Diapering Dogs: a complete guide

If you are reading this, then chances are that you know what diapers are. You must have seen little kids wearing them. Whether at the beginning or towards the end, diapers have proven to be an indispensable factor in the life of humans. However, have you heard of diapering dogs? Yes! Nowadays the market has [...] The post Diapering Dogs: a complete guide appeared first on The Happy Puppers.

Diapering Dogs: a complete guide

If you are reading this, then chances are that you know what diapers are. You must have seen little kids wearing them. Whether at the beginning or towards the end, diapers have proven to be an indispensable factor in the life of humans. However, have you heard of diapering dogs?

Yes! Nowadays the market has diapers that are specially made for canines. Referred to as dog diapers, these diapers resemble human baby diapers with one difference. They sport a hole where the tail of your dog comes out from. In this article, I will discuss why there is a need for diapering dogs, the different types of diapers available, how to choose the best one for your dog, and finally, what to watch out for when your dog is regularly wearing diapers.

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diapering dogs
diapering dogs

Diapering dogs: Importance

There are certain conditions where your dog is not able to relieve himself on his own like –

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Bladder infection
  • Cushing’s disease

Certain conditions like paralysis of the hind legs due to an accident also make it impossible for the dog to relieve himself on his own. Senior dogs with arthritic issues may also find it impossible to stand up to relieve themselves. Diapering dogs can help in such circumstances and prevent accidents around the house.

When should you start diapering dogs?

In the previous segment, I mentioned certain situations where diapering can be helpful. However, those are not the only situations where dog diapers come into the picture. There are other conditions as well where diapering can be extremely helpful, to both the dog and the guardian. Some of the situations where diapering dogs is the best option are:-

Diapering dogs during the menstrual cycle

If you have a full-grown female pup who has not been spayed yet, she will undergo menstruation and have menstrual cycles/periods occurring twice a year. In such cases, many dog guardians prefer to opt for dog diapers. This becomes especially crucial if the dog has a heavy menstrual flow.

The need for diapering dogs during periods also becomes necessary if the dog is constantly indoors. It’s your dog’s home too. Just because she is on her period, you cannot restrict her to her crate or keep her outside so you don’t have to clean the house repeatedly. Using a dog diaper can be a lifesaver in such scenarios.

In case you use dog diapers while your female dog is menstruating, be sure to check the diaper frequently and change it when needed. Furthermore, you must monitor the skin of your dog for any signs of irritation.

Diapering dogs when in heat

During the heat cycle, there is blood discharge from the vagina of female dogs. Using a dog diaper can be of tremendous help in such situations. The diaper can serve two purposes in such scenarios. First, it can collect the blood released from the vagina and keep your house from getting soiled.

Second, it can keep unwanted males from engaging in the mating process. However, you need to bear one thing in mind. Determined male dogs can rip off the diaper therefore, it would be a wise idea to not depend on the diaper to provide protection from unwanted mating. As the guardian, it is your responsibility to monitor the activity if the female dog is in the presence of any male dogs

Dog diapering to help with potty training/housebreaking.

Potty training can be a difficult task; especially if you are training a large or full-grown adult dog. If the dog you have adopted comes from a puppy mill, chances are that living in poor conditions never allowed the dog to understand the discrimination between the place to sleep and the place to go potty. Dog diapering can help in such situations. Cleaning up pee and poop after large dogs can be a particularly difficult task.

By using dog diapers, you can train your dog to understand when is the right time to pee and poo (when the diaper is off and they are outside the house) vs when they are not supposed to pee and poo (when the diaper is on and they are inside the house). If by chance, your dog has an accident in the diaper, it will be much easier to clean than if the accident happens in the absence of the diaper.

helps with housetraining
helps with housetraining

When you take your dog out and your dog poops at the right place, reward the behavior and offer treats. This will help your dog understand that peeing or pooping outside is a good thing. Gradually you can start to increase the duration between the individual poo sessions.

Diapering dogs when traveling

If you are traveling and can’t find a place where your dog can relieve themselves at regular intervals, using a dog diaper might be the best solution. You may be living in a hotel and don’t want accidents to occur. Dog diapers can be very handy for pickles and make your life easier.

Whether you are traveling by plane or train, both involve having your dog control their peeing and pooping urges for long durations. Such transportation modes make it extremely difficult for your dog to do his business at his designated time. Thus, dog diapers are the items of choice in such situations.

If you have a male dog, diapering is an absolute must. Male dogs have a tendency to mark the new territories they visit. If you are aware of this habit of your pup, dog diapering may help you save face. Your dinner hosts who invited your dog along expect you to keep the marking behavior in check. Dog diapering is the solution to that.

If you are going to a location where dogs are not allowed or where they have strict rules about animal Behaviour, dog diapering can allow your dog to freely and conveniently travel with your pup.

Incontinence issues

If your dog has incontinence issues for whatever reasons (urinary tract infection, lower body paralysis, etc), using a dog diaper can help keep your dog clean and make the test of cleaning easy for you. Here are some benefits of using dog diapers for dogs with incontinence.

Better hygiene. 

Dogs with incontinence don’t have bladder control. In the absence of a diaper, your dog may soil himself and the surroundings as well. This leads to not only unpleasant smells but also increased chances of infections. Dog diapers can keep this from happening.

Dogs feel embarrassed too. Having no control over their bowel movements, if they soil themselves, they will feel extremely uncomfortable and embarrassed. Dog diapers can allow your dog to feel more comfortable since the fecal and urinary matter will be kept from soiling your poor pup. This will reduce irritation and discomfort

Incontinence has a serious negative impact on the life of your dog. He may feel irritated and stop engaging with his friends and siblings. Dog diapers can allow your dog to socialize while being comfortable.

better hygeine
better hygeine

Dog diapers can also prevent the occurrence of accidents in public places, reducing the chances of embarrassment or legal consequences. Furthermore, cleaning up after a soiled dog can be a very difficult and time-consuming task for the dog guardian. Even if you work from home or are a stay-at-home dog guardian, keeping an eye on your dog 24/7 is not an option.

Post-surgery care

After surgery, there is a high chance that your dog may experience incontinence depending on the surgery. If your dog is not cleaned up quickly, the bacteria can infect the surgical site and cause an infection. Using dog diapers can take care of this problem for you. 

Surgical wounds need time to heal. While healing, the area may irritate or feel itchy. This may cause your dog to scratch or lick that region to relieve the discomfort. This in turn can cause the reopening of the wound or surgical incisions. For a dog guardian, this is a whole other level of nightmare. If you use a dog diaper it will keep your dog from opening up the wounds

Wound care becomes much easier when the dog is wearing a diaper. It is much easier to clean and change the dressing of the wound. Furthermore, if your dog is facing incontinence, the chances of the dressing getting soiled are extremely low.

After surgery, the dog has enough pain to deal with. Why add to the stress further by allowing your dog to soil himself? Dog diapers will not only reduce the stress on your dog, but they will also reduce the stress on you. You need not worry about cleaning the soiled dressing and the dog.

The different types of dog diapering options

Now that I have discussed how dog diapering can benefit you, it is time to discuss the different types and styles of dog diapers that are available in the market. The two primary categories of dog diapers are washable ones and disposable ones. before you make your purchase, find out which option is better suited for the needs of your dog.,

Disposable dog diapers

If you have seen disposable baby diapers, you will have no issue understanding disposable dog diapers. These diapers are exactly the same as baby diapers with a hole for the tail. Disposable diapers are the perfect one for occasional use for traveling, taking your dog to a party, etc.

However, if you have a dog who regularly needs diapers, disposable diapers may not be the best option. Since these cannot be reused, their expenses may add up over time. Furthermore, these diapers are less breathable than their alternative cloth diapers. Thus, they can cause severe skin infections in your dog. Finally, last but not least, these are not environmentally friendly.

different diaper styles
different diaper styles

Reusable cloth dog diapers

In case your dog has incontinence issues, or must wear a diaper for the long term, reusable cloth diapers are the least option for your dog. Overall, the cost is cheaper since in this case since they can be reused. Cleaning them can be a difficult task, but they are more breathable and are a better option for your dog.

Reusable cloth diapers with harness/velcro suspenders

Most often if you go for reusable dog diapers, they will be available with adjustable velcro straps for easy closure. Another added advantage of the reusable dog diapering method is that you can add sanitary napkins on the inside for increased absorption.

Some of these reusable dog diapers are available in harness or suspender format. These types of dog diapers make it harder for the guardian to easily put them on the dogs. These are the ones that belong to the fashionable style. These are also a more expensive option. In most cases, dog parents who are more focused on looks go for such a method of diapering dogs. We all know dogs are not fashion-conscious.

Certain other cases where such diapers can be of help are if your dog faces anxiety issues. These harnesses type diapers have wraps that swaddle the dog and help keep them calm. Therefore, if your dog has anxiety issues, this type of cloth diaper may be a better option that the others. This diaper option is also useful if your dog also has a habit of pulling on the diaper and removing it.

reusable dog diapers
reusable dog diapers

Belly bands

Billy bands are another type of reusable dog diaper. These can be easily washed and reused. Belly bands don’t look a lot like dog diapers. Instead, these look like stylish undergarments for dogs. Male belly bands are unique in nature. They simply wrap around the belly of the dog and attach via velcro. They do not extend to the tail or butt section.

On the other hand, female belly bands look like very stylish underwear. They are also available in a variety of colors, designs, and styles. Belly bands are made of breathable material so that your dog can stay comfortable l. They also come with the option of adding a sanitary napkin if needed. If you are conducting house training, using a belly band can be of immense help. It can keep reminding your dog to not pee when he is wearing the belly band.

The right way of diapering dogs

Before you purchase a diaper for your dog, you must measure his size and get a diaper of the correct size. Different types of dog diapers have different patterns for measuring the dog’s waist. Follow the instructions given on the diaper and get the right size.

When you put on the diaper, check the fitting first. The diaper should fit well but it shouldn’t be too tight. If it is too tight, it will cause your dog severe discomfort. Go for a dog diaper that contains a soft fabric so it can be comfortable for your dog’s skin and prevent chafing

There is one important consideration that you must bear in mind. The moment you notice that the diaper has been soiled, change it immediately. If a wet diaper stays on your dog for long periods, it can cause skin rashes and various infections. Thus, always remove wet diapers. When changing the diaper, clean your pup with baby wipes. This will gently disinfect the region.

One important thing to understand here is that dog diapers are not to be used for collecting fecal waste. However, if your dog is immobile then you may use the diapers for collecting fecal waste. In case you are using dog diapers to house train your dog, make sure your dog understands that defecation in the diaper is not allowed.

Can human baby diapers be used on dogs?

In case you find a size that fits your dog, you can use human baby diapers as a substitute. They also cost less than dog diapers. All you have to do is make a hole in the tail section and you can put the diaper on your dog.

When selecting a baby diaper for your dog, go for a brand that provides diapers with a lot of elastic in the waist section so they can be stretched easily and put on your dog. When you put the diaper on your dog, reverse the diaper so that the section that would go on the front in case of human babies would be placed on the tail or the backside region of your dog. In most cases, reversing the diaper allows for a much better fit for your dog,

Making a reusable dog diaper for your dog

Making a dog diaper at home is a fairly easy task. Belly bands can be made by using stretchable materials like the legs of yoga points. Cut them down to size and sew the cut edges. This will provide good aesthetics and extra durability. For fastening, you can use diaper clips or sew-in velcro fasteners on either side of the band.

Finding the right diaper for diapering dogs

Here are certain factors that you must bear in mind when selecting a diaper for your dog


The first and foremost thing to focus on when purchasing log diapers is finding the right size. If the diaper is too tight, it will make the experience very uncomfortable for your dog. It may also lead to chafing and skin issues. If the diaper is too loose, your dog can remove it. It won’t be able to provide the right level of protection either. Start by measuring the waist of your dog and check the size chart before purchase.


Dog diapers are normally available in various materials. You can either go for cloth, washable or disposable. Go through the good and bad of each before you decide which one to purchase for your dog.

find the right diaper
find the right diaper


Absorbency is a crucial factor when it comes to buying a dog diaper. In case your dog has incontinence issues, you should get a diaper with higher absorbent capability.in case you are doing house training and just wish to avoid accidents, you can go for diapers with less absorbency,


The next factor to focus on is comfort. Go for diapers that have adjustable straps and are made of soft materials. These will ensure a comfortable and good fit.


Always remember the purpose for which you are buying the diaper. If you need a diaper to care for your dog post-surgery, you should go for diapers that are very comfortable while also providing the maximum level of protection and absorbency to your dog. In case you are purchasing a diaper to help with traveling, go for one that is easy to use and throw away.

Finding the right diaper size for your dog

It is crucial that you get a diaper of the right size for your dog. This will ensure that the fit is comfortable and your dog can move around easily. Here is how you can find the perfect diaper size for your dog.

Measure the waist of your dog:

Use a measuring tape and measure the widest section in the waist region of your dog. The measurement will tell you which size diaper you med for your pup.

Check the sizing chart

Every manufacturer provides a sizing chart. This chart may also include weight ranges. Check the weight range and match it with your dog’s weight. If your dog falls within the range of weight mentioned, go with the diaper size corresponding to the specific weight.

Check the fitting.

Once you have selected the size of the diaper on the basis of your dog’s weight and size, go ahead and do a trial run. When engaging in diapering dogs, make sure that it fits right, and is not too tight or loose. The diaper should cover the private parts of your dog completely and must not slide off.

Adjust the diaper as per your need

Some brands of diapers are available which have adjustable straps and Velcros. This allows the dog guardian to easily adjust the straps for a better fit. You can adjust the straps to ensure that the diaper fits snugly.

Precautions when dog diapering

As I have mentioned before, the primary danger you may encounter when using a dog diaper is that you forget to check the diaper or change it on time. Bacteria thrive perfectly in environments that are wet. Thus, you should focus on changing the diaper frequently and keep an eye out for any wetness.

If your dog shows signs of incontinence, get him checked as soon as possible. You must find out the reason behind the incontinence.in case it is something serious, consult the doctor and get it treated as soon as possible. There are many diseases that can lead to incontinence. Some of these diseases are highly dangerous as well like serious like kidney dysfunction syndrome, kidney disease, and bladder issues are extremely serious health issues for your dog. Thus, do not ignore the vet exam.


Diapers can be extremely helpful in many situations. However, they should not be treated as a substitute for proper behavior and potty training. If you notice any kind of inflammation or skin irritation, stop engaging in diapering dogs. Take your dog to the vet as soon as possible so that the skin irritation and inflammation can be resolved. The vet may prescribe some ointments to help soothe the irritation.


If you have to travel or visit a place where they have strict rules, a dog diaper can be a very handy tool for every dog guardian. It can also help if your dog is facing incontinence issues. However do not ignore incontinence, consult a vet and get it treated as soon as possible.

Please do not use diapers unless absolutely necessary. Dog diapers are not a substitute for potty training. Prolonged use of diapers can lead to rashes in the skin and severe irritation. Therefore, diapers should only be used when needed and not all the time.

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Dr. Shruti

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