24 May, 2009
By Stuart Fleming
When the idea of a wheel chair for dogs was first mentioned to me I immediately saw the sense in it. In fact, most mobility devices designed to assist humans can be adapted in some way or form to dogs, i.e. harnesses, carriers etc...The selling point for me in any of these products has always been its functionality. In other words, its purpose must be practical not some superficial reason.
To me, carrying a healthy dog in a front baby carrier is not only confusing but also serves to undermine to intention of the product and subsequently prevents potential buyers from considering it as a useful tool for dogs with mobility issues. It's easy to understand why a pet owner might consider these products for their aging dogs and nothing drives the point home more than actually seeing one being used properly.
Just yesterday I saw an older dog using a wheel chair and while it saddened me to see that it had lost the use of its hind legs it was really uplifting to see how excited it was to be outside actively engaging with other dogs.
I believe that it is our responsibility to provide the best quality of life for our dogs and denying them there natural right to an active life is not only unfair but also abusive.
This is why it is important that these devices be marketed in a manner that promotes practicality rather than as an extension of someone eccentric personality.