In this post about 21 reasons to buy a pet stroller, I am going to talk about all the ways one can come in handy.
I must admit when I first saw a dog in a stroller I thought it was the funniest thing I had ever seen, then I quickly thought it was the cleverest thing I had ever seen. So I bought one!
When I take my senior dog Red out in her stroller I always get tons of looks, and comments. At first it was a bit uncomfortable, being such a focus of attention, but then my husband so rightly pointed out to me that I was helping a lot of people by being out and about with it! Because dog strollers are not that well known, as least not where I live, many people have told me they thought it was a brilliant idea and could use one for their dog.
Hubby was right! I believe that many more dogs will get out now then they would have, if their parents hadn’t seen me.
Because I am crazy about senior dogs, I automatically gravitate towards them, yet I have often commented about how few I actually encounter on my walks. If they are staying pretty close to home, seeing my stroller may spark the “ah ha” moment that gets more seniors out in the fresh air!!
Here are 21 reasons to buy a pet stroller
Senior dogs don’t need to get left behind
Senior dogs don’t have to get left out when the rest of the family are off for a day of fun. On weekends when the weather is nice, my husband and I like to go for a leisurely stroll along the beach, then to the field to let our dog Jack off the leash for a good run. Before I got the stroller I didn’t usually go, because although I do leave Red alone, I don’t like to do it too often. Now that I have the pet stroller, I load it up with all our supplies, stick her in it and off we go. She gets to come out with us, enjoy a few hours of sunshine, and she can walk at her own pace while Jack is off running at his.
Injured dogs need fresh air too! Of course your number one priority is to do what you can to ensure your dog heals properly, but boredom and frustration aren’t healthy. Ask your vet if it would be safe to at least take him in a stroller for a change of scenery.
Recovering from surgery
Same scenario as an injured dog really. Dogs get very bored without physical exercise or mental stimulation, so taking them out into the world, even if it’s just in a stroller, is a help. All with your vet’s approval of course!!
A quick update here, as things have changed since my original writing of this article. Six months after publishing, my dog Jack became paralyzed suddenly – it happened within a matter of hours. He was fine at 7:00am and by 2:30pm his back legs were no longer working. Long story short he had spinal surgery and during his recovery we relied a lot on Red’s stroller. It wasn’t enough to just take him out to pee and poop, he needed to see his pals and have a change of scenery.
With the approval of his neurologist I took him out for short periods in the stroller, and I saw the difference it made when he was able to be outside.
Easier than a carrier to transport pets
If you’re going to the vet, or need to transport your dog (or more than one pet) for any number of reasons, a stroller is easier than using a pet carrier. Carriers can be awkward to carry, never mind heavy even with the smallest animal inside. If you have any kind of physical limitations that prevent you from lifting heavy objects, than a stroller is the way to go.
Longer outings with your small dog
We all know there are plenty of small dogs who can walk for what seems like hours, without getting tired. If this is not your small dog, than a stroller is a good option.
A stroller is the perfect compromise for those times when you would like to take your dog for a day out, but you know he (or she) won’t have the stamina! Let your dog walk as much as he wants or is able to, then hop in when he needs a break.
Our dog Jack has lots of energy, but after a couple of hours of walking and running, he fades about halfway home. He hops in the stroller with Red, takes a short break to recharge, then lets us know when his second wind kicks in and he’s ready to carry on walking.
Visits to the vet
Do you live within walking distance of your vet? Would you, at times, like to be able to get that nice long walk in, but it’s a bit out of range for your dog? Get your dog, get your stroller, put your sneakers on, and start walking. When it’s too much for the dog, time to start pushing.
My old favourite vet (I don’t mean “age”) had his practice in another city, but because he was so great, I would go wherever he was. Getting there by car was hellish, so the best and quickest way was public transport. It involved a bus, a ferry, another bus, then a 15 minute walk over a very long, steep bridge. I used to carry Red which was more than backbreaking, but once I got the stroller, going to the vet was a breeze – the weight was literally lifted off of me and made things so much easier.
Events or large gatherings
Whether you’re going to a festival, air show or any other type of outdoor event, a stroller is not only convenient, it may also be the best safety tool. Even if your dog is able to cope in large, noisy crowds, there is a real risk of injury, no matter what size he is. He could easily get stepped on, or if he’s feeling anxious, react and bite someone.
Unless he’s wearing a harness, the commotion could cause him to slip out of his collar, and run off.
Large crowds and festivals also mean plenty of spilled drinks, dropped fries and other harmful foods on the ground, enough for your dog to have a field day, and get quite ill. It’s too risky, especially if he has dietary restrictions.
No more excuses not to exercise!
Walk at the pace you want until your dog is too tired, then treat him to a ride, without you having to put an early end to your workout.
I admit I’m lazy when it comes to exercise, but a couple of times I did put Red in her stroller, and went walking at a nice pace – faster than I could do with my other dog who has to sniff every blade of grass growing. I even noticed I was able to keep up a quicker pace just by having the stroller to lean on, than if I were walking without it.
One slow dog/one fast dog or one big dog and one small dog
For all of us who have more than one dog… how often do you have dogs that walk at the same pace? I never do that’s for sure. This is another scenario that has “pet stroller” written all over it. Let them walk together as long as they can, when one is running out of steam, let him recharge in the stroller, without your other dog’s walk being compromised.
Access to “restricted” places
There are shops where dogs are welcome, and others that will allow you to bring a dog in if you carry him. I don’t know if you’ve tried it, but even carrying a small dog while looking at clothes, or trying on shoes without letting their feet touch the ground, is no easy task.
I was with my dog Red in a store not long ago, one that grudgingly lets you in if you carry the dog. I put her down on the floor for literally seconds until I took off the shoes I was trying on, and no sooner did her little paws touch linoleum the security guard was standing over me, telling me I had to pick her up.
Imagine that same scenario if I had the stroller with me!
Charity fun run
Fun runs and charity events are most often organised with the whole family in mind, and of course that means including your dog (or cat if he or she is that laid back!!). These events last several hours, and rather than rushing home because you left the dog alone, bring him.
In the past you hesitated because you knew crowds and noise would get to him, but now that you’ve discovered the many uses of the pet stroller, he can join in too! You can even put the sunshade down, and zip the mesh screen around the top of the stroller for some quiet space – creating a mobile den for him!
For people who live in extremely congested areas
If you live right in the heart of an extremely busy city (picture London on a Saturday in the summer, or any day really, or the crazy busy streets of Manhattan), it can be challenging to walk your dog, particularly if you have a small one. With so much pedestrian traffic he can get hurt, especially if people don’t see him. Not a difficult scenario to imagine given how wrapped up people get in themselves, they have no clue what’s going on around them. Your dog may get so nervous in that situation, he may develop anxiety and avoid going out altogether.
Of course a harness sounds like a very good idea in this type of environment, but a stroller sounds even better. Use it until you get to the park or a nice quiet area, then let him walk, and use it again when you reach the busy streets.
Traveling on a ferry or boat
Some dogs don’t like the feel of the gangway or dock surface, and short of dragging them (which you should never do by the way!!), you either carry them or use a stroller to easily transport them on and off the ferry. Keeping him confined in the stroller during the trip is probably a safe thing to do as well. If it’s a new experience he may feel anxious or overwhelmed by the sights, sounds and goings on. Keeping him in the stroller will make it a more pleasant voyage for everyone, and give him a feeling of security.
Transporting foster puppies (or even kittens)
If you foster puppies or kittens and are back and forth to the vet or shelter, you know how heavy a carrier can get. Imagine how much easier it would be to wheel them around in a stroller.
Many years ago I was fostering 3 kittens that weren’t able to eat on their own, even though I was told they could before I took them!! Anyway, since they had to be bottle fed and I still had to go to work, I would take them in a crate, and all their supplies with me to work, and leave them in my boss’s office. Luckily she was an animal lover, and away so that was handy. I didn’t have a stroller at the time, but I know how much easier it would have been to transport them that way.
Multi dog households
Of course the stroller cannot, and should not, replace proper scheduled walks. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest… At times you’re headed straight to the dog park, and it’s a bit of a nightmare trying to get them there because they’re all going in different directions, sticking one or all of them in a stroller and wheeling them to the park may come in handy.
I should add that some leash training, done with each dog individually, may be in order. Ideally you should be able to walk your dogs, nicely, to the dog park, but who lives in an ideal world!!
More quality time for you and your pup
Having the option of putting your dog in a stroller, means you can bring him more places with you. Locations that may not normally allow dogs, may welcome a well behaved one, sitting quietly in a stroller.
Take your dog to work day
Does your workplace ever have a “take your dog to work day” or are you fortunate enough to run your own business and make the rules? Whatever scenario is your situation, having a stroller gives your dog a little den to rest in. It’s easier than dragging beds and blankets with you, just throw a blanket in the stroller to give it some extra padding and you have a ready made rest area.
Use it while visiting friends and family
If you’re visiting friends or family, especially if they have small children that are starting to annoy your dog, the stroller will serve as a nice little escape. Then if you all decide to go out your dog can walk as much as he is able, then be wheeled the rest of the way.
Burning hot concrete around the pool – we’ve all experienced that pain! The same thing can happen to your dog’s paws, if you are in a particularly hot climate. What about salt on the sidewalks? I know Red cannot walk on salt for anything. Depending on the amount of snow on the ground, and the type of stroller you buy, it may be a great solution.
Evacuation in case of emergency
Whatever the emergency, if you find yourself in a situation where you have to evacuate, putting your dog in a stroller may be the safest way to transport him. This eliminates having to keep looking to make sure he’s with you and hasn’t gotten out of his collar because of the commotion. Your stroller should come with a clasp that hooks onto your dog’s collar or harness, for added security.
If your stroller comes with a mesh panel attached to the sunshade, lower it and zip it all the way around so it’s secured to the stroller, and your dog cannot jump out if he gets scared.
Shade from the sun
For those of us who have spent any time living in tropical or semi tropical climates, we know the rules about taking our dogs out early morning, and later in the evening when it’s “cooler.” Heatstroke is no laughing matter, and too much time spent outside in extreme temperatures, can be dangerous. Taking your dog out in a stroller will allow him to get much needed exercise, but will also get him out of the sun if it gets to be too much.
21 reasons to buy a pet stroller – conclusion
Is this the first you’re hearing about pet strollers, or do you own one? In what ways has it made your life, or your dog’s life easier and better?
I hope these 21 reasons to buy a pet stroller has been an eye opener, and you have seen just how beneficial one can be.