How to Use a Belly Band to Housebreak Your Dog
For anyone who has ever gone through the process of house-training a dog, you know the frustration. You crate him at night, walk him frequently throughout the day, and may even have set up a system that allows him to alert you at those important moments when he needs to be let outside. You’ve covered every base, and still, the instant you let your guard done, a puddle appears out of nowhere. And its worse with male dogs that urinate or mark their territory by lifting their leg and staining furniture and floor coverings. While you can always try shampooing or using a deodorizer on soiled soft surfaces, you never really get rid of that funky, stale odor. So, what to do?
Well, while you may not be able to prevent those “whoops” moments that have become synonymous with puppies, you can prevent them from damaging furniture with a belly band. If you’ve never heard of it before, it’s essentially a waist-band for male dogs that straps around their middle and uses Velcro to secure it into place. A thick, absorbent pad covers the important bits, so that if he lifts his leg when you’re not around, no harm is done to your upholstered furniture or carpeting. And because the pads are reusable, you simply throw them into the washer and pop a fresh one into his belt. Just like that, you’re back in business.
Now, belly bands aren’t intended for use throughout his lifetime, they’re specifically designed to assist with the house-training process. He can wear it throughout the day but at night you would crate him, without the band. If, during the day, you notice he’s about to lift his leg, stop him immediately, take him out-of-doors and then offer lots of praise when he completes his task. You never have to worry about catching him mid-stream, then having to deal with a line of doggie pee-pee across your floors. A belly band gives you that little bit of buffer time needed to stop him in the moment, and establish correct behaviors.
And they aren’t an alternative to housebreaking your dog – the band needs to be used in conjunction with appropriate commands that will help achieve the behaviors important in a companion dog. It should never be left on for extended periods of time – such as when you leave your home for a day at the office – because once used, the pad will become wet and soggy. If it isn’t removed or changed, you risk infection to your dog, not to mention the sheer discomfort caused to your pet.
For those who share their home with an older dog, no doubt a lightbulb just went off above your head. Yes, a belly band is a great solution for senior pooches who are no longer continent and tend to “leak” around the house before they make it outdoors. The band is comfortable for the dog, fully adjustable to fit any size, and lets your once super-diligent dog, retain some dignity in his golden years.
More by Mary Simpson