Traveling with a pet can be challenging with even the most well behaved, calm, able-bodied pets. But there are certain situations when getting from point A to point B with a pet becomes a challenge. Transporting your furry friend with a pet stroller can prove very useful depending on your needs and the needs of your pet.
A pet stroller may seem a little strange at first, especially because most people expect small children or babies in a stroller, but pet strollers for dogs and cats are becoming more popular and accepted because a stroller is often a much safer alternative to walking a leashed pet, especially in certain situations.
How do you know if a pet stroller is right for your pet?
Here are some specific things to factor when considering a pet stroller:
Does your pet enjoy being with you wherever you go?
Some situations wouldn’t allow for a leashed pet to accompany you, like restaurants or malls. Even some parks are not pet friendly when it comes to leashed pets. But if your pet is contained within a stroller, then more places might allow your pet into their establishment. A pet stroller can help you enjoy certain locations without worrying about whether your leashed pet is allowed.
Is your pet older?
Senior pets (large dogs over age 6 and small dogs and cats over age 7) can tire easily which can make long walks too tiring for them. If they are too tired, they may need to be carried part of the way. A pet stroller can help keep stress off your arms and back, by allowing you to just push your furry friend.
Does your pet have an illness like arthritis, joint pain, or hip dysplasia?
Certain illnesses might make walking any sort of distance painful for your pet and would make enduring a long walk very difficult for your pet. A stroller can make traveling more comfortable for your pet.
Does your pet have an injury or are they recovering from surgery?
Surgery or an injury can take a lot out of your pet. Some surgeries or injuries can make walking painful, difficult or even impossible, especially if your pet has a splint or cast on his leg. A pet stroller can make traveling easier for your pet.
Are you concerned with leaving your pet alone at home?
Some pets may have seizures or require pet meds to be administered at certain times of the day, making staying at home alone while you are away a complicated situation. A pet stroller can make it easier for you to monitor and care for your pet while you are out.
Does your pet get along with people or other pets?
Some pets can become aggressive around people or other animals. Some just jump on people or have annoying habits or aggressive tendencies that might make traveling into crowded areas challenging. A pet stroller can help control your pet in crowded areas.
Does your pet get stressed in crowds?
Some pets are socially anxious, and crowds may cause them to bark or shake in fear. A stroller offers a level of containment, confinement and security for an anxious pet. A pet stroller can help your pet relax.
Is it too hot, cold or wet outside?
Most animals don’t do well in extreme weather conditions, especially if it is too hot, too cold or wet outside. A pet stroller can protect your pet from the elements.
Do you have physical limitations that make controlling your leashed pet challenging?
Some pet owners have physical limitations, whether due to age or illness that may cause them to have difficulties controlling a leashed pet. For instance, if you walk with a cane, or if your dog is a puller and you are of a smaller frame, it may be hard for you to control your pet on a walk. A stroller can help you feel more secure and in control when traveling with your pet.
Sometimes, it’s not about anything except pampering your furry friend. If your dog or cat enjoys being outdoors with you, rather than cooped up in the house, and if you think your pet would enjoy strolling along in a pet stroller, than that’s the only need to consider.
Which pet stroller to choose?
So you’ve decided to invest in a pet stroller to transport your pet. Which pet stroller is right for you? There are a wide variety of pet strollers: there are jogging strollers, ultra-light strollers, strollers for large dogs, strollers for multiple dogs, strollers for cats, strollers for multiple cats, strollers that are completely enclosed, and strollers that allow your pet to be partially exposed. A lot depends on the type of outings you plan on using the stroller for. Here are some things to factor when considering which stroller is right for you.
How large is your pet (or will your pet get)?
When purchasing a pet stroller, size matters. You want to be sure you select a model that will accommodate your pet at full maturity. If you aren’t sure how big your pet will get, consult with your vet for an estimated size and weight.
Will you be transporting more than one pet?
If you own more than one pet, and you will transport multiple pets in the stroller, then you need to factor the combined weight and size and ensure that the stroller is large enough to accommodate multiple pets comfortably.
What is your pet’s temperament?
Some pets are jumpers or chasers and can become easily distracted by anything around them. The last thing you would want is for your pet to escape from the stroller to chase something or someone. A stroller with a full enclosure will ensure that pets who like to jump or chase stay contained within the compartment. If your pet is pretty easy going, then you can get a partially enclosed stroller that features an opening for him to stick his head out of. Most of these strollers will allow you to tether your pet to the stroller so they can’t escape.
How do you plan to use the stroller?
Will you be using the stroller to go to the mall or a restaurant or will you be jogging with your pet? The type of activity should determine which stroller would best suit your needs. Ultra-light strollers are probably better for leisurely walking, where a jogging stroller might be better for higher intensity activity.
Will you be traveling at night?
Some strollers have reflective material that are better for traveling at nighttime. Reflectors can always be purchased separately if you find that you are using the stroller a lot at night, but if you anticipate that evening excursions are your thing, then a stroller with reflective material is a great feature to have.
What is the weather going to be like?
Some strollers are weather resistant and are designed to keep your pet dry when it rains or snows. If you live in a climate where it is really hot, then a stroller with a lot of venting is probably better. If you live in a climate that is really cold, then an enclosed stroller might be warmer. If you live in a climate where it rains or snows and you will be outside in those conditions, then a water resistant or waterproof stroller might be best. Most companies sell optional, removable waterproof covers, so if you find a stroller you like but its not waterproof, a cover may solve the problem.
Key features to look for:
When selecting a pet stroller, look for features that will not only benefit your pet, but you as well. Features like cup holders, purse compartments, a storage basket, easy front and rear entry, retractable rain hoods, easy locking entry, etc. are just a few of the features that will make your trips with your pet more enjoyable for him, and for you.
Pet strollers are designed specifically for pets, or multiple pets. Unlike baby strollers, they have certain features that you may not find with a stroller designed for a person. Some have built in harnesses or buckles to attach a leash or harness to your pet. Some also have waterproof liners in case of accidents. Venting is also typically very different for pet strollers, as is the opening that allows you to place your pet inside.
If you’d like to enjoy more outings with your cat or dog, then a pet stroller may be something to consider.