Adopting a Tripod Dog: What to Know

A dog with only three legs is called a “tripod.” This could be due to trauma, catastrophic event, or amputation due to infection, cancer, limb deformity, or fracture.


Adopting a tripod dog requires altering your expectations. These dogs may have a different gait or walk and may have trouble with coordination and balance.


Tripod dogs may be at a greater risk for osteoarthritis and lameness. Dogs with a forelimb loss may have greater future concerns than those with a hind limb loss.


Before adopting, find out the reason for amputation, date of amputation, long-term medical issues, need for medication and past and current medical history.

Before Adoption

Make a few simple changes to ease your dog’s adjustment period. These include therapeutic bedding, ramps, toe grips, floor rugs and a harness.

Preparing Your Home

Beyond the amputation and initial rehabilitation costs, there aren’t any additional expenses for most tripod dogs.

Cost of Caring

Long-term management includes weight management, exercise management, joint care, and creature comforts.

Long-Term Management

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