As should be plainly obvious from the picture above, I have a dog. Her name is Emma. She is a female mutt. A cross between two lazy dog breeds (Cavalier King Charles and Boston Terrier) that is somehow even lazier than both breeds combined. All the same, our family loves her.
Now that she is 11 years old. Like many older dogs she has run into problems with bladder control. Recently, she had an aggressive urinary tract infection that did not seem to respond well to antibiotics. This started a disastrous nine month episode where we bought, bargained and borrowed anything and everything to find the best dog diaper possible. One that would actually stay on. Below we detailed our efforts (leaving out the grossest parts). In the process we would like to address the following issues:
- Under what conditions will your dog need diapers.
- What are the best dog diapers on the market for male and female dogs (Best being that they don't fall off easy). Will include the pros and cons of each brand.
- Money (and furniture) saving tips and techniques to help you deal with your dogs uncontrollable bladder.
Under What Conditions Will Your Dog Need Diapers?
There are a variety of reasons why dogs may need diapers. Some of the most common reasons for dogs to wear dog diapers include the following:
Incontinence in dogs can come about for a variety of reasons. Oftentimes, dogs who are older than 10 years slowly develop health problems that have incontinence as one of their symptoms. In these cases, the incontinence could be the result of a weakened sphincter bladder muscle, diabetes (yes it does occur in dogs), or a bacterial infection. Even a dog who has been house-trained for years can be caught off-guard by incontinence. Therefore, it is important to contact a vet if dog exhibits this symptom.
Female Dogs In Heat:
A female dog who is not spayed will eventually go into heat. It is a natural process whereby she will release bloody discharge (that can also be quite smelly). Female dog diapers that actually fit can be a lot of help when your dog is in heat. Not only will it effectively contain the bloody discharge but it may also keep your dog fro licking itself excessively.
Canine Cognitive Dysfunction:
Older dogs (i.e. dogs with 11+ years) can potentially develop a condition similar to Alzheimer's in human beings. It is called Canine Cognitive Dysfunction. One of the most significant symptoms of this condition is that your dog may simply forget lessons that they have learned in the past; for example going to the bathroom outside as opposed to indoors. While there are drugs to help dogs with this condition; getting dog diapers (dog nappies for those in the UK) will help with the occasional accident.
Some dogs will urinate when they get excited, for example during a greeting or during playtime. This condition is most common in younger dogs and puppies. However, if the behavior is reinforced; excitable urination may stick around longer than it should.
What are the best dog diapers on the market for female dogs (some can also be applied to male dogs)
Disposable dog diapers are more or less just like popular disposable human diapers (think Huggies). Everytime your pet makes a mess inside of their disposable diaper, you can throw it away and replace the diaper. Each time you go to replace the diaper, be sure to clean your dogs private areas. This should preferrably be done with moist baby wipes as it will lessen irritation while cleaning at the same time.
Disposable diapers are available in male and female designs in all different sizes depending on the dog's waist size. ***Also keep in mind that many dogs can eventually wiggle their way out of most disposables.*** However, some brands seem to fit better than others IMO.
Brand #1: OUT! Disposable Dog Diapers
Out! disposable dog diapers come in both male and female designs. This was the first dog diaper that I tried due to the brands immense popularity on amazon.com.
As my introduction to female dog diapers, it was a pretty good experience. The instructions to apply the diapers were very clear. In addition:
- Contained smells from poop and pee effectively.
- Fits snugly (for my dog, may nor be the same for everyone)
-No issues with leakage (Everything contained)
-Cost effective (compared to others). I found the price to be about $0.07 cheaper than other brands.
-The size variations for this diaper brand are minimal (possibly to save money. Online some people have complained about this because an OUT! size Medium to Large is not exactly tailored to every dog's waist size. (I guess I just got lucky with my dog.)
-Diapers use sticky pads to secure diaper to dog instead of velcro. If you dog has long hair, that hair can definitely get stuck in the sticky tabs. My dog has medium length hair so it wasn't a huge hassle.
Brand #2: Simply Solution Disposable Diaper (Possibly The Best Brand Out There)
Simply Solution was the second brand that I bought. It honestly felt like I was buying the Rolls Royce of dog diapers. And it was reflected in the price. These were the most expensive female dog diapers on the list. The full list of pros is as follows:
-Secured with velcro straps. So it is fur friendly for a lot of different fur types.
-The absorbent material prevented leaks. Effectively contained mess and smell
-Wide selection of sizes which allows you to better find the right size for your dog.
-This brand seems to have unisex diaper options. And some people seem to be pleased with that.
-It is a brand on the pricey side. So it can hit your wallet pretty hard in the long term.
-At the writing on the piece, most of the online complaints against this brand seem to come from large dogs (those over 50 lbs). Apparently, there are lots of complaints about loose and "falling off" diapers.
Item #3: Four Paws Wee Wee Disposable Diapers (Surprisingly good value for the price)
As you can see, my dog hates wearing diapers in general. So in my third purchase of diapers I went for a brand that seems to do exceedingly well with pee pee pads. That is Four Paws. Four Paws has a mid-priced line of dog diapers; with very good absorbent material built in. However, that is not to say it is perfect.
-Mid-range pricing compared to other brand I have bought. Considering how well it is built; that is a plus.
-Uses velcro straps, so it is okay for dogs with long fur.
- At least four size ranges. So you have a decent chance of finding a diaper that fits snugly and stays on.
-Some reviewers online have indicated that the tail hole seems to be a little too big. And I might actually have to agree. The diaper was very absorbent, so nothing leaked. And my dog has a fairly long tail so it stayed on. However, if your dog has a docked tail; I imagine this may pose a problem as the tail is not there to support the weight of the diaper.
-This could be a one-off time where the diaper actually smelled while on my dog; but it did happen with this brand. (Maybe she just at really rich food that month...who knows.)
In the long run, washable dog diapers will save you a ton of money. Assuming you have to buy dog diapers every month or so. Moreover, washable dog diapers are sturdy and a little effort was put into the design of the diapers themselves (this is reflected in the online reviews). However, if you cringe at the thought of washing doggie diapers every week or so; maybe this isn't for you. I personally tried washable dog diapers for a total of one month before going back to disposables. It's not that washables are bad. There are effective ways to clean them. [Check video I posted at the end of article]. It's just that I do not have a place to store dirty diapers while they are waiting to be washed. This review only describes brands that I did try.
Brand #1: So Phresh Washable Diaper For Dogs
Same Washable Diaper That My Dog Wears in The Picture. (Review Below)
So Phresh Washable Dog Diapers were my first experience with washable diapers. And overall the experience was okay. As expected, the So Phresh diapers were sturdy with plenty of absorbent material built in. I did not have to stuff extra padding or anything to prevent leakage. And while I think the company could have done a better job with their fitting sizes for dogs. I eventually got the right size once I bought a medium diaper instead of a large.
-No odor, or leakage to speak of. Built sturdy. (But that's to be expected for a non-disposable diaper).
-Seems to be available in many retail outlets. (Again, could be a coincidence of where I tend to shop).
-If anything (and some users mention this online), the sizing of the diapers seems to skew toward larger dogs. My dogs waist is 22 inches. That is a large sized diaper for most brands but I had to buy a medium in this instance.
Brand #2: Pet Parents Washable Dog Diapers
The Pet Parents brand of washable dog diaper has a higher price tag compared to others, however if you go the washable diaper route this is well worth the money (if you have a female dog).
-Where do I start. The sizing is pretty accurate with waist sizes coinciding with expected size groups.
-Sold in a 3-pack. (Which I highly suggest) Which provides you better value for your dollar.
-No leakage and traps messes until your are ready to change diaper very effectively.
-Sold as unisex, for male and female dogs.
-It looks like Pet Parents does not yet have a washable dog wrap for male dogs. Moreover, some people complain about this diaper's ability to contain male dog messes. So keep that in mind.
-There were also complaints online about the fact that this diaper uses a kind of scrunchy around the dog tail hole to affix the tail to the diaper hole. Some dogs apparently find this uncomfortable; my dog didn't mind at all.
I really hope this review has been helpful to anyone searching high and low for the perfect dog diaper. Also, as promised, see below a video explanation about how to clean washable diapers. It definitely helped me when I bought them the first time around. The volume on the video is kinda low so feel free to increase it.