If you are dog owner who’s bound to a wheelchair then you are confronted with a whole set of problems when it comes to caring for yourself and your pet. Because being in a wheelchair you are always in a seating position so, everything that is either above or below arm’s length is simply out of reach. Try some of these suggestions for getting a grip on caring for your dog:
1. Use a long-handled device that looks like a tong and has a “jaw” on one end, designed to help people reach and grab items out of their grasp. Useful when grocery shopping, the arm-extending device is also useful at home to grab your dog’s food from the cupboard.
2. Extend your reach with long-handled kitchen tools, commonly used for barbecuing, that are also useful for lifting pet bowls to and from the floor. Tongs and sturdy spatulas allow you to pick up and lower your dog’s food and water dishes.
3. As an alternative, use a long-handled dustpan to raise and lower your dog’s food dishes to the floor.
4. To have water available for your dog when you need it, have someone fill plastic gallon jugs with water and put them on the floor near his water dish. This makes it easy to fill the bowls when seated.
5. Put your dog’s canned food in a “soda chute” designed to hold cans of soda in the refrigerator. Placed in the cupboard, the soda chute will dispense cans of dog food and keep you from having to reach to the back of the cupboard for them.
6. If getting to the veterinarian is difficult, find a mobile veterinary clinic that will come to your home.
7. If you are able to drive, but getting your dog and your wheelchair into your veterinarian’s office is cumbersome, ask if anyone can meet you at the car to help.
8. Purchase a raised stand to hold both food and water bowls to avoid having to pick them up off the floor.
9. A long-handled pet scoop helps you reach your dog’s droppings from a wheelchair. Place the wastes in a plastic bag for easy disposal.
10. To take your dog for a stroll, use a retractable, nylon leash so that your dog can walk up to 26 feet (8 m) looking for just the right spot to potty while you stay put. Flexible leashes come in different lengths for dogs of all sizes, even service dogs. Complete control is obtained by using only one hand to use the retractable leash.
11. Keep a 50-foot (15-m) tie-out in the backyard so that your dog will have ample room to run around and the lead will reach to your back door when it’s time for your dog to come in or be let out.
12. Determine if there is a neighborhood child who likes to earn extra money by giving dogs a bath when it comes time to wash the dirt off your pooch.
When you are in a wheel-chair; even a simple task of taking care of your pet dog can be mutually beneficial for the both of you.