For Dogs With Mobility Issues, Some Harnesses Let You Literally Lend a Hand


Arthritis, hip dysplasia, joint surgery, degenerative myelopathy, vestibular disease, and other causes of compromised mobility are good reasons to consider a dog mobility harness. These incorporate a sling to help support your pet’s front or hind legs, employing your own strength to provide a lift for your pet so she can rise to her feet, get up the stairs or into and out of the car, or have some support when she needs to relieve herself.

Handles that rise up from the upper back portion of the harness enable you to get an easy grip when assisting your dog in getting up or walking. Simply put: with a bit of your own elbow grease, these harnesses take off some of the weight on your dog’s limbs that can make walking and climbing painful and tiring — and lessen further wear and tear on already-compromised body parts. These harnesses also come in handy if your dog is recovering from surgery by taking pressure off areas that are healing. Here are a few types and brands, but make sure to ask your veterinarian which type of mobility harness would work best for your dog’s particular needs.

GingerLead Support Sling helps you assist your dog with a collar combined with a chest harness for support. This helps your dog recover from knee, hip, or back surgery, or even amputation. It is also a help for elderly dogs who need assistance getting about and reins in younger dogs whose energy and desire to run around outpaces their speed of recovery. The padding on the sling provides comfort, and the whole thing can be machine-washed. Sling models differ for male and female needs and can be adjusted for best sizing. Available in mini ($35.95), small female or male ($49.95), medium/large unisex ($65.96), large female ($65.95), and tall female or male ($65.96). Refurbished models are 25 percent off. Available at,,, and other sites.

Carelift Full Body Dog Sling Harness by Solvit is a fully adjustable harness that can be worn full-time, making it easier for you to assist your dog whenever she shows signs of needing assistance with getting about. This harness works well with dogs whose mobility is impacted by the aches and pains of old age as well as dogs who have injuries or slipped discs or who need to recuperate from surgery. It provides optimal support by lifting both the hips and the abdomen. There is a protector panel for male dogs that can be removed if needed. Comes in small, 3-35 pounds, ($32.99); medium, 35-70 pounds, ($56.99); and large, 70-130 pounds, ($59.99). Available on,, and other sites.

WalkAbout Back-End Harness was the first dog mobility harness used in veterinary rehabilitation settings some 30 years ago. Helpful for elderly dogs as well as those hobbled by hip dysplasia, amputation, fatigue, arthritis, and spinal issues, its durable, soft material will prevent pressure sores. The handles make it easy to help move your pet where she wants to go. Comes in x-small ($35.00), small ($37.00), medium-small ($42.00), medium ($44.00), medium-large ($52.00), large ($55.00), and x-large ($55.00). Available on, which provides appropriate sizing information and a comments section where you can explain specific concerns, such as whether your dog is an amputee. You can also provide a photograph of your dog for further clarification.


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