If your dog has recently had surgery, or if they’re suffering from a condition that makes it difficult for them to walk or navigate stairs, dog hoists can be particularly helpful. But, not every dog owner knows what to look for.
Fortunately, our comprehensive guide has everything you’ll need to know about choosing a quality product that will work for you and your dog. Read on as we cover how to choose a hoist, and show you some of the best options currently available.
How to Choose a Dog Hoist
Before making a purchase, there are a few things you’ll want to consider, such as:
- How much support does your dog need?
- How large (or small) is your dog?
- How often are you going to use the hoist?
Your answers to these questions can help you determine which hoist is going to be a good option for you and your pup.
Level of Support
Different hoists and harnesses offer varying levels of support. Some are designed to support the midsection of your dog, while others focus on their hindquarters. The most comprehensive models provide support for your dog’s entire body. Depending on your dog’s needs, you’ll be able to quickly narrow down the best style of hoist for your pup.
Most dog hoists are available in a variety of sizes designed to accommodate most popular dog breeds. But, the biggest and smallest breeds are often left out. So, if you have a toy breed or a dog that weighs upwards of 70 pounds, you’ll want to make sure that the particular hoist you’re looking at can accommodate your dog.
For most dog owners, the hoist is going to be occasionally used to provide a little bit of extra help for their pup. But, other dogs may need to use their hoist much more often, especially if their condition is degenerative.
If you’re going to be using the hoist more often, it’s important to select a model that’s built to last, with extra reinforcements along key points that typically wear out on cheaper harnesses.
While many of the dog hoists on the market provide a questionable level of support that’s not well suited for every dog breed, the T.U.S.H. or The Ultimate Support Harness is ideal for all breeds with all types of health issues.
The T.U.S.H is a two-part system that provides front and rear harnesses that can be used together or separately depending on the needs of your dog. The rear harness provides an added layer of support, and it’s ideal for dogs who have recently had surgery or are suffering from arthritis or other degenerative conditions in their rear legs.
Each of the two harnesses features four-way adjustable straps and buckles, and durable nylon construction that’s machine washable. The inside of the harnesses is lined with neoprene, which adds a level of comfort, while also reducing the harness’ ability to move or shift as you assist your dog.
Each harness features a reinforced handle for assisting your dog in climbing the stairs or entering a vehicle. Also included is a specially designed 6’ leash which clips on to both harnesses, making it even easier for you to assist your dog.
While all harnesses are designed with your dog’s health and safety in mind, this harness from TopDog Health is designed by veterinarian Dr. James St. Clair. Dr. St. Clair developed the T.U.S.H. harness after working with countless dogs who were recovering from surgery or dealing with degenerative conditions. The result is a harness that provides comprehensive support for all dogs.
What We Like
- Two-part harness provides front and rear support
- Both harnesses can be used independently
- High-quality materials and construction
- Comfortable neoprene lining
- Four-way adjustable harness
What Could Be Better
- Most dogs are scared of the rear harness
- Rear harness lacks padding around legs
If you’re looking for a simple and easy to use dog hoist that’s well made and affordable, this sling lift from Labra may be an ideal choice for you.
Each simply designed sling lift is made from a durable exterior material and features a plush fleece lining on the inside to provide extra comfort for your dog when they’re being lifted.
This Labra sling is also ideal when it comes to ease of use. Using it is as easy as placing it around your dog’s midsection, securing the velcro in place, and lifting your dog with the attached hand straps. The straps are also adjustable, so you’ll be able to lift your dog without needing to bend over yourself, which is a huge plus for dog owners who also have their own mobility issues to worry about.
The Labra Sling Lift is available in four sizes, from medium through XXL. The medium is designed for 20-40 pound dogs while the large is for 40-70 pound dogs. The extra large size accommodates dogs 70-100 pounds and the XXL size is perfect for large breeds weighing 100 pounds or more. Unfortunately, there’s no size available for small dogs less than 20 pounds.
On the downside, since there’s nothing that attaches to the dogs front or hind legs, it’s easy for the sling to slide around the dog’s body. It also tends to bunch up a bit as you’re lifting. So, you’ll need to exercise extra care before lifting to ensure that the sling is properly placed, and isn’t bunching up around your dog’s body.
What We Like
- Well made
- Affordably priced
- Multiple sizes available to accommodate dogs from 20-100+ pounds
- Adjustable hand straps
What Could Be Better
- Sling tends to slide around the dog’s body if weight isn’t properly distributed
- Sling can bunch up around dog’s body
Considering how simple the design of most dog hoists is, many dog owners believe that a product like this shouldn’t cost more than a few bucks. Fortunately, Tinksky agrees, and their popular mobility device is available for under $10.
Design wise; this hoist is similar to the Labra model above. This dog hoist sling is designed to fit under the dog’s body, so that they can be easily lifted up stairs, into vehicles, or whenever they need a little extra help when dealing with rehab or a degenerative condition.
This support harness features a durable nylon exterior with a breathable, padded interior that’s designed to provide your dog with the most comfortable experience possible when being lifting. The handles are thick and double stitched to the harness to provide extra support and security.
This hoist is available in sizes small through extra large, which accommodates any dog between 10 and 70 pounds. Unfortunately, there’s no option available for dogs larger than 70 pounds, so large breed owners will have to look towards a different harness.
What We Like
- Great price
- Easy to use
- Thick padding on inside reduces discomfort
What Could Be Better
- Handles are not adjustable
- No size option for large breeds over 70 pounds
Whether you’re looking for a mobility product to help your pup recover after surgery or make it easier for them to move around in spite of a degenerative condition, a dog hoist can be seriously helpful. All of the options we’ve covered today make a fine choice.
However, the T.U.S.H. from TopDog Health is our favorite option, and it provides the most comprehensive solution for helping your dog get around.