Our Must Haves
As a dog mom to several special needs pups I am a big believer in finding products that can make life a little easier. This is a list of daily products we have found and use in caring for our SB pup. Most can be found online through Amazon and Chewy.com.
Hygiene and Bathing
Keeping Buster clean is extremely important, not only for the obvious reasons, but also to avoid urinary tract infections and skin scalding from urine and bowl movements.
We do morning and evening baths and rinse again any time things have gotten a little messy. Buster dribbles all the time so if we are outside naked, I will rinse him before diapering. We have another dog with dermal hemangiosarcoma, so I am protective of their skin.
Changing Time Routine
Wake up and its outside for naked time! We always strip him down outside first to air everything out and express his bladder.
Inside to change, head straight to the shower.
Express his bladder making sure we have gotten everything out. Then a booty wash and dry.
Calmoseptine Ointment applied to his bottom and boy parts and then powder is sprinkled into his prepared diapered overall.
Overalls on and he is ready to go!
We first started out as we saw most others do: diapers + covers + suspenders. Pampers size 7, since that is the largest diaper made, or Goodnight boys size large/xlarge https://smile.amazon.com. Another tip learned from Mickey and The Padded Bum Crew for males was to place a Poise pad along the waist band of the diaper to catch any urine that comes out. Diaper covers over the diaper and clipped together with suspenders.
While exploring options to make things a little easier I came across https://barkertime.com/ GENIUS. I noticed Southern California Bull Dog Rescue (Sumo), using them as well. We are obsessed with their overalls, they are life savers and truly a product that makes life easy. I line the overall with a Poise pad in the back and carry on another Poise pad to the front. It catches and hold everything, with no leaks. We use cloth ones during the day and the waterproof ones as his pajamas at night. Barker Time is an outstanding company to communicate with and you can tell that helping special needs dogs is a passion for them. Plus, they do custom fabric… which I love!
We have also seen others using:
Happy Pantz: https://www.facebook.com
DoodleBug Duds: http://www.doodlebugduds.com
Dainty Diapers: https://www.facebook.com/daintydiapers/
Gran's Critter Wear:https://www.facebook.com/granscritterwear/
Dritz fashion fit clips: Suspender clips, you can these to keep the suspenders from slipping down, just attach to the suspenders a little below their neck and across their chest: https://smile.amazon.com
I have tried them all, and have found Poise pads rated at a 6 work best. My favorite is the Poise Overnight pad with Ultimate Absorbency and Extra Coverage: https://www.poise.com I buy them by the case! We recently started using Depend Incontinence Guards for Men, Maximum Absorbency https://smile.amazon.com as another option.
Tip: make sure to check the sizing and consider the padding of the diaper or incontinent pads when ordering any diaper/overall/belly band from a vendor. We actually order a little larger then Buster’s actual size to account for the additional girth of the padding.
Benebones: http://www.benebone.com/, snuffle mats: https://www.etsy.com Nina Ottosson games: https://nina-ottosson.outwardhound.com/ Must have for our active SB puppy and great for our other special needs pups too.
Lick mats there are also some that stick to the shower wall for distraction during bath time.
Hyper Pet Lickimat Slow Feeder Dog Mat for Food and Treats (Fun Alternative to Slow Feeder Dog Bowls) [Boredom Buster Calming Companion for Dogs] https://smile.amazon.com
For Buster's swim class we use: i play. Baby & Toddler Snap Reusable Absorbent Swim Diaper: https://www.amazon.com Barkertime has also come out with a line of swim diapers as well: https://barkertime.com/product-category/swim-diapers-for-hydrotherapy-dogs/
We love to rv road trip with our pups and having an sb pup on the road requires special packing. Having a washer and dryer system in our travel trailer made a huge difference being able to keep up with busters laundry needs.
Portable Washing Machine, Spin Dryer-Compact Twin Tub Durable Design 9.9lbs Mini Washer to Wash All your Laundry for Apartments, Dorms, RV Camping Swim Suit Spinner Dryer, Blue: https://smile.amazon.com
Panda Portable Ventless Cloths Dryer Folding Drying Machine with Heater: https://smile.amazon.com
Some of my favorite things are custom made items featuring the pups. Etsy has a huge selection of amazing artisans and here are some of my favorite.
Custom painted ornaments: https://www.etsy.com/shop/AlexisAnneGrantArt
Professional photos one of the things I cherish the most. There are many photographers that specialize in pet photos. We use our photos to create our custom pup items.
Some of my favorite Etsy Toys
Naked time outside as much as possible. It’s good to let his skin breath, and a great time to express his bladder (your veterinarian can show you how to do this, or there are helpful videos on YouTube). We try to keep as little fecal material on his skin as possible since he defecates regularly.
As with anything, “a failure to plan is a plan for failure”. Buster is on a regimented daily feeding schedule that helps us know when he will use the bathroom, take a nap, or want to play. We have more control over his bodily output by timing the input!
Right away we learned the importance of getting Buster’s bowel movements to a solid, dry consistency so that cleanup is easier and we avoid skin scalding and “mud butt”. After determining there isn’t an underlying gastrointestinal issue with our local vet, we started trying different foods to see how he responded.
We quickly realized the importance of getting him enough fiber. Our veterinarian recommended switching to Hill’s Science Diet W/D, which is a weight control product and fiber rich. I was initially worried that the food might not contain the nutrients required for a growing puppy since W/D is for weight control, but increasing his intake above the maintenance level seems to work just fine. The high fiber content of this food did the trick! We’ve also successfully “firmed up” the stool of another one of our dogs by adding a teaspoon of low-sugar meta-mucil to each meal, so this could be an option if your pup has allergy issues that would prevent using W/D. While W/D increases the frequency of his bowel movements, keeping a schedule makes it manageable. Anything to avoid the mud butt!
Be sure to check with your veterinarian on what is appropriate for your SB dog:
There are tons of supplement options and food choices, so consult with your veterinarian to see what will work best for your SB dog. Find a combination that works, and stick with it. Consistent input leads to consistent output!