When Dexter was adopted, 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 good 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 try take him out every 1 to 2 hours to pee, but while he’s in the house, he wears his homemade doggie diapers. At first, I bought one reusable doggie diaper for $22 ,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 for more click here. I already had some polyester fleece and cotton flannelette on hand, so these belly bands cost me nothing but time.
Steps to making mine::
STEP ONE:: For each belly band, I cut two rectangle strips of fleece. I measured around Dexter's belly and added two inches (you might want three inches if yours 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 nine inches wide.
STEP TWO:: For each belly band, I cut 4 square layers of flannelette. 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 outside edge of the fleece two times, and around the flannelette two times, turning under the raw edges. If you have a zig-zag stitch, you can do only one row over the raw edges, without turning it under.
STEP FOUR:: At one end of the fleece, I stitched on a strip of hook Velcro(r). Then I flipped it over and sewed a strip of loop Velcro(r) at the other end. When I wrapped the diaper around Dexter, the two pieces of Velcro(r) 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(r), but it wasn't wide enough for a secure fit, so I added a second row of Velcro(r). If you are buying Velcro(r), 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 8 belly bands, and just put them into the wash when they got wet. However, I was concerned about his belly being wet always, even though I changed his diaper every time we took him outside to pee. On a not too good day I couldn't keep up with his belly band washing - Dexter would wet through all of them. So 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 flannelet centers. If you have a bigger dog, just cut them big to fit the size of the belly bands. To protect Dexter's skin, I cut more squares out of thin polyester fleece, and layered as follows: belly band, then a one-use pad and then a fleece liner, next to his skin. Urine would go through the fleece liner, get soaked up by the one-use pad, which came with a plastic assistance 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 weekly wash.
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