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Puppy Care 101: Are Puppy Diapers A Good Idea?

Puppy Care 101: Are Puppy Diapers A Good Idea?

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They help prevent bad odors and keep your house clean — puppy diapers are what the hype is all about.

Puppy diapers have been around for quite some time. Ever since our lovely fur babies became house pets, some of us have been using or thinking about using puppy diapers.

But, are puppy diapers a good idea?

There are many pros and cons of using puppy diapers. Whether you’re battling with a new pooch that is yet to learn how to behave inside the house, or you’re dealing with an incontinent dog, doggie diapers can make a helpful tool.

However, puppy diapers are not always a great idea. Sometimes they can do more damage than good.

If you are not sure whether your dog needs to wear a diaper, we’re here to help you out. Today, we’re going to have a doggie diaper kind of day.

Firstly, we will have to figure out are puppy diapers a good idea for your pooch. Then, we will talk about different kinds and uses of puppy diapers.

So, before you decide to get those puppy diapers, make sure to read this article!

How Do Dog Diapers Work?

Dog diapers are just like human adult and baby diapers. They share the same main role — to absorb urine and feces. The only difference is in size and the way you put them on.

Disposable dog diapers are made of tissue, polyester fabric, microfiber, cotton batting fabric, and leak-proof film. So, they are very secure and generally safe to use. They are made to absorb large amounts of urine and feces, and just like all diapers, they get heavy when full.

Dogs have tails, so most dog diapers have an integrated tail hole. However, it’s usually the female dog diapers that come with a tail hole.

Small dogs require smaller diapers and it’s usually easier to put them on compared to putting dog diapers on large dogs.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Diapers On Puppies?

dog with diaper laying in the bed

As we mentioned earlier, there are pros and cons of using puppy diapers. I was thinking a lot about this topic and I thought to myself, why would a dog, an animal, need a diaper? If you have also thought the same, then you’re in it for a surprise.

Let’s hear the good things first.

1. Provide Comfort And Safety

Believe it or not, a puppy diaper can provide comfort (and discomfort, but we’ll get to that later). In rare cases, some puppies actually love wearing diapers.

Puppy diapers provide extra heating and some short-haired puppies may enjoy that feeling of warmth. But, this is extremely rare.

Other than that, handicapped dogs and dogs with special needs often find comfort and safety in dog diapers, as they can easily poop and urinate without having to move around.

2. Help With Potty Training

In theory, small puppies that haven’t gone through potty training make good candidates for puppy diapers.

During the puppy’s first few days of adjusting to its new home, there is a high probability that it will pee or poop here and there. Using a puppy diaper will definitely prevent these messes around the house.

However, it’s not a smart idea to regularly use puppy diapers in house training. A puppy should be taught to go poop outside, rather than to poop freely inside the house.

First time dog owners often make this mistake. Their puppies get too comfortable with puppy diapers, so they urinate and poop inside the house. Some owners get worried when their six month old pooch still isn’t potty trained.

This may be due to overusing dog diapers.

3. Aid With Incontinence Issues

Dog diapers are a necessity in incontinent dogs. Although it can affect dogs of any age, incontinence (both fecal and urinary) often affects senior dogs.

Fecal incontinence in dogs is when they can’t control when and how much they poop. This is usually a symptom of different intestinal diseases or lumbar nerve injuries. So, when you have a pooch that cannot control its poop — it’s best to use dog diapers.

Urinary incontinence in dogs is basically the same, except it’s about uncontrolled urine leakage. Most dogs are not aware of the fact that they are peeing, so they will pee everywhere. Sometimes, the only option besides medication is using doggie diapers.

Dog’s incontinence is a serious medical issue that should be under supervision of a professional veterinarian.

4. Prevent Urinary Tract Infections

Dog diapers are great for preventing urinary tract infections. How, you ask?

Well, most UTIs develop from pathogens that get into the urinary tract from the outside. Bacteria that cause urinary tract infections reach the urethral opening from the environment.

A doggie diaper acts as a physical barrier, preventing germs from entering the urinary tract. As much as a doggie diaper prevents UTIs, it can also help UTIs to develop.

So, this is kind of a 50:50 situation — both good and bad.

5. Manage Female Dogs In Heat

Female dogs bleed from their genitals during the heat season. Now, these are not some large amounts of blood, but they can stain furniture and carpets.

Due to the fact that female dogs in heat bleed from seven to ten days, most pet parents opt for female dog diapers. Some call them the dog period pads.

However you may call them, these diapers get the job done and save you from cleaning up the bloody mess!

Not only are doggie diapers great in this case, but they also discourage the female dog in heat from licking her genitals.

How Long Can You Leave A Dog Diaper On?

little dog with diaper laying in his bed

Every time your puppy pees or poops, a puppy diaper should be replaced. If your dog pees within an hour, you must change the diaper.

It’s best not to leave it for too long. If you are working the whole day, you will want to change your puppy’s diaper in the morning, before work, and as soon as you come home from work.

So, leaving your dog with a diaper for eight hours is acceptable, but only if there is no other option.

Disadvantages Of Puppy Diapers

Imagine you pee yourself and you’re stuck in a diaper the whole day. That wouldn’t be a good feeling now, would it? Well, it definitely isn’t good to leave puppy diapers on your canine friend for too long.

Puppy diapers need to be changed at least every eight hours. If dog owners fail to change the puppy’s diaper once, that isn’t a big deal. But if this becomes a daily routine, then there is no way to escape from health problems that will occur due to prolonged puppy diaper wear.

Besides delayed puppy diaper change, mistakes with putting on a puppy diaper also contribute to the development of health issues.

Here’s what I’m talking about.

1. Skin Rashes

If you’re a human baby parent, you get what I’m saying. If not, you probably still get what I’m saying because you have at least once in your lifetime experienced a skin rash. And we all know a skin rash isn’t quite an amazing sensation.

Just like in human babies, skin rashes from diapers can develop in puppies that wear them. Even though the majority of dogs have fur around their bums, there are still sensitive areas with little to no hair around genitals.

No matter how firmly and securely you place the puppy diaper, it will move around. So, friction along with moisture is what causes a skin rash to develop. A proper term for this skin rash that is caused by a material that is rubbing against delicate skin areas is chafing.

Skin rashes in dogs can occur as a result of many health conditions such as Demodicosis, atopic dermatitis, folliculitis, flea and mite infection, etc. It’s important to know how to differentiate a puppy diaper rash from other skin and health conditions.

Normally, a puppy diaper skin rash is located right where the diaper was placed. It is usually present on the skin of the lower abdomen and inner thighs. But it can also be located on the anus. In this case, a dog licks his butt more often than usual.

At first you might notice a few small, red bumps on the skin. This particular area is painful, and your puppy might react if you try to touch it.

If you’ve ever experienced a skin rash, you are aware of the stinging and itching sensation.

What To Do

Desperate to help their little puppies, some pet parents reach for products that contain alcohol. This is a big NO-NO! Okay? Putting alcohol or alcohol based products on your puppy’s skin rash will only cause excruciating pain. It burns and stings real bad!

Baby wipes should also be out of option as they tend to be scented and may cause irritation. Baby wipes can only be used on intact, healthy skin. For damaged skin you should opt for the most natural treatment.

Treating a puppy diaper skin rash is actually very simple. It’s best to clean up the rash using a soothing dog-friendly shampoo. Rinse with lukewarm water and let it dry.

If the puppy’s skin rash is mild, there is no need to use any moisturizers and ointments. Let the affected area breathe — avoid using puppy diapers until the rash disappears.

Skin rash bumps can spread around the hairless abdomen region and may vary in size. If the puppy’s skin rash is severe, these bumps can bleed or swell up. In this case, you should visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Your veterinarian will most likely prescribe topical ointments and moisturizers, and in some cases oral medication.

2. Skin Infections

Our lovely fur babies are…covered with fur! That’s all cute and dandy, but it can be troublesome when a puppy wears a diaper. A wet diaper is your and your puppy’s biggest threat!

If your puppy’s diaper isn’t changed on time, the excess urine (and even feces) stays longer, causing a very moist environment with little to no airflow. This makes the perfect breeding ground for different kinds of bacteria and fungi.

Now, most bacteria already live on intact skin and do not cause any trouble. However, if there’s a skin rash, a bump, or any kind of micro skin opening, the bacteria will happily move in and cause ruckus.

An untreated skin rash can quickly turn into a serious bacterial or fungal skin infection in dogs. Not only can it lead to skin problems, but it can also lead to systemic health issues such as urinary tract infections.

So, if you decide your puppy has to wear a puppy diaper, make sure to regularly check the skin and hair around that area.

3. Urinary Tract Infections

The bacteria that are present on infected skin can get into the urethral tube and travel up towards the bladder. In this case, your puppy is bound to suffer from a urinary tract infection (UTI).

Urinary tract infections in dogs are more common than you think. They are more common in female dogs due to their short urethra. Some mild UTIs go away on their own, whereas some may persist for a while and require medical treatment.

In this case, a puppy diaper is a two-edged sword — it can prevent urinary tract infections and it can cause urinary tract infections.

This solely depends on the pet parent in charge of changing the doggie diapers. If you are cleaning up the area and regularly switching to clean doggie diapers, you are doing your best to prevent UTIs.

4. Discomfort And Security

Like most clothing pieces, puppy diapers can cause minor to major discomfort. Some puppies get used to it, some simply don’t.

Sure, you can train your dog to wear doggie diapers, but if it’s reluctant and uncomfortable, it’s best not to push it into wearing them.

Those who don’t are more likely to chew the diapers off, or roll around until they loosen and fall off on their own. This can happen even if you choose the best comfort fit dog diapers on the market.

Types Of Puppy Diapers

welsh corgi Pembroke lies in a special diaper spreading its paws

There are a lot of types of puppy diapers around. From disposable dog diapers to reusable, it’s mostly up to you and your preference which ones you’ll choose.

Reusable dog diapers, cloth diapers and washable dog diapers that are great for your puppy’s skin as well as the environment.

Most puppy diapers come with fasteners that secure them from falling off.

Female Dog Diapers

Some female dog diapers come with an adjustable tail hole that prevents leakage. Tail holes help the dog’s tail move around and position without obstruction.

Pet parents usually use female dog diapers for female dogs in heat, as well as older dogs.

Male Wraps

Male dog diapers are made differently. They are often referred to as dog wraps or male wraps because they wrap around the waist.

This way, it’s easier to catch urine in male dogs. Think of it as a belt that absorbs urine. These are great for urinary incontinence, but not so much for fecal incontinence.

Are Puppy Diapers Necessary?

Old yorkshire terrier poodle mix dog asleep on couch and wearing a doggy diaper

Diapers for dogs are not mandatory, nor are they natural. I mean, no matter what fabric they are made of, diapers weren’t initially meant for dogs to wear. You surely haven’t seen a wild canine wearing a diaper, right?

There are cases when puppy diapers come in handy — especially when you’re dealing with a little puppy. Although puppy diapers can aid in housebreaking your puppy, they shouldn’t be a priority.

The only situation when dog diapers are a necessity is when your dog is suffering from either urinary or fecal incontinence. This is a medical issue in which doggie diapers help a lot.

Some dog owners find it necessary to use dog diapers for female dogs in heat to prevent menstrual blood stains around the house.

Are Dog Diapers Cruel?

There are always divided opinions about dog diapers being cruel. Not only do pet parents make debates about dog diapers, but there are also split opinions on dog clothing in general.

Whether or not dog diapers are cruel depends on what you’re using them for. If it’s for medical reasons, dog diapers are considered helpful and humane.

However, if dog owners are putting their dogs through the whole process of getting them used to dog diapers, just to wear them as a fashion statement, then yes, dog diapers are cruel.

Honestly, if there is no need for dog diapers, I humbly advise you to entirely skip using them. Dogs are animals that love to be free and comfortable. You do not want to take that away from them by using doggie diapers for no specific reason.

How Much Does A Pack Of Dog Diapers Cost?

Jack Russell Terrier puppy sitting with diapers

Dog diapers may cost more than human diapers. Depending on the pack, type, and intent, doggie diapers can range in price.

Disposable dog diapers can be found as low as $8 and as high as $50 per pack. Some packs include five, whereas some include more than thirty dog diapers.

Comfort fit, super absorbent, and leak-proof doggie diapers with extensive velcro suspenders cost more than average disposable dog diapers.

These would range between $20 and $90 in price.

There are also reusable dog diapers that cost $12 per diaper. Most are sold in bundles and they make a great eco-friendly solution.

Most pet parents order doggie diapers online. So, you can find all kinds of dog diapers on Amazon.

What Is The Best Puppy Diaper?

There is no “best dog diaper” in general. The best dog diaper will be the one your pooch gets easily accustomed to.

All puppy diapers are made to absorb as much urine as possible. Some are better than others in terms of quality, but they all pretty much do the same thing.

In my opinion, the best dog diaper is the reusable one. Not only is the material more natural, but it makes less waste than a disposable dog diaper. We ought to think about our planet too!

Most reusable dog diapers are made with leak-proof pads that are very secure. There are also extensions that go along with such diapers, like velcro suspenders that are attached to the dog’s diaper to prevent it from falling out.

However, reusable dog diapers are not as convenient as disposable dog diapers that can be used on-the-go.

Do You Need To Buy A Special Type Of Diaper For Puppies?

Well, yes.

Puppies are smaller than adult dogs, so they require small puppy diapers. This also goes for different dog breeds. For example, a Chihuahua needs an XS or S size dog diaper, while the Golden Retriever needs an L or even XL size.

Small puppies have smaller bladders and they don’t produce large amounts of urine like older dogs. So, they do not require extra-absorbent dog diapers.

Most puppy diapers do not come with a tail hole like most adult female dog diapers do.

It’s also very important to find comfy puppy diapers, made out of high-quality materials. This, along with regular diaper replacement helps prevent skin rashes and other medical conditions.

Other than that, just make sure to buy female dog diapers for female puppies, and male belly band diapers for male puppies.

Let’s Wrap It Up… Literally!

woman holding dog and diapers

By now you have probably found out are puppy diapers a good idea or not. In some cases they are and in some they aren’t.

Should your pooch wear puppy diapers depends greatly on its health condition and behavior. If you are introducing your puppy to its diaper for the first time, it’s best to use positive reinforcement training with yummy dog food.

Although a doggie diaper might be a simple solution to potty training problems, you must be aware that not all dogs will like wearing it.

There will be dogs that will by all means refuse to wear a diaper. And that’s okay, we shouldn’t make them wear one.

Each dog is an individual and we have to respect that. So, make sure to listen to your dog and make it the happiest pooch in the world!

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