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Make Your Own Doggie Belly Bands in 4 Steps!

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Saturday, May 26, 2018 | 8 comments
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Image: Dexter in his homemade belly bandYour male dog is untrained, old or incontinent - your furniture and floors need protecting! Store-bought dog diapers and belly bands are expensive.

Let me tell you how to make some reusable doggie diapers/belly bands, to help keep everything dry.


When we adopted Dexter, a little Bichon Frise we rescued through the city pound, they told us he had issues. Yes, he most certainly did! Abused, untrained and then abandoned to the street, he really needed a family to love him.

We worked hard to potty-train him, but it just wasn't happening. No matter how many times a day we took him out, no matter how many times we danced and praised him, no matter what we tried - we came to accept he was incontinent. We still take him out every one to two hours to pee, but while he is in the house, he wears his homemade doggie diapers [belly bands].

At first I bought one reusable doggie diaper for $25 - which he hated and refused to wear. When I realized I had to come up with a better answer, I remembered all the cloth diapers I had made for my own children and set to work. I already had some polyester fleece and cotton flannelette on hand, so these belly bands cost me nothing but time.

Image: polyester fleeceSTEP ONE: For each belly band, I cut two rectangle strips of polyester fleece. I measured around Dexter's belly and added two inches (you might want three inches if your dog is a big dog) I made his band about 5 inches wide, but if you have a big dog you might need it as big as 9-10 inches wide.

STEP TWO: For each belly band, I cut 4 square layers of flannelette fabric. So for Dexter, it measured about 5 inches square, for a bigger dog it could measure as big as 9 inches square.

STEP THREE: I layered everything up, two layers of fleece, with the flannelette centered on top. I stitched around the outside edge of the fleece twice, and around the flannelette twice, turning under the raw edges. If you have a zig-zag stitch, you can do just one row over the raw edges, without turning it under.

Image: Velcro(r) Hook and Loop tapeSTEP FOUR: At one end of the fleece, I stitched on a strip of hook Velcro®. Then I flipped it over and sewed a strip of loop Velcro® at the other end. When I wrapped the diaper around Dexter, the two pieces of Velcro® would connect at the top of his back to hold the band secure around Dexter's belly.

Because the diaper is made from fleece, these belly bands have a bit of give or stretch to provide a comfortable, yet snug fit.

Originally I used 1/2 inch wide Velcro®, but it wasn't wide enough for a secure fit, so I added a second row of Velcro®. If you are buying Velcro®, I would suggest getting at least 1 inch wide. If you have a big dog, two inches or even three inches wide would be better.

I found once I figured out how to make these, I could make them very quickly. We now have eight belly bands, and just toss them into the wash when they got wet.

However, I was concerned about his belly always being wet, even though I changed Dexter's diaper every time we took him outside to pee. On bad days I couldn't keep up with his belly band washing - Dexter would wet through all of them. [Keep scrolling to continue...]

Image: disposable pee padsSo my next idea was to cut up disposable pee pads into squares to go inside his belly bands - I cut them about 5 inches square to match the flannelette centers. If you have a big dog, just cut them bigger to fit the size of your belly bands.

For Dexter, I got 16 small disposable pads out of one full-size pee pad (20-inch square).

To protect Dexter's skin, I cut more squares out of thin polyester fleece, and layered as follows: belly band, then a disposable pad and then a fleece liner, next to his skin.

Urine would go through the fleece liner, get soaked up by the disposable pad, which came with a plastic backing that kept the belly band dry.

So I could simply toss the disposable square in the garbage, put the fleece liner in the wash and reuse the doggie diaper/belly band. This really cut down on my washing.

Image: zippered mesh laundry bagTIP: Buy a large zippered mesh laundry bag at the local dollar store, and store your used fleece liners inside. On wash day, simply zip it up and toss in the washer. Before I started using that, we found fleece liners inside our clothing and my son even found one inside his uniform when he got to work!

Position the belly band so the Velcro® is at your dog's back and the pad is under his belly.

No one likes the frustration of puddles around their house. Both you and your dog will be happier and stress-free when you prevent accidents with your homemade reusable doggie diapers/belly bands.

We haven't given up on Dexter yet, and I hope to one day get him fully trained. If you have a difficult to train dog, click here for help: House Train Your Dog

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About Catherine: I have been writing frugal tips since 1982, when I was a young divorced mom of two - for my baby product company, Born to Love. I am now mom to three sons, who are all grown up - and re-married to a wonderful man. We have rescued two little dogs, Denny and Dexter - and Bella, the cat.

Questions? Email me at catherine (at) frugal-freebies.com or post to my Facebook Fan Page!

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  1. Anonymous says:

    We use the cheap feminine napkins on our belly bands. Work perfect, and they don't get a rash because they are so absorbunt, very, very cheap!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Great tip on using a mesh laundry bag to keep the pads from static cling-ing to other clothes! Great post!

  3. Unknown says:

    Thank you for the simple instructions,perfect for me as well as the tip,(mesh bag),pee pads....perfect!
    Getting my Sewing Machine in 54321.

  4. Thank you for this. My male Scottish Terrier, Rufus, has started to mark in my sister's bedroom. She's pregnant, and he has taken to guarding her and trying to sleep in her room. She's not thrilled about this. Ha ha. This will be perfect for him.

    Also, your story of Dexter really touched my heart. I lost my female Scottie, Maisie, this past February. Rufus is also a rescue from less than desirable circumstances, but poor little Maisie was born and raised in a puppy mill for the first three (or so) years of her life -- skittish, not potty trained, terrified of everything. She blossomed into the sweetest little baby once she had her forever home with us.

    Rufus and I miss her every day, but I feel so blessed to have been her human mama for the time we had her. Give Dexter a sweet hug from Rufus and me. :)

  5. Unknown says:

    Thank you. My Pug has Pug Myelopathy and has started losing control of his bladder. I've been sewing masks for people so moving on to belly bands should not be too hard.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Was wondering if this would be okay to use on a dog that has a Cancer growth on her belly, she won't stop licking it and it keeps getting infected. I think my friend said she just licks it but I could be wrong she may scratch it also. Surgery is going to be around 900 dollar's waiting for the vet to give results for tests done she has one inside that's pushing the other out more if I understood correctly. My friend is in the hospital now she is about to have heart surgery because she had a heart attack. It was very unexpected didn't know she had anything wrong until the day it happened. Now her son is watching her and has someone sit with her while he is at work. She loves this dog like it was her kid and I'm so worried for the both of them . Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thanks and God bless you.

  7. It would work, but a simpler idea is a baby ones or tshirt. That's what I use on my dogs when they need an area on their tummies protected.

  8. Anonymous says:

    My brother and his wife use the long heavy depends and it works out great.

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