Walkin' Wheels is a trademark of Wheels For Pets, LLC US Patent 7,549,398. International Patents Pending
Thank you for purchasing THE Walkin' Wheels dog wheelchair. If you find any area OF THIS MANUAL to be unclear, please don't hesitate to let us know. If you have questions please call (603) 577-8854 or email us at [email protected]. Want to download this dog wheelchair manual in color or view a video on fitting your dog? Go to www.DogWheelchairVideos.com.
Depending on where you purchased your Walkin’ Wheels®, the packaging may be different. Here is what’s included:
We created the Walkin' Wheels dog wheelchair in the hope that you will adjust the cart, put it on your dog, and in a few moments watch him or her running and playing again. It can happen that way, but doesn't always. A wheelchair, though, can be a major adjustment for a dog. On the one hand, the frustration of painfully dragging an immobile back end is suddenly gone. Freedom! On the other, there's a strange device following the dog around, sometimes making odd noises and getting caught on furniture and doorways.
· Limit his time in the cart. Until your dog gets used to the Walkin' Wheels dog wheelchair, limit the amount of time spent in it. Try limiting cart time to 10 minutes each session until he or she feels comfortable. The dog should not stay in the cart all day. The Walkin' Wheels dog wheelchair is designed to allow your dog to get exercise and physical therapy.
· If the dog moves backwards when you put him in the cart, this is normal – the dog is simply trying to sit down. Make sure the leg rings or rear harness is holding the back end of the dog up high. If he does not move at all, check for harness comfort and encourage him with treats.
· After you've had a chance to use it, please fill in the survey at DogWheelchairSurvey.com. It helps us improve the Walkin' Wheels dog wheelchair.
· After the first few uses, check for chafing or sores from the harness.
These step-by-step instructions each have corresponding chapters in this manual.
- Unpack Cart. Insert wheels and side rails. The notches on the knuckles are on top of the cart. (see Figure 1). The silver-color side rails and leg struts are inserted in the blue frame. Use the snap-buttons to snap it into place. See "Adjusting the size with snap buttons,"
- Adjust the cart to the approximate measurements of the dog. See the section on measuring your pet.
- Put the Front Harness on the dog. Red Strap goes on the bottom, Base of the "T" shaped neoprene faces forward. Adjust the front harness as needed. Each of the straps have a neoprene & Velcro comfort sleeve which can be cut, if needed, and wrapped around the strap.
There are alternate methods, changing the order of 4,5,6 to suit your dog.
- Attach the Leg Rings to the Cart or
4a. Put the (optional) Rear Harness on the dog.
- Put the rear legs in the leg rings or
5a. Attach the (optional) Rear Harness to the cart.
- Attach the Front Harness (with the dog in it) to the cart.
- Make any necessary final adjustments.
- Install the Allen-wrench set screws to reduce rattling noise (optional).
- Allow the dog to get used to the cart with short trips in the cart. Stay with the dog at all times, preferably on a leash. Some dogs adapt quickly, others take time.
The black plastic pieces that connect the legs to the frame are called "knuckles" (see figure 1). Dials on the side knuckles (called "Dial Caps") can be turned to loosen the legs and allow them to open and close.
To open the legs, turn the dial caps so that the teeth on the inside of the knuckle separate and you can move the leg freely.
Do not unscrew the dial cap all the way off, although if you do, just push down a little to compress the spring inside, and screw the dial cap back on.
There are raised markers on the top of the knuckle and the top of the leg; One on the cart-side of the knuckle and two on the leg-side. Line up the raised marks so that the mark on the cart is between the marks on the leg. See Figure 4. In the case of active dogs, you can angle the wheels back further. This is discussed in the section titled "How to tell if the Cart is Adjusted Properly."
Opening the cart
Adjusting the size with snap buttons.
Note: Make sure the set-screws (figure 4) are loosened or removed before adjusting.
This is called a SNAP BUTTON. Push it in with your fingertip to change the size. Note that, in some cases, the snap button will be behind the knuckle and your fingertip won't fit. In this case, use the back end of a pen, or any thin, blunt object to release it.
Figure 2 - Snap Button Adjustment
Figure 3 - Snap Button behind the knuckle
Snap buttons are used to adjust the height, length, and width of the cart. Optional: Once the cart is adjusted properly, use the included Allen wrench and to insert and tighten the set-screws. There are six set-screw holes on the cart. Although they are not necessary for sturdiness, they keep the cart from rattling.
In some cases, we have included an extra set of siderails and back connector. This is in case you need additional width or length. If these were not included in your purchase, they can be purchased separately on our website.
Some carts are shipped with both long and short width and length extenders. If your shipment did not include these additional parts then they were not needed according to your measurements. They may, though, be ordered separately.
1 – Short (6 inch) Width Connector snaps into the back of the wheelchair for dogs less than 9 ½" wide. For width measurement, see measurement "C" on the following measurement chart.
2 – Short (15 inch) Length Extenders snap in the sides of the wheelchair for dogs less than 19" in length. For length measurement, see measurement "A" on the following measurement chart.
3 – Long (9 inch) Width Connector snaps into the back of the cart for dogs greater than 9 ½ inches wide.
4 – Long (26 inch) Length Extenders snap into the sides of the cart for dogs greater than 18" long.
Adjusting the Length.
Insert the length extenders into the cart frame. The black end-cap of the length extender is in the front. The front harness clip is on the outside.
Push the snap button in to allow the length extender to slide into the cart frame. You'll need to depress the snap button at each hole. When the snap button is behind the black knuckle, use the back of a ball-point pen or the included Allen wrench to reach the snap button.
Later, when the all of the silver pieces are adjusted to the correct length, you'll tighten up the cart using the Allen wrench and two set screws. The set screws are not necessary for stability; they just keep the cart from rattling.
Use the snap buttons on the width connector to adjust the cart to the proper width. There should be about ½ inch of space on either side of the dog at the black plastic knuckle.
The width extender shown below is the 'small' extender shown at its smallest position. The larger width extender does not allow the cart to close all the way.
Height is determined by the size of the wheel or tire on the strut, (there are different sizes). Depending on your order, you may have received 4", 8", 12" or 16" wheels attached to 6", 9", 12", or 15" struts.
The cart is shipped flat. Open up the leg by turning the black knuckle counter clockwise, so that the two notches are in the middle of other notch.
Slide the strut with the wheel into the leg slot with the wheel facing outwards. Dog's legs should be just touching the floor. Your dog can use both legs to develop muscle. If rear legs are weak or paralyzed, you will want to put the feet into the stirrups so they are not dragging on the ground.
Optional - Lock in the strut wheel with the provided set screws using the Allen key. Screw locations are found at the ends of the frame next to push button.
16" Tire on 12" or 15" strut
12" Tire on 12" or 15" strut
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The RED strap goes around the belly
The base of the "T" faces forward
All straps can be adjusted. The neoprene padding is secured with Velcro around the straps and may need to be removed while adjusting the straps.
Hold the front harness with the one padded strap aligned with the front of the animal and one padded strap aligned with the top of the animal. The buckle clips on the side should be pointed back. Neoprene shield (the base of the "T" shape) should point forward.
Unbuckle bottom strap and fit remaining loop around the pet's head.
Re-buckle the bottom strap (RED) around the animal's chest, in back of the animal's front legs.
Tighten straps to fit snugly on animal so that the inside padding is aligned with the pet's shoulders.
Two types or rear harnessing systems are available; the Leg Rings and the Rear Harness.
Leg Ring Support System
Rear Harness Support System
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The rubber tubing if the leg ring can be shortened if necessary with scissors. Avoid cutting the strap inside
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To install the leg rings, simply clip the plastic connectors onto the cart. Adjust the straps so that the leg rings are tight to make a secure seat for the dog. The leg rings should not hang down much. When the dog is in the leg rings, the knuckle should be at the mid-hip level. See the section on fitting the dog later in this manual.
The rubber tubing can be shortened if necessary with scissors. Avoid cutting the strap inside. Make sure that the dog is able to pee and poop freely.
The Velcro wrapper can be moved forward or back to avoid putting pressure on the dog's genitals. In addition, the Velcro can be wrapped loosely so that there is a space between the rings. Adjust for best comfort and fit.
The leg rings that come with your Walkin' Wheels work great used as a lifting harness. The excess strapping can be Velco together to make handles on each side.
It's easier than ever to get your dog in and out of the Walkin' Wheels dog wheelchair with our clip-on leg ring support system. With these, the leg rings clip on to the dog, then the dog's back end can be attached to the cart with minimal, or no lifting at all.
To attach the Rear Harness to the animal, put the rear harness on the floor.
Put the animal's rear legs through the leg-holes. There is no Front or Back to the harness. Reinforcement strapping is on the bottom side.
Pull up the harness like a pair of shorts and clip the back-strap(s) to hold the harness on the dog. Back straps may be crossed.
The four plastic clips hanging at the side are for attaching the harness to the cart. They can also be used to attach the optional lifting straps.
Slide harness around extension tube. There is a loop in the strap. Put the metal tube in the loop. Clip the side buckles on each side to cart.
Attach the four cart-clips to the pegs sticking out of the side of the cart and click the clips into place. To take the dog out of the cart, un-clip the cart clips by pulling down on the clip.
Un-clip the cart clip
Position the animal with its hips lined up to the plastic knuckle section of the cart.
Loop the harness clip over the cart frame and lock it into the peg.
The harness is made of Neoprene so that it can be safely cut with scissors to avoid the animal's genitals allowing them to pee and poop when in the cart. It will not fray at the edges. Remove the harness from the dog before cutting it, and make sure not to cut the reinforcement strap material.
Note that the straps can be cut if there is excess. After cutting, you can seal the end of the strap by briefly touching it with the flame of a lighter. This will melt the end and keep it from fraying.
If feet are dragging or knuckling under, use stirrups.
Place the animal's hind legs in the foot straps so that the foot rests about 2 inches above the ground and tighten to a snug fit.
Some animals will need additional support under their belly. You can tell if they need additional support if the dog's spine bows downward, or if dog is elderly or overweight. See the illustration in Figure 9, 10 and 11.
To put the belly strap on the cart you can either (photos below).
a) place the siderail through the looped opening in the strap or
b) undo the tri-clip and loop the strap over the siderail, then feed the strap back through the clip
The purpose of the rope is to prevent the belly strap from sliding backwards toward the rear of the dog.
Loop strap inside side rail
Clip and secure with rope to keep the belt from sliding back.
If your Belly Belt is equipped with Velcro (Photo to Left) on one side, loop the strap over the railing and attach the Velcro under the dog's belly. A rubber band can be used to secure excess strap if needed.
Belly Strap, Installed
The belly strap is looped around the side rail from the inside, through the rope, then back through the clip. The rope looped around the front clip and is used to prevent the belly strap from sliding backwards underneath the dog. Cut and tie it if desired.
See a video of how to put on the belly belt at DogWheelchairMovie.com.
When the cart is adjusted properly, the animal stands in a 'natural' position. Here's what to check. Refer to the figure below.
A – Knuckle at the hips. If you were to draw an imaginary line from one knuckle to the other, the line would pass right through the dog's hips… where the bone of the leg meets the bones of the body. If not, tighten harness and/or adjust length. Allow 1" on each side between dog and black knuckle.
B – Front Support loop at the shoulder. The loop on the front harness that the bar goes through should be at the shoulder. Adjust the straps so that the loop is held firmly against the shoulder. Then clip into cart.
C – The dogs back needs to be straight or arched UP (slight hunch). In this photo the dog's back is arched down a little. This is NOT correct and this dog needs the Belly Strap.
D – The back legs need to be just touching, or just off the ground, depending on the health of the back legs. If the dog wants to use his back legs, then allow his feet to touch lightly. This is often adjusted by tightening the straps that hold the harness to the frame – this brings the dog's seat up. (Take the dog out of the harness before adjusting.) If the height of the harness cannot be changed, then lengthen the leg struts. Consider boots if the feet drag. Use the stirrups if the dog cannot use his back legs or the feet are dragging on the ground.
E – The horizontal bar needs to be level.
- Ridgeback in a cart needs a Belly Strap
For active dogs with strong front legs, the wheels can be adjusted to angle back.
Wheels angled back for stability
"Wheels" are foam filled. "Tires" are pneumatic air-filled.
· There are four sizes of aluminum wheel struts, 6", 9", 12" and 15".
· There are four foam wheel sizes, 4, 8, 12, & 16 inch, and two air-filled tire sizes, 12" & 16"
16" Tire on 12" or 15" strut
12" Tire on 12" or 15" strut (special order)
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With proper use and maintenance, the cart is designed to last a lifetime. The wheels will wear out, but are easily replaced. If you need replacement parts, they may be purchased on the website. In addition, the stickers on the side may fade or develop scratches, but this will not detract from the usefulness or resale value of the cart.
The cart will not rust, you can hose it off. If dirt gets inside the cart, all components can be removed and cleaned. No oiling is necessary.
The snap buttons that hold the railings in place could, with a great deal of use, become bent. These are also easily replaced.
Walkin' Wheels dog wheelchair is guaranteed by the manufacturer, Wheels for Pets, LLC, for one year from the date of purchase against defects in materials or workmanship.
Should your cart need service, please contact your dealer to arrange a return. You will be asked to ship the cart back to be serviced, repaired, or replaced, at the manufacturer's option.
All shipping charges are the responsibility of the cart owner.
Walkin' Wheels dog wheelchair is provided as a walking aid for animals that, under the care of a veterinarian, a dog wheelchair has been recommended for. Wheels for Pets, LLC, and its affiliates, agents, and distributors make no representation as to the effectiveness or appropriateness of this product.
The return policy in included as an "insert" to this booklet. If you cannot find the insert, please contact us or see the website.