It's so sad to see your dog dealing with a handicap that prevents it from walking normally. If your dog still has strength in its forelimbs, you can build a wheelchair to help it get around [source: K9 Carts]. Here are some things to keep in mind when you build a dog wheelchair:
- Fit the frame to your dog You'll need to build a frame out of PVC or aluminum pipe. The frame should fit around the dog with some extra space for a harness and padding. You'll need bars running along each of the dog's sides from shoulder to hip, as well as vertical bars to support the wheels [source: Bergins].
- Support your dog's back and weight Create a saddle your dog can "sit" on that will support its back and its full weight. Make it soft and comfortable. Distribute your dog's weight around its belly and hips. Leave plenty of room for its hind limbs to remain in natural positions [source: Bergins].
- Make a harness to pull the cart You'll need some straps that connect the wheelchair frame to your dog's shoulders, so it can pull itself around with ease. These straps should be soft and flexible, but strong enough to pull all the weight [source: Bergins].
- Two or four wheels Consider the type of terrain your dog will be traversing. If you just need it to get around your house, you may consider using four small wheels to help distribute your dog's weight and relieve strain from its back and hips. If it will be walking around outside on rough or bumpy ground, use only two large wheels with inflated tires to absorb shocks and get over small obstacles [source: Bergins].
Remember to be patient. It may take more than one try before you get the wheelchair just right for your dog.