Dog Diapers vs. Dog Pads
Older dogs and dogs with back injuries among other things may not be able to hold in their urine and/or feces. Depending on the cause of urinary or fecal incontinence this can be partially controlled by the pet or not controlled at all.
Dog pads are not always a great solution to incontinence for pets without any control. This is because he often is unaware that he is leaking or having a bowel movement and cannot get to the pad to eliminate there. Some pets with partial control over their bladder can make it to the dog pad in time.
Using a dog pad is a good place to start if your pet has some control over their bladder and bowels. This gives him a familiar area to relieve himself and keeping the pad in the same location helps him remember what to do if he has to go and he cannot get outside.
Dog Diapers for Incontinence
For pets without any control over their eliminations, dog diapers are recommended. If your pet only has urinary incontinence, there are also medications that can help to strengthen the bladder sphincter to allow them to hold urine better. Speak with your veterinarian to determine if this medication is right for your pet, as your pet will need to be checked for a urinary tract infection first; trapping bacteria inside the bladder could be dangerous. Medications can be very helpful for pet parents that are not home all day to change a pet’s diaper often. Some pets respond well to medication although, sometimes as your dog’s condition progresses due to age or other circumstances, a change in dosing is needed. At times, secondary medications may need to be added or diapers may be recommended. All of this depends on his needs and your lifestyle.
Diapers can be beneficial because they allow your dog freedom to move around the home normally. Well-fitting diapers are ideal as they will prevent leaking. Be sure to use dog diapers made for male or female dogs depending on your pet. Male “sling” or “wrap” type diapers do not work for female dogs. Full-size dog diapers are also available which can help with both urinary and fecal incontinence. Be sure to check your pet’s diaper at least every 4-6 hours and change it out as soon as you know they have used the diaper. Disposable dog diapers are commercially available as well as reusable cloth diapers. Allowing urine or feces to stay in contact with the dog’s skin can cause irritation and infections such as urine scald. Frequent changes are required when using dog diapers, so be sure someone can check in on your pet multiple times a day if you are away at work.
The Benefits of Dog Pads
Using dog pads for training puppies works very well. Starting with a dog pad is a great idea especially if outdoor space is limited. Puppies not yet vaccinated should not be in contact with other dogs at dog parks or in social settings. Dogs are very intelligent and most will use the dog pad right away. As your pet gets older, slowly start moving the pad toward the door you most frequently use to go outside with your pet for walks. This will allow your dog to associate bathroom time with outside time. Lots and lots of positive reinforcement when they do their business outside will seal the deal! Some dogs do not need pads if they have enough outdoor space to go outside safely, but if you do not have a yard or other private outdoor space, dog pads are a great help!