5 Way to Help Older Small Dogs

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There's no sadder sight than to see a lively, energetic dog lose his mobility. Several conditions could do this to your little canine, such as arthritis, hip dysplasia and spinal injuries. Dogs that become paralyzed in the hind legs or simply need extra support could benefit from a "wheelchair."

Most doggy wheelchairs, also known as carts, are simply two-wheeled contraptions that mount the hind legs up. The wheelchair relieves stress on joints and gives the dog extra support to help get around by just using his front legs. Some kinds prop the hind legs off the ground entirely, while others are mounted lower, so that the back paws touch the ground. With the latter kind, some owners get little booties for the hind paws if they tend to drag on the floor.

Dog wheelchairs aren't cheap, but they're usually custom-made to fit the dimensions of your dog. Some dogs take to wheelchairs better than others, too. If your dog isn't usually scared of new things, he could adjust to it quickly. But be prepared in case your dog needs time get used to it.

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