What in the world is a “Belly Band”?

One new item that has been mentioned a lot recently amongst Teddy Bear owners is the belly band.  Many Shichon and Zuchon owners on popular blogs and Facebook pages seem to have lots of questions about what these things are and what they are used for.  

A belly band (aka belly wrap or dog diaper) is a simple product that is typically used on male dogs that are having a hard time controlling when and where they urinate.  This could be because of several reasons:

  • They are still getting potty trained and having lots of accidents
  •  Male Teddies (even neutered) who are marking their territory inside the house
  • Older dogs who are incontinent and having a hard time controlling their bladder

Puppy wearing blue bandFor any of these problems, a belly band can be a life saver and can help you avoid numerous accidents in your home, or even worse, at someone else’s house!  If your Teddy is having LOTS of accidents a belly band can save you tons of clean up time, as well as keeping your floors, walls, couches, and carpets much nicer!

What is a Belly Band made of?

Belly bands long sheets of fabric, lined with an absorbent pad, which wrap around the mid-section of your Teddy.  They attach using a Velcro strip added to each of the ends. The band fully covers the area where your pup urinates and catches and absorbs any urine that he discharges. 

Belly bands can usually be washed in the washing  machine, or by hand.  One trick that will help save on washing is to add an ultra absorbent feminine pad (with wings) on the inside of the belly band.  It typically won’t cause any discomfort and will most likely catch all the urine so you do not have to rewash the pad each time.

How often should you use a Belly Band?

You should use a belly band anytime you are going to give a problem dog free roam of the house without your supervision. A good rule of thumb is that you should use the band anytime your dog has a high probability of having an accident.  Each Teddy Bear is different and you know your own dog better than anyone!

Do not leave a belly band on your Teddy all day, they are designed to be worn for shorter amounts of time and shouldn’t be left on for extended periods of time.  Also, do not use a belly band while your pup is in his crate.  Check the belly band for wetness every hour or two, and change it out as needed.

Belly bands are designed to be a training aid, not a diaper!  Be sure to take your dog outside (or to the potty pad) and remove the belly band so he can relieve himself.  Continue to watch for signs that your pup is about to “go”, and if you see it, make sure you take him to his spot and remove the pad before he goes.

What to do when your pup urinates in his band

Ideally you want to catch him before, or during, urination.  If you see any signs, or can tell your Teddy is urinating, pick him immediately and take him to his “potty spot”. 

However, if you don’t get there in time and your pup goes in his band, he will probably whimper and let you know.  Dogs typically don’t like the wet pad feel against their skin.  Leave it on for a couple of minutes so that he makes the connection between peeing with the pad on and the discomfort of the wet pad. 

After a couple of minutes, remove the band, change the pad (or the band), and reapply.

Can a belly band be used on female dogs?

Yes.  Although it’s more commonly used on male dogs, there are also specially designed pads for female dogs.  If your little girl has frequent accidents, or more likely, your older girl has bladder control issues, then getting a belly band could be a good solution.

How to measure your Teddy for a Belly Band

For male dogs: using a measuring tape, first, wrap it comfortably around his waist just in front of his hind legs (the smallest area) and write down the measurement (#1 on the diagram).  Second, wrap the tape comfortably around the middle of his waist and write down the measurement(#2). Take the average of the two measurements to get your Teddy’s waist size.

For female dogs: Wrap the measuring tape comfortably around her waist, just in front of her hind legs (#1 on the diagram).  That measurement will be her waist size.How to measure for a dog belly band

Where can you buy a belly band?

Vet's Best Perfect-Fit Washable Male Dog Wrap, XX-Small/X-Small, Waist 10

Vet’s Best Perfect-Fit Washable Male Dog Wrap

Belly bands are available at some pet stores and numerous places on-line.  There are several products sold under different names that all do the same thing.  One of the best options is the Vet’s Best Perfect-Fit Washable Male Dog Wrap, which costs under $20 a piece (female version). 

Or if you are the crafty type, there is a great post of The Thrifty Farmers Wife blog detailing how to design and make your own dog belly band.  Check it out here!

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