Pet strollers are not new, but they are becoming a more common site around the country. They come in a wide range of sizes and designs and there are few things in the world more cute than the site of a beagle puppy peeking out of a stroller. But are pet strollers really necessary?
We use strollers for our children who have not yet learned to walk or who are still young and easily exhausted. Dogs and other pets do not have this problem. A young puppy can walk several miles a day without suffering the same tired legs that a human child would. Putting your puppy or kitten into a stroller does not really make life any easier for anyone but you.
Pets need exercise just as much as humans. Putting a pet into a stroller robs them of a perfectly good chance to stretch their legs and burn some calories. Like humans, a sedentary lifestyle will lead to your pet becoming overweight and developing other health problems.
While cats might enjoy being snug in a stroller and not having to walk around with some mere humans, dogs are a more social animal and do not enjoy being confined. Bundling a dog into a stroller could lead to anxiety and behavioral problems. It is best to let your dog explore the world whenever possible.
Pet strollers can not only be frustrating for your pet, they can also be frustrating for other people as well. Strollers are large, much larger than your pet, and pushing them around a crowded flea market, event, or shopping mall just makes things more difficult for everyone. If you must bring your non-service animal into a crowded situation, carry it. If you can’t carry it, leave it at home. If that means that you have to stay home too, then now you know how parents feel.
Now of course there are some legitimate reasons for using a stroller. Pets can suffer from leg problems just as much as a human (probably more, since they have four legs instead of two). Your pet might need assistance after surgery or a long illness, or you might be worried about losing your pet when taking him to a crowded event. In these cases a pet stroller would probably be a good idea as a temporary solution.
When needed, a pet stroller can be a life saver. It can allow you to take your pet to places it would normally not be possible. However pet strollers are a convenience that should be used sparingly. Your pet deserves freedom and exercise and overusing a pet stroller robs him of both of these things. Be sure to let your pet roam and explore the world as much as possible, even if it means a bit more work for you.