tighten thumbscrew. Return rubber end cap.
  5. Repeat steps 1.1 to 1.4 to install the left wheel assembly to the left side arm connector.

NOTE: When adjusting height, check your pet from various angles especially from the side. Make sure your pet’s back is level.

To adjust wheelchair length:

  1. Loosen socket set screws on the top portion of the side arm connector.
  2. Adjust length by pulling or pushing the side arm.
  3. Repeat on other side arm. Make sure to align both sides.
  4. Tighten socket set screws.

NOTE: Check the length of the wheelchair’s side arms. While your pet is standing still and with its forelegs legs straight, the side arms should end right behind the forelegs or up to the point of shoulder.

To adjust wheelchair width:

  1. Loosen and remove sucker button head cap screws on the rear harness bar using the hex wrench.
  2. Move the rear harness bars to desired width. Make sure that at least two holes on the right rear harness bar are aligned to two holes on the left rear harness bar.
  3. Return socket button head cap screws on aligned holes and tighten with the hex wrench.

To adjust the rear harness:

  1. Loosen the hex screw located at the bottom of the side arm connector.
  2. Push in the attached black cables to loosen the rear harness or pull in to make it tighter.
  3. Re-tighten the screws

Phew! You're done with assembly!

 

Wheelchair Usage Guidelines

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 Best Friend Mobility Rear Support Wheelchair. Please allow about two weeks for full strengthening of the forelegs before using the pet wheelchair for prolonged periods.

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 Best Friend Mobility 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 Best Friend Mobility 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.

Your pet may initially move backward instead of forward once in the Best Friend Mobility 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.

Get your pet and its Best Friend Mobility wheelchair wet! Best Friend Mobility 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.

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.

DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PET ALONE IN THE WHEELCHAIR.

 

Fitting Your Pet in the Wheelchair

Put the front harness (D) on your pet

  1. Loosen the straps of the front harness (D) around the side arms and detach from cart frame assembly (A). Lower the front of the wheel chair (side arms); let it rest on the ground.
  2. Unclip the front harness’ leg strap (red strap)
  3. Position the front harness (D) on your pet. Guide your pet’s head through the black straps, these two are to go below the neck, in front of the forelegs; and over the back and shoulder area.
  4. The front harness’ red strap should be positioned at the bottom. It will go behind the forelegs and across the bottom chest to clip and lock on the other side.
  5. Adjust the front harness so that it fits your pet snuggly yet comfortably.

Put your pet into the rear harness

  1. Position the wheelchair behind your pet.
  2. Guide your pet’s hind legs to the rear harness. Lift your pet’s rear and gently guide the hind legs down into the rear harness.
  3. Adjust the lift of the rear harness to a comfortable weight-bearing position for your pet.
  4. Once your pet is properly situated in the rear harness, you can re-attach the front harness to the cart frame by slipping its loops through the side arms up to the spacer widget. Adjust the tightness of the straps as needed.

Using the rear leg straps

  1. For pets that are completely non-weight-bearing on its hind legs, use the leg straps to protect his or her hocks and keep them from dragging.
  2. Press the cord lock and pull on cord to loosen the leg strap.
  3. Insert each leg to a corresponding rear leg strap.
  4. Adjust to a comfortable tightness
  5. Attach leg straps to the rear harness bar. Make sure that legs can rest at a comfortable angle.

 

Notes on Fit and Sizing

Checking Correct Height Setting

  • For pets without the use of their hind legs: while standing still on a level surface, the height of the wheelchair should be set so that the shoulders and hips are even.
Please note that when your pet is walking or running, their backs will not stay even due to their movement.
  • For pets with the use of one or both its hind legs, the wheelchair height needs to be set so that their paws are able to lightly graze the ground and provide them with enough traction to push off with the rear paws.
Often, pets experiencing weakness in their rear legs are affected on one side more than the other. While on their wheelchair, one paw might knuckle over and lead them to depend on the stronger leg more often or lean on that side of the wheelchair. This is something to watch out for so that it can be corrected and countered. A paw that gets knuckled over can be protected by a bootie. And while we cannot stop some pets from favoring their stronger leg, we can help them avoid leaning against the wheelchair and possibly injuring themselves. Do this by placing a piece of foam or a folded towel to act as padding between the leg and the side they are leaning against.
The two side arms of the Rear Support Wheelchair’s frame should be parallel to your pet’s back and generally, a couple of inches below the top of his or her back. The wheelchair’s height may vary depending on your pet’s build (e.g. shoulders being lower than the hip). When the harnesses are positioned properly on the side arms, according to your pet’s length, the forelegs should in no way rub against them while your pet is walking.
The front harness should rest comfortably under your pet’s forelegs. The rear harness should also be adjusted with comfort in mind. Do not raise the rear harness to an angle that is unnatural for your pet.
Make sure to have the front harness’ front strap sit slightly above the center of the chest. Never allow it to press against the throat of rest below the center of the chest; such placement may be harmful to your pet. Adjust all straps so that they are comfortably snug; do not over-tighten.

 

Video Instructions (optional)

 

Troubleshooting and Resolving Common Challenges

The wheelchair tips forward.

  • Make sure that the frame’s side arm height is a couple of inches below your pet’s back. Adjust the side arm height by lowering or raising frame height through the side arm connector and wheel assemblies.
  • Check the front harness. Make sure that it is centered across your pet’s chest. Adjust the straps and see if this keeps the wheel chair from tipping.
Your pet loses breath while moving using wheelchair.
  •  Check the front harness. If it is positioned too high, it will press against your pet’s throat when walking. Adjust front harness height so that your pet can breathe freely especially while moving.
Pet’s hind legs not comfortably resting on the rear harness and harness does not extend beyond pet’s rear
  • The angle of the harness is too high. Adjust harness height so that your pet’s legs are at a comfortable and natural height.
Your pet takes shorter strides.
  • A too low front harness is the usual culprit. Adjust height so as not to hamper your pet’s natural stride.
The wheelchair’s side arm bars are pointing downward.
  • Your straps may not be evenly distributed.
  1. Loosen the lower girth strap (red strap)
  2. Tighten the top girth strap enough to hold the side arm bars parallel to the ground.
  3. Re-tighten the lower girth strap enough so that both straps are snug but comfortable.
The wheelchair’s side arm bars are pointing upward.
  • Same problem as above, uneven distribution of the straps this time favoring the opposite side.
  1. Loosen the top girth strap.
  2. Tighten the lower girth strap (red strap) to pull the side arm bars down parallel to the ground.
  3. Re-tighten top girth strap. Make sure both straps are snug but comfortable.

 

Care and Maintenance

Keep the Best Friend Mobility wheelchair clean. Your pet will surely appreciate it and ride with pride. Wipe down aluminum surfaces with warm, soapy water using a soft cloth such as a microfiber or cotton rag. Rinse and dry.

Check the bolts and screws frequently; retighten if loose. Adjust or tighten loose straps as well.

Remember to hose or wipe down tires to keep them from tracking dirt.

Wash the sling, harness, and straps in cool, soapy water and hang them to dry. Opting for a perfume-free detergent will help your pet avoid skin irritation. You may want to try odor neutralizers (homemade or storebought) to counter any smell that may remain in the harness.