Dog Care

Are Dog Diapers The Best Choice For My Dog?

Are Dog Diapers The Best Choice For My Dog?

Written By Rebecca Paredes

Jan 18, 2017

Last week, while I was talking to my mom about the dog she had adopted with my sister, my mom said two words I never thought I’d hear: dog diapers.

Excuse me? I figured she was joking. But on the night that I met Bella, a one-year-old Dachshund, she came running up to me on stumpy legs with an excited smile — and a cloth diaper attached firmly around her rear, complete with a hole for her rapidly wagging tail.

Doggie diapers are a legitimate resource for pet owners who deal with incontinent seniors, excited puppies, and female dogs in heat. Here’s why Bella is temporarily swathed in cloth dog diapers for the next few weeks — and why some pet owners are grabbing packs of Huggies for their favorite pooch.

Dog Diapers For New Furry Friends

Dog diapers can be comfortable for pups

Even though she’s only a year old, Bella has had a rough life. She had been returned to my hometown’s animal shelter twice before she met my family. Like anyone in a new situation, she had to adjust to the move.

Related: Bringing Home A New Puppy? Read This Complete Guide For New Fur-Parents

Welcoming a new dog into your home is an exciting time, but it’s also a big transition for everyone involved — namely, your pup! Bella is always excited to see my mom and sister, but that excitement usually leads to one thing: a puddle of pee.

The US Humane Society notes that excitement urination is common in young dogs and puppies who don’t yet have full control of their bladders. It isn’t necessarily a submissive gesture, and it generally resolves itself as your new BFF matures. Since Bella received a clean bill of health from her vet, we knew her incontinence wasn’t a medical issue — she was just happy to have a new home!

For excitement urination, don’t scold your dog after they tinkle. Instead, limit any excitement triggers, and reward your puppy when they’re calm (and dry). Over time, your dog will understand that remaining calm brings them belly rubs and attention!

Until your dog gets the memo, it’s okay to take a page out of my mom’s book and put a dog diaper on your pup. My mom chose cloth dog diapers because they’re reusable (and better for the planet), and she straps Bella into a diaper whenever she’s going to be faced with an exciting situation — like greeting someone when they come home. Other pet owners use disposable diapers, or they buy baby diapers and cut a hole in the back for their dog’s tail.

Keep in mind that dog diapers are only a temporary solution. If your pup is still peeing after a few weeks, talk to their vet for additional guidance.

Dog Diapers For Senior Dogs

Dog diapers can be great for senior dogs

As dogs age, they may lose control of some bodily functions. In these situations, it’s harder for your dog to hold in their pee until they go outside. Your vet may prescribe medication if the incontinence is tied to a medical issue, but you may also have to begin using dog diapers for your senior doggo.

Talk to your vet before you take the Pampers plunge. Incontinence can be caused by a urinary tract infection, diabetes, bacterial infections, or bladder problems, which will need to be addressed by a medical professional.

Dog Diapers For Female Dogs In Heat

Pug with tongue sticking out

If you have a female dog that isn’t spayed, she’ll go into heat approximately every six months. Her cycle will last for two to three weeks, and you can expect some discharge and more frequent urination. While these are normal parts of living with a female dog in heat, you might end up with marks on your furniture if you give Princess free range of the house.

If your dog is comfortable with being handled, dog diapers are an easy way to control her discharge indoors. Make sure you change her diapers regularly, and don’t treat the diapers as a form of birth control — you’ll still need to keep an eye on her while she’s outdoors.

Belly Band For Dogs

Male dog wearing belly band for dogs

For male dogs, belly bands are designed to simply wrap around their lower torso to prevent marking. They’re also great for urinary incontinence or short-term training if you’re living with an overexcited pup.

Related: A Pet Sitting Guide For First-Time Dog Sitters

Keep in mind that belly bands for dogs are not a permanent solution. While they’re handy if you’re taking your dog somewhere you don’t want them to mark, they shouldn’t be worn 24/7 unless your dog is medically incontinent.

Dog Diaper Tips

Doggie diapers for pup

Unless your dog loves putting on clothes, they might not understand — or enjoy — the process of being strapped into a diaper. When you first introduce your dog to their doggie diaper, let them sniff the material, and shower them with praise and their favorite treat! It should be a positive experience, not a stressful ordeal.

If the diaper just stresses your dog out, ask your vet for guidance. While dog diapers are easy solutions to occasional accidents, your dog’s health and happiness is top priority. We’re lucky that Bella simply loves being showered with attention and pats, so putting her in a diaper was easy. The hard part is forcing myself to ignore her tiny self when she gets ultra excited — but it’ll be worth it when she learns to stop peeing during greetings, and we can put away her pint-sized dog diapers once and for all.

Do you use dog diapers for your favorite doggo? Share a picture in the comments!