Gia Pets

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The male dog and persistent leg hiking

Some male dogs, no matter how persistent you attempt to dissuade them from hiking their legs in the house, and even after neutering…insist on hiking their legs and peeing on every object and corner they come to.  There comes a point when you are beside yourself, and facing a situation where the dog is potentially to be banished from the house, even as a three pound toy dog.  What can you do?

It’s not a training solution really, but it IS a solution short of euthanasia or re-homing the dog.  It’s commonly referred to as the “male diaper” or the “belly band.”  At its most basic, its a strip of fabric that uses hook and loop fasteners to create a snug, urine-proof, leg hiking solution.  Typically, a sanitary napkin or infant diaper is used inside of the belly band to soak up the urine, although there are some models that are designed to soak it up and be washed.  Personally, I prefer the disposable solution inside of the band–it doesn’t eliminate the need for washing, but it does reduce it substantially.

How does it work?

It is really very simple.  It fastens around the dog’s mid-section, covering the penis (the diaper or napkin should be situated at the end of the sheath, where the urine will exit) and eliminates the scent marking by simply preventing its escape.  The dog isn’t even usually aware that they can no longer mark their territory, although some dogs, after realizing that they can’t mark, gradually quit trying to do so.  Depending on the dog and his insistence on hiking that leg, the absorbent layer will need changed several times a day or once a day.  The dog’s abdomen may also need wiping down, especially in the most severe cases.  For easy clean up, try using alcohol free baby wipes.  Don’t let moisture and debris build up, as that can create skin inflammation and irritation.

Also don’t forget to remove the diaper before taking your newly house-safe buddy outside again.  Always reward him for taking care of his business outside too.

Inside, you no longer have to worry about urine drenching your furniture or carpets, and your buddy can now walk through the house without causing problems.  It also makes him a much more welcome guest when you visit, so don’t forget to include belly bands in his travel bag, along with the appropriate absorbent liners!

Sometimes, we have to accept that we aren’t all going to have the perfect dog, but that doesn’t mean his habit is going to force him out of the house.  Everyone will soon come to love the belly band!

Our recent rescue, a male chihuahua, was insistent on marking every object over 2″ high.  Obviously, this was not endearing him to me.  We ordered belly bands! These are available from a variety of companies, and hand crafted ones with cute fabric can be purchased inexpensively from sellers on Ebay too.  With there arrival, our little guy went from a perpetual state of disgrace to once again being cute.  (And we may now know why someone had abandoned him too.)

Get at least two, so that you have one to wear when the other one is being laundered.  They should last several years with proper care, but a wider wardrobe may be desired.  Seasonal fabrics will also help make the belly band more of a fashion accessory than a sign of disgraceful leg hiking as well.

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Rescue in the first person

We were visiting my daughter, out of town, about an hour from where we live.  Because of everything going on, we were spending the nights there as well.  Gas prices also contributed to our overnighting there.  And, with the overnight stays, of course our dogs went with us.

During our stay, early one morning, a chihuahua mix male dog showed up.  He wouldn’t leave either.  Skinny and covered with ticks, we suspected he was also harboring a full flock of fleas too.  As the day began to face, the realization that nobody was looking for him sunk in, especially when we started asking around for where this dog belonged.

Two days passed, and the little dog was still there, and we were heading home.  Of course, the little dog, now dubbed “Nemo” because “Finding Nemo” was on the television when I caved in and said that we’d take him if nobody showed up.

I kept remembering a little dog about his size and coloring we’d found killed along a country road early the morning after Christmas when we were riding our bikes.  This little dog was headed down the same kind of fateful road if someone didn’t take him in, and face it…dogs in pounds have only the smallest chance of survival and being adopted in this economy.

We don’t know a thing about little Nemo.  We know his nails aren’t long, that he is really skinny and incredibly food aggressive with other animals, that he is basically good with other dogs, that he craves attention and fears being struck or chased, and is good in a crate.  He walks on a leash too.  He’s also in love with GM, probably because we got him to catch the little dog and put it into a crate to keep him safe until we found the owner after the first day of trying to get him to go home.

Nemo has had a bath.  He’s had his ticks removed.  He’s been fed, given a bed in a crate, and gotten a cheap collar.  Nothing is trying to eat him, chase him, or hit him.  He’s appearing very contented too.

I think letting him come this far has sealed my fate.  I’m now officially a sucker, but in reality, even though we can’t afford another dog, what else could I do?  The sucker status is sealed partly because GM adores chihuahuas, wanted one, but we couldn’t afford a third dog…so what happens?

Mr. Chihuahua shows up, pathetic and starving, and insists on hanging out on the fringes of the yard, sneaking drinks from our dogs’ water bowls and hoping for a scrap of food.

Concerned family members expressed their concerns about the fact that dogs are expensive and we couldn’t afford another one.  Like we didn’t know?

We’ll figure it out, I already know that GM is as happy as a kid to have another little dog.  I couldn’t have slept if I had insisted on ignoring the little guy, and he’d have ended up getting killed like that dog we’d run across that frosty morning on our bikes either.  Every time I tried to be “sensible” and “practical” that image would appear in my head too.  Here I am, with two dogs that hate each other, and now we have a third, and it’s so small that it would be a snack for the biggest and oldest grump…and barely able to hold his own with the most jealous and grumpiest grump of my dynamic duo.

So far, our big girl is content to ignore him, as long as he leaves her alone.  He gets along fine with the smaller of the girls, but its probably a case of as long as GM, her idol, isn’t around, or we don’t give him much attention in her line of sight.  We’re already used to canine rotation…now we are adding a third to our happily dysfunctional household.

I probably am crazy, but I’ll sleep better at night, knowing that a 8 lb. little dog isn’t wandering around searching for something to eat too.  I was also told that there is a movie about Hollywood chihuahuas I should watch.