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How to Support a Large Dog

Being a parent to a large dog means there’s more to love, but when that dog is unable to walk on their own, you’re left with a difficult problem. How do you lift and support a large dog without hurting yourself? Picking up your dog and carrying them isn’t always an option when your dog is over 75 lbs. So how do you safely lift a big dog who can’t walk without assistance?

The Proper Way to Lift a Large Dog

When caring for a large dog who is incapacitated, injured, or paralyzed, safely moving them is challenging. You need to lift your large breed dog without injuring yourself or them.

For severely injured dogs that are unable to stand on their own, a pet stretcher is often the safest way to transport your large dog. A transport stretcher safely supports your dog’s entire weight and allows multiple people to help carry your dog to the car or to Vet. 

Moving a Large Dog Who Can’t Walk

Luckily, there are other options available for lifting an injured dog who’s recovering from surgery. Depending on where your dog’s injury was or which legs were impacted, there are different lifting harnesses available that make it easier to move a dog who can’t walk on its own.

When choosing a rear harness for a large breed dog, look for a harness that’s durable and distributes the weight evenly to avoid straining your back. The best lifting harness for big dogs will support your dog from underneath and allow enough room so that your pet can still pee and poop while wearing the harness. 

Helping a Big Dog Stand Up

Labrador Retriever uses rear support leash for hind leg support

Older dogs deal with joint pain and stiff joints that make it difficult to stand up. If your large pet is slow to get up off the ground or struggling to stand on all four paws, it’s time to look into a rear support leash.

The Up-n-Go leash slides up your dog’s legs while they’re still laying down. Slide the leash on and gently lift your dog from underneath. The leash supports your dog as they stand and allows you to stabilize them. If your dog is unsteady on their feet, you can continue to use the rear support leash to help them maintain their balance as they walk outside.

Lifting a Large Dog with Weak Back Legs

Loss of strength in the back legs and hind leg injuries are very common in larger dogs. ACL tears, hip dysplasia, knee injuries, and arthritis can impact a dog’s mobility. Even senior dogs who can still bear weight on their back legs most of the time can have a bad day. A rear lifting harness can be used to assist a large dog on the stairs, help them jump into the car, or help support them as they walk outside to relieve themselves. 

Supporting the Front Legs of a Large Dog 

BuddyUp Harness provides lifting support for dog

Dogs carry as much as 60% of their weight on the front legs. For a large dog with a front leg injury this can disproportionately impact their mobility. Elbow dysplasia, weak front legs, wrist or tarsal injuries are just a few conditions that impact a dog’s front legs. Weak front leg make it difficult for a dog to support weight on their front limbs and maintain balance.

A front lifting harness distributes the weight of the front legs and allows pet parents to support their dog’s front end. Which makes it possible for your dog to stand and walk with your aid.

Improving Mobility for a Large Paralyzed Dog

Not only will the right mobility tools improve the life of a paralyzed dog, they will make your life easier too! Improved mobility means a better quality of life for you and your pet. 

Buddy Up Lifting Harness

full body lift harness for dog with Degenerative Myelopathy

The Buddy Up Harness allows you to lift and support your dog’s front and hind ends safely. Available in a rear harness, front harness, or both, the Buddy Up harness offers pet parents a safe way to give their pets total body support.

Because a large dog’s front legs bear the majority of the dog’s weight, your pet may need a harness that supports them underneath the chest and abdomen. The Buddy Up front harness features multiple support points in the front, on the chest, under the rib cage, and also at the belly – giving the pet the most support possible. Allowing pet parents to safely lift their dog up and help them into their Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair.

Use the Buddy Up Harness for:

  • Helping a dog in and out of the car
  • Additional support as pet climbs stairs
  • Lifting support to jump up on furniture
  • Comfortable wheelchair harness for optimal support
  • Stabilize and support a dog to get outside

The Buddy Up Harness offers pets the most support possible, but supporting under the chest, abdomen, and the hind end (when combined with the rear harness). This harness is ideal for big dog breeds who require a lot of support and need to be lifted comfortably. The Buddy Up Harness is fully Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair compatible.

Dog Wheelchairs for Large Dogs

Dog wheelchair support for the rear leg

Dog wheelchairs are the best way to give a dog back their independence. Not only does the wheelchair support a dog, helping them to get into an upright position, but it lessens the burden on the hind legs so that a dog can get outside and get the exercise they need.

Wheelchairs feature specially designed rear leg rings that support your dog’s back legs from underneath. These foam rings create a comfortable saddle for your dog to rest in. The leg rings leave plenty of space so that your dog is still able to pee and poop while using their wheelchair.

The Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair is designed to fit dogs weighing up to 180 lbs. Which makes it the perfect cart for large dog breeds like:

  • Great Dane
  • German Shepherd
  • Bernese Mountain Dog
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • St. Bernard
  • Mastiff
  • Golden Retriever

Dogs dealing with front and back leg weakness benefit from a full support or quad wheelchair. Four wheel wheelchairs support both the front and back legs. This allows your dog to stand, walk, and maintain their balance on their own while all four legs are supported. Large dog wheelchairs make it possible for your dog to run, play, and stay a part of their family.

Large dog runs in Walkin' Wheels dog wheelchair
Walkin’ Wheels Wheelchair
Dog uses rear support harness for weak back legs
Walkin’ Lift Rear Harness
BuddyUp Harness for dog wheelchair
Buddy Up Harness

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