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For the last six months or so of my pug Frank’s life, he was urine incontinent. I had already dealt with diapering my female pug, Beans. At first, I tried to diaper Frank in the same way that I was used to diapering Beans. He was a bigger pug, and the anatomy difference from their genders made the diapers I used on her, not work on him. We found belly bands to be a better solution for Frank.
What are belly bands?
Belly bands are male dog diapers designed just to absorb urine. They wrap around the pug’s waist, so if they pee, the pee is absorbed by the belly band.
There are disposable and reusable belly bands available in various sizes for different sizes of dogs.
Why are dog belly bands used on pugs?
Pugs are known for being hard to train, so some people use belly bands on their dogs who are not housetrained. In some cases, pugs will not urinate while wearing a belly band, so this keeps them from peeing while inside. In other cases, they will still urinate but it will just be contained to the belly band rather than getting on your floors or furniture. In other cases, pugs become incontinent with old age or injury.
Our Story With Male Pug Incontinence
In our case, Frank’s urinary incontinence was caused from degenerative myelopathy. DM is less common in pugs than pug myelopathy, which is a fairly common condition in pugs, sadly. It’s a neurological condition that causes them to lose control of their hind legs, and then DM continues to work up their spine, eventually rendering them completely paralyzed. On the other hand, pug myelapthy only affects the rear end and doesn’t travel up the spine further, however it often still affects the bladder.
If your pug becomes incontinent as part of their myelopathy, it’s important to look out for signs that your pug is emptying their bladder fully. They may be unable to express their bladder fully and/or regularly on their own. I recommend checking out this article about helping your dog express their bladder.
While we sometimes assisted Frank with expressing his bladder, he was often able to urinate on his own, into a belly band. We had him wear a belly band full time just to keep him dry and our furniture protected.
Frank wearing a Teamoy L1 belly band.
Reusable belly bands for pugs
You can buy reusable belly bands on Amazon or other sites. These bands are made to be very absorbent and can be washed in your washer and dryer and then reused.
I didn’t really like the idea of the cloth portion being peed into. What we opted to do was combine reusable with disposable. We purchased reusable belly bands, but then we used adult incontinence pads inside of the belly band. Then when Frank peed, we’d just swap out the pad and he could rewear the belly band as long as the urine was contained to the disposable pad (and it usually was). Then even if he went an entire day without getting any urine on the reusable belly band, we still tossed it in the wash just in case. With this routine, he usually only wore 1 reusable pad a day. We kept six reusable belly bands and I do laundry about twice a week normally anyway. That system worked out well to where we always had a clean reusable pad.
Our favorite reusable belly bands for pugs
Pugs are often difficult to fit into dog sizing. They are technically a toy breed, so it seems like they ‘should’ be a size small or perhaps even extra small in dogs items, yet they never seem to be. They are short and stocky for being such small dogs!
Frank was a bigger pug, about 26lbs. The biggest part of his belly was 17 inches. We tried a few brands of dog belly bands that didn’t fit very well. The brand that we wound up liking best was Teamoy brand from Amazon, in the size L1. These are for dogs with a waist size of 16-20 inches. We had tried other belly bands that said they were a similar size, but they were much thicker and longer, so they would extend farther up frank’s belly.
The teamoy L1 belly bands are a bit shorter, so they didn’t go as high up his back/belly which allowed him more range of movement. They were also a thinner material that hugged his body in a way that just was a trimmer fit.
We used them with these adult incontinence pads and they worked well together.
Frank wearing a different Teamoy L1 belly band.
Disposable belly bands
They do make disposable belly bands for dogs. We never tried theme with Frank. We did try disposable dog diapers with beans, and they were quite challenging to get them to stay on. Based on that, my assumption was that disposable belly bands would be challenging to keep on, too. The reusable belly bands that we used had a strong velcro that is quite adjustable so we were able to get a nice, snug fit.