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Best Diapers for Dogs in Heat + a Free Homemade Alternative

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dog wearing a diaper

A female dog in heat can be messy and inconvenient for you as well as your home. Nobody likes to clean blood spots off the carpet or wash the dog bed yet another time. Whether you have a female that is not yet spayed or a potential breeder, the bloody consequences of coming into heat is just something you have to learn to live with. But that doesn’t mean you have to take it lying down.

Instead, there are many products available for dog owners that have female dogs in heat to make the process more hygienic and less labor intensive. One of those products are diapers. Here we’ll look into why dogs in heat may wear diapers and the pros and cons of doing so.

Why Might Dogs in Heat Wear Diapers?

If you’ve never seen a female dog in heat, you may be in for a bit of a shock. During the first two stages of heat, known as proestrus and estrus, females may have a bloody discharge. This bleeding can last for 7-10 days. The bloody discharge will normally be left in spots where she sits or lies down, making her bed and your carpets and furniture likely targets. Since blood isn’t the easiest thing to clean out of fabrics and upholstery, diapering may be something to look into to decrease the mess.

Diapers for dogs in heat are just as they sound. They are disposable or reusable diapers that fit around a female dog’s legs and tail to cover the vulva. This will help to catch the bloody discharge of dogs in heat to prevent messes around your home.

female dog in heat with bloody vulva discharge

Types of Diapers for Dogs in Heat

Doggie diapers definitely aren’t a one-size-fits-all kind of product. Instead, there are a few different options to help make your experience as good as it can be.

1. Disposable

Disposable dog diapers are similar to disposables for humans. They are made from synthetic materials consisting of a highly absorbent inner layer and a water-resistant outer layer. These diapers work well at preventing leaks and are easy to clean up. However, they are also more expensive and not environmentally friendly. You may also run into issues with Velcro or sticky tabs and your dog’s fur.

2. Reusable

Reusable dog diapers are similar to cloth diapers for babies. Most will have a water-resistant outer layer with an absorbable inner liner that can be changed out. The whole set up is machine washable so that they can be reused again and again. They usually aren’t as absorbable as disposable diapers, but they are definitely less expensive and better for the environment.

Diapers for Dogs in Heat: Pros and Cons

Diapering your dog in heat may seem like the perfect solution to keeping your home clean and you off your knees scrubbing the carpet. But before you stock up on doggie diapers, let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of this product, starting with pros.


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Pros

1. They Keep Your House Clean

Nobody wants to clean up bloody discharge left from a female dog in heat, especially when that bleeding can last for a week or more. Diapers can be used to catch that blood so that it stays off your furniture and carpets. You won’t have to confine your female to an easily cleaned bathroom or laundry room when wearing diapers. “No more blood dripping on the floor so she’s back to free range of the house,” says one reviewer about wegreeco Washable Dog Diapers.

2. They Also Absorb Urine

Besides bloody discharge, another side effect of being in heat is frequent urination. Female dogs will need to have extra potty breaks when they go into heat. While that isn’t always a possibility, a doggie diaper may help you prevent potty accidents in your house. According to one reviewer of Simple Solution Disposable Dog Diapers, they will even hold a Great Pyrenees’ amount of pee. “She peed in the diaper and I was surprised that it absorbed so well.” 

3. They May Keep The Males At Bay

Wearing a diaper may help keep the males from coming around. While it can’t completely block the pheramones that a female secretes during heat, it may reduce them so they don’t seem so enticing. A diaper can also act as a physical barrier to keep a male from penetrating. However, don’t count on a diaper as your dog’s sole means of birth control.

But, diapers for dogs in heat aren’t all fun and games. Before deciding if your pup should wear one, check out these possible cons.

Cons

1. Fit Can Be an Issue

Female dogs come in all different sizes, so do diapers. However, even with careful measuring, the fit may not be quite right. What this means that they may be prone to leaks or even coming off. Not only does this defeat the purpose of wearing the diaper, it may also make it uncomfortable for your pup to wear. An improper fit may even cause sores from rubbing or being too tight.

Trying different brands and sizes might help you overcome this issue, but it may take a lot of trial and error. For example, one reviewer of Paw Inspired Dog Diapers said, “I measured both my dogs and they should both be medium large, but it doesn’t work on either of them.”

2. Some Dogs Just Won’t Wear Them

Whether it’s due to comfort or something else, some females are just going to refuse to wear a dog diaper. They may try to slip out of it, chew it off, or stage a protest and not get out of bed. Either way, you’ll have an unhappy pup for a week or more. If that’s the case, diapers may not be the best choice in order to keep your dog’s quality of life the highest it can be.

3. They Require Frequent Changing

Since diapers cover a dog’s vulva, they will do a good job at catching bloody discharge. However, they will also block the exit route for urine. This means that they will get wet regularly and often throughout the day. If these diapers aren’t changed, especially the reusable kind, they can increase the risk of irritation due to them trapping moisture against the skin. Dogs may even get urinary tract infections or skin infections from wearing a wet diaper for too long.

If you’re available to change your dog’s diaper throughout the day, do it whenever it gets wet. However, not everyone is around their pup 24/7, so if you can’t be there to change the diaper often, wearing one might not be the best choice.

Best Diapers for Dogs in Heat

If you want to give diapers for your dog in heat a try, consider looking into some of these products.

Disposables

Simple Solution Disposable Dog Diapers are a quick and easy cleanup option for dogs in heat. In my experience, these diapers are less likely to leak, even with urine, than their competitors. They are also absorbent enough to wick away moisture from your dog’s skin to keep it healthy.

Just be aware that the fit may be an issue. Even with careful measuring and fitting, your dog just might not work for these diapers. Be sure to monitor carefully for any signs of irritation or chaffing from an illfitting diaper. Here is the Amazon listing:

Sale
Simple Solution Disposable Dog Diapers for...
  • A BETTER FIT - Designed to fit female dogs with a 12-19 inch waist, the stretchable waistband allows for adjustability and ensures a snug fit. For male dogs, try Simple Solution Disposable Male Wraps.

Paw Inspired Disposable Dog Diapers are another great disposable option. They are absorbable and leak proof, yet breathable to keep skin feeling healthy and fresh. The adjustable tabs help them fit any dog shape for a snug fit.

Just be careful with these tabs. Not only can they catch and pull on tender stomach hairs, they can also tear completely off rendering the diaper useless. Thoroughly inspect each diaper before you put it on your pup to help ensure the quality.

Paw Inspired 32ct Disposable Dog Diapers |...
  • Best Dog Diapers on the Market, Check the sizing chart to assure suitable sizing so Diapers Stay on and Stay Put

Resuables

Wegreeco Washable Female Dog Diapers are a great alternative if you don’t want to create excess waste with disposable diapers. They are soft and comfortable and cute to boot. As with disposable dog diapers, just be sure to measure your dog for the best possible fit.

What’s their drawbacks? It’s well known in the human world that reusable diapers aren’t as leakproof as their disposable counterparts. The same holds true for dog diapers. Don’t expect these to hold a day’s worth of urine. You’ll need to change them more frequently and may get some leakage.

Sale
Wegreeco Washable Reusable Premium Dog...
  • Dog Diapers Medium - Great for Small Dogs, waist size 12" to 15". Please measure your dog's waist right in front of the back legs to make a good fit. If your dog is in between sizes, factor in their weight. A heavier do, go up a size. A skinnier dog, go down a size.

Diapers for Dogs in Heat: Alternative Solutions

If wearing a diaper while in heat just isn’t in your dog’s cards, don’t worry. There are other options that may work better for both of you.

Underwear – an (almost) free alternative to buying diapers

A pair of children’s underwear that fits your dog’s size and a sanitary pad can work just as well as any store-bought diaper. Just cut a small hole for the tail or use boy’s undies with a fly. Stick the pad on in the right area to catch the discharge. This may be a little more comfortable than a diaper and the pad can be easily changed as needed.

Dog Pads

Dog pads are small, absorbent sheets that can be placed around your home in the prime spots that your dog likes to be. They can help absorb the discharge that comes with being in heat without your dog wearing anything. Cover your dog’s bed, a specific spot on the couch or carpet and then train her to stay in those areas on the pads.

Sale
Amazon Basics Dog and Puppy Pee Pads with...
  • Dog and puppy pee pads for indoor, outdoor, or car use; ideal for puppy training, assisting senior dogs, or travel

Crate Training

Crate training is an important skill for any dog, not just those in heat. It gives them a safe, familiar place to go to help ease anxiety and keep them safe. It can also be their in heat headquarters, especially while you’re gone and can’t provide constant supervision. Crates are also easier to clean up than your carpets.

Spaying

If your dog isn’t going to be used for breeding purposes, spaying is the definitive way to deal with heat cycles. Spaying will also completely stop other heat behaviors and a dog’s chance of an unwanted pregnancy. Another big plus is that it can reduce or even eliminate certain health conditions including pyometra and mammary cancer.

Dog Heat Behavior FAQs

How Long Can Dogs in Heat Wear Diapers For?

Preferably, you’ll want to change your dog’s diaper as soon as you know it’s wet. Especially if it’s overly wet with urine. The longer you leave a wet diaper on your dog, the more chance they have of getting a UTI or skin infection.

Can Dogs in Heat Wear Diapers Every Day?

With proper precautions and hygiene, a dog can wear a diaper every day that they are bleeding. Just make sure to change them frequently, wash when necessary, and check for signs of irritation.

How Long Will a Dog in Heat Need a Diaper For?

Most dogs will bleed for 7-10 days while in heat. Most dog owners can recognize the early signs that bleeding will start, including an enlarged vulva, and put the diapers on before bleeding and have their dog wear them until they’re done.

How Do You Keep a Diaper on a Dog in Heat?

Keeping a diaper on a dog, even for a short time, can be difficult. The first step is to make sure you have the right size. Most brands will have you measure your dog around the waist and buy the corresponding size. You will then want to adjust it using the snaps or sticky tabs until it fits snuggly but not too tight. Some diapers even come with suspenders that go around a dog’s front legs and neck to further help keep it on.

Can Diapers Cause UTIs for a Dog in Heat?

Dog diapers need to be changed frequently since trapping any wetness or bacteria near the skin and vulva can lead to skin infections, irritation, and UTIs. This is especially an issue if your dog poops in the diaper.

How Tight Should a Dog Diaper Be?

Dog diapers should fit snuggly around a dog’s waist. It shouldn’t slip off when gently pulled but it shouldn’t leave rub marks or indentations on the skin.

How Do You Make a Homemade Dog Diaper?

One of the easiest, no-sew ways to make a homemade diaper is with a pair of children’s underwear and a sanitary pad. Larger dogs may need adult briefs or bikini bottoms. Use scissors to cut a hole for the tail or use boy’s underwear that have a fly. Place the pad in the crotch of the underwear so that it lines up with the vulva and then slip them on. The pad can be changed out as needed.

Author

  • Dr Chyrle Bonk, Veterinarian

    Dr. Chyrle Bonk received her Master in Animal Science from the University of Idaho and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from Oregon State University. She has over 10 years of experience in small animal veterinary practice, working for a veterinary clinic in Idaho.

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Disclaimer: This website's content is not a substitute for veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian for healthcare decisions. Read More.

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