Information

Things to Consider When Buying Dog Diapers


Alison is a freelance writer on health, nutrition, skincare, and pets, especially cats and dogs.

Dog Diapers at a Glance

Topics that will be covered:

  1. The three main reasons why pet owners need to buy doggy diapers.
  2. Whether to choose doggy or human diapers and how to adapt human diapers for your dog.
  3. How to choose the right type for your dog.
  4. How to choose the right size diaper for the perfect fit.
  5. Whether to choose a washable (cloth) type or a disposable type.
  6. How to ensure your pet's comfort.
  7. How to choose diapers for puppies, females in heat, and incontinent elderly dogs.

Three Main Reasons for Buying Dog Diapers

If you are considering buying dog diapers, this is probably going to be for one of three main reasons.

  1. Firstly, you could be considering short term use for a younger dog during house training or for a dog recuperating from an operation or illness who cannot go outside to urinate. Other short-term use situations might include vacations (perhaps including a hotel stay).
  2. Secondly, you could be considering using one for an older dog who is becoming incontinent or for a younger dog that suffers from urinary incontinence when excited or who scent marks inside the house.
  3. Thirdly, you could be considering using dog diapers for a female dog during her "heat" to protect your furnishings and carpets from staining with blood.

For all three of these scenarios, there are important things to consider, not only to ensure that the diapers you choose are correctly fitting and do not cause your dog distress, but also whether or not there could be another solution to the problem.

Doggy Diapers or Human Diapers?

If you choose human diapers for your dog, you can make considerable savings over the cost of disposable doggy diapers. However, you will probably find that in order to make them comfortable for your dog, you will need to cut a hole for the tail. Owners have also reported that human diapers fit their dog much better if they are put on backwards—in other words with the adhesive strip fastenings designed for the front of baby's tummy being fastened at the dog's back.

How to Make a Dog Diaper From a Human One

How to Fit a Human Diaper on a Dog

To fit a human diaper, choose a brand that doesn't pinch your dog's tummy, such as Huggies Snuggies which have a really 'elastic' waist band.

  1. Put the back of the diaper with the tabs under your dog's tummy. Then pass the front of the diaper between your dog's back legs and up over his back, passing the tail through the hole made for the purpose.
  2. Then bring up the tabs from underneath and fasten over the dog's back, securing in place with masking tape.
  3. Make sure you can get a couple of fingers comfortably under the waistband around your dog's tummy - you want it to stay in place but not make your pet uncomfortable.

It is easier to find the right size if you have a small dog. For large and giant breeds, look for adult incontinence diapers which are of the same type as baby diapers, not the ones with a disposable pad that fits inside.

Choosing the Right Type of Diaper

There are different types of diaper so you need to be sure which sort you want depending on the needs and gender of your dog.

Dog diapers for male dogs are Belly Band diapers. These comprise a band that wraps round the middle of your dog to catch urine. This type is also useful if you have a male dog who scent marks his territory inside your home.

Full diapers are like baby diapers which go right over the bottom of your dog and fasten at the sides—except that they come with a hole for the tail.

The third kind are the harness type which fasten by means of suspenders or attachments to a harness which will keep them snugly in place.

Choosing a Correctly Fitting Doggie Diaper

As with human diapers, doggie ones come in different sizes so firstly, you need to weigh your dog. Next take the waist measurement whilst the dog is standing.

For male dogs, you need to be sure to measure far enough forward to so that the front of the diaper will cover the urethra, otherwise when he pees the diaper will be useless.

For full size disposable diapers, you might find this size guide helpful which I have collated from information on Wee-Wee® brand Disposable Diapers - please bear in mind though that each brand differs slightly and you may have to experiment to find the perfect fit, especially for deep chested, small waisted dogs as some brands will fit better than others.

Size Guide For Diapering Your Dog

Many owners have noted that when buying full diapers for their male dogs, they need to buy a size larger to ensure that there is enough depth to ensure that urine does not leak over the top of the waistband.

SizeBreed ExamplesWeightWaist Size

X-Small

Toy breeds and young puppies

4-8 lbs.

10"-13"

Small

Maltese, Jack Russell, Pekingese

8-15 lbs.

13"-19"

Medium

Beagle, Cocker Spaniel, Miniature Poodle, Pug, Sheltie

15-35 lbs.

18"-25"

Large

Bulldog, Bull Terrier, Collie, Dalmation, Springer Spaniel

35-55 lbs.

20"-27"

X-Large

Boxer, Doberman, German Shepherd, Retriever, Rottweiller

55-90 lbs.

25"-34"

When Accidents Happen...

With the best will in the world, there are always going to be little accidents even with well-fitting diapers. If your pet has had an accident on your carpet, you will want to read my article How to Remove the Odor of Dog Urine from Carpets in which I explain simple ways to get your carpet looking clean and smelling fresh - and a tip for detecting urine that has dried into the carpet.

Disposable or Washable Dog Diapers?

For occasional or very short term use disposable diapers are convenient and relatively inexpensive. Because you just dispose of them after use, they are more pleasant to use, particularly for bitches in heat. You can just buy a pack as and when required.

If your requirement for a doggie diaper for your pet is more than occasional, you might want to consider cloth, washable diapers.

These are not only washable themselves, but have liners which can be re-usable cloth ones which you can launder or, disposable pads which work out less expensive than full doggie diapers in the long term.

These come in many styles, designs and colors and are easy to fasten with velcro closures or suspenders to keep them firmly in place.

They also tend to be more adjustable for the long term comfort of your pet.

You will probably need at least two sets for your pet to start with so that you have a spare set whilst one is being laundered.

For our very elderly terrier, Bandit, we ended up using cloth diapers with liners as we found this a better, long-term solution. We chose were of the belly band type and found that the Weegreeco Dog Diapers which come in a pack of three, washed well, were adjustable to fit and were an economical solution when used with disposable liners.

Avoid Diaper Rash and Discomfort

Just like human babies, your dog's skin can become red, chafed and sore from contact with the diaper and get diaper rash from urine-soaked diapers.

Make sure that the lining of whichever type you use is soft and absorbent. Make sure that the elasticated areas are comfortable, not too tight that they will chafe the skin.

Change the diaper every time the dog pees. Do not leave him wet and in discomfort.

Doggy diapers are mainly designed for the collection of urine. If your dog is incontinent of feces, ask your vet for advice as cleanup can be messy, smelly and unpleasant. Your dog's skin can also become broken and sore if left in contact with feces.

Many owners find that clipping the hair round the anus makes cleanup easier and that applying napkin ointment to clean skin helps to keep feces off the skin too.

Unscented baby wipes are also good for cleanup and soiled diapers can be disposed of into baby nappy sacks which are inexpensive and effective at masking smells.

Should I Be Using Puppy Diapers?

Puppy diapers can be helpful when house training your puppy and in the early days when you need to take him somewhere and don't want an accident. However they are not a substitute for teaching your pet when and where it is appropriate to pee and poo and although a few accidents at the beginning might be a problem, in the long term, it is far better to persevere as your pup will soon get the idea, saving you a lot of hassle and money spent on diapers!

Should I be Using Female Dog Diapers?

For an un-spayed female, menstrual blood is a fact of life and if she lives indoors with you, allowing her to wear a diaper that will collect her menses will avoid the potential for her being scolded for something that isn't her fault - like getting blood on the carpet or the furniture.

Diapers for dogs in heat can also prevent some potential problems when you are walking her with unwanted attention from male dogs.

However, you need to be vigilant and ensure that she is kept clean and comfortable and that her skin does not become sore and a soft, washable diaper like the one demonstrated (right) might be your best option.

Diapering a Female Dog in Heat

The video above demonstrates the harness and suspender type of diaper which you might find most convenient for a female in heat as the diapers are washable and quick and easy to remove and replace once the harness has been put on.

Should I Be Using Diapers for an Incontinent Dog?

You should always establish the cause of the incontinence before putting any dog in diapers. Your vet will be able to advise you. Potentially, you could be attributing the cause to loss of bladder control when in fact, your dog has a urinary infection that should not be left untreated.

However, for older dogs that are becoming incontinent of urine, diapers can make all the difference and allow your dog to go on living in your home, laying in all his favorite places and enjoying his old age, rather than being banished or a becoming a source of family upset due to those little accidents that would otherwise happen with increasing frequency.

Questions & Answers

Question: I have a senior dog; she's a fifteen-years-old Pudelpointer. She is bleeding as if she is in heat, but it is very heavy. Her weight is down to between 55 to 60 pounds. What size doggie diaper should I get her? Also, should I be concerned? She has never been spayed, nor has she ever had a litter.

Answer: Please take your dog to the vet right away. Yes, you should be concerned. I have personal experience of this with my old Collie Retriever. A hysterectomy gave her two more good years of life. However, the fact that your dog is losing weight should also be a cause for concern if she is eating normally. Please get your dog checked out as soon as possible.

Question: My fourteen-year-old female dog has a leaky anal gland, and keeps licking herself raw to collect it. I do not want her to have to wear a cone all the time. Will a diaper help?

Answer: If your vet has ruled out any medical condition and has not given advice to the contrary, diapers are one solution. However, as you say she is licking herself raw at the moment, it may not be a good idea to 'seal' the area inside a waterproof diaper as this may lead to infection. My advice would be to either, wear a cone or (if she is small enough), a 'onesie' until the area is no longer raw before trying the diapers as a solution.

Alison Graham (author) from UK on May 22, 2017:

Hi Marlene, sorry to hear of your little dog's problems. It is quite difficult to find the perfect fit for dogs that weigh a little more than their breed size guide - as many of the nappies go by waist size or weight - and either way, tend to be too large if they fit around the waist. I'm afraid it might well be a question of trial and error and you may find that nappies for human babies that you can pick up at the store could be the answer. In my article, I explain how to adapt these for doggy use - and you may be able to pick up a couple of trial size packs in different baby weights to find the right fit. I do hope that you will be successful. Sorry I cannot be more helpful. Good luck with your little one, Alison

marlene on May 21, 2017:

my little 14 year old dog has a lot of trouble passing his weei am looking for a nappy that will fit him as he is a little fatie and i love him so much can you help me out and let me know were to by them from asi live in Australia

Alison Graham (author) from UK on May 06, 2017:

It is difficult, Katie, to find the right fit for any fur baby but you are very aware of any potential problem and are trying to do the very best for your boy in terms of the right diaper to keep him comfortable and safe.

Katie on May 06, 2017:

I wish I could find a " diaper " for my 18 year old little boy that would be long enough to cover him. I use belly bands but I always worry if they are safe for his urethra.

Alison Graham (author) from UK on April 27, 2017:

JayeWisdom, thank you so much for your detailed comment. I hope that the information you have provided about the cloth pants that go over the diaper will be helpful to other readers and I will do some further research on these and update my article accordingly. Thank you again, Alison

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on April 26, 2017:

My eight-month-old female schnoodle, Bella, just had her first heat. I'm holding off on spaying her until after she is one year old, and even then, hope to find a vet who does the ovary-sparing spay to protect her hormones. Research shows it has more benefits and the early "hysterectomy-type" spay potential health risks. As for protection during Bella's first estrus, I used size 3 Huggies baby diapers put on backward and held in place with an extra strip of cloth tape above her stubby tail. Chewydotcom sells little cloth pants that go over the diaper (preventing her, mostly, from chewing at them and stripping them off), and they fasten with Velcro on each side. This made a prolonged heat (which I read is not unusual the first time) bearable for her and for me. She was clingy and demanding, so I laughed and said she had the canine version of PMS! At least, the diapers kept her and the house clean.

Alison Graham (author) from UK on April 25, 2017:

Hi Krista, obviously the waist size of your dog is going to be an important factor but in disposable diapers, the large size generally fits 35 - 55 lbs with a waist size guide of between 20-27" if your dog has a smaller waist, she might fit into the medium size designed for up to 35 lbs and 18-25" waist - thank you for your interest and I do hope you find something that fits well and in which she is comfortable. Alison

Krista on April 25, 2017:

So what would you recommend for my 40 lbs bulldog? She just went in to heat

Jennifer on March 07, 2017:

Hi,

My senior dog just made 14 and he has suddenly been waking out of his sleep and pooping on the bed due to not being able to hold it I guess. What should I do? Is there even a diaper to catch fecal for dogs? Help please!

unable to read article on January 23, 2017:

I don't know if this article is useful thanks to the pop up that couldn't be removed covering half my screen asking me "How good is this article?" - counter-productive to say the least

Alison Graham (author) from UK on December 12, 2016:

Thanks for the tip about the sheet strap for keeping dog diapers in place - yes, I agree, human diapers are a better option for larger breeds of dog. Thanks for your comment, Alison

Yana on December 11, 2016:

Nice, but went to buy Diapers and they come in size 1-6, then go into Pull-ups for Toddlers. Has to guesstimate and for a medium sized dog approx. 40 pounds. I bought the size 6 and used a Sheet strap to attach to the dog bridal and then to the diaper and works like a charm to keep it on. (I also used this same size on our little Chi-Pom and it works for her too). I would say if you have a Lab or Shepard sized dog you better go tot he human diapers.

Alison Graham (author) from UK on March 06, 2016:

Thanks Judy for your comment, I'm glad you found a solution for your little girl she sounds absolutely adorable - it's a pity that pictures can't be attached to comments as I would love to see her! Our little girl has had two 'seasons' and we will let her have a third before we get her spayed. Doggy diapers are very useful as she likes the extra reassurance of even more cuddles than usual when she is on heat. We want to be sure that she is fully developed physically and it is my belief that the female hormones are important for this. She is due in heat again in May/June so will be spayed about three months after that as Vets here like to do them mid-way between seasons.

JudysBella on March 05, 2016:

our puppy is just 8 months old ...we bought her from a breeder last month. She is extremely smart, sweet as sweet can be . She loves her new name too! Last Sunday to our surprise she went into heat. We still had the last set of shots to complete so we couldn't have her spayed when we brought her home. Now we have gone thru one package of diapers and I will be heading over to pets supply plus for another package as soon as I send this off. She wears the diaper as if she has worn it every day of her life. Since we got her , she has been poked, prodded, diapered, name changed, new owners , and potty trained. Still smiles all the time and she loves us...we love her to pieces. She is a Teddybear breed and wears small size. Thank goodness for doggie diapers.

Alison Graham (author) from UK on December 31, 2015:

Jaye, thank you so much for sharing this. I hope that others reading this with a dog suffering from incontinence will take heart. and thank you too for the tip about Huggies pull-ups.

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on December 28, 2015:

Update: My dog now has Cushing's disease and is completely incontinent, so she's in Huggies' pull-ups (disposable training pants with side openings) full-time. I buy them either on Amazon.com, Jet.com, or Diapers.com (whichever has best price plus free shipping) as well as large boxes of Huggies baby wipes. There are so many symptoms for a Cushingoid dog that changing her diapers seems like no problem at all to me.

She "tells" me (with a single "Woof") as soon as her diaper needs changing, and she slowly steps out of the old one and into the new one. It's actually easier on me than taking her out at night and in bad weather. I like the pull-ups because they fit better and are easier to change than diapers.

I've read about pet parents who had a dog euthanized simply due to incontinence, and it just about breaks my heart. My girl has a lot of problems, and it's fortunate I'm retired because being her caretaker is time-consuming, but I'm very willing to do it. She was there for me when I needed her and gave me so much joy. Still does, for that matter. She doesn't play much, but wakes up every morning and wants her "tummy tickle." I'll take care of her as long as I'm privileged to have her in my life.

Carlos Richer on September 30, 2015:

Great article. I hope you do not mind I have taken the liberty to share it with my Disposable Diaper Network group at LinkedIn. Thank you!

Alison Graham (author) from UK on June 25, 2014:

Wow Jaye, you have a very special little dog there. Thanks so much for telling us her story and it is heartening to know that she copes so well - definitely a smart cookie! PS - just popped over to your profile and saw the hubs about your miniature schnauzer, so I am heading back to read them now!

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on June 25, 2014:

I'd used diapers for my miniature schnauzer earlier in her life--once after she had anal gland surgery and later when she had the terrible gastro disease HGE and while she was recovering, so she understood their purpose and that it was okay for her to 'go' in the diapers if needed.

When she was eight years old, she went blind and became very disoriented for months before she adjusted to her vision loss. During this time her habits and behaviors changed. For one thing, she couldn't find the back door and sometimes she wasn't sure where I was, so she didn't always bark the 'special' barks she'd always used to let me know she needed to go outdoors to potty. After several indoor 'accidents' that distressed her (and me, though for different reasons), I started putting diapers on her.

I use two types of human diapers: (1) Huggies Slip-ons (with soft elastic openings) for nighttime wear because they're a bit more bulky, and (2) Huggies Pull-ups (also with elastic at waist) for daytime wear, but less bulk. These are obviously comfortable and not binding. Both types fit her yet leave ample room in the back for her very short cropped tail to move freely. I've never cut a hole in the diapers as any movement of the diaper makes leakage more likely. But, because her tail's so short, I can do that with no problem whereas it wouldn't be practical for a dog with a regular tail. She can even wag her little tail inside the diaper.

She is more likely to use the diaper to potty (mostly urination) when she's just awakened from a nap and is disoriented, not fully awake. She finds me quickly so I can remove it, clean her and put on a fresh diaper. (Did I tell you she's smart?) Occasionally, she won't find me quickly enough in our large house for me to take her outside on leash to potty and will have a bowel movement in her diaper. Again, she wants it changed asap and a clean-up. She's fastidious that way. Fortunately, the home-cooked diet I feed her lends itself to solid stools that don't create a 'messy' diaper. I just slowly pull the diaper down as she carefully steps out of it. Voila! No fuss, no mess. A quick cleanup, a fresh diaper and my furgirl is happy again.

The remainder of the time (now that she's adjusted to blindness), she lets me know she needs to go outdoors because she still prefers to potty in the grass.

I buy Huggies at a discount price, so they cost much less than diapers made especially for dogs. It's funny, but because her diapers are decorated with Disney characters (Little Mermaid on the Pull-ups), everyone at the vet clinic thinks she looks darling in her diaper.

Voted Up++

Jaye

Alison Graham (author) from UK on March 12, 2013:

Thanks for your message @ps - it is so sad to lose a beloved dog - 14 is a great age for a Shepherd isn't it? I dread losing either of my 'boys' aged almost 15 and 14 respectively (Jack Russells).

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on March 12, 2013:

Great advice. We had doggie diapers on our female Shepherd . She wasn't crazy about it at first but adjusted nicely. It wasn't for too long of a period either so I guess that is part of why she put up with the humiliation.

:) We loved her so. She died three years ago at age 14. Our hearts were broken.

Sending Angels your way this evening :) ps

Alison Graham (author) from UK on March 12, 2013:

Thanks Dreamhowl, I appreciate your comment and the vote up.

Jessica Peri from United States on March 12, 2013:

You covered everything! My parents tried to put our dog in a female diaper once because it was her first heat. She wasn't having any of it, so I had to return them the next day. Now they just keep an eye on her and sometimes confine her to the kitchen so no accidents can happen when they aren't home. Voted up!


Things to Consider When Buying Dog Diapers - pets

Just like kids, dogs sometimes cannot control the release of waste material which can occur at any time. The large intestine muscle can be weak, and this can make the release of feces to occur unexpectedly. You need to get the animals the right pampers to help in solving such problems. Below are important issues to check when choosing female dog diaper.

Ensure you know the relevant safety measure that one should use when working on pampers. You should follow the necessary instruction from the vet and the manufactures. Vet officers do give one the right procedure to use when putting on diapers and when removing them from the animal. People who follow instructions have reduced rates of contracting animal diseases which result due to parasitic contacts.

Ensure that the size of that diaper corresponds to the size of the waist of your pet. When you get the right size of pampers for the pet, you will make them feel comfortable when in those items. It is wise to take manual measurements for your animal and then make sure that you go with it to the outlet. You can as well go with the pet to the shop and then purchase what fits it.

Ensure that you check on the right procedure provided by the manufacturer and the vet official. Most of the routine prescribed by professionals include letting the animal know about the pampers. This can be achieved when you happen to take your animal to the coach who can handle the training. They instill the knowledge of adapting to the diapers into the dog so that they cannot become chaotic when putting on the items for them.

Check on the amount of money you are supposed to use when purchasing these items. Manufactures do make these items in low quantity due to low demand in the market. Low demand should make the items cheap in a market. The amount you should use will depend on the number of pampers you want. Ensure that the prices are moderate and same as those stated by the vet department.

Ensure you work with either renewable or non-renewable considering the amount of money you have. Sometimes buying the renewable diapers can be very expensive but can also save you the cost of keeping buying others. The renewable diapers are washable and working with them is also easy.

The quality of materials that the manufactures used should be good. You can decide to pick the cotton-like quality which can prevent the unnecessary leaking of urine from the diapers. The cotton material can absorb the urine despite the level of concentration, and this can make them feel good due to reduced leaking items.

Ensure that you note the adaptability of those animals to use these items. The animals should have a little type of training which will enable them to accept the placing of diapers on their reproductive organs. The training should be done by an expert in veterinary or other related fields like animal science and psychotherapy.


Things To Consider When Buying Dog Treats

It’s no secret that dogs like treats – usually as many as they can get their paws on. With that being the case, you want give him the types that will be healthy and he’ll still like. Here are some things to consider when buying dog treats:

Size
The size of the treat that you give your dog should correlate with his size. In other words, don’t give your chihuahua a bone intended for a mastiff because it would be too much to handle.

Purpose
Consider what you’re giving your dog the treats for. If they are for training, consider small treats that are really tasty. These are great because you will be using them over and over again. If you are looking to improve your dog’s dental health, there are several dental chews on the market to help with that purpose.

Texture
Decide what the texture of the bone you will give. Soft treats are great for dogs that may have sensitive teeth. Actual bones are bad for dogs because they have the potential to break your dog’s teeth or shatter on their own.

Contents
Remember to think about the contents of the treat you’re giving your dog. While some treats offer good vitamins and minerals, other treats like pig ears taste good to dogs but are fatty and not all that nutritious.


Things to Consider When Buying Dog Diapers - pets

Is there anything better after a long day, than the moment you can get into bed? We think it’s relatively the same feeling for dogs too. With this considered, making sure your dog has a comfortable place to sleep, rejuvenate and revitalise after a long day, is pretty important. There are a few things you might like to consider when picking your pooch the perfect place to snooze, and in this post, we are sharing with you our top things to consider.

Size

The first thing you are likely to need to be established is the size of the bed you need to purchase. If this isn’t your first time buying your fully grown dog a new bed to sleep in, then you should already have a good indication as to the size you need. However, if you need a bit of guidance it’s always best to work out and estimate the size your dog is and, if still growing, how big your pooch is likely to reach. This varies from breed to breed but ensuring your dog has enough space to move, roll and stretch out on his bed is important for their comfort and their likeliness to use the bed.

Do They Chew?

If you have a dog who likes to gnaw, going for a wicker or wooden bed is not going to work out for you. Not only will it make the bed look terrible within days of purchase, it can be a choking hazard for your dog. Opting for a material bed will decrease the chance of gnawing, and as a result, will stay intact for much longer.

Washability

Every so often you will need to wash your dog’s bed and choosing a bed that can accommodate an easy wash is something to keep an eye out for when considering your purchase. Washing your dog’s bed regularly will ensure it doesn’t carry a bad smell in your home and decrease the chance of skin conditions and itching in your dog.

Waterproof

Everyone makes mistakes, everyone has accidents, including your dog, and if your furry friend is prone to the odd slip up now and again, you may want to set your sights on a bed with a waterproof cover to protect it.

Mattress

Just like us humans, the quality of the mattress matters if you don’t want to be riddled with back problems. Buying a dog’s bed with a cheap mattress can be detrimental to your dog’s physical health and cause underlying problems that can present themselves over time and leave your dog in a less than favourable position as they age. Investing in a mattress that protects and holds your dogs frame correctly will benefit them a lot more as they get to the later years of their life.

Fitting In

It’s all well and good finding the perfect dog bed, but it’s no use if you don’t have space or right area arranged in your home for it to fit and for it to be suitable for your dog. It is important to consider finding an area of your home that is quieter, that is warm & draught free. The right location of the bed can be crucial to the wellbeing of your dog, so making sure this is something you figure out before you buy a bed will help you when making your purchase.

Bonus Tip – Style

Make sure you don’t neglect the style aspect of your bed. Does your dog bed fit in with your current décor? Are you after a wooden dog bed, a regular soft dog bed or something a bit more quirky like a Phoebe and Alf Dog Teepee: http://www.phoebeandalf.co.uk/dog-teepees

It’s all well and good finding the perfect dog bed, but it’s no use if you don’t have right space.

Overall, there are many factors to consider when choosing your dog’s bed and there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to your dog’s personal bed. A dog’s bed is, literally, an investment in their wellbeing and happiness.


10 things you need to know before getting a dog

With the lockdown looking like it’s going to continue for a little while longer, it might seem like there’s no better time to add a new furry friend to the family. As tempting as it may be to turn to a new pet for comfort and support, there’s a lot to consider before you go out and get a dog.

There’s a growing concern amongst the RSPCA that the rise in puppy adoptions will result in a higher number of abandonments when we finally come out of lockdown. In general, many dog owners don’t fully understand the responsibility and challenges that come with owning a dog, which sadly leads to a lot of pups being given up for adoption.

So, to make sure you’re all clued up, here are the top 10 things you need to know before getting a dog…

1. Dogs are for life

The average lifespan of a dog is 13 years so make sure you are ready for a long dedicated commitment to your new furry friend. That means loving your pet after the puppy stage, into their naughty energetic teens and then the golden years of Fido’s life.

2. Breed research

Before you go out and choose the first adorable dog you see, it is important that you do your dog breed research. You need to find the suitable breed for your lifestyle and surroundings. You need to take into account the size of your living arrangements, your surrounding area (whether it’s the city or countryside), and your family structure (if you have small children, you’re living alone etc.)

3. Time-consuming

Get ready to sacrifice your time. Similarly to having a small child, bringing a new puppy into your home means you take responsibility of having a living being whose needs often come before your own. This means you might have to sacrifice more time and energy into this small creature than you first thought or that you are accustomed to. You can’t just up and leave for a fun weekend with friends at the last minute like you may be used to. You have to take the time to plan who is going to feed, walk, and watch over your dog in your absence.

4. Lifetime costs

Dogs are expensive so ensure you have the funds to take care of them from the time they are puppies to when they are old. The expenses don’t end after the initial purchase of your dog which tends to be around £400-£900. They need to go to the vet, have plenty of food and water, a bed, collar, lead and other accessories to keep your pet happy and safe. The average lifetime cost of owning a dog is around £16,900 but could be higher or lower depending on the breed, size and health of your dog.

5. Pet healthcare

There is nothing more important than your dog’s health and happiness so be sure to know a good vet nearby. There will be healthy days and emergency medical days in your dog’s life that you need to be on top of. Your dog can become sick and hurt just like any human so you need to keep track of the vaccinations they receive to ensure they remain at their healthiest. To help with this, it is always a good idea to buy health insurance to help cover large unexpected health bills.

6. Exercise needs

Dogs have a lot of energy and need daily exercise. This means taking your dog for a walk at least once a day to your local park or having a game in your garden. Some dogs require more exercise than others which is very important to bear in mind when choosing a dog breed.

7. Child-friendly

If you have children, the idea of a puppy popping out from under the Christmas tree will seem like an amazing gift. However, it is important to have your children meet the dog and for your dog to meet your children before adopting it. There are many dogs that don’t get along with young children so it is essential to have them interact before making a surprise purchase.

8. Pet-proofing your home

Your home will be changed forever once your little pup arrives. You will need to “pet-proof” your home in order to keep your dog and your furniture safe. Make sure any toxic foods for your dog are out of their reach, and that things such as hanging cords and vertical blinds are tidied away to avoid any accidents. If you have expensive furniture, a cover or throw is a good idea to protect your sofa or you can train your dog to not jump up.

9. Dog training

Following the above, your dog will need lots of training especially if you’re buying he or she as a small puppy. It is highly likely there may be a toilet incident or two on your rug and don’t be surprised to find some teeth marks on your favourite pair of shoes. To prevent bad habits like these, your pup will need extensive training either at puppy school or in-home training.

10. A family member

Your dog is a part of your family. Treat them as such! They need love and affection, and will give it back to you tenfold.


Watch the video: FEMALE DOG IN HEAT. TIPS 101. What to do. Herky the Cavalier (August 2021).