Urine Trouble: Tips for Sharing a House With a Pet Who Pees Too Much

Doggy Diapers

A diaper can be an alternative or a supplement to indoor potty options. Diapers of all sizes are available for dogs, tail hole included, or you can make your own.

Diapers work best when your dog’s shape or size allows for a snug fit. You may need to try different styles or sizes until you find one that works best for your individual dog. Large dogs may need diapers or incontinence briefs made for adults. Line them with incontinence or sanitary pads to help absorb urine.

To make your own doggy diapers, try using boys’ underwear — when you turn them around backward, the fly hole offers a convenient spot for the tail. Women’s underwear works, too, with a hole cut out for the tail. The size depends on your dog, but Michigan dog trainer Kim Bell Toepfer’s Keeshonden wear size-5 high-cut bikinis. She says the panties are lightweight, inexpensive and easily washable. In both cases, line them with absorbent pads. Make several so you always have a pair available when others are in the wash.

Have a tail-free dog? Try using a onesie to keep the diaper in place. You can find some made specifically for pets here.

Whether you make your own doggy diapers or purchase them and make modifications, they can have one drawback: It can be difficult to keep them on your pet, especially if you have a larger dog. A calming wrap may offer a solution to this problem. The wrap, which is designed to help alleviate anxiety or stress, can be worn over the diaper and will help keep the diaper in place.

Putting diapers on a dog may seem like an assault on his dignity, but many dogs accept them well. The presence of a diaper can help to relieve some of the dog’s anxiety about inadvertently breaking house-training.

If your dog will wear a diaper, it can free you to leave home for more than a couple of hours at a time, knowing that you won’t return to a puddle of urine. On the other hand, some dogs don’t like them, and forcing them to wear a diaper can be stressful for all involved. If that's the case with your dog, it's important to find an option that works for you and your dog.

Cleanup Tips

Your best friends during this time of your dog’s life are a good washing machine and a supply of enzymatic cleaning solution. Enzymatic cleansers contain enzymes that break down organic waste and eliminate odors. You can use them on sofa covers and other fabric items before putting them in the wash, as well as directly on carpets and floors. Be sure to test an inconspicuous area of the carpet first to make sure it’s colorfast. Some common household products can also help to reduce or eliminate stains and odors.

It’s also important to make sure your dog stays clean and dry, so he doesn’t get painful diaper rash or urine burn. Bathe the urogenital area daily (baby wipes can be a good way to do this) and dry it thoroughly. Cornstarch or similar products can help to keep your dog dry between baths. Having a groomer give the dog a sanitary clip in the urogenital area can also help you keep the area clean and dry.

Finally, the simplest measure — if possible — is to take your dog out more often. With our old dog, Bella, we made a habit of taking her out anytime we noticed she was awake. Since she spent most of her time sleeping at my feet while I worked, any activity from her was a good excuse to take a break from writing and give her a chance to potty outdoors.

With commitment and care, you can still enjoy your dog’s company, keep him more comfortable and help keep your home looking and smelling nice.

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