Health Symptoms & Solutions Dog Diapers: Why They Matter, And Choosing Between Them

Dog Diapers: Why They Matter, And Choosing Between Them

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You’re already familiar with children and the key role that diapers have when it comes to handling the little ones. Pet owners also find themselves in similar situations with their furry friends. Dogs may need doggy diapers for a variety of reasons.

Why not just use ordinary baby diapers? They function with a similar principle. However, although they can contain the doggy messes, they aren’t a good fit and you don’t want to be cutting a hole for the tail all the time. Dog diapers have been designed with the anatomy of the pets in mind. These involves sizing to the tail hole, making them better suited to the task. They are frequently machine washable, this is a great option. Let’s delve into how they work, and what you should look for when making your purchase.

Why Dog Diapers Are Used

When your pooch has urinary incontinence

This is a biological issue, and not a behavioral problem for the dog. The incontinence basically occurs when the dog has a problem affecting their urinary system. It can be caused by a urinary tract infection. Alternative causes include the urinary sphincter muscle weakening, or bladder problems caused by bacterial infections.

Conditions like diabetes may even contribute to it. Urine accidents by your furry friend that are not behavior-related require an appointment with the vet. Treatments range from administration of drugs to surgery. The likely procedure will be defined by what is causing the incontinence.

With the underlying condition dealt with, then the diapers will only be used for a short while. However, should the incontinence not be curable even with treatment. Dog diapers will end up being a normal part of your pooch’s daily life.

Old age

The older dogs – even those that have never had urine accidents, will eventually lose control of some of their bodily functions. This includes defecation and urination. Unfortunately, this is just the natural path that things are taking.

It’s one of the reasons why people put down their dogs,. This is rather unfortunate since it can be managed with products like dog belly bands and washable diapers. It can also be a case of canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD). This condition resembles Alzheimer’s disease which affects humans.

In this instance, the dog simply forgets his training. It usually affects dogs that are over 11 years. Here, the vet will recommend drugs for the condition. Although pet owners may find that they will still need to get dog diapers.

When female dogs are in heat

Female dogs have “periods”, though not in the typical form that humans do. During the estrous cycle, there will be a period when she gets in heat, where the estrogen levels of the dog increase sharply, and eggs are released from the ovaries. This can last for as long as a week, but it usually ranges between 2 – 4 weeks.

Dogs go into heat around every six months. During this period there will be both behavioural and physical signs – and for the purpose of this article, our focus is on the latter.

Physical Signs

Physical signs include a swollen vulva, frequent urination, and there’ll also be a blood-tinged discharge. At the onset, it will be blood itself, but gradually it will simply be discharge with a light pink colour.

During this time, without proper measures, your house surfaces and furniture will bear the brunt of the process. Dog diapers come in to prevent them from urine stains and getting covered in the discharge.

They also prevent your pooch from constantly licking her rear. Note that the dog diapers are not meant to be a canine contraception, since the male dogs will quickly find a way around the diaper.

Training

There are pet owners who include the diapers in the house training process. This is usually because at those early stages the furnishings and rugs are still at risk of getting urinated on. While there is no harm in it, the dog should still be regularly taken outside without the diaper in order for your furry friend to learn where he should go to pee.

Types Of Diapers

There are two general types: cloth (reusable) and disposable dog diapers. With the cloth diapers allowing you to wash and reuse them, they are an environmentally friendly option. In addition, while the initial cost will be higher than the alternative, in the long run they end up saving you money. However, there will be the hassle involved with constantly washing the soiled dog diapers.

On the other hand, the disposable diapers require less work on your part, and are convenient to use – simply discard each diaper when the dog is done with it. On the other hand, purchasing multiple dog diapers will cause the costs to increase, and there is the environmental issue of contributing to the growth of landfills.

How Dog Diapers Are Worn

This looks at how they function. For instance, pet owners with male dogs usually prefer the diapers that come with a belly band for dogs, with the lightweight shell going around the midsection of the pet. The outer layer is actually an absorbent liner. You can get liners for the belly hand, or choose to use sanitary napkins or even baby diapers which will be disposed of after use.

Full dog diapers, on the other hand, are designed almost like human baby diapers – but have a hole provision for the dog’s tail. There are those who choose to simply get baby diapers and tear a hole through them for the tail.

White long coat small dog on brown wooden plank. Part of the "Dog Diapers: Why They Matter, And Choosing Between Them" article.
Photo by Free To Use Sounds on Unsplash

Guide To Buying Dog Diapers

Firstly, you want to ensure you have the right fit. The dog diapers come in various sizes and absorption levels. Check the product label on the measurements, and get the unit with the appropriate absorption level for the particular situation you’re dealing with. It’s a great idea to get reusable dog diapers. Here are some of the features you should keep your eye on:

Material

When it comes to diapers, this is a make or break factor. The absorbency of the diaper is completely dependent on the material. You want one that is absorbent enough not to put your pooch at risk. Additional attributes such as a waterproof outer layer increase the leak-proof nature of the diaper. There are also those that come with a double layer absorbent pad build, to aid in the functionality. Units like the disposable Paw Inspired diapers have super absorbent cores that can take in lots of pee. This core uses DrySpeed™ technology that, according to the manufacturer, converts the urine into gel instantly, resulting in the higher capacity.

The wetness indicator

This is a handy feature that indicates when your furry friend has done his business in the diaper. It saves you the trouble, since you won’t have to guess when it’s time to have the diaper changed. While it’s not a compulsory feature to have on the diapers, it is pretty convenient. This is seen on the likes of the Simple Solution disposable male dog wraps, where the wetness indicator changes colour when it’s time to change the dog’s diaper.

Gender

Many of the diaper designs are specific to either females or males, though there are some that can be used or both. For the male dog diapers, they usually have a belly band design, wrapping around the dog’s midsection instead of going full-on like the conventional diaper. This results in a looser coverage, giving the dog freedom and keeping him clean, and the pet owner will find it easy to put it on the pooch. On the other hand, female dog diapers it’s more of the traditional diaper design – but also having the tail hole, which makes it effective even during those periods when the pooch is in heat.

Adjustment points

The focus here is the ease of taking the diaper on and off. You want a unit that is easy to work with, when dealing with male and female dogs. After all, diaper changes should not take longer than necessary. Features like Velcro strips come in handy here to ensure that the diaper has been securely fitted. Some come with snaps or buttons – or the owners can even have these added on, especially for the washable diapers since the Velcro may not hold up after months of daily usage.

Color

You want our dog to look good too. Sure, aesthetics are not as important as functionality, but pet owners usually don’t want their pooches to look like they have baby diapers. As such, it may be one of the factors for you to consider. Products like the washable dog diaper come in different colours – blue, green, and purple – to keep your pet looking stylish. The washable nature of this particular diaper additionally makes it a long term solution that enables the pet owner to cut down on costs.

Using The Dog Diapers

There are some measures that you should take note of:

  • Just like when one is dealing with human babies, you should ensure that the diaper is changed frequently. You don’t want your dog remaining in a diaper that’s wet or full for long, as it will be uncomfortable, and can lead to diaper rash. This can cause itching, burning, inflammation, and increases the chances of bacterial infections.
  • Clean the dog when changing him. No, you won’t have to keep preparing a full dog bath. The ordinary baby wipes will do to clean up the dog before switching the diaper for a fresh one.
  • It’s highly recommended that you wear gloves when making the diaper changes. This is to prevent you from coming into contact with the urine or fecal matter.
  • While the dog diapers come with hole provisions of the tail, there are cases where you’re dealing with a dog that has a docked tail, or there’s barely any tail on the pooch. Here, you can use tape to cover up the hole, in order to prevent any leakage from occurring.

Your Vet Visit

Note that taking your dog to the vet is important before you skip right to getting the diapers.  This will help you to get peace of mind. You want to get to the root cause of the urination, so that if there are underlying issues that need medication they can be addressed appropriately.

Regardless of the type of diaper used, one of the challenges that you will face is that your furry friend will be moving around a lot. While tightening the diaper can work, at a certain point the diaper becomes too snug, causing the pet to get uncomfortable. Suspenders or straps can come in handy here. These are hooked onto the dog’s harness, holding your pooch’s band or diaper in place.

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