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Jerry Tries The Pet Support Suit

UPDATE (01/19/10): The new and improved AST Get A Grip harness is now available in the Tripawds Gear Shop! Read the updated review.

Recently, the great people at Animal Suspension Technologies sent Jerry their new Pet Support Suit to test out. Below is a movie and a product review of this great new product.

Believe it. The AST Support Suit lives up to all of it’s promises. We tested it on Jerry, our 75-pound, three-legged tripawd dog with hip displaysia. As Jerry will testify, the AST Support Suit is a critical tool that helps him get through life with as much mobility as possible.

Sizing and Dressing is a Breeze

Upon first sight of the AST Support Suit, the buckles and webbing might intimidate you. Don’t let them. You’ll soon learn as we did that the suit is not as tricky as it looks. AST’s instructions are clearly written and explain how to properly adjust all the straps so that you only have to make a good fit once. After that, the Suit is always ready to go with no further adjustments.

The first time we put the suit on Jerry, he was too tired to get out of bed and unwilling to budge. Since AST’s instructions say that the Suit can be applied to a dog that’s lying down, we wanted to prove this claim.

Dressing him was a breeze. The harness lies completely flat when it’s opened, so when it was time to dress Jerry, we just had to slide it under his torso, wrap it around, adjust the webbing and snap the buckles as instructed. He hardly moved.

When it was time to get him out of bed, the adjustable handles made it heasy to hoist him and get him on his feet. As we lifted him, it was clear that the underbelly fabric had far more bottomside support than the his old harness. And the AST Suit did not dig in as we guided him up.

Ergonomic for Dogs and Humans

The Suit also makes going up and down stairs a whole lot easier. Jerry’s old harness didn’t have an adjustable handle, so one always had to stoop and hang on to him while ascending or descending obsctacles. This created a jerking motion, which can aggrivate bad backs or shoulders. But, with the AST Suit’s adjustable handles, they are always adjusted to arm’s length, making stair navigation a lot easier on humans and the dog.

Once Jerry was outside, it was clear that the AST Suit wasn’t adversely affecting his mobility. In fact, it helped it. Jerry ran, walked up boulders, played fetch, and not once did the Suit slide around like his old harness always did. He didn’t seem to notice it was there.

The Suit also delivers on its full potential when it comes to traveling. Even with tall trucks like our 4×4 Dodge Ram 2500, the AST Suit makes it easier than ever to get him in and out of a vehicle. With the adjustable straps for and istributed underbelly support, hoisting him up into or out of the vehicle is lot faster and steadier than with his old harness.

Improves Overall Quality of Life for Less Mobile Dogs

As Jerry ages and his hip condition worsens, it is clear how the AST Support Suit will be a huge help. He’s a heavy dog, and lifting him isn’t easy, but with the AST Support Suit, we know that we’ll be able to keep his quality of life to a maximum by being able to easily move him, travel with him, and most importantly, play with him as long as possible.

Our only suggestion to Animal Suspension Technologies (AST) is to come up with a lighter weight fabric. AST is located in Bellingham, Washington, which has nice cool weather most of the year. However, in hotter climates, the AST Suit’s padded fabric may be too warm. While it’s true that dogs don’t sweat like humans, we tested it on a very hot summer day (90 degrees). It made us wonder if the heavy fabric wrapped around him would affect his comfort. For our own reassurance, a strong mesh fabric with the same structure for hot summer days would be greatly appealing to humans and dogs alike.

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