Navigating Digital Nomad Life with a Dog

Hit the road and bring your furry companion along for the ride! Living the digital nomad lifestyle means freedom is key, but when you’re traveling with a pet, things can get a bit more complex. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! By planning ahead and staying adaptable, you can embrace this thrilling way of life while making sure your pet is well taken care of. Today, Walkin’ Pets invites you to discover how you can wander without limits, while keeping your pet’s needs front and center every step of the way.

Building a Robust Portfolio

Before setting off on your nomadic journey, ensure you have a strong portfolio to showcase your skills. This should include previous work, testimonials, and a clear description of your services. A strong portfolio will help you attract clients and secure projects while on the road. It’s also a good idea to supplement your portfolio with an updated resume that can summarize all the projects and deadlines you’ve worked with. Here’s a free tool that you can use to persuasively highlight all your hard-won experience.

Walkin’ Wheels Wheelchair
large dog uses rear support harness for back legs
Warrior Rear Harness
Harness to help dog up stairs
Buddy Up Harness

Broadening Horizons: Networking for Success

Networking is crucial for a digital nomad. Connect with potential clients or employers through social media platforms, online forums, and networking events. These connections can lead to job opportunities and valuable partnerships.

Mastering the Art of Time Management

As a digital nomad with a pet, you must be adaptable and manage your time effectively. Design a flexible schedule that allows you to meet work deadlines while also caring for your pet. Remember, your pet will need regular exercise, feeding, and attention.

Establishing a Pet-Friendly Routine

Establishing a routine that caters to both your work and pet care needs is essential. This could include scheduling work hours around your pet’s feeding and walk times. Also, try to create a comfortable workspace where your pet can relax nearby.

Ease Your Pet into the Journey

If your pet isn’t used to traveling, start with small trips before embarking on longer journeys. This will allow them to adjust gradually. Always ensure your pet is safe and secure during travel, and remember to bring their favorite toys or blankets to help them feel more comfortable.

Exploring Green Spaces

Research the availability of pet-friendly parks or areas in your new destination. These spaces are great for your pet to exercise and socialize. It’s also a great opportunity for you to meet other pet owners and possibly learn about local pet resources.

Essential Pet Care Items

As a pet owner, it’s crucial to know what pet care items you’ll always need on hand to ensure your pet is comfortable and safe. This might include essentials like food and water bowls, a comfortable bed, grooming supplies, and toys tailored to their needs. Health-related items such as flea and tick prevention, a well-stocked first-aid kit, and any necessary medications should also be included in your pet care arsenal.

Before purchasing new items – especially dog crates – it’s wise to seek expert pet care advice and read product reviews. This will help you make informed decisions about the best products for your pet’s specific needs, ensuring they remain happy, healthy, and safe no matter where you are. And if your pet is disabled, Walkin’ Pets can help!

Being a digital nomad with a pet requires careful planning and adaptability, but the rewards are worth the effort. Protect your pet and your business with preparation and research. With these tips, you can enjoy the freedom of nomadic life while also providing a loving and stable environment for your furry friend.

Walkin’ Pets is here to give special needs pets the help they need and deserve. Questions? Call 888-253-0777.

Schnauzer Health and Mobility | Walkin’ Pets

The Schnauzer is a playful, affectionate breed that loves their family. With their distinctive look, most people know the Schnauzer for their mustached faces and thick eyebrows. This is one breed with a lot of personality! This unique breed is available in Miniature and Standard sizes, with the Miniature Schnauzer weighing between 11 to 20 pounds and the larger Standard Schnauzer weighing up to 50 pounds.

Although generally easygoing, the Schnauzers are known to get a bit feisty and can be barkers, but their big personality is a part of their charm. Like any other dog, there are some breed-specific genetic health risks that every Schnauzer mom and dad should be aware of. Here’s what you need to know about your Schnauzer’s health.

Fibrocartilaginous Embolism in Miniature Schnauzers

Also known as an FCE or spinal stroke. FCEs are more common in Miniature Schnauzers than any other breed, with one study showing 24% of the cases included were among Miniature Schnauzers. A spinal stroke can occur very suddenly and usually happens after a dog has been very active. Sudden paralysis, dragging legs, and a stumbling gait are common signs a dog has an FCE.

Depending on where the stroke occurs in the spine, a dog may only have one side of its body affected or just the front or back legs. With quick treatment and rehabilitation, most dogs can walk again. During treatment, a dog wheelchair may be used to help support the dog and keep them mobile as they recover. A Schnauzer wheelchair can help the dog overcome balance issues, assist them to stand or walk, and help the dog throughout their FCE rehabilitation.

Eye Problems – Cataracts

Although known for their bushy eyebrows and dark eyes, the Schnauzer is predisposed to several eye problems, including cataracts. Cataracts can appear at any age, with a cloudy film covering the lens of the eye. A cataract can cause blindness, which can be treated in some cases with corrective eye surgery.

Additional eye issues that Schnauzers are prone to include Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and Glaucoma. Make your Schnauzers’ eye health a priority and have their eyes examined during every annual checkup. In between veterinary checkups, watch for any visual changes to the eye, including discoloration or cloudiness in the eye, as this may indicate a change in a dog’s vision.

Hip Dysplasia

Schnauzer puppy running in field

Although hip pain can affect any size dog, Hip Dysplasia is more common in the larger Standard Schnauzer than its smaller cousin. Hip dysplasia is a degenerative joint condition that can impact a dog’s mobility and cause joint pain. There are varying degrees of hip dysplasia. Young dogs can be diagnosed with the condition but may not feel the effects of the hip condition until they are much older, as the dysplasia can progress over the years.

Early diagnosis is key to keeping your dog’s hips healthy. For young Schnauzers diagnosed with hip dysplasia, it’s best to keep your dog at a healthy weight and introduce them to a joint supplement at a younger age to promote joint health and ease occasional stiffness. Your veterinarian will check your Schnauzer’s hips during their annual checkup, looking for any signs of discomfort and impact on its range of motion.

Luxating Patella

Patella luxation occurs when a dog’s kneecap slips out of the patellar groove. This is quite common in smaller dog breeds such as the Miniature Schnauzer. A healthy kneecap should move up and down as a dog’s knee flexes and moves. When the kneecap luxates, it essentially dislocates and pops out of place, which can cause discomfort and impact a Schnauzer’s ability to move normally. When this happens, you may see your dog hold their back leg behind them as they get around on three legs until the kneecap pops back into position.  

Depending on the severity of the patella luxation, the knee may pop back into place on its own, with assistance, or in the most advanced degree surgery may be recommended.

Myotonia Congenita

A genetic muscle disease that causes hyper-reactive muscles that contract easily. When the muscle stiffens, the muscles can bulge making it difficult for the Schnauzer to move. And in some cases, this can even impact the Schnauzer’s ability to swallow. The condition is incurable and impacts about 2% of the breed, with approximately 20% of all Schnauzers as genetic carriers of the condition. Any Schnauzer exhibiting signs of Myotonia Congenita need to be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Understanding Your Schnauzer’s Health

It’s important to know that the Schnauzer is, overall, a healthy dog breed that makes an excellent pet. Although it’s important to understand any health risks so that you can be aware of any signs your dog’s mobility or health is changing, with regular checkups and living a healthy lifestyle, your Schnauzer should live a long and happy life.

Handicapped Pet Parents Can Take Inspirate from Para-athletes

Owning a handicapped pet can be challenging. They require much care but can also be some of the most loving, impressive companions. You might sometimes feel you’re not doing enough for your extra-special animal friend, but owners of handicapped pets can draw inspiration from para-athletes who overcome daily obstacles.

Here are some lessons to inspire hope and confidence in your pet-parenting abilities.

Everyone is Born with the Same Potential

If your pet was born with a disability, it doesn’t mean they won’t be able to participate in fun activities. Your pet doesn’t know they are different and can thrive if you nurture their needs. The same goes for humans.

Matt Stutzman

Matt Stutzman was born without arms, but that didn’t stop him from becoming an expert archer. As the self-proclaimed “Armless Archer,” he became the world record holder for the longest accurate shot.

He was adopted at a year old and said his parents taught him that the impossible was just a state of mind. Stutzman went on to win a silver medal for Team USA.

Jerome Singleton

Jerome Singleton was born with a partial tibia and became a below-the-knee amputee as a toddler. He’s since excelled in athletics, becoming a top football player in South Carolina.

He then began his Paralympic career, earning the title of fastest amputee in the world in 2011.

He’s also an impressive academic with degrees in industrial engineering design, mathematics and applied physics.

Trischa Zorn

Trischa Zorn is the most accomplished Paralympian, with 41 individual gold medals and 55 medals in total. She was born blind, but that didn’t stop her from establishing an impressive swimming career.

 In 2012, she took her place in the International Paralympic Committee Hall of Fame.

Tatyana McFadden

Tatyana McFadden, also known as “The Beast,” won 11 Paralympic medals by age 26, becoming one of the best wheelchair athletes. McFadden was born with spina bifida and was paralyzed from the waist down. Her parents adopted her from a Russian orphanage. McFadden became the youngest athlete on the 2004 Paralympic team. Aside from wheelchair racing in the summer, she competed in winter as a cross-country skier, winning a silver medal.

In high school, McFadden had to fight to race. Officials said her racing chair was a hazard and an unfair advantage, leading her to race in “wheelchair events” by herself. She successfully fought the school to compete on the track with her team. Her lawsuit led to the passage of the Maryland Fitness and Athletics Equity for Students with Disabilities Act or “Tatyana’s Law.”

What to Remember

The efforts of these athletes have made incredible strides in ensuring both recognition and respect for people of all types, and this continues even today. The upcoming 2024 Paris Paralympics are expected to further promote inclusivity and the need for adaptive facilities.

These athletes show the power of pursuing your goals even if your actions go against what society deems healthy or normal. They’re not just competing — they’re winning. It turns out you don’t need arms for archery, eyes for swimming or legs for racing. Your pet might not have all of their paws, hearing or eyesight. Giving them the right support and encouragement is all they need.

Adaptation Is Possible

It’s normal to worry if an illness or injury alters your pet’s body. They’ve had experience with body parts or abilities they no longer have, but many adapt to thrive. Maybe they heard of these incredible para-athletes who didn’t let similar circumstances break them.

Nick Springer

Nick Springer got a poor prognosis after contracting a rare form of meningitis as a teenager. When he woke up after two months in a medically-induced coma, he was missing his arms and legs. Springer, who used to play hockey, had to relearn how to do previously simple tasks like eating or getting dressed.

“My family made a point of showing me my life was not over,” he told CBS News in 2012. “It was more of a time out.”

That support paid off, and Springer took up rugby. He entered the Paralympics less than a decade after his amputations and helped Team USA win gold and bronze medals. Springer passed away unexpectedly in 2021, but his endurance and strength leave a mighty legacy.

Brad Snyder

Brad Snyder was a swim team captain at the U.S. Naval Academy before losing his sight in an IED explosion. He became a Paralympic swimmer, winning six gold medals in 2012 and 2016. He then switched to the triathlon and qualified for Tokyo, becoming the first American man in the Paralympic or Olympic games to win the gold medal.

Snyder wrote in his profile that he strives to inspire others to pursue happiness.

What to Remember

Tragedies are an unfortunate part of life. They can change human and animal lives forever. However, everyone can adapt to the changes with ambition and support and conquer the world in new and interesting ways.

The World May Judge but Is Also Pretty Incredible

When your pet is different from others in their species, you will have to explain their condition and what they are capable of. People may overanalyze or not appreciate your pet’s abilities. However, they are often willing to help you and your friend when needed.

Zakia Khudadadi and Hossain Rasouli

When the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, it seemed that these two Paralympic athletes wouldn’t make it to Tokyo. International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons stated that the committee found out they couldn’t compete just two weeks before the opening ceremonies.

The result was a global outcry that let Khudadadi and Rasouli evacuate from Kabul to Paris, where they got a flight to the Games.

Rasouli was the victim of an explosion that led to a hand amputation before competing in the long jump. Competitor Roderick Townsend was thrilled to see his name at the competition.

“I saw his name on there. With everything going on right now, I couldn’t help but feel joy for him,” he told the BBC in 2021.

Zakia Khudadadi is the first female taekwondo practitioner from Afghanistan. She was born with a disability affecting her left arm. After competing in 2021, she won the gold medal at the 2023 European Para Championships, saying she won for the women of Afghanistan.

What to Remember

Life is harder for people living in a world built for the majority. However, you can have faith that people will support you and your pet when you need it if you reach out.

Taking Inspiration from Para-Athletes

Para-athletes are amazing, and though your handicapped pet isn’t human, they can still live full, thriving lives. Let these stories inspire you to

How Do I Know If a Dog Wheelchair is Right for Me?

Maintaining your dog’s mobility and activity levels is crucial for their physical and mental well-being. Assistive devices, such as a dog wheelchair, were developed specifically for this purpose. Although the idea of a dog wheelchair may have seemed ludicrous a few years ago, it now plays a vital role in helping countless dogs that struggle with mobility issues. 

Unsure if a wheelchair is right for your dog? You’re not alone. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming. If you’re not sure what the right mobility solution is for your dog, we can help.  

What a dog wheelchair does 

When you think of a wheelchair, you’re likely to imagine someone who is immobile, sitting down, unable to stand or move their legs. A dog wheelchair is very different from this. Although there are paralyzed dogs that benefit from a wheelchair, the experience is much closer to a set of crutches or even a walker.  

Just like a walker, when a dog uses a cart, they stand upright and can move their back legs. The wheelchair’s frame offers support and stability enabling them to walk (and even run) with its assistance. The rear wheels of the wheelchair are in line with the dog’s hips and act as additional support for the dog’s legs. In short, a dog wheelchair is a mobility tool that helps a dog to walk and stay active.  

Assessing a dog’s need for a wheelchair 

  • Does your dog tire easily? 
  • Do their back legs shake or give out occasionally? 
  • Does your dog struggle to stand? 
  • Has your dog’s hind end atrophied?  
  • Is maintaining balance an issue for your dog? 
  • Has your dog’s mobility noticeably changed? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, your dog could benefit from a cart. Dog wheelchairs aren’t just for fully paralyzed pups. There are a whole host of reasons why a dog might need a wheelchair for temporary use as they recover from a knee injury or for longer-term mobility support for older dogs dealing with joint pain or mobility loss. Talk to your veterinarian for support and guidance. Your vet understands your dog’s diagnosis, what level of support your dog needs, and can help guide you to the right mobility solution for your pet. 

Test your dog’s leg strength  

The towel test is a quick and simple way to test your dog’s leg strength. Grab a towel and place it under the abdomen and hips. Gently lift until your dog’s back legs are no longer touching the ground and walk forward. The towel supports your dog very similarly to how a cart would support them, if your dog can move forward easily, their front legs are strong, and this is a good indication that your dog would do very well with a rear wheel dog wheelchair.  

8 Reasons Why a Dog Might Need a Rear Wheelchair 

1. Arthritis  

As a degenerative condition, many pet parents don’t realize how significant an impact arthritis has on their dog’s mobility. Often attributed to old age, “slowing down” can be an indication that your dog’s joints ache and their becoming less active is due to it being too difficult for them to walk. A wheelchair can greatly reduce the weight your dog places on their arthritic joints and help them to move without straining themselves or causing unnecessary pain.  

2. Leg weakness 

The signs of leg weakness can start out very subtly. Physical signs can include struggling on the stairs, having a hard time standing up after a nap, or occasional loss of balance to name just a few. Physically, your dog’s hind end may appear thinner and bonier as they lose muscle mass in their back legs. A wheelchair can provide extra support and help your dog to rebuild some leg strength.  

3. Rehabilitation and recovery 

Exercise is vital for any dog, but one that’s recovering from an injury or after surgery needs to stay active in a safe way to prevent muscle atrophy. A wheelchair provides stability, giving your dog a safe way to stand and walk without injuring itself further. Many rehab specialists will incorporate using a wheelchair into their therapy sessions because it allows a dog to stand upright and be supported as they work to help the dog to regain strength, improve range of motion, and increase its stamina.  

4. Knee Injury 

Whether waiting for cruciate surgery, rehabbing an injury, or protecting your dog’s remaining healthy knee, a dog wheelchair is a great option for canine cruciate tears. The balance and support provided by a cart reduces the strain on your dog’s knee as it heals and helps them to stay active. 

5. Hip Dysplasia 

Although hip dysplasia’s impact on a dog’s mobility can vary greatly, in severe cases, joint pain can make it difficult for a dog to stand or walk without assistance. A cart can lessen the burden on a dog’s hips and reduce the pressure placed on the legs which can make it easier for a dog to walk.  

6. Degenerative Myelopathy  

Degenerative Myelopathy, or DM, is a mobility condition that progressively worsens over time. In its earliest stages, a dog with DM may have weak back legs or drag their paws when walking. An adjustable wheelchair is essential as the mobility loss will get worse, and exercise is vitally important to slow the disease’s progression.  

7. IVDD  

Also known as Intervertebral Disc Disease, IVDD is a spinal condition that can impact a dog’s hind leg function and even cause paralysis. Quite common in dachshunds, IVDD dogs often use a wheelchair for support as they heal.  

8. Hind Limb Amputation 

Many tripod dogs get around just fine on three legs, but as they get older the strain of bearing all their weight on one back leg can catch up to them. They may experience arthritis in their remaining limb or even struggle to fully support themselves, this is where a wheelchair can really help. Instead of leaning to one side, the wheelchair allows the tripod to stand level to reduce the weight on the remaining leg.  

An Active Dog’s Owner Has Success with Dog Wheelchair

I purchased a Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair for my fourteen year old blue heeler. In just two days, we have gone for a walk at the park and played ball for the first time in over 16 months. She is a very active dog, and I would have been devastated if I would have had to put her down. I cherish this dog wheelchair of yours. I was concerned that it would be hard to adjust, but I figured it out, and pictures really helped. I would like to thank the inventor on behalf of my dog Kiva. She is not 100%, but Kiva is really close to being herself again.

I would like to tell people who are considering purchasing a Walkin’ Wheels to stay focused, read instructions, and be patient. Most dogs won’t figure out how to make the turns immediately, but Kiva was making turns within only two days and after spending only approximately 30 minutes in her wheelchair. Thank you for your help for Kiva.

– Travis T.


Maintaining your dog’s mobility and activity levels is crucial for their physical and mental well-being. the decision to get your best friend a cart, is a testament to your love and commitment to your pup. With the right assistance and support, your dog can continue to enjoy the activities they love.. So, if you’re still wondering if a dog wheelchair is the right choice for your pet, consult with your veterinarian, explore the possibilities, and give your beloved dog the gift of mobility and freedom they deserve.

Understanding Beagle Health and Mobility

The lively and energetic Beagle is an adventurous and family-friendly dog. Naturally curious and originally bred for hunting, Beagles love the outdoors. Characterized by their incredible sense of smell, this medium-sized dog needs a lot of exercise and may bark when excited. They can be a bit independent, especially when on the trail of a good scent, but the Beagle is an excellent addition to any family.  

Like any breed, the Beagle is susceptible to certain hereditary health problems but for the most part the breed is very healthy. Here’s a quick introduction to a few conditions that may impact your Beagle’s health or mobility: 

IVDD in Beagles 

With their shorter legs and long backs, Beagles are known to have back problems and disc issues. Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) being the most common spinal condition affecting them. This degenerative condition is prevalent in the breed, with an estimated 99% of Beagles considered at risk. Most Beagles will experience disc degeneration in their neck; however, the spine and lower back can be affected as well. Depending on the severity and location of the herniated disc, a dog may be paralyzed. After crate rest and when approved by a vet, a Beagle wheelchair can be used during therapy sessions to support mobility as the dog heals. 

Beagle Pain Syndrome 

Although named after the breed, Beagle Pain Syndrome can also impact other dog breeds. Beagle Pain Syndrome is a form of meningitis that causes blood vessel inflammation that usually impacts Beagle puppies between five to ten months old. It can cause back pain, muscle spasms, and stiffness in the neck. Because the condition is quite painful, the way the Beagle stands may change (with an arched back) and even show signs of weakness.  Although rare, some puppies with Beagle Pain Syndrome have experienced paralysis and vision loss. Every Beagle will exhibit different symptoms, but if your Beagle puppy is showing any sign of pain or changes in mobility, they need to be examined by a veterinarian so they can receive treatment quickly.  


Obesity is a growing problem in Beagles. With their sturdy build and shorter legs, keeping your Beagle at an optimal weight can help limit the strain placed on your dog’s joints. Excess weight can greatly impact a Beagle’s ability to move around and even cause back pain. A healthy diet, portion control, and plenty of exercise are essential to help your Beagle maintain a healthy weight. An adult Beagle needs around two hours of exercise every day to stay fit! 

Hip Dysplasia 

Hip Dysplasia is a joint condition caused when a dog’s hip socket doesn’t develop correctly. Over time, this can cause damage to the joint and lead to hip pain or arthritis. Although not widely prevalent among Beagles, 18.5% of all Beagles tested have abnormal hips. According to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, Beagles are considered a moderate risk for developing hip dysplasia. In advanced stages, hip dysplasia can limit a dog’s mobility, causing stiff movements and can make it difficult for a dog to bear its own weight. In these instances, a dog wheelchair is often recommended to support the dog’s weight and encourage them to walk.  

Ear Infections 

The Beagle’s cute, floppy ears can impact their ear health. Due to the size and shape of their ears, Beagles are prone to developing ear infections. Regular cleaning and ear checks are recommended to prevent an ear infection. Other causes of ear issues in Beagles can stem from ear mites, bacteria or yeast buildup. Ear health is incredibly important, signs of an ear infection include: 

  • Head shaking 
  • Excessive digging or scratching at their ears 
  • Smell or redness 
  • Ear discharge  
  • Signs of pain 

Ear infections are very treatable, and at any sign of ear aches your Beagle should be brought to the vet for diagnosis and treatment.  

Epilepsy and Seizures in Beagles

Beagles are prone to seizures. According to a UK study, the Beagle was in the top 10 dog breeds for epilepsy. Beagle epilepsy can range from an occasional seizure to a more frequent and intense seizure that causes loss of consciousness. Epilepsy can occur in Beagles at any age, but most often start from a year and half on through adulthood.

If your dog has a seizure, first keep them safe and second try to time the seizure and note your dog’s reactions after the seizure stops. Behavioral cues can be helpful when your veterinarian is trying to determine the cause of your dog’s seizures. Some dogs may experience a one-off seizure and never have one again. Others will be dealing with chronic seizures that may require medical care. Always check with your veterinarian if your dog has a seizure, they can help determine what level of care your Beagle will need.  

Beagle Wellness

As a breed, Beagles are relatively healthy. With proper care, regular veterinary visits, and a healthy lifestyle your Beagle should live a long and healthy life. The average lifespan for a Beagle is between 10 – 15 years. Enjoy every minute with your best friend, and with a Beagle’s sense of adventure and great nose, be ready for lots of exploring!

How to Find the Right Routine for a Newly Paralyzed Pet

Taking care of a newly paralyzed dog can be a challenging experience for your entire family. Your once self-sufficient and active dog now requires your assistance, even for the most basic tasks. It can be overwhelming to know where to begin, and it’s normal to place a lot of pressure on yourself because you want to do everything right. It’s okay to feel this way. There is a steep learning curve when it comes to caring for a pet with mobility issues. There are a few simple things you can do to start: always work with your veterinarian and ask lots of questions, and then start by establishing a daily routine that works for you and your best friend.

Create a Daily Schedule

Your dog’s been seen by the vet, and a treatment plan’s but put in place. Now it’s time to take your dog home – where do you begin? Start by reviewing your vet’s instructions and prescriptions. Now, let’s create a schedule for yourself and a checklist you can follow daily.

What to include on your schedule:

  • Wake-up time – routine is important with a paralyzed dog, and they need to get on a regular potty schedule.
  • Medication times and frequency
  • Typical times your dog goes to the bathroom – this is especially important in paralyzed dogs that need to be expressed manually. Adjust this as you go, with time, you’ll figure out how regularly your dog needs to be expressed.
  • For incontinent dogs – note times throughout the day when you want to check or change your dog’s diaper.
  • Exercise and playtimes
  • Rehabilitation time – both for any recommended at-home exercises and stretches, as well as any regular appointments.
  • Veterinary follow-up appointments
  • Bedtime

If Something Doesn’t Work….Try, Try, Again

Allow yourself to try new things and forgive yourself if it doesn’t work. It will take time to establish a new normal for yourself. Caring for a special needs dog comes with its own set of challenges, and it definitely doesn’t come with a handbook. Finding the right routine for you will involve a lot of trial and error.  

Remember to be kind to yourself. If you find that something isn’t working, don’t worry; it just means that it’s time to try a new approach. Use the term “iteration” to motivate yourself and your loved ones when you feel discouraged or overwhelmed. Remember that it doesn’t have to be the final version when something isn’t working, and that’s okay.


Caring for a newly paralyzed pet can be difficult and challenging, but it is also incredibly rewarding. Accept that there will be new challenges and understand that every day will bring something new. Keep yourself flexible and be willing to adapt to a new way of doing things as you go.

We’d love to hear from you! What tips or tricks have you found that help make life a bit simpler when caring a new paralyzed dog or cat? Leave your comments below!

German Shepherd dog wheelchair

How to Use a Dog Wheelchair for Rehabilitation & Recovery

Helping an injured dog get back on its feet is a vital part of the recovery process. A  dog wheelchair can play an integral role in a dog’s rehabilitation. A cart allows the dog to stand upright instead of lying down, and it can also improve recovery times. Adding a five to ten-minute cart walk into a dog’s treatment plan several times a day will help the dog physically and lift its spirits.

Many dogs in wheelchairs use them due to old age, weakness, or paralysis and are destined to use them for the rest of their lives. Others may only need to use the wheelchair for a couple of months or weeks even. Many vets and rehabilitation centers will encourage the use of a wheelchair for pets in recovery from surgery or injury.

Many dogs suffering from ACL or knee injuries will use a dog wheelchair as they heal. A wheelchair makes the process easier both for the dog and their family. In this article, I will discuss the common illnesses and injuries they can assist with, as well as why a wheelchair is beneficial for dog rehabilitation.

Using a Dog Wheelchair for Hind Leg Rehabilitation

Dog wheelchair for rehabilitation therapy

While there are many different reasons a dog could need a wheelchair the most common causes are due to injury, paralysis, recovery from surgery, or disease. While not all of these can be reversed a set of dog wheels can assist them all and, in some scenarios, even assist in rehabilitation from an injury, surgery, or in some cases paralysis from a neurological condition or birth defect.

A dog wheelchair is an important rehab tool for dogs with back leg injuries or recovery. Here are some of the most common cases a dog could use a wheelchair to help with rehabilitation.

Dog Wheelchair and Therapy: How does it work?

Dog in wheelchair greeted by their vet

A dog wheelchair is considered a mobility aid. The primary function of a wheelchair is to make it easier for a dog to walk. A dog may need a wheelchair due to an injury, weak hind legs, or a medical condition impacting its ability to walk (such as DM or IVDD).  Wheelchair use isn’t limited to only paralyzed pets. A wheelchair can be incredibly beneficial for dogs with knee injuries, during post-surgical recovery, and those with painful joint conditions. 

The two most common wheelchair styles used in therapy include:

  • Rear Wheelchair for supporting a pet’s back legs
  • Full Support Wheelchair provides support to all four limbs

The cart encourages walking by reducing the weight the pet places on its weak legs. In addition, the rear wheelchair’s support system supports underneath the pet’s pelvis with the cart’s wheels in line with the dog’s hips allowing them to use their hind legs without straining themselves. When used properly a wheelchair helps dog rebuild muscles in their legs and regain their strength through continued exercise. 

Dogs using a quad cart will receive the same support in the hind end while also aiding the front legs. The front leg support is directly under the dog’s chest, with the front wheels in line with the shoulders. By assisting the front and back legs simultaneously, the dog receives balanced support that should make it easier for them to stand and walk. In addition, a 4-wheel cart will allow for more movement and encourage weight bearing earlier in a pet’s recovery. Full-support wheelchairs are especially beneficial for dogs recovering from injury or surgery. 

French bulldog wheelchair at rehab
Quad dog wheelchair for full body support

The Benefits of Wheelchair Use During Rehabilitation

Paralyzed dog uses wheelchair during water therapy

For dogs in physical therapy, the wheelchair assists them during their training, helping them to stand and supporting them as they move. The goal for many pets in rehab is to strengthen their legs and build up the dog’s stamina. A canine cart can help pets achieve both of these goals. 

When a dog first starts in their cart, expect them to tire quickly, remember they haven’t walked in a while. Although it will take time for the dog to rebuild its strength, we recommend starting with short walks that slowly increase in time. For example, most dogs begin with six to ten minutes of cart time on their first wheelchair walk. Then, as a general rule of thumb, allow at least two hours between walks. This gives your pet the time they need to rest and recover. 

Physical benefits of using a dog wheelchair during rehabilitation include:

  • Increased stamina
  • Rebuild muscle strength
  • Improved balance and support
  • Minimize muscle loss 
  • Regain independence
  • Encourage exercise 
  • Get the dog upright and mobile sooner
  • Allows for weight bearing on injured or weak legs 
  • Makes it easier to get the dog outside to go to the bathroom

Neurological Conditions and Recovering from a Stroke

Canine mobility cart for exercise and keep handicapped dogs active

While the process of recovery is different based on many outside factors, the Walkin’ Rear and Quad Wheelchairs have been able to assist in recovery from strokes and other neurological conditions. We have seen wheelchair based rehabilitation work for the below issues and conditions: 

  • Paralysis of one side of the body 
  • Immobility or paralysis in a single limb
  • Paralysis in front both front limbs or rear limbs
  • Weakened back legs
  • Loss of Coordination
  • Slipped Disc
  • Stroke

While some dogs who suffer from paralysis on one side of the body tend to go in circles at first over time as they develop strength in their legs again as they won’t have to worry about bearing weight can then assist them in eventually using their weakened legs on their own over time. Please be advised for specific instructions and a detailed rehab plan needs to come from your Vet or Rehab specialist so they can find what will work best for you and your pet and if rehab is a viable option for them. 

Recovering from Injury or Surgery

German Shepherd with degenerative myelopathy uses a dog wheelchair to live longer life

Assistance in recovering from a physical injury or post-surgical are both very common reasons for the use of a dog or pet Wheelchair. Making sure your dog has the extra weight and pressure taken off of their injury or spot of their recent surgery is a huge part of the healing process. Making sure your dog is healing properly and safely, but still able to have some independence when walking around and going potty is an important part of recovery both physically and mentally for them.

Healing after an injury or surgery are some of the most common reasons why a dog would require a dog wheelchair. Some of the common injuries and surgeries that benefit from wheelchair rehabilitation include:

  • ACL (Knee) Tear 
  • Post ACL repair or knee surgery
  • Trauma to rear end 
  • Broken Legs
  • IVDD (Spinal) related surgeries
  • Hip Dysplasia 
  • THP – Total Hip Replacement Surgery
  • Amputation of one or more Limbs 

If a dog has just had an ACL repair surgery on their knee or even a Total Hip Replacement getting these dogs the movement they need while in recovery can be tough. As a dog heals it’s crucial that extra weight and pressure is not being placed on the injured leg. This is especially difficult in injured large dogs. Many large dogs benefit from using a wheelchair while they recover. Using a dog wheelchair allows dogs to remain mobile and can give families peace of mind that their dog can still be active while staying safe. Additionally, using a wheelchair eliminates the risk of pet parents injuring themselves or straining their back lifting a heavy dog.

At Home Physical Therapy with a Dog Wheelchair

Your dog’s treatment plan will be unique and designed to benefit your dog’s individual mobility needs based on their health needs. You should always work closely with your rehab specialist to develop the right rehabilitation plan for your dog. There are many at-home treatments, therapies, and exercises to benefit your dog’s recovery. Always discuss any treatments with your dog’s medical professional before trying them at home. Some different kinds of physical therapy you can do with your dog while in their wheelchair are as follows:

  • Strength Training 
  • Passive Range of Motion (PROM)
  • Stand and Count
  • Stand and Shift Weight


While some dogs will need to use a wheelchair for the rest of their lives, many have been able to use it to assist in rehabbing their condition. Dogs in wheelchairs can be just as happy as dogs who are not using one and it may even be a way to rehabilitate your dog. Temporary use of a wheelchair gives your pet their mobility again and is a key reason why dog wheelchairs are so important.

Whether recovering from surgery or a neurological condition, using a dog wheelchair as part of your dog’s rehabilitation plan with your Vet or Rehab Specialist is a great way to help your dog through the process safely and with support. As the Walkin’ Wheels is easy to use it makes guided rehab for difficult conditions much easier in your own home.

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Creating a Safe Haven: Adjustments, Care and Self-Care for Paralyzed Pet Owners

As devoted pet owners, we often find ourselves facing uncharted territories when our best friend encounters life-altering circumstances. When your first bring home a pet with mobility issues, there are a lot of unknowns and unforeseen challenges. In this article, we will explore the essential aspects of caring for a paralyzed pet, and highlight a few unexpected things, that you may feel unprepared for. Including, making necessary home adjustments to understanding the unique bathroom needs of a paralyzed dog. Through expert insights and real-life experiences, we aim to empower you with the knowledge and compassion required to provide your paralyzed pet with the best possible quality of life while ensuring that you, too, receive the self-care and support you need on this remarkable journey.

Expect to Make Changes Around the House

When you first bring a paralyzed pet home, you need to look at your house with a fresh set of eyes. You need to ask yourself two things: is my pet safe, and do they have easy access to everything they need? Here are a few things to be aware of:

  • Crate rest – Often the first thing your vet will recommend. Crate rest is especially important during the healing process or before/after surgery. It’s crucial that you follow your veterinarian’s instructions and limit your dog’s mobility until given the go-ahead to move around freely.
  • Pet gates – Just because you know your dog can’t manage the stairs safely, doesn’t mean your dog knows it’s unsafe. You may need to restrict your dog’s access to certain areas of the house, including stairs. A pet gate is a great way to contain your dog’s movements and keep them close to you where you can keep an eye on them.
  • Padded bedding – Many paralyzed dogs will spend a lot more downtime on the floor. A padded surface acts as a protective barrier between your dog’s joints and the hard floor. Many paralyzed pets may not be able to shift themselves easily to find a more comfortable position, which means spending extended time on their side. They may need your help to reposition them every few hours to help prevent pressure sores from forming.
  • Access to food and water – Make sure your dog always has access to water bowls. They may no longer be able to get up and walk across the room to get a drink.  Also, keeping your dog hydrated can make it less likely for them to develop urinary tract infections, which means your dog will need their water refilled regularly. More hydration also means more frequent potty trips are needed!

What They May Not Tell You About Bathroom Breaks

Caring for a newly paralyzed pet also means paying a lot of attention to their bathroom needs. Many paralyzed dogs are incontinent, this may mean that your dog needs to wear a diaper or even need your help to manually express their bladder or bowel. Here are a few things to be aware of about your paralyzed dog’s bathroom needs:

How many times a day does a paralyzed dog need to go outside?

Happy paralyzed dog at home
A drag bag is a great way to protect your dog’s legs and chest from scrapes & rug burns.

There isn’t a single correct answer to this question. Every dog’s potty needs are different. Many experts say that most paralyzed dogs will need to go outside at least three times a day. But it’s quite common for a dog to need to relieve themselves as many as four or five times a day. More frequent bathroom breaks will help to avoid accidents.

Getting your dog outside quickly can be a challenge too! Check with your vet first, but using a dog wheelchair or simple lifting harness are great ways to get your dog up and outside when it’s time for them go.

Hygiene is important

When caring for a paralyzed dog, there will be extra cleanup. Accidents do happen, which means lots of baths! For dogs wearing a diaper, hygiene is incredibly important. Diaper changes need to happen frequently; your pet’s skin can be incredibly sensitive. Regular diaper changes help to keep your dog comfortable and dry. While also helping them to avoid painful urine burns.

Dogs that drag themselves on the floor can scrape themselves pretty easily. A drag bag is a great way to protect your dog’s sensitive skin and create a safe way for them to scoot around without hurting themselves. For incontinent pets, the drag bag is made of water resistant material and can be worn with a diaper.

You Need to Take Care of Yourself Too!

As rewarding as it can be to care for a paralyzed pet, at times, it can also be overwhelming and exhausting for their primary caregiver. It’s easy to burn out, so remember to care for yourself too. Take time to recharge yourself. Even five minutes of quiet meditation or fresh air can go a long way. There’s truth to what they say on airplanes, “put on your own oxygen mask before you help others around you.”

This includes getting a good night’s sleep. When dog mom, Tyme Powell’s pup Gravy was first paralyzed, sleep was the first thing she and her partner sacrificed. Tyme says, “In the beginning, we slept on the floor or couch with him in the living room for a couple of months so he wouldn’t fall off the bed, and we were barely sleeping at all. Finally, our physical therapist told us, ‘Oh, no, you are totally fine to sleep through the night. He’ll be fine,’ so that was when we started trying other things. It’s just so unclear in the beginning what can and can’t be done.”

You can’t fully be there for your dog if you’re not rested and taking care of yourself. There’s nothing selfish about giving yourself permission to have a good night’s rest.


Caring for a paralyzed pet is undeniably demanding, but it is also a truly rewarding experience. By providing unwavering love and support, you can make a profound difference in your pet’s life. Remember that seeking guidance from veterinarians and learning from the experiences of fellow pet owners can be invaluable. Furthermore, don’t overlook the importance of self-care. Just as you provide comfort and care for your pet, taking care of your own well-being is essential. By navigating this path with empathy, patience, and dedication, you can ensure that your paralyzed pet enjoys a fulfilling life, and together, you will create enduring memories of resilience, love, and triumph.

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Cold Weather and It’s Impact on a Dog’s Mobility

Frigid temperatures and wet weather can make cause our joints to ache or cause them to stiffen; the same thing happens to dogs. Cold weather can have a significant impact on a dog’s movements. The impact can be even more drastic on an arthritic dog. A dog with arthritis already experiences joint inflammation, and the cold temperatures can exacerbate the symptoms even further.  

Read on to learn more about why the winter weather can make it more difficult for an older dog to walk and move: 

How Cold Weather Impacts a Dog’s Movement 

Joint inflammation and stiffness: 

In wintertime, the cold can cause a dog’s joints to become stiffer, making it more difficult and painful for them to move. Your dog may even move differently. The discomfort may cause them to walk more slowly and carefully, and their gait may change as well. Dogs with arthritis may experience a more noticeable impact on their mobility, as arthritic joints are particularly sensitive to temperature changes. This stiffness can be particularly pronounced in the morning or after a period of inactivity.  

Changes in movement: 

Your dog’s posture and how they walk can change with extreme temperature drops. Older dogs may alter how they stand or move to make themselves more comfortable. This could mean shifting their weight away from a joint that hurts to bear more weight on a “healthy joint.” This can place additional strain on a healthy leg.  

When a dog’s muscles and joints are cold and stiff, they may have a reduced range of motion. As a response to the cold, dogs may tense their muscles causing the muscles to be less flexible and may lead to a stiff, rigid gait. This muscle tension is often a protective response to cold, as it helps prevent heat loss, but it can negatively affect a dog’s mobility. This can lead to a shuffling or stilted gait, with shorter steps and less fluid movement. Other physical signs of joint pain may include stiffer, slower movements or an overall decrease in activity levels.  

Wheelchair dogs can also feel the impact of the cold. Since they may be less inclined to go for walks or engage in outdoor activities, prolonged periods of downtime may cause muscle atrophy and further limit their mobility. 

Reduced blood flow: 

Cold temperatures can decrease blood flow to the extremities, including the joints. This reduced blood flow can make arthritis-related inflammation and discomfort worse. In cold weather, the blood vessels (capillaries) in a dog’s extremities, including their legs and paws, tend to constrict or narrow. This natural response is called vasoconstriction and is the body’s way of conserving heat. However, it also means less blood flows to these areas, which can lead to reduced warmth and flexibility in the muscles and joints.  

How to Improve Your Dog’s Mobility in Cold Weather 

Special needs and senior pet parents need to pay close attention to any signs of mobility change. Keeping your dog’s joints healthy year-round is an important part of their overall health and quality of life. Here are a few ways to help keep your dog active all winter long: 

Consult with your veterinarian:

If the cold weather is impacting your dog’s ability to move freely, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian. Only your vet can offer personalized advice and tailored treatment plans for your dog, especially for a dog with mobility issues.  

Every dog’s needs are different, and solutions may include medication, dietary modification, structured exercise through rehabilitation therapy, and even joint support. Always speak with your veterinarian before starting your dog on any course of treatment.  

Daily joint supplements: 

For dogs facing mobility challenges, joint health is of the utmost importance, especially in cold weather. Joint stiffness can be aggravated by the dropping temperatures, making it essential to provide the right support. A high-quality joint supplement is designed to support your dog’s joint health, ease stiff joints, support joint structure, and help support a dog’s mobility to help your canine companion stay active and comfortable during the winter months.   

Year-round mobility support:

Wheelchair dog plays in the snow

Dogs that show any signs of mobility change when the temperature drops most likely benefit from mobility support year-round. Your dog doesn’t have to struggle. Mobility aids like dog wheelchairs and lifting harnesses can help dogs with mobility issues, making it easier for them to stay active without straining themselves. Here are a few ways they can help: 

  • Difficulty standing – a rear support leash can be used to support your dog’s hind end and help them to get up off the ground to stand.  
  • Climbing stairs – a lifting harness is a great way to stabilize and support your dog as they climb up or down stairs.  
  • Slipping on tile or hardwood floors – wearing dog boots or traction socks with a rubber sole can help a senior dog to better grip the floor, helping them to keep their paws in place as they stand.  
  • Dog favors one leg and can’t bear weight evenly – a dog wheelchair provides pets

Caring for Your Collie and Understanding Their Health

Collies are an intelligent, friendly dog breed that makes an excellent family pet. Classified as a larger dog, Collies can weigh between 50 and 75 pounds and live for 12 to 14 years. As a whole, Collie’s are a relatively healthy breed, but there are a few health conditions that every Collie pet parent should be aware of.  

Degenerative Myelopathy in Collies

The Collie breed can be a carrier for Degenerative Myelopathy. DM is a genetic mobility condition that gradually impacts a dog’s leg strength and eventually causes paralysis. Most dogs will not show any signs of DM until they are adults, usually around 8 years old. Early signs of DM include weakening back legs, scraping back paws, and dogs may have difficulty supporting their own weight. Collies with DM will need to rely on a dog wheelchair at some point in their diagnosis as paralysis will occur.  

If your Collie is showing any signs of DM, speak with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Regular, structured exercise, such as rehab therapy, can help to slow the progression of the disease and early introduction of a wheelchair can make it easier to keep your Collie active.  


Collies are genetically at risk for Dermatomyositis, a rare inflammatory disease that impacts a dog’s skin, muscles, and blood vessels. Usually impacting very young dogs, the telltale signs of the condition include visible skin lesions, which can be crusty, patchy hair loss, and even cause ulcers. Although not curable, the symptoms can usually be managed at home with medical supervision from a veterinarian. Treatments will vary depending on the severity, and in some cases, the lesions will clear on their own with time. If your Collie is showing any signs of this condition, seek veterinary help immediately.  

Collie Eye Anomaly 

Collie lays in the grass

This genetic eye condition mainly affects herding dog breeds, especially the Collie and Sheltie. The condition can result in abnormal eye development in the retina, optic nerve, or choroid of a Collie’s eye. In the 1960s, it was originally thought that over 90% of all Collies were affected by CEA. Nowadays, responsible breeders test puppies between six and eight weeks old to determine if they have this condition. According to the OFA, the number of Collies with CEA has dropped to 18.5% although over 40% of Collies tested are still carriers of the condition.  

CEA can cause varying degrees of vision loss, and retinal detachments are common. However, most Collies with Collie Eye Anomaly only experience minor vision impairment and do not become completely blind. 

Progressive Retinal Atrophy 

PRA is another eye condition that can affect the Collie breed. Progressive Retinal Atrophy is a degenerative disease that impacts the retina of the eye. Collies are susceptible to a unique form of the condition that only impacts this breed called red cone dysplasia 2. This unique form of PRA affects young Collies with night blindness as young as only a few weeks old and can lead to complete blindness before the Collie is a few years old.  

Your Collie’s Health

For the most part, the Collie breed is very healthy and with proper care and treatment, a Collie can live a happy, active life. This fun-loving and active breed makes a great addition to any family.