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Does your dog have limited mobility? For whatever reason it may be, you should consider giving your dog its freedom back by constructing a homemade wheelchair. When a dog lacks freedom, it lacks motivation to live. Constructing a wheelchair for your canine family member is really not that difficult.
All the required goods can acquired at your local hardware store. If you need specific step by step instructions, there are plenty of tutorial guide that show you exactly how you can go about starting the construction. This guide will be a brief overview to get you started.
First things first, if you’ve decided that you’re going to go through with this, you need to know what to build first and how to build it. The first and probably most significant piece of the wheelchair is going to be the frame. If you have a small dog, thin alloy tubing will be the perfect foundation. It’s both lightweight and strong. However, if you have a dog that weighs 40 pounds or more, you want something stronger.
Steel bars would be far too heavy. The compromise would be the half inch cold-rolled steel tubing. Being both lightweight and strong, it makes for a perfect match. After purchasing, remember to make all the necessary measurements before making any bends to the pipes since it’s extremely difficult to make a precise mark on a bent pipe.
The next thing on the list to buy would be wheels. Let’s face it, if it wasn’t for the frame holding everything together, the wheels would be the most important part of the wheelchair.
Purchasing the wheels for your homemade wheelchair should actually be pretty straight forward. Ideally, you want something with a large diameter so coping with grass and dirt should be no problem.
Building a Wheelchair for Your Dog
Obviously you want them to be lightweight like the rest of the wheelchair since buying heavy equipment isn’t going to enable your dog to move. Your local hardware store more than likely has wheels but the problem is that most of them are going to be made out of steel, making them extremely heavy.
A good fit for the category we’re looking at would be spare wheels for lawnmower. You can try searching the internet or checking out a local lawnmower store.
Connecting the Frames
The next step in your construction project involves joining the frames. The best way to go about this is to get yourself a threaded core to screw inside and hold the pieces together. This is a very important part in the project since it can single handedly determine the durability of your wheelchair.
Make sure to consult with a hardware expert if you’re not sure on what to do. After all, if you’re probably spending a lot of time for this project and it’s going to be used by your best friend so you might as well put all your effort into it.
As you’d expect, you’re going to need a harness. The harness has two main functions. The primary function of the harness is to keep the cart frame positioned correctly. It also stops the front frame from lifting over and flipping backwards when your dog wants to back up. If you prefer to purchase a harness instead of making one, be ready to spend quite a lot of money on this one piece alone since they don’t go cheap.
The harness should have a firm grip around your dog’s chest but should not be tight enough to constrict. A good test to see if the harness is too tight is to try to stick your fingers in between the strap and your dog’s back. If your fingers can make it in, you probably have a good fit.
Sling & Other Factors
Before proceeding any further, you should take a minute and evaluate which road you want to go down. The type of sling you choose is usually determined by your dog’s abilities. As you’d expect, it’s not really a good thing for a dog to be placing its weight on its underbelly for a long period of time.
There are however, a few things to consider. Take note of how you want your wheelchair to be used. Is your dog going to be using the chair as just an aid or a permanent solution?
Depending on your answer, you should construct/purchase your sling accordingly. Every dog has his/her own abilities and weakness as well as preferences. Evaluate your dog appropriately to get a good match for the type of sling your dog requires.