As caregivers for disabled dogs ourselves, we know how our customers feel when faced with a dog that suddenly can no longer walk on its own. We understand the emotional stress of watching your pet drag itself across the floor. We know how difficult it is to carry the back end of a large dog who still wants some independence and privacy around toileting issues. We’ve been there and have been doing this – taking care of disabled dogs – for over 20 years.
We were not surprised to see the appearance of WalkinWheels on the marketplace. Handicapped Pets had been selling custom carts by other manufacturers for years. A careful reading of their evaluation of the problems inherent in dog wheelchairs shows that the problems they’ve solved are the ones involved in marketing dog wheelchairs. Yes, you can get it fast, and you don’t need to measure your dog. And the refund policy takes some of the risk out of ordering a cart. But how does the cart itself measure up to our custom-built products? Here’s a short video to give you a sense of the “feel” of each cart.
- Walkin Wheels are 20% heavier and wider at the wheelbase than our carts. The weight of the cart is above of the dog, whereas the weight of our carts is borne on the wheels. We use four different diameters of aluminum (from 1/4″ , 5/16″, 3/8″ and 1/2″) and build each cart with the lightest possible size rod with consideration for the weight and physical limitations of the dog, in order to keep the cart light and nimble.
- Ease of use: Walkin Wheels requires you to first put the front harness on the dog, and then lift the dog into the cart and clip the siderails to the front harness. Eddie’s Wheels are all-in-one : open the cart, lift the dog into the saddle, close and pin the yoke closed and buckle the chest strap.
- Their saddle consists of webbing bound in closed cell foam, joined in the middle by a neoprene pad. The saddle moves with the dog’s motions, which can cause decubital ulcers. The neoprene pad can absorb urine and cause urine scald on your pet’s delicate groin tissues. Our welded, padded, custom-built to your dog’s measurements saddle cannot be duplicated – and it’s this feature that separates us from all over canine carts. This saddle was specifically developed to solve the inherent problems of suspending dogs on the soft tissue of the groin by supporting them properly on their pelvic floor. Our saddle is sanitary and stable, and feels like a bicycle seat for the dog. Soft supple saddles feel like a climbing harness, not something you want to take for a long walk – if your pet able to use its legs at all, it will chafe and rub.
- Fast, no measuring – but when the cart arrives in a box (from China) – who gets to put it together? You do! There’s a 20 page instructional booklet that comes with kit. Need help – watch the video! Eddie’s Wheels are shipped fully assembled to your pet’s measurements. Simple fine-tuning adjustments are easily accomplished with an allen wrench, which we provide.
- Upgrades – dog with degenerative myelopathy can be expected to get weaker as the disease progresses into the core muscles and forelimbs. There is NO provision for this in the WalkinWheel design – however, all Eddie’s Wheels carts can be upgraded, counterbalanced and fitted with detachable front wheels as dog’s strength levels change. We even make a variable axle so that you can change the balance of the cart yourself without having to come back to us for upgrades.
- Customer Service: Eddie’s Wheels owns 3 disabled dogs who live on the premises who use our carts, and on a given week we see at least half a dozen clients for measurements and fittings. Our crew knows how to use carts as well as how to build and sell them. We’ve found that there is usually a simple reason why a dog would refuse to budge in a cart – and we’ll problem solve with our clients to ensure success. No ONE at Handicapped Pets lives with a disabled animal full-time or takes care of a disabled pet in the course of their work day. Furthermore, they are not in the business of providing personal consultations and do not encourage customers to visit their offices in New Hampshire .
- Veterinarian Approved: WalkinWheels offer an economic incentive to vets by allowing them to buy them wholesale and make a large profit on each sale. Even so, Eddie’s Wheels is the acknowledged by the leading canine rehab veterinarians, and veterinary schools as the best product on the market.
- Recyclability: Want to recycle your cart after your pet passes on? We’ll pay for return shipping to us and use the sales of recycled carts to provide canine wheelchairs to those with limited means or animals living in shelters and rescues. We routinely refit used carts for other dogs of similar size and breed, as evidenced by the videos of try-ons at our facilities in Shelburne Falls.
- Value for your money: WalkinWheels are available at wholesale prices to re-sellers. They also offer kickbacks to veterinarians who send their clients to them. Eddie’s Wheels carts are sold directly to the end user – that means that our prices are not marked up for middlemen to make a profit. WalkinWheels carts are not much less expensive than Eddie’s Wheels – which means that you’re paying for marketing, advertising and promotion – not quality.
- Made in China or made in America – we’re proud of the fact that we manufacture every cart on the premises here in Massachusetts. We pay our employees a living wage with benefits – and yes, it means that we’re not getting rich building dog wheelchairs.
- Dog Wheelchairs Center (AKA Best Friends Mobility) is also selling a cut-rate massproduced dog wheelchair that is manufactured in China. Call their customer service number and ask questions – the person who answers the phone for “Sylvan Enterprises”, a e-bay marketing company that also sells body armor and dermabrasion kits, will forward your questions to someone who may or may not call you back. No one at this company has ever lived with or cared for a dog in a wheelchair. This company was using photos of dogs in Eddie’s Wheels carts on their masthead until I informed that legal action would be taken against them for copyright infringement.
- Dog Approved! We hear from folks every day who have tried WalkinWheels and Best Friends Mobility and found that their dogs don’t like them. Here’s review we received over a year ago from someone who was given a WalkinWheel cart – part of their marketing campaign consisted of donating wheelchairs to vet schools. shelby