Updated - Oct 15th, 2021
Even the best, very goodest boys and girls can have accidents due to illness or age. Dog diapers can help pet parents manage these accidents when they occur. In fact, a great dog diaper can be a lifesaver for a senior dog or a female dog in heat. Puppy diapers are less common than adult dog diapers for lots of reasons – but they do exist.
Dog owners shouldn’t be afraid of the sheer variety of doggie diapers out there. Let’s take a look at the best dog diapers on the market, along with the reasons to choose one for your pup.
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First, the basics. Dog diapers help contain messes and are commonly used for dogs suffering from incontinence, senior dogs, and female dogs in heat. They have a hole for your dog’s tail to poke through and come in a variety of sizes, from extra small to extra large. You’ll find dog diapers in both disposable and reusable versions.
The qualities of a great dog diaper are not that different from the qualities of a great diaper for human babies. You want them to be leak-proof, absorbent, breathable, easy to use, and securely fitting.
Beyond these basic qualities, you may want an eco-friendly option, something designed for small dogs, a diaper with fur-safe features, or something else.
Whatever your and your dog’s needs may be, you’ll find the right solution in our roundup of the best options below.
Why use a dog diaper?
The most common reasons for using doggie diapers are urinary incontinence or other health issues. You may also find them to be a great solution for male dogs that “mark” constantly (a more common trait in intact dogs) and for female dogs in heat (again, this only occurs if your dog isn’t spayed).
Top 4 reasons for dog diapers
- Incontinence: Dogs can experience urinary tract infections that lead to frequent accidents. Age and other illnesses can also cause incontinence.
- Aging: Our sweet senior pups often experience mobility issues. This alone can lead to accidents. A secure dog diaper is one convenient solution for your comfort, and theirs.
- Heat: As mentioned, female dogs that haven’t been spayed will go into heat. And did you know that means they’ll, um, get their periods? Yes, it’s true. This happened to one of my rescue dogs, who went into heat before we could take her to be spayed. When this happens, a doggie diaper will keep your floors clean.
- Puppy accidents: Though less common, it is possible to use a diaper on a puppy with an unusual number of accidents, health issues, or other extenuating circumstances.
Best overall dog diapers: Reusable
This eco-friendly option is soft, well-reviewed, and comes in a huge variety of sizes and colors to fit your pup. Many reviewers on Amazon note that their dogs preferred these to disposable dog diapers. We love that they’re easy to machine-wash and dry, making them an economical choice.
Granted, washing diapers isn’t for every dog owner. But if you need them for a longer period of time, you may find the savings are worth it.
Best overall dog diapers: Disposable
To be fair, many disposable dog diapers share similar qualities: ease of use, a variety of sizes, and secure construction. Like baby diapers, they’re designed to capture liquid and absorb it for leak-free protection and greater comfort for your dog.
We like Hartz because they’ve been around a long time and they’re well-loved by dog owners. Their disposable dog diapers come in versions for large, small, male, and female dogs, and boast adjustable tabs so you can get that perfect fit.
Aside from our two top picks above, you’ve got many good choices for dog diapers that are available online or in your local pet store. Here are some of our other faves.
Best disposable dog diapers: Male and Female
These affordable adult dog and puppy diapers come in sizes from XS to XL, and are a convenient choice for travel since they’re easy to pack and quick to throw away. Fur-resistant fasteners ensure that your dog’s coat doesn’t get tangled up when you’re putting them on.
Some male dog diapers are also known as belly bands. Designed for preventing marking (indoor urination in particular), these diapers are ingenious and relatively simple. Rather than having a tail hole like female dog diapers, they simply wrap around your dog’s middle. They cover his private area and voila! No more territorial peeing.
Of course, belly bands don’t help with fecal incontinence; you’ll need a different type of male dog diaper for that.
Out! Wraps have a full Velcro-like band rather than smaller tabs, which make them easier to fasten across a wiggly or resistant pet. Be sure to measure your dog’s waist before purchasing, as sizes depend on this measurement.
Paw Inspired is a popular brand that also makes a washable version of their dog diapers. The disposable ones are rated high for absorbency and a leak-proof design. Petite puppers may be especially suited to these. Many pet parent reviewers note that these are great for smaller and toy breeds, in particular, because of a secure fit.
Simple, reliable, and affordable: these diapers from Amazon’s in-house line are well-suited for everyday use. They run up to sizes for a 31-inch waist, which is a few inches larger than some other top disposable brands. We like the wetness indicator, which uses color-changing technology to let you know when your pup needs a change.
This brand also makes a popular type of puppy pads. A solid budget choice, they’re no-frills but quite effective, featuring a wetness indicator as well. They claim they’ll keep your dog dry for up to 12 hours, and many reviewers concur.
Best reusable or washable dog diapers: Male and Female
This is an in-house Petco brand that’s also available online. So Phresh offers disposable options, too, but we particularly like their affordable, reusable dog diapers. They run from extra-extra-small to extra-large, so you’ll be able to find the right fit for a Chihuahua, a Corgi, or a Chow Chow (for whom those fur-resistant fasteners would really come in handy).
These diapers run up to XXL for bigger breeds, and they’re pretty darn cute. Of course, you’re not buying dog diapers for fashion reasons – but a nice design can’t hurt, can it? Reviewers are pleased with their absorbent qualities, waterproof covers, and ease of use.
Can I use puppy diapers during potty training?
We get it. It’s certainly tempting. After all, housetraining is time-intensive, and requires frequent trips outside as you train your puppy to go potty here but no!, not there.
However, experts like veterinarians and dog trainers generally do not recommend using diapers on your puppy. For one thing, they’re not designed for potty training. Dog diapers will catch messes, but they won’t teach your puppy anything about appropriate potty behavior.
What’s more, using diapers on your puppy can actually confuse them. At worst, your puppy won’t learn anything about where, when, or how to go potty appropriately.
When it comes down to it, puppy diapers aren’t the solution to potty training. They won’t replace a good house-training program. That said, if your pup is experiencing any of the health issues mentioned above, diapers may be the right answer. As always, consult with your vet for more information.
Best of luck finding the best solution for your pet, whether you’ve got a rascal puppy or an angelic senior who needs a little extra protection. With the huge variety of options on the market, you’ll be on your way to a cleaner, fresher house – and pet! – in no time.