by Hindy Pearson
The single most important thing you must know about a pet stroller is…you need one!
It’s as simple as that, although it might not be enough to convince you that you really, really need one. Is it?
The easy way or the hard way – you decide
I prefer the easy way whenever possible, but before I got a pet stroller I was doing things the hard way, I just didn’t realise it at the time.
Whenever we took our old dog Red out with us, we had to carry her. She walks perfectly fine, she just can’t walk too far or too fast. Although she only weighs about 9 lbs, you can’t imagine how heavy that feels after just 10 minutes of carrying her.
When we moved cities we left our great vet behind. Seeing him involved a very long public transport journey, followed by a 20 minute hike over a bridge. After doing that twice I put my foot down and said “no more.” No sooner had the idea of a pet stroller popped into my head, I was on Amazon placing my order.
You may be wondering why I just didn’t find a vet closer to home, and that would be a fair question. Let’s just say I had a deadly experience with a vet at each of the two practices in my town.
Not just for senior dogs you know!!
Now that I have this stroller, Red gets to come out with us a lot more often, and day trips are so more enjoyable. We join my husband and other dog for long walks along the beach, and when it’s time for a break she has her lunch then enjoys a walk in the grass surrounded by new sounds and smells. I would say sights but she’s blind!
Easy to fold and store in the back seat or trunk of a car, it’s always on hand and I don’t need a pet sitter as often.
Our other dog Jack, he’s around 4 years old or so, has gotten some good use out of it as well. If he needs to cool off after running around, he lies underneath it for shade. When he’s tired after his outing and needs a lift home, he grabs one.
The biggest help was a few months ago when he suddenly lost the use of his back legs. To make a very long story short, Jack had spinal surgery and was confined to a crate. The stroller was a perfect way for him to get out and about (when he got the okay from his neurologist) to see his 2 legged and 4 legged friends, without having to move. It was important for me to ensure he didn’t start acting out from boredom, and he still kept up his routine…with a twist.
Taking him to and from vet and hospital appointments was a lot easier and safer. Keeping him in the stroller avoided the need to transfer him in and out of the car, or jostle him when being carried.
Still not sure?
Understandable, these have been my experiences they may not be yours. Here are 5 (of many) ways a pet stroller can help – even if you don’t have an old or injured dog.
Enjoy longer outings with a small dog
Of course there are lots of small dogs that can go on for ever, but if this is not your small dog, then a stroller is perfect. He doesn’t have to get left behind just because he can’t keep up, and has a way to take a break while he recharges.
Festivals, events and just plain crowded streets
Whether you’re off to a festival, event or you live in the heart of a very hectic city, a pet stroller is the perfect way to keep your dog safe in a sea of humanity. He can easily get stepped on and hurt, slip out of his collar if he’s suddenly startled, or risk an intestinal problem or even pancreatitis from eating the spilled food and drink off the ground. Use the stroller in the crowded areas, then let him walk where it’s quiet. He’ll be safer, and you’ll be less stressed not having to constantly check on him.
Traveling on a ferry or boat
Some dogs, like Jack for instance, aren’t wild about the feel of the gangway or dock surface, so a stroller is the perfect solution. Not only will you not have to lift him, which may be difficult, it’s a safer option during the crossing. If a boat ride is a new experience, he may be anxious or overwhelmed by it all. Panicking he may get out of his collar, or even lash out at someone who gets too close, which can happen to even the sweetest dogs. Leaving him in the stroller, and zipping up the awning if needed, will create a den and a feeling of security.
Entering “no go” zones
Some shops welcome all dogs, while others grudgingly agree if you carry them. I don’t know if you’ve tried it, but carrying even a small dog when you are clothes or shoe shopping just doesn’t work. One day I had Red with me and I was “trying” to try on shoes. I put her on the floor for a split second, literally, and the next thing I know the guard was standing right over me telling me my dog couldn’t be on the floor. If I had my stroller, shopping would have been more pleasurable!
No excuses, time to walk more!
Sure you can leave your dog at home while you go for a nice long energising walk – after all, you need to leave your dog alone sometimes. But will you! I know I don’t. But….your dog needs to go out anyway, why not take her somewhere new? Put your sneakers on and off you both go.
Want to visit a friend close enough to walk to…but you don’t? How about a vet appointment? Can’t be bothered to walk because the car is parked outside? I hear you, but a stroller ride over will do both of you some good. I definitely feel better once I’ve dragged myself out of the house.
So there you have it!
I’ve had my pet stroller for about three years now, and I honestly don’t know how I managed without it.
Whether you –
Want to include your senior dog in family outings
Have a dog recovering from illness or surgery
Want to keep them safe in crowds
Or any number of other uses, a pet stroller will absolutely make your life easier and your dog’s life better.