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Diapers for My Pet? A Do or a Don’t

overweight pug in park
By Ann Hohenhaus, DVMJanuary 18, 2012
From the WebMD Archives

I must admit, diapers for a pet seemed way over the top to me. But recently some of my patients have convinced me otherwise. Their use of diapers is only part of the medical management required to keep them active and happy members of their family. Here are their stories.

One of the obvious uses for a diaper is on a female dog in heat. If your dog comes into heat unexpectedly or if you are waiting a heat cycle before breeding her, a diaper may be a good solution. The diaper protects the furniture, rugs and floors from staining while your female dog is in heat. Don’t count on the diaper as a form of contraception, as a male dog will find a way around the diaper and you may find an unexpected litter of puppies. Always keep a female in heat away, crated or in a separate room from an unneutered male dog.


Sophie is another example of how helpful a doggie diaper can be. She has several medical problems which we keep in check with regular visits and a strict medication regimen. Sophie’s bladder capacity is limited since she had surgery last spring to remove a bladder tumor. Her Cushing’s disease and elevated calcium level cause her to drink more water and consequently produce more urine. This combination of problems make her use of wee-wee pads unreliable, so she wears a diaper when her owners are not home. Sophie is happy, energetic and a vital member of the family.


Spenser only needed a diaper for a few weeks after his bladder surgery. Surgical manipulation of the bladder made it painful for his bladder to hold much urine and it was difficult for him to wait between walks. Even though his owner walked him extra times following surgery, the diaper prevented embarrassing accidents until his bladder recovered and he could hold urine normally again.


I even have a cat patient who occasionally wears a diaper. Even though he is a neutered male cat, Pumpkin has a bad habit of spraying urine on the living room drapes. When his family wants everyone to be together in the living room, Pumpkin wears stud pants, a special form of cat diaper to prevent urine spray on the drapes. The female form of cat diapers are sometimes called queen panties since female cats are referred to as queens.

If you are looking for diapers for your pet, Sophie recommends as they come in cute prints.

I found this series of videos showing how to convert baby diapers to pet diapers, which might be a good solution in an emergency.

Have you ever used diapers on your pet? Do you think they’re helpful or unnecessary? Share your thoughts in the comments below or in our Pet Health community.

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