Oops, Another Accident! Is it Time for Pet Diapers?

A Golden Retriever laying on a small area rug wearing pet diapers

You’ve been trying to prevent it. You’ve taken your pet out to do his thing for the past hour, but to no avail. You watch like a hawk every step your pet takes across the carpet. Then, you miss your cue. Another puddle on the floor! 

If a pet is having frequent accidents, it can be a frustrating time for all. This could be caused by a condition or disease, or because your pet isn’t adapting to the housebreaking training. You may wonder if it is time for pet diapers.

The team at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates is here, not to clean up those accidents, but to help take the mystery out of pet incontinence and behaviors that can create a smelly situation.

What Are Pet Diapers?

Just like you can imagine, there are diapers made exclusively for pets. You may have seen them in your local pet supply store. They are often marketed as a training tool, but can be used for pets who are aged and have urinary incontinence. They come in various sizes, and also are available in cloth or plastic. 

Sounds great, right? Never having to clean up a urine stain may seem tempting, but getting to the reasons behind the mess is more important. 

Urinary Incontinence

Before being too quick to blame the accident antics on bad behavior, urinary incontinence can happen to a pet even when they are young. There are a few conditions that can lead to more frequent accidents, such as:

  • Weakened urinary sphincter
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Diabetes
  • Bacterial infection
  • Cognitive disorder
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Kidney disease (cats)
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Your pet’s in heat

If your pet is starting to go outside the litter box or can’t hold their bladder, there is likely a medical issue at work.

Older pets can sometimes start to lose control of their bladder when the muscles of their pelvis and urinary sphincter weaken. However, don’t assume that this is normal for an older pet, since most pets go into their golden years without this problem. Pets who have not been altered will spray to mark their territory and attract a mate. 

An underlying condition or infection can not only cause your pet to eliminate in the house but can cause them pain and discomfort. Give us a call to schedule an examination to address the problem of frequent accidents. 

Poor Housetraining

If your pooch or kitty is spraying around the home, or doesn’t seem to understand when and where they should go, they may not be properly trained. Young pets or those who have an unknown background (if you adopt), may not have the skills to be well behaved around the house.

Some of them may have learned that it is okay to do their business inside. 

The key is to train your pet the proper way to “go potty” before donning the diapers. This is because you are reinforcing the behavior you don’t want, while still not taking the time to housetrain your pet.

Here are some simple steps to redirecting your whizzy buddy:

  1. Make sure you take them outside frequently
  2. Interrupt them if they are about to squat or lift their leg
  3. Yell, “Outside!” while taking them directly to where they should go
  4. Clean up the mess thoroughly with a pet odor removal shampoo 
  5. Reward and praise them every time the eliminate where they should to reinforce good behavior

If problems continue, we recommend a behavior consultation to get to the bottom of this resistance. If you are suddenly wondering about pet diapers, please give us a call to learn more.