Top Five Tips for Choosing the Right Dog Stroller
More and more pet owners are becoming active in taking their dogs with them outdoors, thanks to the popular innovation of dog strollers. Whether they go jogging around the neighborhood, driving through the country or walking around the city, the dog stroller makes traveling a breeze for both pet owners and their dogs.
Dog strollers also come in different designs and styles to fit the different preferences of pet owners. There are fashionably cute strollers, rugged outdoor strollers and generic one-color strollers. There are also double strollers, which is a popular choice for pet owners with more than one dog.
The dog stroller was especially made for pet dogs that aren’t sporty or built to run long distances alongside their owners while jogging or strolling, but could sure use a change of scenery to boost their well-being.
Not only that, they also make it easier for pet owners to keep their dogs safe and comfortable while they’re away from home. Dog strollers are most popularly used for traveling with senior dogs, disabled dogs, puppies and dogs of smaller breeds. These pets can easily exhausted or discomfort from extended physical activity like walking or running long distances.
Though the dog stroller is a savior product for many pet owners, not all strollers on sale on the market are suitable for your needs. There are different types of dog strollers made for different purposes.
Before buying a stroller, pet owners should first know what kind of product or model will suit them and their dogs. And because there are many different makers and models of dog strollers out there, the process of choosing and buying the right kind becomes a challenging task.
To help pet owners decide on which kind of dog stroller they should buy for their pets, here are the top five tips that are worth knowing:
Tip no. 1:
Choose the stroller that fits your dog’s size perfectly.
Sizing is a top priority when it comes to comfort. Your dog’s size and the size of the stroller are the main factors that affect your dog’s level of comfort while enjoying the ride in their stroller.
If you choose a stroller that is quite small for your dog’s build or if you plan to carry more than one pet in it, a small stroller will make your pets feel cramped and uneasy. In some cases, pet owners tend to choose bigger strollers just to avoid that; however, bigger is not necessarily better. If you choose a stroller that is too big for your dog, the stroller’s stability while traveling will then become an issue. Too much space will also render the stroller less safe for your pets.
The best way to estimate the right stroller size is to measure your dog’s size including their length or height when lying down, standing up or sitting down—there should be enough space in the stroller for them to do that and turn around to lay down comfortably. Their weight should also be measured because strollers have different weight capacities for each size.
Choosing a stroller that’s too small will cause the following effects:
- Allows little room for stretching, so your dog will become cramped—something that’s bad for dogs (especially senior dogs) with circulatory disorders and joint problems.
- Makes your dog squirm uncomfortably when moving around in it.
- Your dog might want to get off the stroller more frequently than possible or refuse to back in it when it’s time to go, causing behavioral problems while traveling.
On the other hand, choosing a stroller that’s too big will cause the following:
- The stroller will feel wobbly and unstable during use because your dog’s weight will be unevenly distributed.
- Your dog is more likely to sway around or topple over while traveling because of the excessive space.
The right size is one that allows your dog to move around securely but not tightly. Therefore, make sure that you measure your dog before you go out to buy the stroller, or bring them along to have them try out different strollers while shopping.
Tip no. 2:
Choose the stroller that suits the terrain and activities of which it will be used for.
Not all strollers are built for a to cover all purposes—there are different varieties for different sets of outdoor activities.
A dog stroller that works smoothly over the city streets may not work nicely on dirt and sand. Likewise, a stroller that works flawlessly during walks may become wobbly during jogs and runs. So, for the second tip, pet owners should carefully think about the kind of terrain and activities of which the stroller will be used primarily for.
If your purpose is to take your dog on walks around the city streets, park or neighborhood, a light stroller with a sleek design will work nicely. But if your purpose is to take your dog around the countryside for your great outdoor trips, a stroller with a heavier and sturdier build will work best.
Perhaps the main factor that affects the suitability of strollers on different terrain is the wheels. There are different types of tires used in strollers and they come in different sizes too. Usually, dog strollers with small plastic wheels are good only for travel on smooth, even paths like roads and pavements. However, for off-road terrain like trails and grass fields, dog strollers with bigger rubber wheels are more suitable to use.
As for the stroller’s suitability for your activities, the main factor to consider is the stroller type or model.
Standard models typically have four wheels, so they are best used for walking around the city.
All-terrain models and jogging strollers usually come with three large suspension wheels, making them suitable for faster-paced strides on uneven, bumpy paths.
But if you are an all-rounder who likes to take your dog around the city and around the country, the best model to use would be multi-function or multi-purpose strollers which have convertible features that allow you switch easily from standard mode to all-terrain mode.
Tip no. 3:
Choose the stroller that offers both quality and affordability.
When choosing a dog stroller based on activities and terrain, you should also consider the stroller’s material quality and pricing.
Though many pet owners are willing to spend for their beloved dogs, some expensive strollers aren’t really worth their price tags. Likewise, some cheap strollers that seem good enough aren’t really great when used for your dog.
The best stroller for your dog is the stroller that is bought wisely in terms of quality and affordability. In most cases, the more features the stroller packs, the more expensive the price tag gets. The types of materials used also affect the pricing.
When choosing a stroller, you should focus more on what you actually need and avoid being tempted by extra features that aren’t necessary for your purpose.
If you plan to use the stroller for light activities, a stroller made of lightweight material would be enough. Standard strollers are usually light and they pack only the basic features, so they’re cheaper than other feature-packed models.
If you plan to use the stroller for jogging or running around the city, you may want to consider a light jogging stroller, which is a bit pricier than the standard ones but is less expensive than heavier all-terrain models.
Tip no. 4:
Choose the stroller that combines safety with comfort and convenience.
When it comes to traveling with dogs, safety is the top priority of pet owners.
A good stroller should have safety features that can adequately protect your dog from serious injury in case of an accident.
A standard dog stroller should have the following basic safety features:
- Harness or collar tether
– your dog stroller should have a tethering strap or cord inside the stroller that you can attach to your dog’s harness or collar. The tether helps keep your dog in place and prevents them from falling or toppling forward in case the stroller is bumped suddenly.
- Locking wheels
– your dog’s stroller wheels should have safety locks so you can secure the stroller’s position when not moving. The safety locks prevent the stroller from rolling away while unattended, provided that you always put the locks on before leaving or walking away from the stroller.
- Bike trailer attachment or mount
– If you are going to use a stroller with your bike, make sure that it has a bike trailer mount that is secure and durable. It’s not safe to use a stroller that has no bike trailer mount by improvising fasteners or attachment parts because the security of the attachment can’t be guaranteed.
– your dog’s stroller should have covering material to protect against the sun, rain and strong wind, enabling you to use it in changeable weather. Some models feature foldable covers and some have double layer weather-proof roofing. Also look for a stroller that has plenty of mesh inserts to allow air to flow freely
Some pricier strollers may pack some additional features, but these are the basic safety features that every dog stroller should have, no matter the price range.
Tip no. 5:
Choose the stroller that has good reviews.
Another tip that pet owners shouldn’t ignore is to check product reviews.
Whether it’s in the form of word-of-mouth recommendations or through customer reviews on Amazon.com, you should seek other customer’s opinions before selecting a stroller.
By reading about other people’s experiences with the products, you’ll get a better idea on the actual performance, including the pros and cons, of the strollers in your selection list.
Usually, good strollers get real good reviews and the not-so-good strollers will also get not-so-good reviews.
If the stroller on your list has mostly good reviews, then you can be assured that the product is good to buy, also the number of sales and reviews that a stroller has can also indicate its quality.
However, if your prospect stroller has mostly bad reviews, then you can cross it out from your list and move on to a better option.
By studying reviews, you can sort out the strollers that have the most pros and avoid those that have the most cons.
Hopefully, these five tips can help you make a wiser buying decision and avoid wasting money on low-quality or substandard dog strollers. It can be so easy to just choose the most fashionable or sportiest dog strollers, but choosing the stroller that’s truly right for your dog is something that needs careful thinking beyond the looks.