This article contains a lot of information but it’s all the information I wish someone had condensed for me. Let me start by saying I am a HUGE advocate for putting your dog in diapers (despite the humiliating visualization they provide for your animal). However I am not a veterinarian or an expert in animal medicine, so please consult your dogs doctor before using any tool, medication, procedure or practice explored in this article.
To be clear, Bauer does not use full-on diapers, he uses belly-bands (seen below) which wrap around his torso, covering his penis and catching any leakage. He previously had trouble pooping, until his vet discovered neurological damage in his spinal cord, and prescribed Gabapentin (pain medication) in order to help him curl his back and go to the washroom easily.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, and the things you should prepare for, I feel i need to stress the benefits before exploring if these are the right tool for you, your lifestyle and your best friend. No matter how much of a pain in the ass they become, your top priority is always your dogs well-being.
- Bauer, my 12 year old Siberian husky got immensely more comfortable in his daily routine, and became less anxious overall. The fear of accidentally leaking pee, or trying to hide it, was no longer a concern.
- He had a bad habit of drinking or licking-up the liquid which, while the vet argued was not harmful to his system, I could tell it just wasn’t sitting well in his stomach day-to-day. He would throw up if he ‘drank’ too much and didn’t have as much energy the longer time went on. Overall, he became a healthier, better functioning animal.
- Coinciding with having more energy, he has more desire to be with people and sit ‘where the action is’ rather than beside the door, depressed, anticipating his next accident. Huskies are smart breeds, that can easily suffer from anxiety and depression due to a change in their bodily function. Diapers have alleviated the majority of his stresses.
- Obviously, there is way less cost and way less clean-up. He would leak every time he stood up or got excited or had a bad dream, and I was practically sleeping with a lysol bottle in my hand. We tried both incontinence medication and muscle repair medication to help strengthen his bladder and sphincter muscles; and nothing worked. I also didn’t love the idea of drugging him up and not really knowing how it affected his insides. Now, he’s himself with a diaper on his waist.
- Your mind will be at ease. I am no longer stressed about his well-being, or the stench of my home, or the quality of my carpets. Using these diapers has proven to make my life less stressful and putting on these diapers and cleaning him up has just become part of our routine.
A little more information:
Make sure you get the right size, Bauer is considered a medium-sized breed, but most dog diapers and belly bands don’t accommodate bigger breeds, so make sure you measure their waist and read the information on the box. You can always find a way to tighten the band, and the bigger the target the better, but you also want them to maintain full mobility and range-of-motion. Just make sure you read the reviews for whichever brand you are getting, and get the right size.
The ones that i buy (see link above) are around $17 CAD for 30 diapers. We don’t want him sitting in his own pee for an extended period of time, so we use around 3 a day, and each pack (if you can do math) lasts around 10 days. This is a lot of diapers, but i can assure you, for your own mental sanity, they are worth it.
Despite the lack of pee on your floors, unless your dog has a hairless stomach, you will still be dealing with a little bit of clean up. The vet advised me to keep an eye out for sores that can form from the chafing of the diapers, however the biggest challenge you may be faced with is yellow fur. Obviously this isn’t harmful, but it can smell and needs to be maintained. Have baby-wipes at the ready and the groomer on speed-dial.
You may find that they rely on the diapers and pee less outside. While this may be something harder to keep track of, it is totally normal. Provided you are changing the diaper often enough, there is no need to worry about the appearance of less fluid. Top Tip: Most of the diapers have a coloured stripe down the middle of the padded part that catches the most pee; this will change colour (ours from Yellow to Blue) when the diaper is wet and get darker when it needs to be changed.
For obvious reasons, make sure that the diapers or bands are on properly, and simply monitor your dog for any negative signs. We had a few mishaps where the diaper slid up too high, or got too full. The first few weeks are all about trial and error; what works best for your dog and your routine. Look out for any signs of UTI’s or sores on the skin but other than that, take advantage of the ease.
You know your dog best, and you know what is best for them. I am definitely someone that overreacts and panics at any sign of health issues and when the peeing became a more-than-regular occurrence, I started googling quality of life tests and asking others if it was time to end Bauer’s time. But, for me and for him, these diapers felt like a second chance and an opportunity to improve his life, which is the number one priority as a dog owner.
I hope this helps my readers either find a solution, or at the very least eliminate some stress and strain from you and your animal. If you have any questions, comments or concerns be sure to leave them below; I’ll get back to you as soon as possible and at the very least you can inform me and help any fellow pet owners.