Photobucket Photobucket Therapy dogs spread happiness, love, and cheer to people who otherwise might be lonely, sad or slow to heal. This is the journey of Cayman, a longhair miniature dachshund and his journey and experiences visiting becoming a therapy dog.

Did you know that pet visits often spark good memories of a person's own pets? Dogs often can reach people and children who have withdrawn from the world. It's been suggested by science that petting a dog can lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety and stress, and promote healing.

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pet Strollers- My Opinion Has Changed

Until I got Cayman and decided to work with him to become a therapy dog, I used to laugh at dog strollers. "How ridiculous! Dogs should on the end of a leash, not confined inside a stroller." I used to think the only people who bought these were crazy woman who literally thought their dogs as their babies or those who's dogs were so old and lame, they felt bad and had to get them out for fresh air. I never thought just how wonderful, and completely sane, these pet strollers were- especially for therapy work.

Cayman is a small dog and most small dogs are lifted up onto patients' beds and laps while they are seated in their wheelchairs. Being a dachshund, I am always looking out for his back, since dachshund can injure those long spines of theirs easily. A pet stroller would give him that extra height to be pushed right up to wheelchairs! No lifting or worrying that he would hurt himself- or the patient (he could scratch their frail skin)- if he decided to jump down!

Also, dogs in strollers are permitted in more places that would otherwise not allow dogs. Most businesses see the strollers and don't think any differently than if it was an infant in there. This would be good for further socializing Cayman and getting him used to the different sights and sounds of unusual places. Some people even use them to trips to the vet rather than carriers.

So I have changed my whole option on pet strollers and even put this particular one on my wish list (hint, hint Hubby!). Its my favorite color- and Cayman's signature color as well- and has a roomy basket underneath which is good for any shopping items or my purse. Its the PetGear Ultralight Pet Stroller. And its pretty affordable compared to other pet strollers I have been looking at-only $84.99 on http://www.strollersforpets.com (with shipping and handling, it would be $91.36; most other strollers are over $175).

The new Pet Gear Ultralight pet stroller is an economical way to combine style and convenience. The blue ice color looks great and catches eyes as you stroll your pet. A zippered front entry provides easy access to the interior of the stroller. Front wheel suspension provides a smooth ride. Front mesh provides your pet with air and a wide range of view while strolling. A large undercarriage storage basket provides you with a convenient way to carry all of your pet's goodies, such as toys, treats and water. Rear brakes make the ultralight pet stroller safe and secure for your small dog or cat. The stroller collapses in seconds for quick and easy storage. Purchase a Pet Gear Ultralight Pet Stroller today and find out what everyone's talking about. Holds pets up to 20 lbs. Minor assembly required.


Pet Stroller Features
  • Stroller Folds Easily in Seconds and Stores Flat--Just 8" High!
  • Durable, Breathable & Bug-Proof Mesh Provides Airflow and Visibility
  • 5.5" Wheels with Front Shock Absorbers and Rear Locking Brakes to Keep Pet Safe
  • Large Underside Storage Basket for Pet Toys, Treats, Water Bottles, etc...
  • 600 Denier Waterproof Material
  • No Parent Tray Included with this Stroller
  • Holds Dogs or Cats up to 20 lbs.
  • Removable Waterproof Liner
  • Light Blue Color
  • Very Little Assembly Required
  • Enclosed Compartment is 21" L, 11" W, 16" H
  • Folded Dimensions: 30" L x 16.5" W x 8" H
  • Weight: 10.6 lbs.
  • Ground-to-Handle Height: 37 3/4"

Strollers: for dogs on the go: this mode of pet transportation is gaining popularity because it helps both animals and people in important ways. Here's how

Joan Hustace Walker

You may have seen one on the streets: a screened-in, somewhat elongated baby stroller that's not for babies--well, at least not for human babies. What is it? Only the hottest-selling doggie accoutrement around--a dog stroller.

"Three years ago, we went to a [pet product] trade show, and a manufacturer had one style of dog stroller that came in two sizes," explains Augie Ray, owner of Metropawlis, an "urban pet boutique" in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. "We purchased a [pet] stroller more as a 'talk about' item--something that was unique and different--for our store." But store patrons did more than just talk about the novelty item; they snapped them right up.

Now pet strollers--made by many different manufacturers--are rolling out of the boutique so quickly that Ray has developed an online site devoted entirely to their purchase: www.justpetstrollers.com.

Taking the Dog for ... A Roll?

But who is buying these contraptions? And how are they being used? You might be amazed. Seniors, 20-somethings and everyone in between are buying pet strollers for a variety of reasons.

Big Walk, Little Dog "A lot of little dogs can't make long walks," explains Jennifer Hovey, owner of The Pampered Pup in West Palm Beach, Florida. Many retirees in Hovey's area, for example, walk four or five miles every day--way too far for some of the little dogs. With the stroller, "an owner can walk the dog on a leash," says Hovey, "and when the dog has had enough, it can ride in the stroller for the rest of the walk."

Shopping without the "Weight"

The stroller also comes in handy for shopping in outdoor malls or dining al fresco, says Hovey, and is not nearly as cumbersome to carry as an over-the-shoulder bag. "An eight-pound dog gets heavy after a while," she notes, and if an owner is a bit frail, even a two-pound dog can be a chore to shoulder on outings.

Don't Tread on Me Pet owners who enjoy attending outdoor festivals or other people-packed events often choose to use pet strollers, says Ray. The stroller allows the owners to attend events with their dogs--without the worries that their dogs will get stepped on, eat something unsavory or become injured. Likewise, city dwellers who have to navigate crowded sidewalks and fast-moving traffic with their dogs regard the pet stroller as a safe way to transport them to and from shopping areas, dog parks, etc. without risking injury to the dog.

Senior Dogs Like little dogs, sometimes senior dogs just can't go the distance with their owners. A pet stroller allows the less mobile dog to walk as far as it can and, with a hop into the stroller, continue to receive the mental and physical stimulation of being outside with its owner. Strollers can also be helpful to dogs of any age that are suffering from injuries or recovering from surgeries.

New Levels of Therapy Therapy dogs encounter a variety of scenarios in their work, including patients in wheelchairs and beds. If the therapy dog is small, a dog stroller can be a safe and effective way to allow more comfortable patient interaction with the dog.

Shields Up! Pet strollers can also serve as a buffer between an incredibly cute dog and its adoring public. "Although it is flattering for people to want to love on your dog," says Katy Dicroce of West Palm Beach, Florida, who owns seven Chihuahuas, "there are times you just can't get anything done because everyone is always wanting to pet them." Dicroce uses her stroller to take her dogs to the mall, to dinner and for walks around her neighborhood--in peace.

Look At Me Of course, a downside to the pet stroller is its very novelty can attract attention. "This may not be the product for someone who wants to be left alone," laughs Ray. "If you want to be noticed, you will be noticed with a pet stroller."

Ready to Buy?

Pet strollers come in several sizes to accommodate weights ranging from 20 pounds up to 150 pounds. (More than one dog can ride in larger models.) Prices range from $80 to $450, depending on the size, features (yes, they do come with cupholders), quality of materials and capacity.

The most common reason why pet strollers are returned is not because the dog didn't like the stroller, shares Ray, but rather because the owner underestimated how much room the pet would need to be comfortable.

Before you commit to purchasing one, Ray advises that you "look at the dimensions of the stroller, sketch out [the carrying area] and see how your pet fits." And, if possible, take the stroller out for a test roll. You and your dog might really like the ride!

COPYRIGHT 2007 Belvoir Media Group, LLC
COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning

3 comments:

Neabear said...

Small dogs visiting the elderly is definitely a wonderful reason for getting a stroller. One lady brings her daschund in an umbrella stroller to our facility. Not a dog stroller, but it works for her. Also we recently saw a larger dog in a pet stroller. But we think it was because the dog's hind legs don't work so well anymore. It almost looked like it didn't have the hind legs. We saw that same guy with the stroller in the Holiday parade last night too.

Comet and BLU said...

We always thought of a pet stroller as a bit indulgent, but you have come up with an excellent reason for using them!

Thank you for the lovely Ecard.
Comet and BLU

Augie Ray said...

Not sure if this comment will be welcome, but I thought your readers might want to know that the same pet stroller (Pet Gear Ultralight) is available for $73.99 (including free shipping in Continential U.S.) at JustPetStrollers.com: http://justpetstrollers.com/pet_gear_ultralight_pet_stroller.html