Urinary incontinence can affect dogs of any age. While your pet recovers from surgery, takes a muscle relaxing medication, has a hormonal imbalance, suffers from bouts of anxiety or ages, it may benefit from wearing dog diapers.
My Experience with Dogs and Diapers
My veterinarian recently recommended a daily dosage of Benadryl for my Weimaraner, Belle. While the medication healed an allergic reaction on my pet’s skin, the medication also made her lose her ability to hold her urine while sleeping.
I used large (up to 125lb.) overnight toddler diapers on my 100 lb. dog until we found a dosage of medication that would heal her skin without affecting her bladder muscles. It’s difficult to find pet diapers in extra-large pet sizes, so human diapers worked for us.
Signs My Dog May Need Dog Diapers
Pets that dribble urine while sleeping or constantly lick their genitals may exhibit early signs of incontinence, according to Doctors Foster and Smith’s website. If your house-trained dog begins uncharacteristically urinating or defecating in the house, consider using dog diapers until your vet can diagnose the cause of incontinence.
Disposable and Cloth Diapers
Choosing between disposable and washable cloth diapers is a matter of personal choice. Disposable diapers are convenient, costly and add to our landfill waste. Cloth diapers are economical, require extra time to clean and are a “green” option for pet care since they are reusable. Using a disposable padded insert with cloth diapers makes clean-up of urinary incontinence simple. Both styles of diapers can handle urine and fecal waste.
Types of Diapers
Just like diapers for humans, dog diapers come in both female and male styles. Urinary-only incontinent male dogs can benefit from wrap-around dog diapers. Once secured around the dog’s abdomen, the pet’s tail has free movement and it’s hind legs are not restricted by the shape of a traditional baby-style diaper. Male dogs with fecal incontinence and any type of female dog incontinence requires the use of a traditional-style diaper.
Using Dog Diapers
If your pet requires dog diapers for incontinence, change the diaper often and never scold it for using the diaper. The soft skin around a pet’s genitals may become scalded by urine soaked diapers. Check the pet’s diaper frequently, especially after the pet has napped. Remove the diaper, use a fragrance-free baby wipe to clean the pet’s skin and allow the area to air dry before replacing the diaper. Apply topical anti-inflammatory ointment to soothe skin irritation from the diaper.
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Sources and Suggested Further Reading:
Doctors Foster and Smith: Age Related Health Conditions
Doctors Foster and Smith:Urinary Incontinence in Dogs Explained
Mar Vista Animal Medical Center: Urinary Incontinence
Doctors Foster and Smith: Caring for Your Older Dog