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Make a DIY Dog Sling for Your New Tripawd

DIY dog sling

Our veterinarian told us to use a beach towel to help Jerry during his amputation surgery recovery. We gave it a try, but it was an epic fail. Years later a community member here shared this DIY dog sling idea, which actually works! Here’s how to make one for your new Tripawd.

The Quickest, Easiest DIY Dog Sling

We talk about this DIY dog sling quite a bit in our Discussion Forums. But since the original post about it is buried in the Tripawds News blog, we are re-publishing the sling instructions here for quick reference.

How to Make a DIY Dog Sling

We haven’t met a new Tripawd cat who needs help with a sling, so this tip is all about the dogs today.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500"]DIY dog sling The DIY dog sling works on front and rear leg amputees.[/caption]

For most dogs, we recommend waiting until stitches are out to wear their new Ruffwear Webmaster or Tripawd Convert harness. That’s because there’s a small chance the harness straps can irritate the incision area. But if you must use a harness on your dog early on for whatever reason, put a small t-shirt on underneath the harness to avoid chafing.

Meanwhile for everyone else, a reusable canvas grocery bag can make a great temporary sling for a new Tripawd dog. You probably have one sitting on a shelf in your home. Not all dogs will need assistance after amputation surgery and some may even need a tool like the Ginger Lead harness, but it’s a good idea to have one of these on hand before your dog comes home. Here’s how you can make one:

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="503"]DIY dog sling First, have some fun and decorate your DIY dog sling![/caption]

Then cut the bag down the sides.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500"]DIY dog sling No sewing is required for this easy project.[/caption]

When you open it up and lay it flat, it starts to look like a sling, right?

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500"]DIY dog sling Choose a bag that’s big or small enough for your Tripawd.[/caption]

There’s no need to do anything else but wait to help your new Tripawd.

When your Tripawd wants to get up, place the open bag under your dog’s belly. Lift each handle then gently, gently hoist your dog up. Slowly walk alongside your dog on the amputated leg side.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="503"]DIY dog sling Walk on your dog’s amputated leg side to assist with the sling.[/caption]

Yes, this will work on front and rear leg amputees. Just place the sling where it seems to be more comfortable for your dog. Some dogs will accept the help, some will not. Play it by ear and if your dog wants to go it alone, then let them try and see what happens. Most dogs figure things out faster than we imagine they will.

More Dog Amputation Recovery Tips

If you’re brand new to the three-legged dog or cat life, be sure to check Jerry’s Required Reading List and download the Tripawds e-books Library for many more pawesome tips and idea.


Remember, Safety First with DIY Ramps for Cats and Dogs

DIY ramps for cats and dogs

Penny is a new Tripawd cat, but her people already have the Tripawd lifestyle down good. They built a ramp for their three-legged feline, to help her get on the bed. Penny’s people know that it pays to remember safety first, and now you can practice it too with these great ideas to make DIY ramps for cats and dogs.

[caption id="attachment_6371" align="aligncenter" width="387"]DIY ramps for cats and dogs Visit[/caption]

DIY Ramps for Cats and Dogs are Fast and Easy

Life on three legs has some challenges. One of the biggest things new Tripawd parents need to figure out is how to help their dog or cat get up into the spots they love most, like furniture. With one less leg it’s in their best interest if they do not get up or go down the same way as before amputation.

When an animal is missing a rear leg, jumping up is difficult since dogs and cats naturally use both rear legs for propulsion to move forward and up. With one less leg, that’s half the jet power they’re used to! And when an animal is missing a front leg, jumping down poses another serious risk: long-term joint damage to their front “wrist” or carpal joint. Either way, a Tripawd should have help going up and down from their favorite places.

And Tripawd cat parents remember: even four legged felines don’t always land on their feet. Did you know that cats who fall from shorter distances are more likely to suffer injuries than cats who fall from high rise buildings? A cat needs enough time to right themselves so they safely land. When they fall from short distances, here’s what happens:

You can buy pre-made pet ramps and pet stairs or if you’re crafty, you can make your own DIY ramps for cats and dogs. Like anything in life, if you search YouTube you’ll find out how to do it. We did, and here are two helpful videos we located for you:

This Indoor Cat Ramp is So Easy to Make, Even a Teenager Can Do It!

And for indoor/outdoor cats, this adorable video shows how to make an outdoor ramp for kitties living on the second floor.

And here’s a sweet video about a ramp built just for this crafty man’s senior gal, Hannah.

Don’t want to watch a video? Check out the blogger of My Repurposed Life. She has some wonderful tips on DIY Indoor Pet Ramps using reclaimed materials like cabinet doors.

If you just don’t have the time to go the DIY route, these stairs for dogs and cats get great reviews on Amazon. And yep, these are affiliate links and the Tripawds Nation is partly supported by your Amazon purchases.

Pet Gear Easy Step II Extra Wide Pet Stairs, 2-step/for cats and dogs up to 200-pounds

New Cat Condos 110223-Brown Wood Constructed Large Pet Stairs for Cats and Dogs

Of course, training a Tripawd to use a ramp is another project! Here’s a previous Tripawds Gear Blog post to help:

Three Tripawd Tips for Pet Steps and Ramp Training Success


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