8 Pros and Cons of Dog Diapers for Training

Some believe that dog diapers are helpful, especially when training the dog in the house. It will help save your carpet from getting messy while you are potty training your dog. However, dog diapers have disadvantages, as well.

Reasons for Using Dog Diapers

  • If your dog has urinary incontinence

This is not a behavioral issue but a medical issue. It is usually caused by bladder problems, urinary tract infections, bacterial infections, diabetes, or weakened urinary sphincter muscle. All dogs can have this condition, even the well-trained ones. They will not be able to control their urge to urinate. If you think that your dog’s uncontrolled urination isn’t behavior-related, you have to consult your vet. There are treatments for this condition, such as surgery or medications.

  • If you have a senior dog

Elderly dogs may eventually lose control of some of their bodily functions, such as defecation and urination. Some elderly dogs might forget what they have learned. Dogs that are older than 11 years may suffer from canine cognitive dysfunction, which is something similar to Alzheimer’s disease. There are medications available to treat the problem. However, you may still find the need to use those dog diapers.

  • If your female dog is in heat

Female dogs in heat are prone to constant licking that will make your house and furniture messy, and using a dog diaper will prevent that. However, a dog diaper is not some sort of canine contraception. A male dog quickly finds his way around the diaper.

  • For training

Some dog owners think that a dog diaper is a helpful house-training tool. However, it’s more about the cleanliness of the rugs and furniture than the dog. Even though you practice this method, your dog must still be taken outside on a regular basis, without a diaper, so they can learn where they are supposed to go.

  • When traveling long distances with your dog

Dog diapers are invaluable during travel times or when you are visiting places where dog urinating is not welcome. They come in handy when you are traveling by plane or train with your pooch. There is no easy way for your dog to potty in these modes of transportation.

8 Pros and Cons of Dog Diaper for Training


  • Using a dog diaper can prevent furniture, carpet, and floor clean-up. Removing the lingering odor can be a challenge, and it could hold back the house training. You can do this temporarily when you are just starting with the potty training. Puppies are still unfamiliar with the concept of how to properly potty. When they are completely potty trained, you can eliminate the use of the diaper.
  • Using a dog diaper will let you know that your dog had an accident. As a result, you need to give them less freedom in the house.
  • Using a dog diaper will make your dog a little uncomfortable going potty inside the house. This can discourage them from doing their business in the house.
  • Using a dog diaper can be courteous and helpful when you are visiting a new place. You don’t have to worry about them having accidents and making the area a mess.


  • Using a dog diaper is believed to have no benefit for the dog. It’s more about the convenience of the pet parents.
  • Using a dog diaper won’t change the need to take the dog outside regularly and show them where they are supposed to do their business.
  • Diapers won’t ever be substitutes for persistent and careful house training.
  • Dog diapers can cause irritation and rashes to your dog’s skin

Proper Use of Dog Diapers

  • You have to follow the product’s instructions carefully because diapers vary in absorbency and fit.
  • Like a baby, you should change your dog’s diapers frequently. Don’t wait until the diaper is full. A dirty or wet diaper may result in diaper rash that causes itching, inflammation, burning sensation, and bacterial infections.
  • You can use baby wipes to clean your dog every time you change them.
  • You have to wear gloves whenever you change your dog’s diaper. This is to prevent you from coming in contact with your dog’s urine or feces.
  • Dog diapers have a hole for their tail. If your dog’s tail is docked or if they have almost no tail, you can cover the hole before using it to prevent leakage.
  • If you suspect that your dog has urinary incontinence that is secondary to a medical condition, it would be better to bring them to your trusted vet.

Types of Dog Diapers

There are different types of dog diapers that are suitable for various purposes.

Disposable Dog Diapers

This type of diaper is immediately thrown away after use. It is recommended for dog owners who don’t want the inconvenience of having to clean the diapers and reuse them. Most of the disposable diapers you will find in the market feature a Velcro closure, which makes them easy to seal and throw away.

Reusable Diapers

This type of dog diaper can be reused after cleaning it thoroughly. This is suitable for dogs requiring regular diaper use, such as dogs with incontinence. You can significantly cut down on cost when you use reusable diapers than disposable ones. You’ll just have to wash them then reuse.

Reusable dog diapers come with cotton made internal core that absorbs moisture. A layer of plastic surrounds the cotton core to prevent leakage. The outer layer is nylon, which will keep your dog comfortable.

Belly Band Diapers

This type of diaper is tailored for male dogs. It has a simple design that will only cover the belly of the dog instead of the entire backside. The disadvantage of this type of diaper is it offers less protection when compared to a full diaper. This is suitable for a senior dog that not very active.

Biodegradable Canine Diapers

This type of diaper does not contain synthetic materials. However, they do still have the same absorbent features to keep your pooch comfortable and dry. These biodegradable diapers are made using materials that are plant-based and are free from chemicals that may harm your dog.

Choosing the Appropriate Diaper for Your Dog

The diaper should be highly absorbent and soft

This will keep your dog comfortable. They are less likely to develop rashes, as well.

Breed, weight, and size of your dog

Take these things into consideration. It will guarantee that the diaper fits well and that the brand is suited for your particular breed. For male dogs, it is recommended to use a diaper that is a size bigger.

The type of dog diaper

If you are the type that doesn’t want the hassle of washing and reusing diapers, you can buy the disposable ones. If you’re going to cut down on cost and waste, you can get the reusable diaper for your dog.

Your purpose of using a diaper for your dog

Most dog diapers are suited to hold urine. If you want something that can hold feces, you must read the package carefully to ensure that it can be used for this purpose.

Potty Training Your Dog

Since we are focusing on training in this article, let us talk about potty training. A potty-trained dog won’t need a diaper unless you are bringing them to travel with you at long distances. When a dog is not potty trained, it can be frustrating, and your home is always a mess.

You can start potty training your puppy when they already have some control over their bladder. You can confirm this information with your trusted vet to make sure that you are starting at the right time. Puppies can quickly pick up new habits, that’s why they are easier to teach than older dogs. If you have an older dog that you want to potty train, don’t worry, they can be trained. You just need a little more patience and commitment.

Potty training a dog is all about consistency. You also have to patient. Positive reinforcement is a recommended method.

A Step-by-Step Guide on Potty Training


When a new dog arrives in your home, whether it’s a puppy or an older dog, you can start training them to control the random defecation and urination habit before it’s out of control.

Establishing a routine

This is crucial when it comes to potty training your dog. Dogs have smaller bladders than us humans, that is why they urinate more often. It is vital that you set a schedule so your dog will learn how to control their bladder.

An example of an effective dog routine is taking them out during the following situations:

  • When your dog wakes up in the morning
  • Before your dog goes to sleep at night
  • After your dog has finished engaging in any active activity or playing
  • Every time your dog wakes up from a nap
  • After your dog has had their meal
  • After your dog drinks water

A routine similar to the one above will help your dog pick up the concept of defecating and urinating at specific times at a designated area. Ultimately, your dog’s system will be naturally programmed to do the routine every time.

Stick to your chosen potty area

Remember that you only have to choose one potty area. Pick an area where your dog won’t have any difficulty doing their business. If you choose more than one location, it will only confuse your dog, and it will make the potty training process a lot harder. In any type of dog training, including potty training, consistency is the key.

Your dog should have a routine feeding schedule

Your dog’s meal and water-drinking times should be the same every day.  When feeding and drinking are done in a routine, the urination and defecation times will also be consistent.

Positive reinforcement

Give your dog a treat or praise them every time they do their business in the right potty area. Reward your dog immediately to send them a clear message that what they did was something you like. You must not praise your dog before they are done doing their business because they can get distracted and may forget that they are eliminating. As a result, they will finish in your house which is not what you are training your dog for.

Positive reinforcement is also an excellent way to train an older dog. Grown dogs already understand the concept, and they will respond to it by obeying and proceeding to the right potty area.

Don’t give your dog too much water before bedtime

Giving too much water at night will increase the chances of your dog urinating in the middle of the night. Did you know that dogs are able to sleep seven hours without defecating or peeing if they are well-trained? When you notice your dog waking up at night, don’t give them too much attention. They will begin playing with you rather than resuming sleep.

Supervise your dog at all times

You should observe your dog as much as you can, especially when they are in the house or in the yard. Dogs can take advantage of and do their business in the wrong place in your absence.

What if you catch your dog doing their business in the wrong area?

  • You can interrupt them and transfer them to the right potty area so they can finish there.
  • Say “no!” or whichever word you think is suitable, but don’t scare your dog. Take your dog immediately to the right potty area, and when they are finished doing their business there, praise them and give them a treat.
  • Never punish your dog for doing their business in the wrong area. They will become scared of you, and they may choose to hide and do their business in hidden spots.
  • Clean the area where they did their business thoroughly. They will continue soiling on that same spot if it has a trace of the smell of feces and urine.

Tips for a Successful Potty Training

  • You can use a portable crate

Using a portable crate is a way to reinforce potty training for your dog. A dog will always look for a place to be their canine cave. A crate will satisfy this need and will make your dog realize the difference between a potty area and a living space. You have to keep your dog’s crate airy and clean. You must choose the right sized crate for your dog, as well. It should be big enough to allow your dog to move freely. On the other hand, if the crate is too big, it will encourage your dog to do their business in one corner.

  • Expect setbacks and be prepared for them

It will take time to potty train your dog, so you have to be patient. Never snap at your dog. Keep the training as positive as possible because you are teaching a very important skill that will truly take time for your dog to master.

  • Stick to the routine

Again, consistency is crucial when it comes to dog training. Make sure that your dog will stick to the routine, even in your absence.

What are the Signs That Your Dog Needs to Eliminate?

You have to be observant and look out for the signs that your dog is about to do their business. When you see them circling, whining, barking, unconfined, sniffing, or scratching the door, you might need to take them to their potty area.

Are Puppy Pads Really Helpful?

Puppy pads are just a temporary solution until your dog can be taken outside. While you are using them for training, you can move the pad closer and closer to the door slowly. Note that the door should be where your door will exit to go to their potty area. It will establish an association between the door and going to their potty spot. Eventually, the act of going out that door will trigger the behavior in the mind of your dog.

Potty Training Troubleshooting

  • Nothing happens when you take the dog out

First, you have to be patient. If, after 10 minutes, nothing happens, you can come back in but keep your dog on a leash. After 10 to 15 minutes, you can go back out. Repeat the process as needed.

  • Your dog runs around and plays when you take them out

First, make sure your dog is on a leash. The leash should be about 6 feet long. Remove all the play triggers around the area, such as pets, children, and toys. Ignore your dog when they want to play. Don’t play or talk with them, don’t yell at them either and don’t point out any poop. Make it look like it’s not a big deal. Dogs are easily distracted, and they love getting attention. If you give in and pay them attention, they will never figure it out.

Final Thoughts

A dog diaper does not help that much when it comes to potty training your dog. However, if it seems to work for you, then go ahead, but keep in mind that there are other more critical factors you can focus on to make the training successful. You need consistency, commitment, and patience.

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