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Belly Bands and Diapers For Dogs; What Is Their True Purpose?


There are many types of Belly Bands and diapers available on the market. Some stylish and other disposable. Just check out the selection on Amazon here, there is over a thousand to choose from. Some may laugh at the thought of a doggy diaper while others may see it as a quick fix for a dog with poor potty habits.  The truth is, belly bands and diapers are not meant to be used for potty training at all!  In fact, far too many pet owners misuse these items as a training tool or a band aid for a lack of house training instead of tackling the problem head on.  It is the root of the problem, the dog not understanding that he must eliminate in a designated place, that causes potty problems and using an item to simply allow him to go where ever he wants or needs will only perpetuate the problem.  So, what are belly bands and diapers really meant to do?

Keeping it clean

Belly bands are typically a cloth, washable strip of thick fabric, usually with a Velcro closure that warps around the belly and reproductive organs of a male dog.  Absorbent, disposable pads or even human sanitary napkins are typically but inside for quick cleaning and keeping the dog dry.  Just because this is a simple solution to throw onto your dog does not mean that any ole’ potty problem you are facing can be fixed with this, however!  The primary use for a belly band is typically for senior dogs with incontinence.  This is a condition in which they have no physical control over their ability to urinate, and sometimes it just happens at any random time. Humans have this problem, too when they grow older into their golden years.  Using a belly band whenever you are not around to prevent this problem, for instance like when you go to work for the day, may keep your house clean and free from urine. Using a dependable, super absorbent pad inside of it will keep your dog dry and comfortable.

payapup dog belly band

Another instance in which a belly band is beneficial is if you have an intact male dog as well as an intact female in heat.  Using both a diaper on the female and a belly band on the male can significantly reduce the probability of an unwanted or unplanned litter.  Keep in mind, though, that both males and females will make a way to do the deed when they have the will, so even with these preventative options you should still never let them interact during her heat cycle!

A female’s diaper is far more restrictive in her movement as well as potty habits.  Many diapers will completely cover her bottom preventing her from being able to defecate, which means each time you take her out to potty you must remove the diaper and replace it.  Just like with males, females can suffer from incontinence.  Females who were spayed before two years of age have an incredibly increased chance of developing this condition as well.  A diaper, just like with a male dog’s belly band, will help to keep your floors clean when you cannot be there to help her out.  It will also completely cover her reproductive organs during time of heat cycles. Some girls will have a messy heat cycle in which she was consistently leak a discharge from her vulva.  A diaper will prevent your floors from getting stained with the colored liquid and make the entire process easier to go through for you, but more uncomfortable for her.  Investing in some diaper rash ointment may be necessary for her comfort.

The wrong way

There is a right way and wrong way to use belly band and diapers.  Using it as a preventative method to stop mating before it happens to or help a dog who suffers with incontinence is an acceptable use of these items that causes no damage to your dog’s behavior, training, or bond with you.  Unfortunately, there are those who believe that using a doggy diaper is a cute, easy fix for a dog who continues to do his business indoors, on carpet, lifting his leg to mark and other trainable behavioral problems.  If there is no health condition causing a dog to urinate or defecate in an unacceptable place, then it can be fixed with gentle and consistent training using prevention, a dedicated schedule and positive reinforcement.

disposable belly bands for dogs

Using these items as a behavioral band aid instead of training your dog to eliminate in the proper place is basically telling him that you have no designated place for him to potty.  It lets him know that going anywhere he wants, whenever he needs is an okay thing to do and you expect him to do it. The reason he thinks this is because he was not taught otherwise.  He does not know what else to do, so he potties away when he feels the need to do so.  Instead, formulate a plan to set your dog, and yourself up for success through a reward and prevention based training plan.

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