How to Use the CARE Champion Seatbelt System
(modelled by Ginger)

NOTE: Click each image if you want to see a larger version.

The CARE Champion Seatbelt system is one of the few I would recommend for a dog, and in my opinion the easiest seatbelt to use. You can read my review of the seatbelt here. This seatbelt comes with two parts, a harness and a strap. The harness attaches to the dog, and the strap attaches to the harness and to the seatbelt or cargo hook in a car. There is a metal snap/hook to attach the strap to the harness, and a "quick link" to attach the strap to the car. The "quick link" looks like a heavy metal chain link, and it turns (screws) open and shut. The strap length is adjustable and it also has a swivel hook to help prevent tangling. Below is some information on how to use the seatbelt.

Please, for your safety and your dog's, use a seatbelt EVERY TIME you travel with your dog. In an accident, an untethered dog will basically become a projectile, and hit objects in the car (such as other passengers, windows, etc) with many many pounds of force. This can be lethal for the dog and possibly for any people that the dogs slams into.



Attaching the Seatbelt to your Dog

NOTE: Click each image if you want to see a larger version.

There are two or three  ways you can put the harness on. It is really very simple to do each way, but one may work better for you. This first way works well if you have an obedient dog, and can be done easily even if you are not strong enough to lift your dog's legs up.

One option:


First, you place the seatbelt on the ground like in the photo above.


Next, you have your dog walk up until they are standing "in" the harness.
At this point all you need to do is lift the harness and attach the plastic buckles at the dog's back.


Another Option:

The second way you can put the harness on your dog involves lifting each leg into the harness. This is probably the quickest way.



Place the harness on the ground, and lift each leg up and into the harness. Then, snap the harness closed at the dog's back.


Third Option:

If you have a small dog who does not mind being lifted, you can put the harness over your arms, lift the dog's front legs with your hands and slip the harness over the dog in that way. Unfortunately I don't have a photo of this, but it is how I put the seatbelt on my smaller dog (terrier mix.)




Here is what the back of the harness looks like from the back:



To attach the seatbelt strap to the harness (in the larger sizes) you need to pull out on the hook like this:



Then you attach the hook around the two large D-rings at the back of the harness:




Attaching the Seatbelt to the Car


There are several options for attaching the CARE Champion Seatbelt into your car. It depends on what works best with your car and your dog. Personally, I usually leave the seatbelt strap and harness all hooked up in my car so when I want to take my dogs somewhere, all I need to do is put the harness on them.



One option is to hook the seatbelt to the seatbelt's shoulder belt.



Another choice is to hook it to the lap part of the belt (or to a lap-only belt if your car has these.)



A third option is to attach the strap to the small loop that holds the connector for the seatbelt.

If you have cargo hooks in your car, you could also attach the seatbelt strap to these.


 
What I have found works best and keeps my dog from tangling is shown in the photos above-- I attach the strap to the shoulder part of the car's seatbelt, and then hook the car's seatbelt strap around the seat's headrest. This keeps the dog's seatbelt up high so there is no way they can walk over it and tangle themselves in the strap (the swivel hook reduces the tangling but doesn't completely prevent it.) This would work best for medium or larger dogs.



Here is Ginger hooked up in the car, with the seatbelt strap looped around the back of the headrest. As you can see, dogs can lay down with this seatbelt on. They can also stand up, sit, or turn around.  You can adjust how far then can move by changing the length of the strap.



Here is a photo of Ginger sitting. I don't usually let her ride in the seat she is shown sitting in here because it is too small for her to lay down in comfortably. (This is the middle seat of our minivan, she usually rides in the rear bench seat.)



Here is my terrier Pooch with his seatbelt, as you can see it is hooked to the shoulder strap but the seatbelt is not looped over the back of the headrest.



                   
Here are a few photos of my dogs hooked up to the shoulder straps of the seatbelts, but lying on the floor of the car instead (it was a long trip, so they were sleeping.)



Emergency Information

If you are wondering what the white card-type thing is which you can see attached to the harness straps in some of the photos, this is something I created in case of an emergency. It is a card with emergency contact info and vital information about my dogs written on it. This holds a lot more info than my dogs' tags and is much more visible. I created the cards on the computer, printed them and laminated them by using self-stick laminating luggage tags and attached them to the dogs' seatbelts. I would also recommend keeping an "emergency kit"(or folder) in your car in a place where someone would find it in an emergency, with photos of your dogs, vaccination records, and other information. Here is one form you can fill out and print for that purpose. I have a very similar form in my car.

Here is what the seatbelt cards look like:



Disclaimer: I am not affiliated in any way with the makers of the CARE Champion Seatbelt. I do not have any stake in their company or any other association. This page is for informative purposes only.

If you have any questions about this page, please
Email Me