How To Get A Dog Diaper To Stay On A Pug

Pug dog diaper that stays on

My senior pug has had recurring UTI’s and occasional incontinence when she is fighting the infection. I recently shared how we’ve tried dog diapers and baby diapers for pugs, and we shared which ones worked best for us. That post is called Are Dog Diapers Or Baby Diapers Best For Pugs? As you’ll find out from that blog post, we definitely found that the size, style and fit of different diapers makes a difference in how long the diapers stay on, and how much they sag. However, even with a great fitting diaper, we’ve found that over time, the diaper will work its way of the backside of our pug. This mostly seems to happen when she goes from laying down or sitting down, to standing up. Her legs or “knee” area slide around the leg openings and that causes them to fall once gravity gets introduced as she stands up.

How to get a diaper to stay on a dog. My pug tried a variety of diaper set-ups before we figured it out!

I looked up expensive options for dog diapers that stay on. Some of them are $40+! It’s tough to find dg clothing that fits pugs because they are barrel-chested. Plus, it’s currently the end of April and here in Michigan on sunny days, it’s a bit too warm for Beans. She starts panting if it gets much over 70 degrees inside. But, we don’t want to turn the air on just yet. So, we really didn’t want to try a baby onesie or other clothing based options as they would make her overheat faster. Her Puppia harness is mesh and ventilated so it doesn’t make her stay warmer like dog clothing would. I did try making her a customized t-shirt from an old 100% cotton shirt of my own, but it stretched far too much to work. So, we went to her harness. Beans already had a puppia dog harness, so I decided to try another route. Beans’ harness is a Puppia Superior Harness in size large. This fit her a few years back when she was about 27 pounds. She’s now down to about 24 pounds. Frank used to be about 31 pounds, and he is down to about 27/28 and he fits the Puppia RiteFit in an XL. Either harness (or really any harness that ends about mid-back) and any diaper that you find you get a good fit with, will work fine for this set-up.

Pug dog diaper that stays on

We simply put the harness on Beans. Then we put the diaper on beans (with a tail-cut out). Then we use children’s mitten clips to attach the diaper to the harness. We bought these hold ’em mitten clips because they were cheap on Amazon. I wouldn’t recommend them because we did find that after a week or so, the clips stopped being as tight, and on occasion, the diaper will slip right through the clip even though the clasp has not come undone. I read a review on that page that had a similar experience with the clasps becoming loose. If we continue to need to use diapers with her long-term, I’ll go with mitten clips that are rated as being stronger, like these extra strong mitten clips.

*Edit to add*

We have continued to use dog diapers on beans as she does seem to have incontinence, not just a UTI. We did buy stronger mitten clips. We went with the exact ones listed and have been using them about 6 weeks now and they have held up much better. On rare occasion one will pull lose from the diaper, but that is usually when we have cut the hole for her tail too high on the diaper, so the diaper is sagging down her butt and the clips are over-extended. When we cut the hole lower on the diaper, the diaper goes higher up her back and then they stay on place great.

How to keep a diaper on a dog

I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well Beans ignores the diaper. She never intentionally tries to get it off, as far as I can tell. With diapers that do not fit well and sag in the crotch, she hesitates before jumping. I think when she feels the excess material between her legs, it makes her feel like she can’t jump or something. Once we found a diaper that fit her well without sagging, and got the harness and clips figured out, this method has worked really nicely.

Do you have a dog that wears diapers? Feel free to share your tips for how to get a dog diaper to stay on.


See more posts like this: DogsPets

Comments 27

  • Lauralee Hensley

    Don’t have an incontinent dog right now, but I’ll sure keep this in mind. How brillant. The harness and mitten clips and using the human child pull-ups, simply brillant.

  • Linda Dean

    Thank you thank you thank you!! My Rosie is 14 years old and has increasing incontinence issues due to her hind legs becoming weaker. (the weaker her legs, the more she tinkles) Other than this hiccup, she is still going strong. This information has transformed her/my life!! No more tinkle tracks or puddles!! and she rocks an easy-ups!!

    • Emmy - Author of Post,

      Aww I love hearing that it helped someone! When we first tried dog diapers just on their own I honestly thought ‘There is no way anyone does this regularly!’ because they wouldn’t even stay on for 5 minutes. Yet we had to figure something out because I don’t have the heart to make her stay trapped in the kitchen to avoid pee in the carpet…but I also wasn’t about to live with pee all over the carpet and furniture regularly. Something had to give! So, it was a relief to find a way to keep the pull-ups on her. I bought the 3/4 size the first time which is what is in these photos, we made them work, but since that first pack we’ve switched ot the 2/3 size which fits a bit better.

  • Jennifer Taylor

    We have been using regular pampers size 6 (two pugs rescue pugs that aren’t trained to pee outdoors) and we just put them on sideways (creating more of a belly band) instead of trying to cover the tail at all (have to pick up dog poop on floor and spray with bleach) which has worked very well for us. I think that we need the largest size diaper because one of our pugs is pretty big and also sideways, they need to be bigger so they don’t cut into their undersides. You do have to pick the dogs’ back legs up after you put them on to make sure that their “area” is covered (otherwise they don’t work, of course!)

    The diapers look a little bunchy but do the trick! We also buy these compostable inserts made by Flip (made for human babies) that we cut in half (half for each dog) and put in the disposable diapers and then we can compost the inserts instead of throwing out a lot of disposable diapers (can use the disposable diapers to hold the inserts for awhile until the tags get too worn). We don’t put them in our regular compost because but have a separate place for them out back. We haven’t figured out how long they will take to compost yet, but it is awhile but still better than adding so much to the landfill! We are hoping to find or make some cloth reusable covers that will mimic this design so that we can stop getting disposable diapers altogether.

  • Karen Ladd

    Thank you for this

  • Swannee Welsh

    Do you have any sense that your Pug feel shame in wearing the diapers?

    • Emmy - Author of Post,

      Our dog doesn’t seem to act any differently at all when she is wearing a diaper vs not so I have no reason to think she feels bad at all. I’ve also read that scientists believe dogs are not capable of feeling ashamed even though many people tend to read some dog expressions or body language as shame, the science doesn’t really support that.

  • Kim

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! My 8 year old pug Napoleon just had a botched anal sac surgery and he is now in continent. I’ve tried everything and nothing has worked. I am so glad I found your post. Thank you!

  • KTOde

    Hi there! Love this technique, thank you for sharing! We have a good old boy in need of diapering. Tried the belly band and it of course slides right off. With your approach I’m worried about his man-parts facing the “wrong” way in the diap. I know for my son I’ve always had to tuck things pointing downward into the pull up for them not to leak. I’ll still try this approach for our pug nug but wondering if you or any other readers have any ideas tailored to boy puggies. Thank you in advance!

  • KTOde

    I’m back and want to thank you from the bottom of my heart! Thank you, thank you, thank you! This approach has been life changing for all of us! Our 11 yr old pug is dealing with Myelopathy and seizures on top of it and has quickly become incontinent. Belly band diaps are great but without these mitten clips would be useless. It’s easy for us and comfy for him. Thank you!!!!!

  • Cat

    I’m babysitting my friend’s Pug and she has recently started having first fecal and now some urinary incontinence issues. I cannot thank you enough for this post! Your system works flawlessly. No leaks and the Easy Ups are even holding her poohs, which I was not expecting. I am using a dog T shirt altered for a Pug shape instead of the harness. For anyone who needs to diaper their Pug, use this system! I had tried one of those all in one suits but it was not a good fit for a Pug (sagged in back and the Easy Ups slipped to her knees and binding around the front legs) and it was much harder to get to the Easy Ups when it’s time to let her outside. The mitten clips release in a flash 😉 Thanks for turning a big problem into no big deal.

    • Emmy - Author of Post,

      Thanks so much for sharing this comment. We still use this system with my pug when she has bouts of incontinence (they seem to come from UTI’s and stay short term at least for now) so it’s awesome to hear that it has worked well for other pug owners.

  • Gwen

    Thank you so much for this blog and the diaper ones. I also have a girl pug who’s experiencing incontinence due to spinal cord issues and UTI. This system (harness, mitten clips, and pampers easy ups 2T-3T) works so well for my baby. The diaper finally stays on without slipping off while she’s walking or sleeping. She’s not bothered by it at all. This blog is so amazingly helpful. I really appreciate this from the bottom of my heart.

  • Kathleen

    Thank you for all the info! My 14 year old Sofie struggled with recurrent UTI’s for years, made worse by an apparent spinal injury that caused atrophy of her hind leg musculature, and fecal incontinence (Sofie bombs, as she seemed to have no sensation or awareness that she needed to poop, which also affected her having any sensation of a full bladder. Her UTI’s were no doubt due to incomplete emptying of her bladder. Have been able to keep UTI’s at bay with continuous suppressive antibiotic therapy. However, starting with just a drip or drop here and there, she’s begun to leak more and more urine, at first during sleep, and now even if she’s awake and sitting by me. I’m desperate to keep her with me as long as possible, since I lost her sister and my husband last year! But I want that only if she’s comfortable and well!!! I’m going to try your suggestions. Keep your fingers crossed for us!❤️

  • Karen

    I am also looking for he-pug solutions. I did try the mitten clips on a belly band but it became quite a tangle. I am going to try full diaper to see if he can keep that on.

  • Pennie

    Hi! Thank you so much for this info!! I so appreciate it and just found you here after searching and searching for a good and working solution for our beloved female dog who is going to be 18 years old now in March. She has a very hard time holding her poop due to her hind legs being weaker. She just can’t control it. She poops inside about 85% of the time and we do loads of wash every day plus floor cleaning and clean her and I feel there must be a better solution for her and for us. We want to try diapers and I have seen so many different kinds and some are super expensive. Which brand are you using and suggest? Also, was it difficult to get the hole for the tail the right size at all since I am afraid of the poop coming out anyway of the hole is too big?

    Thank you so much, I so appreciate you and everyone else in this helpful thread!!

    • Emmy - Author of Post,

      I like Pamper’s easy ups in 2-3T best for my pug who is about 23 pounds. They have elastic on the hips where most other brands of baby/toddler training pants aren’t stretchy on the sies and just have tear-away sides instead. I’ve tried that style in my local store brand (Meijer) and they weren’t a total disaster, we kept usig them until they were used up but they don’t stay as tight on as the easy-ups did due to the difference in elastic. I haven’t tried real pull-ups (made by huggies). We just use scissors to cut a horizontal cut in the diapers and we haven’t had trouble with poop coming out though I definitely don’t always cut the hole the same size it doesn’t seem to really matter as long as it’s wide enough to get the tail through. My dog who we use the diapers on is still fully mobile, though. I wonder if your dog having a weaker rear end (and I assume not walking or not walking very much?) might make a difference in the poop coming out around the tail hole because a dog standing up has gravity that works to help the poop stay in the diaper where laying dow it might be more likely to go straight out the back? Just a guess.

  • Leesa

    Thanks for putting this up. My beagle has a barrel chest because of an IVDD operation.He escaped from All standard diapers or belly-bands. Hoping your suggestions will help!

  • Leesa

    Thanks for putting this up. My beagle has a barrel chest because of an IVDD operation.He escaped from All standard diapers or belly-bands. Hoping your suggestions will help!

  • Kirk

    Thanks for the post. Which size, type and brand of diaper or pull-up is recommended for a 14 yr old female pug? We have a harness and have the mitten clips you suggested on order.

  • Emmy - Author of Post,

    We were able to make 2/3T pull-ups (or training pants) work for our pug, though they were slightly big, they would only leak on rare occasion.
    Though we eventually found out that Pampers makes a diaper called Pampers 360 which are intended for babies, not for potty training kids, but they are designed to be pulled on, so they don’t have the sticky tabs. So they’re basically just tiny pull-ups! Which is exactly what we needed. We tried size 5 at first but those were slightly big so next we ordered size 4 and those seemed to fit well. We may have even been able to make size 3 work but we never tried them so I can’t say for sure. But the size 4 was tight enough around our pugs legs that we never had any leaks or anything. We live in a rural area but our local stores, Walmart, grocery store, etc don’t carry the pampers 360 even though they stock other types of Pampers. But we were able to order them online, amazon or Walmart in a big box and shipping would be free so it was a decent deal per diaper.

  • Heidi

    My pug Fiona has incontinence due to Myelopathy. Your mitten clip/harness trick was a perfect solution! She doesn’t seem to mind the set up at all, and even stands still for me to get her diapered! Thank you so much for the posting ❤️

  • Joyce K.

    This is encouraging. We have an almost 14 yr old pug “K” . She has been slowly losing her back end. But recently put on heart meds for congestional heart failure. One of the meds is like a water pill. It causes her to pee and leak frequently. We have been trying different methods to limit accidents on floors . I recently ordered wasiblw dog diapers. Nxt is harness and clips! Wish us luck!

  • Linda

    I have a 15 yo girl pug who is incontinent of bowel and bladder. A hint for encouraging your dog to poop when you know they have to go is to insert a rectal thermometer–as if you are taking her temperature— and that stimulates the anal spinchter to release the poop. And I’ve found that after she poops, then I can express her bladder pretty fully, or sometimes she will then go on her own. My vet gave me this hint, as I had found that I couldn’t do a decent job of expressing her bladder if there was also poop ready to be released!

  • Holly and sprout

    My brussels griffon has ccd and this post is EXTREMELY helpful. I’m buying the extra strong clips

  • Woodrow

    My female Pug, Shunffler has been wearing diapers for the last 2 of her 16 years. I haven’t tried but 4 different types of diaper and assumed I was a genius with controlling the problem.. the store bought dog diapers that I purchased are more difficult to keep on her than the real , disposable, baby diapers and I’ve tried different brands and have found that a pull-up type diapers stays on and fits the best.
    I have considered a harness to secure the diapers but have ended up just using a 20in length of velcro,
    At first the velcro ruled her raw, where her body meets up with her legs. It only seems to happen if she is wearing a diaper when playing or walking and not at night when she is inactive.
    She is, so worth the effort to keep us both happy and comfortable that I have gained a different perspective of both.
    At 62 years and many past K-9,s, she is, and has been, my most treasured friend. And she causes me to believe that I am the same to her.

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