In December, our friends at Handicapped Pets asked me to find a dog with significant mobility challenges to be the official reviewer of their new harness. A shepherd mix named Daisy was chosen for the job. This post is how Daisy reviews the Walkin’ Lift Combo harness.
The harness gives lifting support for the front and back end of your dog. It clips directly into the Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair, operating as a complete system with a few easy clips. It is intended to help pet owners who need to lift a dog that weighs 40lbs or more.
As I have said in the past, the right kind of lifting harness for medium to large paraplegic dogs is a lifesaver. It keeps your back from straining when you have to lift your dog in and out of a car or help them walk upstairs. A harness also gives your dog a sense of independence because they can move about in a normal walking position.
Maria Elena from Queens, NY and her dog Daisy shared their personal experience with the Walkin’ Lift Combo Harness. Here are highlights from the interview:
How did Daily become paralyzed?
Daisy is a 50lb dog who has been in a wheelchair for more than a year. Five years after we adopted her, Daisy suffered a ruptured disc that left her paralyzed. She underwent surgery and regained the use of her legs. Then 3 months later the problem happened again. Daisy went through a second surgery to repair her spine, but she has not regained use of her hind legs. She loves going for walks in her pink wheelchair. She even has a little fan club of people who greet her along the way.
What is your overall impression of the Walkin’ Combo Harness?
It is a wonderful product for a dog that can hold their own weight and stand while you buckle them into the harness. If your dog can stand on their own for a little while it is easy for one person to strap on the harness by themselves. Daisy is completely paralyzed in the rear end. I used the harness most often with a second pair of hands.
What was the process like in choosing the harness size?
The sizing chart helped me pick a medium harness for Daisy. It was based on her weight, girth of her stomach and legs. When it arrived it was a tad too big. I didn’t take into consideration the muscle tone Daisy has lost in her rear legs and thighs since becoming paralyzed. Owners should take that fact into consideration.
Was the combo harness easy to use?
There are a lot of straps, but the video on the Handicapped Pets website helped me learn the proper way to get Daisy into it. My dog isn’t used to being lifted off the ground so I found that adding support with my hand under her belly made her more comfortable.
The video shows an owner walking the wheelchair over a dog so you can hook in the harness at the front. Daisy didn’t like the cart over her head. My son helped me hook her in and out of it.
Did you use the harness to lift Daisy when she wasn’t in her wheelchair?
Daisy can scoot around the house on her own so I did not use it to move her indoors. I tried to lift her into the car, but her weight was too heavy to lift her by myself.
Do you have any other recommendations?
We love our Walkin’ Wheels cart. We use it every day. We liked the new harness, but I found that the small additional weight of the front harness made it difficult for Daisy to pull herself in the wheelchair. When she is in her wheelchair she is pulling her own weight. The addition of the front harness wore her out. I don’t think it would affect every dog this way. I think it has to do with Daisy’s condition.
Many thanks to Maria Elena and Daisy for reviewing the Walkin’ Lift Combo Harness. I appreciate that they shared their personal experience with the product. I also want to thank Handicapped Pets for offering the review to Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog.