While changing a dog's diaper can be decent training for when you have a real baby, it's also an unnecessary hassle. If your pooch wears pads, it may be time to try an alternative to keep her from messing in the house and from looking so darn foolish.
Housebreaking your dog is the most obvious alternative to strapping her into diapers. After all, dogs go outside. It's what dogs do. No matter how old and untrained your dog may be, she isn't too old to learn how to eliminate outside. The longer you put it off, though, the longer it's going to take to teach her about proper elimination habits. Best not to wait any more, or she'll be wearing those diapers her whole life.
Puppy pads are like big, flat diapers that you lay on the floor. Typically laced with a scent that attracts dogs, these absorbent, disposable pads are the perfect place for your dog to do her business and move on. You need to be diligent about throwing away and replacing used pads, but if you're used to changing dirty doggie diapers every day, this should be a piece of cake by comparison.
Of course, if your dog urinates frequently or can't seem to hold it in, a trip to the vet is definitely in order. Incontinence can be a sign of some pretty uncomfortable health issues, like a bad back or a urinary tract infection. It could even be the result of a physically weak bladder. Depending on what causes your diapered buddy's incontinence, your vet may prescribe one of several courses of treatment, like medications or corrective surgery.
Maybe your dog doesn't wear a diaper because of her bathroom habits at all. If she has to strap into the absorbent Underoos every time she goes into heat and starts to bleed, the simplest solution is to stop her from going into heat. That's right -- getting spayed. Spaying your dog helps control a handful of hormonal and behavioral issues, as well as stopping the messy problem of vaginal bleeding. When you get her spayed, you'll never have to change a bloody diaper again.
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.