For dogs with mobility issues, a dog wheelchair allows them to get around. If you can’t afford to buy a dog wheelchair, you can quickly and easily make one from an old stroller.
This quick guide will discuss how to make a dog wheelchair out of a baby stroller step by step!
What Is a Dog Wheelchair?
A dog wheelchair enables a dog with disabled hind legs to run and play with other dogs. It straps around his torso with a harness and features wheels behind to maneuver without using hind legs.
Read our related article on the Best Dog Lift Harnesses. Make lifting your disabled dog easier and more comfortable for your pet with these tested and ranked lift harnesses!
How Much Does It Cost to Make a Dog Wheelchair?
If you already have an old baby stroller, you’ll need around $5 to $10 to transform it into a dog wheelchair because most parts are salvaged from the stroller.
If you don’t own a baby stroller you’ll need to buy one from a thrift store or garage sale.
What Are the Main Features of a Dog Wheelchair?
The main features of a dog wheelchair are the two wheels that take the place of the dog’s rear legs, a sturdy frame to hold the dog up in the wheelchair, and straps to secure the dog to the wheelchair.
Step-by-Step Guide to Make a Dog Wheelchair
Once you have chosen a baby stroller that will work for a dog wheelchair, you can follow our step-by-step guide to convert it.
Measurements to Take for the Wheelchair
Calculate the length from the dog’s base to its tail. Calculate the height from the ground to the hip of the dog. Measure the breadth and length of a dog’s chest.
Ultimately you are going to construct the frame to put the dog’s rear at his natural height with the right length to fully support his body on the wheels.
Disassemble the Stroller for Parts
Use a screwdriver or wrenches (as needed) to remove the rear wheels from the stroller. You want to use the single wheels, not the set of double wheels.
Remove the two main aluminum bars that make the frame of the stroller. These will be the frame that holds the dog’s body.
You’ll need 2 more pieces of aluminum support pieces from the stroller. These can be slightly smaller. They will be used to get the dog’s legs high enough off the ground to clear the wheels.
Keep the nylon straps from the stroller to attach the frame pieces and make the harness for the dog.
Construct the Dog Wheelchair Frame
Cut the two main pieces of aluminum to fit the length of the dog from hip to shoulder. Make sure they match exactly so the fit is nice for the dog.
Next, cut the two smaller lengths of aluminum to fit between the wheels and the main support frame.
This needs to be long enough that the dog’s legs do not hit the ground when he’s in the wheelchair, but not so high that the weight shifts forward toward the dog’s front legs causing an imbalance.
Pound or pinch the ends of the pipes flat, then grind off any rough edges.
Drill holes through the ends of the pipes and use screws and nuts to attach them from the inside to the outside. Be sure the inside of the frame won’t rub sores on the dog with rough edges.
Attach the Wheels to the Dog Wheelchair
Stroller wheels should already be set up to fully roll, so keep the bolts and nuts included with the wheels.
Drill a hole in the lower support bar and use the existing stroller wheel hardware to attach one wheel to each side.
Install all bolts from the inside toward the outside to ensure that nothing rubs the dog’s feet or legs.
Install the Support Straps and Harness
We recommend using one of your dog’s harnesses to finish up this project because it already has the correct fit, buckles, and D-rings necessary to keep your dog safe and secure.
To attach the front of the wheelchair to your dog’s harness, pound the ends flat and grind them smooth. Then drill a small hole and use a screw and nut to secure the wheelchair to the outside of the harness.
The ends of the frame should attach to the dog’s shoulder straps if possible. The frame should ideally stop right about your dog’s shoulders to support all of the body weight.
Always install screws from the inside to the outside and make sure there are no rough edges that may hurt your dog.
Use the stroller’s nylon straps to make an abdominal support strap. Drill a hole in each side of the frame right behind the dog’s rib cage. Install a nylon strap between the two frame pieces.
Keep the strap long enough to have a gentle curve for your dog’s comfort, but it should be short enough to fully support his weight while in the wheelchair.
When you put the wheelchair on your dog, he will rest on top of this strap which will support his lower body in the back of the wheelchair frame.
Read our related article on the Best Dog Knee Braces. Keep your dog mobile with these supportive braces!
Converting a baby stroller into a dog wheelchair is a time-consuming project, but many people have done it successfully for their dogs.
Whether you choose to buy one or make one, a dog wheelchair is vital for the mental, emotional, and physical health of disabled dogs.
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