Pet Diapers: Helping Pets Cope with Incontinence
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“They go on like baby diapers,” says Radford. “They were very easy to put on.”
Though Stella only wore the diapers at night, they stayed on and allowed her to retain some semblance of normalcy despite her incontinence.
“Stella slept in bed with us so wearing diapers let her keep her normal routine,” she says. However, there were a few times where she would walk out of them in the morning.
Are you embarrassed at the thought of your pet in diapers? You probably shouldn’t be; pet diapers can have various benefits for both a senior pet and owner.
“My clients who use diapers on their older pups do so because their dog has no idea he/she has to go and the mess is too much when they get home,” says Dr. Cathy Alinovi, a Pine Village, Indiana-based veterinarian.
Preventing a mess is something that any animal owner can appreciate. And just think; you'd have pet diapers to thank for it.
Despite their inherent benefit, pet diapers can have drawbacks.
For starters, while small dogs might be better acclimated to diapers (from wearing sweaters and other clothing), they can be somewhat difficult to get on, especially on really tiny dogs. Alinovi herself admits to having “a heck of a time getting diapers to stay on really little dogs – not enough waist to hold the diapers up.”
Alinovi says that diapers can also be difficult to get on older dogs afflicted with other health conditions.
“Another thing on older dogs and diapers - they have a lot of muscle loss (atrophy) in the back end due to arthritis. This makes their waist less hourglass like, and again, hard to keep the diapers up.”
Another drawback to pet diapers is that, in rare cases, they can become a health hazard.
“If the dog wears them all day, and deposits both [waste] products in there, it can breed bacteria and push the bacteria back in the urethra, causing a tendency toward bladder infections,” says Alinovi.
Alinovi says this can likely be avoided by using cloth diapers as opposed to scented diapers, which carry chemicals that can irritate a dog’s skin.
Incontinence: A Serious Issue
Diapers can help your pet cope with incontinence, but they should not alleviate the seriousness of it as a health issue.
People need to have incontinence in pets screened by a veterinarian, says Dr. Amber Andersen, a veterinarian in clinical practice in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
“There can be many reasons [for the condition], and some medication [can be given for it],” she says.
Would you consider doggy diapers as a possibility to help cope with your pet’s incontinence? Share in a comment.