Golden Retriever wearing a dog nappy

The Best Dog Nappies Australia -
The Ultimate Guide

Our #1 Pick

The Best Value for Money

Dog Diapers Washable & Reusable by PETTING IS CARING

  • Economical
  • Machine-washable
  • Well reviewed
  • Leakproof

So, your dog is leaking. Not to worry, dear reader, it happens to the best of us. As our dog’s age, go through their natural hormone cycles or recover from invasive surgeries and illnesses, incontinence and leaks do happen. In those situations, we turn to dog nappies to help save our floors from any accidents.

There is no shame in it at all and dog nappies are quite comfortable for dogs in general. We’re going to break down everything you need to know about dog nappies. Why use them, the differences between them, how to use them and our favourite options on the market today.

If your do is leaking, we have got you covered.


Why Do Dogs Need Nappies?

Nappies have multiple uses at different stages of your dog’s life. Let’s discuss.

Incontinence

If you have an elderly or otherwise incontinent dog on your hands, I completely feel your pain. My dog, in the last few months of his life, became incontinent due to a tumour around his private parts. Sometimes it is not full incontinence, but just a little dribble of wee every now and again.

The canine equivalent of peeing when you sneeze (can you relate?).

It’s not just old age that causes incontinence. Did you know that certain dog breeds are more likely to dribble? 

“Some dog breeds are also prone to urinary incontinence, such as: German Shepherds, Rottweilers, English Springer spaniels, Doberman pinschers, Weimaraners, Old English sheepdogs, Dalmatians, Bearded Collies and Collies Boxers” - PetMD (1)

Middle-aged, spayed female dogs are also more likely to develop urinary incontinence because of their low estrogen levels. 

PRO TIP: It is called “spay incontinence” or “Urethral Sphincter Mechanism Incompetence (USMI)” if you’re feeling fancy. (2)

Dog incontinence nappies are the perfect solution for your pup if this is what ails them.

Heat

No, I don’t mean caliente heat. I mean menses heat. Say you have an unspayed female dog at home. Perhaps you are breeding with her. She will go through her natural menstrual cycle and bleed.

Most dogs come into heat twice per year, or about every six months, although the interval can vary between breeds and from dog to dog. Small breed dogs may cycle three times per year, while giant breed dogs may only cycle once every 12 months.”  - Ryan Llera, DVM & Cheryl Yuill, DVM of VCA Hospitals. (3)

The “estrous cycle” lasts for two to three weeks and they don’t just lose blood. They will also leak discharge during this time and generally be quite sensitive.

Dog period nappies are not uncommon tools for breeders. They are period pads for your dog, helping you to keep their bedding fresh which ultimately makes them feel as comfortable as possible.

A dog period isn’t painful for them, but it is… delicate, let’s say. So, making sure they are as comfortable as possible during these couple of weeks is paramount.

Puppyhood

Do puppies need nappies? Generally speaking, no they don’t. Nappies should never replace structured gentle dog training (see what I did there?) to effectively housebreak your puppy.

That being said, nappies can be useful in the cases of travelling, when you are unsure when you’ll be able to stop or if your dog is quite young and unable to hold it for long.

Puppies can only hold in pee for around 30mins. Maybe an hour. If you are on the motorway with few places to stop over, you may hit an emergency.

Another potentially viable reason to use puppy diapers is because of excitable peeing. I think this is adorable and remember the days when my dog was young. She would be so excited to meet someone new, she would wee herself, just a little bit. (4)

If you know you’ll be in company, or at someone else’s house, and your puppy has a tendency to joyously wee, a puppy nappy may not be such a bad idea.

I am not personally an advocate of puppy nappies simply because I find owners use them instead of house training. House training is not that difficult and is a life skill that your dog must learn. It is far far harder to teach them toilet etiquette in their adult years than in their youth, so pick your poison.

Post-Op

Say your dog has had major surgery and are less able to get up to pee and poop as they used to whilst they heal. Or you could’ve had corrective surgery done for incontinence, which equally takes time to heal and causes some leakage in the interim periods of healing. Doggie diapers are incredibly useful in those scenarios.


Male Dog Diapers vs Female Dog Period Pads

So clearly, we have different diapers here for heat and incontinence. But female dogs can have incontinence too. As we discussed, they may be more prone to incontinence than male dogs.

So why is there a distinction between male diapers and female pads?

It’s all to do with the shape and fit.

Consider the male dog anatomy for a moment. Where does a male dog pee from?
It’s not exactly directly between the legs like a female. It’s more at the base of the belly, right?
Therefore, most male diapers can be wrapped around your dog’s lower tummy and not completely cover them between their legs like traditional diapers. This is why male dog diapers are often referred to as “belly bands”.

"For male dogs, some owners prefer a belly band, which has a lightweight shell that goes around the dog’s midsection. The outer layer is an absorbent liner. Some dog owners buy liners made for the belly band; others use baby diapers or sanitary napkins. Any of these materials are easily disposable.” -  Jan Reisen, American Kennel Club (5)

Alternatively, female dogs would always need a full diaper that has space for their legs and tail to fit through.


How To Use Dog Diapers

Step 1: Determine the level of absorbency you need

So how leaky is your dog? This sounds like a silly question. Shouldn’t the highest absorbency be used at all times? Well… not quite. You are probably making your dog needlessly uncomfortable if you go for super high absorbency and thickness when they don’t really need it. All that extra padding is extra weight. It’s also restricting movement and increase the chances of chafing. Choose the level of absorbency that makes the most sense for your dog’s needs. 

Step 2: Reusable or disposable

This is an interesting one. While it is far more eco-friendly to have reusable cloth dog diapers that can be washed, disposable diapers can have their merits. It depends on the situation you are in. If this is a mainstay in your dog’s life, you may invest in reusable diapers for the comfort and eco factor. However, if this is just a temporary phase during post-op healing, you may opt for disposable diapers to save the hassle.

That said, we always advocate for the greener option so the majority of the options we reviewed below are reusable. There is a disposable option there too just to cover all bases.

Step 3: The fit

For both males and females, you need to measure your dog’s waist size. Manufacturers often have breed guidelines or indicators like “small” “medium” and “large”, but you should measure your dog’s waist anyway. Average breed guidelines don’t account for weight fluctuations and other abnormalities. Consider your pup as an individual here. You want them to be as comfortable as possible.

Once you have purchased a diaper or belly band, follow the manufacturer’s directions to put them on. A shorthand would be:

Belly bands: Wrap around your dog’s lower belly sitting above the back legs. Ensure their urethra is covered. If an extra absorbent pad is needed on the inside of the band, fit this before you put the belly band on.

Diapers: Allow your dog to step their back legs through the diaper and pull it up over their tail. Pull their tail through the back hole. The top of the diaper should sit well above their tail and around their waist.

Step 4: Change the diaper when needed

Change your dog’s diaper frequently and ensure you wear gloves while doing so. You can use baby wipes to clean your dog between changes, ensuring their feel fresh. Be vigilant of any rashes, inflammation or infections. Though this shouldn’t happen if you change the diaper regularly enough and the material is breathable.


Best Nappies For Dogs Reviewed

There are quite a few factors to consider when shopping for a nappy for your dog. Now let’s dive into the various options for dog nappies on the Australian market. You’ll be pleased to know that there is tons of variety and style here. We’re confident you’ll find the best option for your pup.

  • Economical
  • Machine-washable
  • Well reviewed
  • Leakproof

Verified Review - 11/4/2021
Great for an older dog with bladder control issues.

"Purchased a couple packs of these (6 diapers in total) for our older dog that has unfortunately lost control of her bladder. We liked them so much that I ordered two more packets, so that while some are in the wash there’s always a few spares. No more accidents in the house and no more smell of dog pee.

We found that these perform better than expensive disposable dog diapers and whilst we have tried human disposable diapers (we cut the hole out for the tail), these are much better for the environment.

Unlike many similar products you might find on a certain other website, which require the addition of an incontinence pad, these diapers include a very absorbent pad that is suitable for most dogs provided you change them regularly.

For night use, we followed the advice of someone else’s review and put half an incontinence pad for extra absorbency."

Petting Is Caring make great all-rounder dog diapers. The model we are featuring here is the perfect set for nappies for dogs on heat. However, they do also have a model for male dogs that is more like a belly band.

We love these because they are versatile, comfortable and well fitted.

The stretchy material allows them to hug your dog’s body. It is made of a super soft mesh fabric and double absorbent lining that ensures your dog is clean and dry for as long as possible

The outer layer is 100% waterproof and leakproof.

As for maintenance, these diapers are fully machine washable. Given that each pack comes with three, you have enough to rotate throughout the day.

In terms of style, there are two 3 packs to choose from. One has solid bright colours: purple, green and orange. The other has patterned designs for a bit of variety.

The best part here is the size range. There are five sizes in total from extra-small to extra-large. The smallest is suitable for a dog with an 8.9-24cm waist. The largest is suitable for a dog with a 64.5 - 87.cm waist. Huuuge range here - it’s great. The stretchiness of the fabric adds to that perfect fit. Petting is Caring really has covered the full breadth of dog breeds which we love to see!

The cherry on the cake is the cost and the guarantee. Not only is this three pack extremely economical, but it also comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Huge thumbs up from us!

Pros

Cons

  • Economical
  • None!
  • Machine-washable
Cell
  • Well reviewed
Cell
  • Leakproof
Cell

#2: Best Puppy Nappies: Vivi Bear Pet Diapers

  • Breathable
  • Lightweight
  • Very absorbent
  • Colour-changing technology

Onto the little ones, and the Vivi Bear diapers are ideal.

These small disposable diapers are lightweight and teeny tiny. Perfect for small bums.

They are breathable and comfortable, with a style very akin to human baby diapers. The extra absorbent lining is made to stay fresh as long as possible and prevent leaks.

We love the clever colour changing technology the diaper uses to let you know that it’s time for a change. The nappy is patterned with musical notes and paw prints. The paw prints gradually fade from the base of the absorbent part as the moisture builds up inside. When the paw prints have completely disappeared, you know it’s time for a change. I guess it saves you from sniffing your puppy’s bum periodically to see if a change is needed!

The packs come with 14 diapers in total. The model comes in four sizes from small to extra-large. The small size is very very small so do still measure your puppy’s waist to ensure you get the right fit.

If you are planning a trip and want the security of a puppy diaper, this is the one for you!

Pros

Cons

  • Breathable
  • Less eco-friendly
  • Lightweight
Cell
  • Very absorbent
Cell
  • Colour-changing technology
Cell

#3: Best Male Dog Incontinence Pads Luxja Reusable Male Dog Nappies

  • Excellent size range
  • Discrete design
  • Machine washable
  • Leakproof

Onto male nappies now. The Luxja range is perfect for male dogs who leak every now and again.

These belly bands are quite discrete in a way. Of course, you can see them, but they don’t look like diapers. They almost look like back supports or something. Many passers-by would be none the wiser of what they are really wearing! That could be a plus for you if you are not a fan of the full diaper look.

This model comes in very dull colours which is a con for me but could be a plus for you! These are black, brown and grey.

As reusable nappies, they are fully machine washable, durable and breathable.

In terms of the protective layers, there is the waterproof, leakproof layer outside, the absorbent pad woven inside and the soft jersey layer that comes into contact with your dog’s skin. This soft layer is said to reduce chafing and discomfort.

Luxja offers this model in 6 fabulous sizes from extra-small to extra-extra-large. Everyone is catered for - hoorah!

If you have a male dog with urinary incontinence, this is the ideal pad for you.

Pros

Cons

  • Excellent size range
  • More pricey
  • Discrete design
Cell
  • Machine washable
Cell
  • Leakproof
Cell

#4: Best Dog Period Pads: CuteBone Dog Nappies

  • Flexible design
  • Beautiful patterns
  • Well-reviewed
  • Specifically designed for female dogs

For the ladies, we recommend the CuteBone Dog Nappies.

And no, this is not just because of the insanely impressive range of 13 different style sets that are all incredibly unique and fun. This is ideal for female dogs because it was made with them in mind.

The soft microfibre lining prevents itching and chafing against your dog’s skin. The stretchy elastic wraps around your dog’s legs with ease, giving them a full range of movement. The tail opening has also been redesigned for a better fit.

As reusable nappies, these are fully machine-washable.

There are five sizes in total ranging from extra-small to extra-large. You can also wrap the diaper in different ways to ensure the best fit, depending on the unique anatomy of your pup.

The CuteBone range is extremely popular and well-reviewed for good reason!

Pros

Cons

  • Flexible design
  • More pricey
  • Beautiful patterns
Cell
  • Well-reviewed
Cell
  • Specifically designed for female dogs
Cell

Best of the Best

For the perfect all-rounders, we think the Petting Is Caring range will cover your bases. They have specific models for both male and female dogs. The size range is impressive, and they are well-reviewed by customers who have used them and loved them.

If you would prefer a disposable option, the Vivi Bear Pet Diapers aren’t just for puppies! Though we nominated them as a great option for puppy diapers, they will work beautifully for any leaky dog out there needing that little bit of extra support.

With either of these options or any of the four we mentioned, you can rest knowing that your dog will feel cleaner and fresher during their day.

FAQ

How often should you change your dog’s diaper?

As often as possible! Of course, it depends on your dog’s reason for wearing a diaper. If they are incontinent, you need to change them every couple of hours. It may need to be more often if your dog particularly struggles with urinary incontinence. High absorbency pads are best in this case.

If your dog is in heat, their diaper likely needs to be changed less often but you do need to take it off to allow your dog to pee and poop.

References
  1. “Urinary Incontinence in Dogs”. PetsMD. Retrieved March 28, 2021. https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/urinary-incontinence-dogs#1
  2. Spector, D. September 14, 2012. “What You Need to Know About Spay Incontinence in Female Dogs”. Vet Street. Retrieved March 28, 2021. http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/what-you-need-to-know-about-spay-incontinence-in-female-dogs
  3. Llera, R & Yuill, C. “Estrous Cycles in Dogs”. VCA Hospitals. Retrieved March 28, 2021. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/estrus-cycles-in-dogs
    4. Stregowski, J. February 5, 2021. “How to Stop Submissive or Excitement Peeing in Dogs”. The Spruce Pets. Retrieved March 28, 2021. https://www.thesprucepets.com/fixing-submissive-excitement-urination-1118271
    5. Reisen, J. May 28, 2019. “Everything You Need to Know About Dog Diapers”. American Kennel Club. Retrieved March 28, 2021. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/everything-you-need-to-know-about-dog-diapers/
Olivia De Santos

Olivia is a professional writer and animal lover. She loves spending time with her Podengo and Flat Coated Retriever, and writing pieces to help people to be better dog owners

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