6 Tricks to Make Dog Diapers More Functional

Updated: March 18, 2024

Whether your dog has a leaky bladder or your female dog is in heat, a diaper is definitely the best solution to keep them, and your home, clean. But in order to take complete advantage of this effective solution, you first need to find the right diaper for your canine companion and learn how to keep a diaper on a dog.

"Expressing the bladder before you change your dog’s diaper will ensure that the amount of urine in the diaper is minimized."

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Finding the Best Dog Diapers

In a perfect world, you would find a diaper that offers a good fit, absorbs well, and one your dog enjoys wearing. But many pet owners face problems even after using multiple diapers for dogs. Sometimes the diaper just doesn’t stay put, other times it doesn’t absorb enough.

And then what are you left with?

An unhappy dog and a smelly, messy home.

In order to help you, here are some tricks that can make your dog diapers more functional and easy to use. So, what are the best ways how to keep a diaper on a dog? Is there a difference between how to keep a diaper on female dogs or male dogs? And what are the best ways how to put a diaper on a dog and make them stay? Let's take a look at some dog diaper tips! 

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How to Put a Diaper on a Dog

Before learning how to keep a diaper on a dog, you must learn how to put a diaper on a dog in the first place. To put a diaper on a dog, start by placing your dogs tail through the tail hole. Pull the dog diaper all the way up to the base of the tail and pull any excess fur through the elastic tail hole to prevent messes and matting.

The next step in how to put a diaper on a dog is to pull the bottom half of the diaper under your dog's hind legs to cover their private area. Bring the straps up on either side in front of your dogs hind legs towards their back and attach the fasteners on top. If your diapers for dogs have hook and loop fasteners, like Pet Parents® washable dog diapers, adjust the fasteners until you have a snug fit, balanced on either side.

1. Express the Bladder Before Diapering

Even if you are using diapers, expressing the bladder is still recommended. This is a process where you gently press your dog's bladder until it is empty. If your dog cannot control their bladder to potty outside when needed, you may have to express their bladder for them.

Consult your vet on how to do this the first time and if it's right for your pet. Expressing the bladder before you change your dog’s diaper will ensure that the amount of urine in the diaper is minimized. This is important because it will keep the diaper drier and prevent skin irritation and infection. It’s also a good idea to empty your dog’s bladder every 8 hours in order to prevent a bladder infection from the small amount of urine remaining in the bladder.

Here is a very helpful video that will teach you how to properly express your dog’s bladder before putting a diaper on a dog.


2. Ensure a Proper Fit for Dog Diapers

For dog diapers to work effectively, it’s important they fit your dog properly. So, one the the most effective ways how to keep a diaper on a dog is to have the ideal fit. Obviously, if the diaper you put on your dog is too big, it’s going to eventually fall off or leak. And if the fit is too tight, your dog can be very uncomfortable as their movements may be constricted. To prevent dog diapers from falling off, you should ensure the best fit possible.

Additionally, when choosing dog diapers, it is important to always check the dog diaper brand’s size. There is no universal size chart for pet diapers, much more for pet diapers. Just because your dog is tiny and wears a size small in sweaters and collars, doesn’t mean they will be the same size when it comes to diapers. It is important to look at the brand’s size chart and measure your dog accordingly.

The most important measurement is around your dog’s waist. When measuring their waist, it is highly recommended you use a proper measuring tape – the kind used to take people measurements, not the kind used to take the measurements of lumber. Don’t use your hands and guess or try to bend a regular measuring tape. If you don’t have one of these on hand you can cut a long piece of string or rope, or even paper. Wrap this around your dog’s waist and then use a regular ruler to measure the length. If you have a dog that happens to have a lot of fur, it’s a good idea to add 1 – 2” to the measurement.

Making sure you get a proper measurement with help you get the exact right size of diaper for your dog. Your dog will be able to move around comfortably and the diaper will have a better chance to do its job.

3. Try Different Types of Diapers for Dogs

Dog’s diapers usually come in different styles, full-coverage diapers and belly bands. Consider which type of dog diaper is the most effective for your furbaby. You might use a full diaper on dogs in heat or a dog with bowel incontinence. Belly bands for dogs, on the other hand, are designed for male dogs urinary problems.

If your dog is having both urinary and fecal issues, we suggest you avoid belly bands, male dog diapers that are only great for urinary incontinence. For males with only urinary issues our Pet Parents® washable dog belly bands are perfect for spot marking, dog urinary incontinence, excitement urination, or any other issue where the "goods" need to be covered.

Dogs that need full coverage should use dog diapers (these are both male and female dog diapers). Our Pet Parents® washable Dog Diapers are a perfect solution. Purchase the style that fits you and your furbaby's needs. Female dogs should wear full diapers due to the positioning of their genitals. 

4. Try Boy's Briefs or Infant Onesies

Some pets just never get used to wearing diapers. No matter how great the fit, they just don’t take to them and will try to slip out of them. In these cases, boy’s briefs or baby onesies can be a great solution. These cover ups can be a great way how to keep diapers on female dogs or male dogs.

Measure your dog’s waist and then buy one size smaller boy’s underwear. Ensure the underwear is a stretchy, comfortable elastic. There will be an already cut out hole for the tail and you can use it with a pad or just over the diaper to secure it. You can also use an infant onesie over the diaper to secure it in place. This is one DIY tip for how to keep a diaper on a dog that tends to be pretty effective.

5. Keep Pet Parents® Extendrs® Within Reach

Some dogs may outgrow their dog diapers around the waist only. When this happens, there’s no need to buy a new one! Pet Parents® Extendrs® were specifically made to help increase your dog's current diapers for up to 8 inches, providing a better fit for your dog.

You might need Extendrs® if:

  • Your dog is between diaper sizes
  • A dog diaper keeps falling off
  • Your dog's diaper or belly band is leaking
  • The waistband of your dog diaper is too tight, but it fits elsewhere

These dog diaper extenders and belly band extenders are made of the same high quality, waterproof materials as our washable dog diapers and belly bands. These were created to help extend the sizing of your furbaby's current diapers and bands so that a truer fit could be possible for your dog.

6. Use Liners or Pads with the Diaper or Belly Band

Pet Parents® Dog Diapers and Dog Belly Bands are completely washable, so you can simply toss them in the washer and dryer and get many uses out of them. Absorbent pads are sewn-in so that you do not have to worry about attaching them each time.

However, if you are using less absorbent diapers or disposable ones, it’s a great idea to use liners or pads with your doggy diaper or male dog diaper wrap. Is your dog a heavy wetter? Liners, especially the reusable ones, are the best most economical option in the long run if your dog diaper or dog belly band is not cutting it in terms of absorption.

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"Pet Parents® dog diapers and dog belly bands are completely washable, so you can simply toss them in the washer and dryer and get many uses out of them."

There are so many uses for dog diapers and belly bands. Although it can seem that learning how to put a diaper on a dog and how to keep a diaper on a dog is a challenge, it will benefit you and your furbaby to find the best fit. Having a dog in heat or who suffers from incontinence can be a challenge. In fact, many issues that require dog diapers are. But, dog diapers can help keep you sane and your house clean. Check out our selection of washable dog diapers and dog belly bands. We have diapers that fit dogs of all sizes, and also offer a variety of colors to choose from.