Ask a Vet

Best Treatments for Urine Scald in a Dog

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Jacquelyn Kennedy
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Your dog might be in diapers for a variety of reasons.

Dog wearing diaper with urine scald

Various stages of life, injuries, or illnesses can all mean you have to resort to diapers to avoid a mess in the house.

It might be an easy solution for several issues, but do you know how to use dog diapers to your advantage properly?

More on this in a bit…

What if, for example, your dog develops diaper rash, a.k.a. Urine scald in dogs?

See also:

Puppy diaper rash is also a potential issue if you use diapers during housetraining.

What diapers are best?

Is there a good strategy for when you have to use diapers on your dog?

We’ll go over some of the things you should know if you’re new to using them for your dog or if it’s a part of everyday life.

When Diapers Are Necessary

Dog with incontinence

Incontinence in dogs is quite common.

You might be in the midst of treating them for an infection or a disease or might just be dealing with an elderly canine with a weak bladder.

UTIs can be caused by various issues with symptoms ranging from fishy-smelling urine to discovering your dog has mucus in their urine.

In any case, there is a series of treatments that you’ll want to follow.

Or, medical situations aside, you could have a puppy who can’t hold their urine until you return home from work.

Behavioral or emotional circumstances could also be at play, such as your dog not wanting to pee outside.

Or worse…

Something causes them to have accidents in the house. Has your dog ever peed on your bed? Not their most shining moment!

In each of these cases, using diapers for dogs is a simple solution for negating the mess that comes with incontinence.

Whether you go the DIY route or buy diapers made for dogs, you’ll likely go through some trial-and-error figuring out how to make it all work.

There are also some things to remember if your dog needs to be in diapers.

Finding the Right Product

Dogs are not unlike babies and toddlers who need to be in diapers.

The size and fit of the diaper are something you need to consider if you want it to work well.

Diapers for babies can work for dogs with a few tweaks you do at home.

A hole will need to be cut for their tail, and you’ll have to be sure they’re not too big or small.

Many pet parents opt for reusable diapers over disposable ones.

More expensive?

Yes, it’s more costly upfront, but don’t forget the big picture.

If your dog needs to be in diapers long-term, you’ll spend more on disposables over time.

Plus, they’ll go straight to the landfill when you throw them out.

Cloth diapers – whether designed for people or dogs – are a viable option if you don’t mind laundering them regularly.

If you opt for diapers made for people or dogs, it’s essential that they fit.

Dog diapers might be easier to fit since they are specifically designed with canines in mind.

There will also be sizing guidelines for breeds and weight, which can take some of the guesswork out of purchasing diapers.

There’s more…

Another feature of dog diapers is the removable liner.

Many come with a detachable, absorbent liner that can either be reusable or disposable.

This liner is what does the dirty work in wicking wetness away from your dog’s skin.

Instead of replacing the entire diaper, you can switch the used one with a dry one.

These types of diapers are usually reusable.

You should only need to wash them about once a week as long as there aren’t any leaks, and you can replace the liners shortly after they’ve been soiled.

You can use diapers designed for people – at the end of the day, they get the job done.

Just be prepared to make some modifications.

What about male dogs?

The anatomy of a male dog makes diaper shopping a little more complicated.

This is why a dog belly band is a good investment if your male dog is having trouble holding their urine.

If you have a male dog – especially an unaltered one – you know there’s another reason you might need some extra protection around your home.

That’s right; they like to mark. Sometimes, it means having to get urine from couches, wood furniture, bedding, or even people.

A male dog lifting his leg on everything you own is less than ideal.

Regardless of why your male dog is peeing everywhere, a belly band is a clever alternative to diapers.

Babies vs. Dogs: Is There That Much Difference?

When it comes to diapering, it’s surprisingly similar.

A dog will be uncomfortable in a wet or soiled diaper, just like a child.

The dog might not cry to let you know they need changing, but you should check frequently to see if they need a fresh diaper.

Sometimes it’ll be obvious when your dog smells like urine too!

Unscented baby powder might be something your vet suggests – or recommends against.

Some of them can irritate your dog and do more harm than good.

How about baby wipes?

That’s a good thing to keep around, especially if you don’t want to have to rinse your dog after every change.

Stick with unscented wipes. Fragrances can irritate a dog’s skin, and they’re not needed for the wipe to actually do its job.

Grooming wipes are another option and are something you can buy.

Just make sure they’re safe to use on sensitive areas, no matter what kind of wipe it is.

Why wipe your dog after changing their diaper?

We’ll explain that in more in-depth soon. For now, remember that you should be ready to use wipes if your dog has to be in diapers.

And if you’re wondering if dog urine is harmful to humans, it generally is not!

Disposable, sterile gloves are another thing to keep handy if you have to change a dog’s diaper.

There are some types of bacteria in dog waste that can make people ill, so try not to come into direct contact with a soiled diaper.

You’ll also want to give your dog a chance to “air out” before putting on a new diaper.

Potential Issues When Using Diapers on Dogs

Diaper issues

Dogs can develop diaper rash if they’re left in a wet diaper for too long.

They can also get urine scald – a nasty condition you’ll want to avoid.

Dogs with nerve damage and senior dogs are most likely to develop this issue.

They often dribble urine throughout the day or leak urine when lying down.

Their diaper might not seem fully wet, but they can still sit in their own urine long enough to get urine scald or burn.

Why does it happen?

The ammonia in their urine is a skin irritant, causing rashes or even raw-looking skin.

Prolonged exposure to moisture can also trigger a urine burn.

How to Treat Urine Burn on Dog’s Skin

It can sometimes happen to even the most loved dogs. If you notice it, don’t panic – there are some things you can do to help your dog heal.

Urine scald treatment should begin with thoroughly cleansing the affected area.

Use a mild, dog-friendly shampoo. You’ll want to be sure there are no traces of urine on their fur or skin.

Another tip?

Give them a chance to dry thoroughly before you put another diaper on them.

You should only use a dog-safe diaper salve on the affected area.

Diaper rash creams for babies contain zinc oxide, which can be toxic to dogs if they ingest any.

Plenty of creams and balms on the market are very useful in healing a urine scald in dogs.

Most of them won’t need a vet’s prescription. Unless the burn is severe or not healing, you can treat it at home.

Preventing Urine Scalds in Dogs

Absorbing pads for dog

No matter which diaper you choose for your dog, change it frequently.

The liner or diaper should be replaced at the first sign of wetness.

Wash reusable diapers frequently. If you go the route of cloth diapers, it’s good to have enough to rotate through them without washing them daily.

Make sure the diapers are dry before you put them on your dog – and make sure the dog is dry, too.

Using wipes on them before putting a diaper on is a quick way to clean up any urine that might have dribbled on them.

Think about this:

Dogs with thick or long hair will need a real bath more frequently to wash the area thoroughly.

If your dog or puppy is wetting themselves regularly, washing their rear ends in the shower can help prevent dog diaper rash.

“Wrapping” it All Up

Wrapping it all up

Diapers or dog wraps for peeing are often a lifesaver for you and your dog experiencing incontinence.

Even if they can’t say it, having urine dribbled everywhere isn’t a fun time for your dog, either.

A diaper or belly band doesn’t just protect your belongings – it keeps their personal space and bedding clean as well.

As for dog diaper rash?

It takes some extra time, but it is preventable. If your dog does start to develop a diaper rash, there are some remedies you can try before calling the vet.

Many of us treat our dogs like our babies, which sometimes means taking it a step further and using diapers.

Treat a diapered dog like a diapered baby, and you should have a few issues.

Getting their tail through the diaper hole? Now that can take some practice.

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About the author

Jacquelyn Kennedy

PetDT was founded by Jacquelyn Kennedy, a dog lover and pet admirer. She built the website to provide pet owners with information, experiences, and opinions on breeds, temperament, personalities, health, nutrition, products, and care.