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The Great Debate after a Neuter/Spay: E-collar or Dog Diapers?

E-collar or dog diapers? That is the question. It has been customary for some pet parents to have their dogs spayed or neutered. They do so because spaying/neutering is a great way to prevent uterine infections and prostate problems.

"While the traditional age for spaying/neutering is six to nine months, puppies as young as eight weeks old can already undergo this process as long as they’re in good condition."

Spaying ‘tames’ your female dog, as un-spayed pups will go into heat constantly and will show some uncontrollable behavior like howling and urinating (in the house!) more than usual. Neutering, on the other hand, will calm your male dog who is trying to woo a mate, like running away and finding every possible means to ‘get on top” of that dog in heat. I tell you, these behaviors are unpleasant!


Spaying refers to the removal of a female dog's reproductive organs (ovaries and uterus), while neutering is the procedure that's being done to male dogs (removal of testicles and their associated structures). While the traditional age for spaying/neutering is six to nine months, puppies as young as eight weeks old can already undergo this process as long as they’re in good condition. Dogs can also go through the process as adults as well (in case you wanted to breed her in the beginning, she was able to deliver her litter and then wanted to spay her after or simply because you changed your mind about spaying), although there will be a higher risk of postoperative complications in senior dogs.

But to be able to know best when is the right time to spay or neuter your fur-baby is to consult your veterinarian. Because several factors can influence spaying or neutering. One factor is your dog's breed. Studies show that larger dog breeds mature a little late compared to smaller dog breeds.

Another factor has something to do with your dog's living situation. If you have a male and female dogs living together, they should be spayed or neutered immediately before any female dog goes into heat to avoid unplanned breedings.

Most importantly, your dog's health condition plays a great role in the timing of the spay or neuter. Ensure that your fur-baby goes through a complete and thorough check-up to know if she or he has any health issues. You know your dog best and you'll know if something is wrong with her. You can also take her to the vet as the vet will perform examinations, blood tests, etc to know about any existing health problems in your fur-baby.



Your dog will surely experience discomfort after surgery, and you will probably want to have everything done for your dog not to touch the operated part and avoid any possible infections or pain. Most pet parents are torn between the e-collar or dog diapers. Here, we have listed the pros and cons of each to help you decide between e-collar or dog diapers.


This is also known as the Elizabethan collar - or the infamous “cone of shame”. The e-collar is a pet cone that will keep your dogs from turning their bodies to chew or lick or touch on any surgical areas, wounds or injuries. The cone is important to speed up the recovery process.

However, the standard, hard plastic e-collar is not fun for dogs and wasn't named "cone of shame" for no reason. The bad side is that some e-collars don’t fit your dog’s neck. If it’s too big, your dog will not be able to eat or drink. If it’s too small, he will be able to easily turn around, absolutely defeating the whole purpose.

Determined dogs will quickly work the collar off their necks (hopefully not headed to an infected incision!).


Dog Belly Bands

Dog diapers or belly bands are a thing, too, for post-operation management. They are easy to use and the market has a wide variety of dog diaper or belly band sizes and you will surely find the right fit for your dog. These are also helpful especially for dogs who have just gone through spaying or neutering, who have difficulties in urinating or pooping.

There are washable diapers or belly bands that have no "crinkly" or uncomfortable texture that causes many dogs to dislike disposable ones that do.

These can be washed over and over again, they're heavy-duty and won't rip any time soon. Harmful dyes and chemicals are not present, too, so this is probably the safest and healthiest type for your dog.

Dog diapers can be used for dogs who are still trying to recover their balance and mobility after the spay or neuter. These are also best for dogs who feel too weak yet to go out of the house to potty. You can also add on pee pads for that added leakage protection. While belly bands, on the other hand, can be wrapped around your fur-baby's incision site to prevent him from scratching, licking or biting it to avoid infections and complications. The only downside? The cleanup involved (which is so easy as you only need to remove the soiled diaper and replace it with another one) and the constant changing to avoid any rashes. But this is nothing compared to the amount you save, the wellness of your dog and the favor you are doing to the environment.


You can greatly help your fur-baby have a safe, fast and comfy recovery period after undergoing spay/neuter by keeping in mind the following do's and don'ts.

  • Keep your fur-baby inside your house and away from other pets or stray animals at home during the recovery period.
  • Never let your dog do strenuous activities like running, jumping, playing catch, etc. unless your vet advises. Remember that the incision site is still healing and you wouldn't want any complications to take place.
  • Always check the incision every day and note any noticeable changes, discharge, odor, swelling, redness. If you do notice these, call your vet immediately.
  • Observe your dog's behavior. Your fur-baby should be getting better as the days pass by.

If your dog seems to be uncomfortable, lethargic, loses appetite, and does not seem to be getting any better, call your vet immediately.

Always keep in mind the cost, the quality and the efficiency of what you are going to use, e-collar or dog diapers.

After all, at the end of the day, it is still you who knows what is best for you and your furry best friend.

Dog diapers/belly bands are a perfect option for post operation management & healing.

The Author:

Micka V.

Micka Virtudazo is a full-time content creator at Pet Parents who lives with thirteen adorable American Bullies and a Shih Tzu-Maltese mix named Gretel. She especially enjoys writing how-to articles as she feels through this she can connect to other pet parents on a more personal level.

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