dog wrapped in blanket

Diapers for dogs

I’ve written many columns about the troubles of sizing apparel for dogs. Unlike people, who are generally the same shape and layout, but vary in size, dogs are all over the map in shape and size, making finding things that fit a real challenge unless you have a “dog” shaped dog.

With dogs varying in so many dimensions. For example, the deep chested Italian Greyhounds, Bulldogs, all the way to Great Danes, they all need coats that are much deeper through the chest but not as proportionately long. On the opposite side of the coin, we have Dachshunds and Bassets, who need longer length compared to chest size. Same ting with neck sizes, from dainty Chihuahua necks to beefy French Bulldog necks, so many sizes. And don’t get me going on boots. Not just size, but shape are factors. One style might fit great on one of your pets, but the same style in the proper size falls right off of your other. Much worse than finding a shoe/brand that fit our feet.

Recently, I’ve found a new piece of apparel challenging. The Diaper. These are needed for a variety of issues, from spotting during “heat”, through behavioural issues with territory marking, through to “doggie depends” for incontinence.

These garments are not as variable as, say, coats or boots, the area they cover is fairly consistent in its shape, but we are still dealing with animals from 5lbs to 200 lbs, so finding the appropriate size is not always a simple task. Many can get it right on the first try, most garments have a weight dependant size range on them, and more often than not, they do fit.

These come in packages of disposable items, and also in re-useable garments. Re-useable ones mainly rely in inserting feminine hygiene pads into the appropriate area to catch output. Some have built in absorption and the whole garment is washed after each use, like a good old cloth diaper.

Disposables have the advantage of being simple to use and inexpensive to purchase if you only need them for a short while. If you are needing then for a longer term, re-useables might be a better option.

The other advantage of re-useable is that they are made out of heavier cloth, and have more secure Velcro tabs. So while they may be almost identical in shape and size, they may stay on a lot better.

Keeping a diaper on a dog is another story. We all know most dogs are flexible enough to lick back there, so no reason they can’t grab and try to remove a garment back there. Some dogs are obedient enough to take the command to leave it alone. If you have one of those dogs, I envy you.

Most dogs will need specific training for that, or adding in additional deterrents. Another layer of clothes, sometimes a t-shirt put on backwards and tied at the “waist”, or a recovery garment (looks like a hospital gown that ties along the back) can prevent them from getting at the diaper. There are also taste deterrents, like Bitter Apple, that can stop a dog from removing its diaper.

We’re going though this now, with Rey in her first heat, because we are waiting to spay her until well after she has finished growing. New research is recommending either a gonad sparing sterilization (partial spay or vasectomy) to allow a dog to mature fully with all its systems so that proper growth it attained, including for joints, plus we are seeing reports about vast differences in many different diseases and issues between pets spay/neutered before reaching maturity and those left intact.

Clothing and pets, some of it is for the cuteness factor, but most of it has function. Finding ways to keep them on our pets can be a challenge, but with a little work, we can make it happen.

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