I thought the decision to be a dog parent would save me from daily diaper duty. Turns out, my bulldog, Rosie, is giving me a crash course in how to put (and keep) a diaper on, not to mention checking for leaks, regularly cleaning soiled beds, and discovering the nuances of various doggy diaper brands (yep, there is such a thing). It’s been a heartbreaking – and at times, frustrating – road, so I decided to write a blog post about the situation to commiserate with other dog owners and hopefully constructively exchange thoughts and experiences.
IT’S COME TO THIS
You’re probably wondering why my dog needs diapers. I’ll preface the answer by saying she’s 8-years-old, which is on the verge of the golden years as bulldog ages go. As she’s gotten older, Rosie has become prone to UTI’s culminating in the discovery of stones in her bladder, which needed to be surgically removed. The situation improved slightly after the surgery, but over the last two years, she’s still been getting infections roughly every 2-6 months.
HOW “WE KNEW” IT WAS TIME
The symptoms have run the gamut from demanding to go out…NOW, to having accidents or not making it outside. Recently, the norm has become multiple leaks a day, which is uncomfortable for her and unpleasant for us. We’ve all gotten to know – and loathe – the vet’s office all too well, certainly Rosie more than us.
We’ve been instructed to put her on the medicated dog food U/D to help prevent the stones from coming back. So far, it’s been working – to our knowledge. Unfortunately, the UTI’s have come back and we are resigned to the fact that she might be UTI-prone for the rest of her life. This has meant semi-regular trips to the vet followed by prescriptions of antibiotics to knock out the infections when they resurface.
EXPERIMENTING WITH DOGGIE DIAPERS
That brings us to our recent trials and tribulations with doggie diapers. As I mentioned, her most recent UTI led to daily leaks, usually multiple times a day. Diapers seemed to be the first step down a road of which we dare not speak. As much as we wanted to pretend she didn’t need them, we knew it was time to invest in pooch-pampers until we could get her to the vet for treatment.
We tried two different diaper styles. The first was the Top Paw Disposable Diapers. They look like traditional baby diapers (except they have an adorable hole in the rear for the tail! Heart melts). They’re applied the same way as baby diapers, too.
Pros: *Full protection against accidents.
Cons: *Our dog has a slim rear and no tail, so with Rosie’s sheer determination and sleeping fits – they slipped off pretty easily.
*The diapers are not reusable, and therefore not entirely durable. Rosie discovered this within 2 days and after wriggling out of one, she proceeded to turn it into a chew toy and tore it to shreds! See picture of mass destruction:
*We didn’t necessarily need full protection since Rosie was not having full accidents, just leakage.
The second style we tried was Top Paw Washable Cover-ups. These cloth diapers are washable, they have a hole for doggie’s tail, and they’re also easy to strap on (similar to baby diapers). You might actually consider these “doggie underwear” because you also have to apply a pad – similar to a feminine pad – to catch the leakage. We used Top Paw Disposable Diaper Liners.
Pros: *They’re reusable.
*The cloth fabric seemed to help them stay secured to our doggie’s oddly shaped behind during the day, however she still wriggled out of them at night.
*They come in cute colors like pink and purple, which in my opinion makes wearing diapers endearing instead of sad.
*The pads were perfect for our dog’s leakage problem.
*Harder for dogs to tear them apart if they get the diapers off.
Cons: *They require an extra purchase of pads.
*If your dog has a serious accident problem, these diapers might not catch it all and the urine could soak through.
Fortunately, Rosie only had to be in the diapers about a week until we could get her on meds again. The antibiotics work pretty fast and our pup seems to be resting comfortably again. With her history though, we’ll be hanging on to our diapers. More than likely she’ll need them again in the future.
Have you used doggie diapers? What did/did’t work for you?