Best Dog Diapers – An Owner’s Guide

Does your pooch suffer from urinary incontinence? [1] If so, you may be wondering which doggie diapers work best. At some stage of your dog’s life, you’ll have to deal with bladder problems, or a female dog being in heat.

Diapers [2] are also used during puppy training, though it’s best to follow a structured potty training schedule, as to when your puppy should be taken outside to go potty. Using diapers during puppy training may make it more difficult in the long run for your dog to become fully house trained. [3]

Yorkie wearing a diaper

Canine incontinence is identified by inappropriate urine leakage. It can be caused by numerous health disorders, which include symptoms like:

  • failure of the muscles to relax normally,
  • injury to the urethra or other parts of the dog’s urinary system,
  • or an overflowing bladder.
A failure to urinate properly can be caused by many issues, such as:
  • a physical blockage of the urethra by stones, [4]
  • scar tissue or growths,
  • problems related to the nervous system,
  • lack of muscle tone in the bladder muscle that closes the bladder off.

If your dog cannot urinate properly, he or she will show symptoms of trying to pee often. Urination will be slow and painful, and there will be minimal urine. Most dogs with urine problems will develop incontinence later on if the bladder is repeatedly only half-emptied.

What happens is that the bladder becomes stretched out, and then begins to overflow and leak. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian at the first signs of bladder problems.

Related: Take a look at the best carpet cleaners for old pet urine.

How to choose a good dog diaper?

dog diapers

Dog diapers come in different sizes and styles and can either be washable or disposable. Dog diapers work best on senior dogs suffering from incontinence. If you want to save money, it’s best to buy washable dog diapers which can be laundered easily.

For traveling pet parents that have young pups or senior dogs, canine diapers help make travel easy.

These help with hotel stays and long car drives. Just be sure to change diapers frequently, just as you would for babies. Scent marking by male dogs can be prevented with the use of doggie diapers.

Human diapers vs. dog diapers

Some pet parents opt for human diapers for their dogs. That said, a diaper explicitly made for dogs will have a better fit and be more comfortable. Dog diapers are specially made for a dog’s body, and will not hinder a dog’s natural movement. The most important aspect when choosing a doggie diaper will be the comfort, ease of movement,  and excellent absorbency, most especially for females in heat.

Dog diapers will have a hole in the tail section, whereas human diapers do not. Some pet parents prefer the fit of a human diaper if worn backwards. Additionally, the adhesive or Velcro strip that would bind over a baby’s stomach would instead fasten on Fido’s back.

Things to look for

Diapers that are quick to slip on work well for active dogs. Some dogs may not enjoy wearing a diaper, so the quicker one gets them on, the better. Look out for the following:

  • Velcro pull taps that fasten securely
  • Comfortable, elastic, cushioned tail hole
  • Washable for in-home use
  • Disposable for travel use or for pet parents that work and are busy
  • Comfortable and roomy leg holes that are non-abrasive and non-restrictive
  • Natural fabrics that are easy to wash and don’t encourage sweating
  • Dog diapers that change color after use for sanitary reasons
  • Removable absorbent pads for hygiene
  • Cute prints
  • Multi-packs are cost effective and save time
  • Reasonably priced, high-quality diapers
  • Eco-friendly
  • Sustainable
  • Made in the U.S.
  • Tested

Now that you know what to look for, let’s find out how to figure out the size.

How to measure your dog?

bulldog with measuring tape

One important aspect to keep in mind is that as a dog ages, he will lose muscle mass. So when following a chart/breed measurement, it’s crucial to measure your senior dog.

  • Your older dog’s length will be more than the dog’s weight.
  • Waist measurements for senior dogs need to be taken while the dog is standing up.

Male pooches need to be measured differently and need to have the urethra part covered by a diaper. There are sizing guides that each canine diaper manufacturer will provide, according to the dog diaper specs. It is best to follow the sizing guide according to each brand. Some brands will run smaller than others.

Also keep in mind that as your dog ages, he or she will have lost weight, and new measurements will need to be taken each month, according to the particular veterinary ailment that the dog suffers from. Always consult with your veterinarian for the best advice.

Today, canine diapers can be used to help with incontinence due to the following health problems:

  • Aging
  • Illness
  • Birth defects
  • Partial blockage of the urethra
  • Bladder infections [5]
  • Brain or spinal cord diseases
  • Hormone-responsive incontinence
  • Canine Estrus [6]

Great, now you know what to look for and how to measure, let’s see what your buying options are.

Examining the best dog diapers

There are numerous reasons your dog may be having trouble holding it, but most reports come with aging or illness. However, there are other reasons your dog may need a diaper, and to owners who now have to make the move to purchasing nappies for their pups, we’ve made a list of the top brands currently available.

Luxury Reusable Dog Diapers | Pet Magasin

Pet Magasin Luxury Reusable Dog Diapers

These durable and washable dog  diapers work best for puppies and small dog breeds with a waist size of 10 to 15 inches. With a tough Velcro strip that’s hard to break, these diapers are machine washable. Velcro closures also don’t stick to fur. They can even be dried in the dryer, and are eco-friendly.

These nappies are manufactured with highly absorbent inner layers that are waterproof and comfortable for your dog. Available in 3 multi-color sets with sizing available from X-small to large offering measurements from 17 to 26 inches in waist size.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Multi-color
  • Good fit for small dog breeds
  • Eco-friendly
  • Effective for puppy training
  • Does not hinder movement of the dog
  • Durable Velcro straps
  • Machine dryable
  • Highly absorbent
  • Cheaper in the long run
  • Comfortable for both male and female dogs
  • Reusable
  • Leak-proof protection

 Cons

  • Careful and accurate adjustment for male dogs needed
  • Does not fit dogs with a wide tail base
  • Necessary to size your dog accurately for a good fit

Customers feedback

This product has earned a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars and is a top-rated product with pet parents. Consumers found that the diapers did not leak, and were a comfortable fit. They also liked the color assortment. Reviews from buyers stated that these diapers were thicker and more comfortable than many other brands.

See it on Amazon

Washable Female Dog Diapers | Wegreeco

Wegreeco Washable Reusable Premium Dog Diapers

These are dog diapers especially made for female dogs. The Wegreeco is made for all sized dog breeds from small to XX-large. They are soft and comfortable with no crinkly feel.

Available in a pack of three with pink, purple and aqua colors, as well as delightful prints. The extra-small size works well for small breeds weighing less than 3.5 pounds.

Pros

  • High-quality product
  • Reasonably priced
  • Absorbent
  • Highly effective
  • Comfortable
  • Made for female dog breeds
  • Many sizes
  • Great fit
  • Machine washable
  • Fast dry
  • Leak-proof protection
  • Comfortable tail-hole

Cons

  • May cause skin rash if not changed often or if Velcro straps are too tight

Customers feedback

This diaper earned a solid 4.5 out of 5 stars, and they come highly recommended.  Customers were impressed by the high-quality dog diapers. Great to use on cats as well. Snug fit and great pricing for a stellar product.

See it on Amazon

Male Dog Wrap | Amazon Basics

AmazonBasics Male Dog Wrap

The Amazon Basics male dog wrap is disposable and available in a pack of 30. They provide leak-proof protection for male dog breeds. Perfect for use indoors and outdoors, the male dog wrap by Amazon is one of, if not, the best deal out there.

With cost-effective pricing, durable and highly-absorbent protection, these male diapers for dogs are one of the top products available today. Available from X-small to large, they’re a comfortable fit and a popular buy among dog owners.

Pros

  • Cost-effective
  • Pack of 30 saves time and money
  • Durable
  • Amazon product that has terrific reviews
  • Good fit
  • Leak-proof protection
  • Specifically manufactured for male dogs
  • Backed by Amazon Basics

Cons

  • May slip off, if not bought according to the size of the dog

Customers feedback

The Amazon basics male dog wrap earned an excellent rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. Overall, dog parents loved this product. Being so cost-effective, and available in bulk, means it’s a time saver for busy pet parents that work.
Reviews raved about great durability, absorbency, and the high-quality Amazon product. The only negative reviews related to those that had not measured their dogs accurately, so the pet diapers slipped off. As with all doggie diapers the correct measurement is essential to a good fit!

Premium Dog Diapers Female | Bwogue

Bwogue Premium Dog Diapers Female

The Bwogue is available in a pack of two. They have an ergonomic Velcro design and are practical and comfortable for daily wear. The Bwogue are washable and are reusable. They are for female dogs only and come in a soft fabric. They are also easy to use.

Pros

  • Machine washable
  • Machine dryable
  • Reasonable cost
  • Highly absorbent
  • Good fit

Cons

  • Not enough color options

Customers feedback

This has a solid rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars. Customers were pleased with the fit, and how well they worked for dogs in heat. Some customers complained that the doggie diapers were thin, and not absorbent. Also as to how they slipped right off their dogs because of the “slippery inside.”

See it on Amazon

Premium Male Dog Diapers | Pet Parents

Pet Parents Premium Washable Dog Belly Band

These are male dog diapers. The Pet Parent dog diapers come in a set of three. The black color consists of three black belly bands. These help to prevent male dogs from marking their territory within the house, most especially small dog breeds. The Pet Parent diapers are comfortable for dogs, and of a snug fit.

Pros

  • Soft and comfortable
  • Highly absorbent
  • Solid black color
  • Reasonably priced
  • High-quality
  • Thicker inner padding
  • Quality manufacturing

Cons

  • The band may be wide and bulky around the belly
  • Sizing runs small

Customers feedback

This product earned a 4.8 out of 5 stars rating and is popular because it is both a diaper and belly band. Customers enjoyed the high-quality fabric and the snug fit.

See it on Amazon

Final thoughts on dog diapers

rear view of dog wearing a diaper with stack of diapers next to him

We love our dogs! Regardless of the breed, all dogs will age, and will need your support. If you’re busy house-training a pup and live in an apartment, try using a litter box together with outside potty trips. All dogs need to go outside to play and walk.

Puppies

Using diapers during puppyhood should never replace house-training and leisurely walks with your pooch. Whatever method you choose, opt for praise, keeping to a set schedule, and plenty of patience. Never punish your puppy or dog.

The importance of positive house-training can’t be overemphasized. Taking your pup outdoors numerous times a day is part of being a dog parent. Using a treat to reward will help with positive dog training throughout his or her life.

Seniors

As for senior dogs, you will notice when he or she starts to slow down. Providing your senior dogs with the necessary support is critical. Additionally, Adequan® shots will ease arthritis or degenerative joint disease, and providing him with a supportive bed and car ramp are part of senior dog care. Doggie diapers are part of that.

Your senior dog will also need a special diet to help manage kidney disease and other health problems. Your pooch will still enjoy life, but it’s up to pet parents to enhance a senior dog’s quality of life with leisurely walks, trips to the dog park or beach, and plenty of 24/7 TLC!

Another must read: Owners guide to Proin for dogs

Resources

  1. Urinary incontinence in the dog and cat.” P.E. Holt. April 1987
  2. Everything You Need to Know About Dog Diapers –  American Kennel Club
  3. Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones” Canadian Veterinary Journal vol. 56,5 (2015): 501.
  4. Stiller, A T et al. “Urethral plugs in dogs” Journal of veterinary internal medicine vol. 28,2 (2014): 324-30.
  5. Canine bacterial urinary tract infections: new developments in old pathogens.” M. F. Thompson. A. L. Litster. J. L. Platell. D. J. Trott. October 2011
  6. Unusual and abnormal canine estrous cycles.” V.N. Meyers-Wallen. December 2007

About the Author

Claudia

Claudia

Claudia Bensimoun is a hard working, animal loving, dog journalist from sunny West Palm Beach, and specializes in veterinary content. A long-time contributing features writer for Animal Wellness magazine, Fido Friendly magazine, and the United States Dog Agility Association. She's also the author and ghostwriter of more than 50 dog eBooks. She's passionate about canine nutrition, canine health and wellness, and animal rescue/adoption. Her interests include wildlife conservation, animal welfare, disaster/ humanitarian relief, and veterinary research.

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