Puppy Tips

When and Why You Should Use Puppy Diapers 


When raising a human baby, we rely heavily on diapers. They make our lives easier (and cleaner) until the baby is old enough to learn to use the toilet. You may wonder if you can use a diaper to help potty train your dog, too. Puppy diapers are widely available and highly useful tools. We will go over some considerations for using puppy diapers as well as what situations they work well in below. 

What Are Puppy Diapers? 

You might be wondering what a puppy diaper is or how it even works. It’s simple – puppy diapers are the same as baby diapers, they are just designed differently to fit your dog’s body. 

It has the same core design as a human baby diaper (e.g., wraps and secures around the waist, two leg holes), but the big difference is that puppy diapers come with a tail hole for your dog’s comfort.  

Puppy diapers come in different options, such as disposable, reusable and cloth. Disposable diapers are usually the most absorbent but create a lot of waste. A reusable diaper is cheaper and creates less waste. 

When Should I Use a Puppy Diaper? 

You may wonder if it makes sense for you to use a puppy diaper for your furry friend. There are several common scenarios in which a puppy diaper can be a great tool. We will go over some scenarios below they can help with.  

After Medical Procedures 

Puppy diapers are great to have on hand after your puppy’s surgery or medical procedure. Vets will often give dogs recovering from medical procedures a diaper to prevent accidents. Dogs can become foggy and confused after surgery because of the medications given, and may not be able to go outside to potty as they normally do. In these cases, puppy diapers can allow your pooch to rest and recover without having to trek outside to go potty. 

General Incontinence  

Dogs can become incontinent for many reasons. Females frequently experience either acute or long-term incontinence after giving birth. In the situation of a recovering mama dog, diapers can help. If your dog has developed incontinence, it’s always important to get them checked out by a vet. Various health conditions can cause incontinence and your vet can address these conditions. However, in the meantime, puppy diapers can help keep your house clean and dry. 

Females in Heat 

Female dogs who are not spayed will go into heat. This involves menstrual bleeding. This bleeding can get everywhere in your house and be a real pain to get out of carpet and fabrics. It’s always recommended that you spay (or neuter) your dog. If you are still waiting for the spay appointment and your female goes into heat, having puppy diapers on hand will be a life saver. 

Senior Dogs 

No one wants to think about their precious pup getting older. However, senior dogs face unique health issues and can benefit from puppy diapers. Senior dogs may struggle with incontinence. The bladder may weaken, and they may be unable to hold their bowels for as long as they used to be able to.  

Plus, dogs can suffer from age-related neurological disorders, just like humans can. Dementia and other mental issues are common in older dogs. This may cause them to forget where they should go potty. At this point, it’s too late to re-potty train the dog. Puppy diapers can give them comfort and freedom and can give you peace of mind. 

Can You Use Puppy Diapers for Potty Training? 

This is a more complicated question. It’s natural to think diapers should be used for potty training puppies because we use them to potty train human children. However, puppy diapers should never be used as a substitute for puppy pads, crate training and regular house training. Teaching your dog that it’s OK to go potty in a diaper in the house might result in them thinking it’s OK to go potty in the house period. You don’t want that. 

However, a puppy diaper can serve as a helpful safeguard while potty training. You can put your pup in a diaper when you know they might be unsupervised for a short period in your house. This way, you can avoid any messy and smelly accidents getting on your floor. Some puppies are prone to urinating when they get too excited – so a diaper may be helpful if you know your dog is going to be particularly excited, such as when having guests enter the home. 

Issues with Puppy Diapers 

Puppy diapers have lots of utility. They can save your home from a lot of damage. However, that does not mean they are perfect. Here are some issues with puppy diapers that should be considered before using them on your dog. 


Most dogs are not going to adjust to puppy diapers right away. They may not like the feeling of the diaper or the feeling of having more constricted movement. Over time, your dog will likely adjust to the feeling of the diaper. It’s just like when you put a harness or sweater on your dog for the first time – they won’t like it at first. When it becomes a regular practice, dogs usually become desensitized to it. 


Puppy diapers, particularly the disposable kind, are expensive to replace. They are a specialty tool. There are reusable diapers available, but even with those, you must invest in the right cleaning products and buy multiples so that you always have a clean diaper on hand. For this reason, puppy diapers should be looked at as a temporary solution and not a long-term one. 


Puppy diapers are designed to fit your dog’s body, but that does not mean they are perfect. Dogs are very active, so the diapers might slip or fall. Closures can become loose or break. A dog who does not like the feeling of a diaper may easily loosen it or rip it clean off.  

Diaper Rash 

Not only human babies experience diaper rash. Dogs can experience diaper rash from a puppy diaper. Rashes occur because too much moisture is being held too close to the skin, there is chafing or irritation from the diaper, and other reasons. These rashes can become infected if they are not addressed right away, which is not ideal. 

Deciding If Puppy Diapers Are Right for You  

Puppy diapers are useful tools for a plethora of situations you may find yourself in throughout your dog’s lifetime. Sick dogs or dogs recovering from a medical procedure will benefit greatly from puppy diapers. Elderly dogs and their owners can also benefit greatly from the security provided by puppy diapers. 

Using diapers while potty training a puppy can be a nice safeguard, but puppy diapers should not be relied upon during this process. However, they can provide an extra layer of protection in times your puppy may be loosely supervised, such as when hosting guests. The best results for housebreaking a puppy will be yielded by sticking to a consistent potty schedule, crate training, and positive reinforcement. Puppy diapers simply stand in to protect your items from damage in times when a puppy may have an accident. That said, they are great for this purpose. 

Deciding whether you will use puppy diapers is ultimately up to you. When in doubt, consult your vet about your interest in using puppy diapers to get their feedback. Puppy diapers can be a great way to obtain more peace of mind.  



  • Are Puppy Diapers a Good Idea to Help Potty Train Your Dog | Avid Pup 

  • 3 Ways to Determine Whether to Diaper a Senior Dog – wikiHow 

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