Sunday, July 23, 2017

Pooches: On Walking with Senior Dogs (Dutchdog Doggyride)

As our pups have been aging, we're pretty sure that 13 is the new 8 --have you seen this celebratory frolic?
What has changed is that long walks have become a bit harder. Miss M has been doing so well since her cancer treatments (we go in for another re-check soon!) but it has been her hips that have really been bothering her. It has been hard because she really wants to go out and join on our family walks, but especially with the heat, some days are just harder.

Looking for Wagons
At first I thought we could just pop her into a big pull wagon. Maybe Miss M and Baby K could just ride together. Could you just imagine them in something like this? Or even all 3 of them in this!
But the more I researched, I found they weren't the best fit. A lot of the wagons had molded seats that wouldn't fit our big dogs, they had high sides that would make it hard, and painful, to climb in and out, and I even read about several wagons with such poor steering that they tip over!

DutchDog Doggyride:
At 60ish pounds, it's really hard to find good options for larger dogs. After much research, and seeing it on Elsie's page, we decided to go for the Dutchdog Doggyride.

What we Like:
-It's made specifically for senior dogs. It has a low step zipper entrance in the back so they can just step in without hurting their hips and without us having to lift them. We were also worried about getting them adjusted and whether they would jump out, but it comes with a tether clip at the top so they stay inside.
-It allows them to stand, sit, or lay. Miss M's biggest problem is that it often hurts her to sit, so she needed a wagon that allows her to stand without toppling over. Mr. B enjoys laying, and they do make a very comfortable cushion insert that you need to buy separately.
-It is extremely well made. It's easy to steer and it has big wheels that flow easily over cracked sidewalks and through construction.
-We can now carry other things. Walking two dogs and a baby and need to pick up milk? No problem! We actually use it a lot going back and forth to the business.
-The dogs actually like it. Do you notice grumpy Miss M actually smiling in all of these photos!

What we Don't Like: 
--It's huge! I know it has to be big to carry big dogs, but it's just like pushing a double-wide stroller on city streets.
--It only has a 110 lb capacity. Both of our pups can comfortably fit inside together, though they weigh just slightly over that amount. We're looking for ways to reinforce the bottom just in case.
--It's very expensive and it is definitely an investment. The cushioned pad is sold separately. Though after spending nearly a college tuition for Miss M's cancer, we figured if it kept our pups healthy, active, and happy, it was a good investment to make.

It's funny to see how much joy people get pushing the pups down the street as Baby K rides next to them in his little car. 
As we overheard someone on the street saying "Look how the dog gets that big fancy stroller and the baby just gets a plastic car. You can tell who came first".

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