If you’ve ever adopted a puppy you know that they make messes on occasion, especially until they are fully potty-trained. It’s something that comes with the territory and you just have to handle with a smile on your face. If you are a parent, you also know that children can sometimes have “accidents” and urinate (pee) in their bed at night. But what you might not know is that it’s much more unusual for a puppy or a dog to do this than a human child.
Your dog might be peeing in their bed to mark their territory or because they feel fear, stress, or anxiety. Try calming or relaxing them in these cases. Dogs may also urinate in their bed because of urinary tract infections or incontinence, in which case you should seek medical treatment.
The fact is, if your dog’s bed is soaked with urine in the morning (or, for that matter, at any time of day) there’s probably an underlying cause that goes far beyond potty training. This goes for puppies too as, even though they are young, they almost never pee in their beds. (Sure, they will get up and pee right next to their bed, but almost never in it.) That’s why we decided to take a closer look at this problem with our newest article, Why Does My Dog Pee in Its Bed. We’ll discuss the causes of this soggy situation and any related info, as well as the best solutions so that, when possible, it can be corrected. Enjoy!
What are the Reasons Why Dogs Pee in Their Beds?
If your dog is peeing in its bed there are a number of underlying factors that can cause this problem. Some cause them to pee the bed more often during the day while others more at night. We’ll take a look at both.
Problems that cause a dog to pee its bed during the night
1 Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
When bacteria invade the urinary tract, it can cause a number of symptoms including painful urination and decreased bladder control. If the UTI is severe it can cause your pup to bleed and so you will see blood in their urine. Also, one of the outward symptoms of a UTI in dogs is that they pee their bed.
Adding to the problem is that a UTI can make it difficult for your dog to stop themselves from peeing, especially when they need to go badly, and also make them feel as if their bladder is full when it isn’t. If they don’t get frequent bathroom breaks they might not be able to get out of their bed fast enough and thus will pee in it.
Solution – The best solution is to visit your veterinarian, let them know what is happening and, if it is, in fact, a UTI, they will usually prescribe a round of antibiotics to clear up the infection.
2 Hormone Responsive Urinary Incontinence
This condition usually occurs with middle-aged female dogs that have been spayed but it can also occur in younger males and females. The problem has to do with estrogen levels. When a female dog has her ovaries removed it automatically decreases the amount of estrogen her body produces. Estrogen is part of the system that allows a dog to control its urethral sphincter, which is the muscle they use to “hold” their pee.
With less estrogen, their urethral sphincter muscle will be more relaxed and, if they aren’t consciously trying to hold in their pee, it will simply flow. This is a bigger problem for older dogs because their urethral sphincter gets weaker as they get older.
Solution – It is sometimes possible for this condition to be corrected with hormone treatments so you should visit your veterinarian if the problem is pronounced.
These are the two most common medical issues that can cause your dog to pee the bed during the day but there are several others including diabetes, bladder stones, cognitive disorders due to advanced age and spinal cord injuries. For all of these, a trip to your local veterinarians is warranted. However, a much older dog will naturally have these problems and treating them might not be possible.
Problems that cause a dog to pee its bed during the day
Here’s an interesting fact; most dogs will do everything they can to avoid peeing in the bed when they are awake. They are very sanitary animals and will instinctually leave their bed if they must urinate. (This goes back to a time when all dogs were wild and needed to keep their den clean.) While the conditions we discussed (above) could possibly cause your dog to pee in their bed during the day, there is usually another, overriding condition that’s causing them to do so.
1 Stress, Anxiety or Fear
Emotional distress can cause most dogs to temporarily behave in ways they normally wouldn’t, including losing control of their bladder and peeing in their bed. When a dog is frightened by something it doesn’t understand, like a thunderstorm or fireworks, it will sometimes pee and, if it’s in bed at the time, well, the bed will get wet.
If a dog is so scared, they won’t leave their bed they may pee in it too, like when there is another dog or person that frightens them. Separation anxiety can be another situation that makes your pup pee in bed, because they are so stressed out that you’ve left and, in their mind, abandoned them.
Solution – If emotional issues are the cause of your pup’s wet bed, the best way to stop them is to consider what is going on and change the situation somehow. Comfort them, remove the other dog (or person) from the home or purchase a product that will help them stay calm. Some products that you might try are below.
2 Marking their Territory
All dogs mark their territory by peeing on things, including both males and females. Usually, this includes trees, fences, even car tires. But if your pupper is feeling insecure, they might start peeing on other things, including the bed. This can happen when, for example, a new baby comes home to stay, a new dog and even a new cat or other pet. It’s unusual but not impossible.
Solution – Use positive reinforcement to make you doggo feel secure again, with kind words, attention and treats, also let them know that peeing the bed is unacceptable behavior.
At What Age do Dogs Usually Pee in Their Beds?
Almost all dogs will start to pee in bed as they get older and start to lose control of their bladder and their sphincter muscles. When this will start depends on several factors, including the breed of dog, their age, and any underlying factors and conditions that they already have.
It’s very rare, as we talked about at the beginning of this article, for a puppy to pee in bed. Dogs are pack animals that used to live in dens in the wild and they were very good at keeping their dens clean. Also, the smell of urine is a dead giveaway for predators, so they learned not to do it over the millennia and that instinct still persists to this day.
Spayed females can have a bigger problem due to the lack of sphincter control which, unfortunately, gets worse as they age. Cognitive decline is also the cause but is different for all dogs.
One suggestion is to take the average lifespan of your particular dog’s breed and subtract 2 years from that. So, if, for example, you have an English Bulldog, you would take 9 years (their average lifespan) and subtract 2. That would mean they could start having a problem with peeing in their bed from the age of 7, give or take.
It’s an inexact science to be sure and every dog will be different.
How To Train Your Dog to Stop Peeing in Its Bed?
Below are a number of things that you can do to you train your fur baby to stop peeing the bed. Keep in mind that these assume there is no underlying medical condition causing the problem, and that they aren’t older and incapable of ‘holding it’.
1- Make sure that their bed has zero urine smell.
Dogs will pee where they have peed before out of instinct and, even if they’re well-trained, may still pee the bed if it smells like pee because this tells them that it’s an OK spot. You may need to purchase a new bed if it isn’t possible to remove the odor completely, seeing as a dog’s sense of smell is vastly superior to ours.
2- Take them outside often
This is kind of self-explanatory. If you don’t take your pupper out to pee enough it will eventually have an accident, possibly in its bed. Also, it might get upset with you and pee in bed to show its frustration.
3- Give them positive reinforcement when they pee outside.
Kind words, petting and treats work great!
Are There any Products For Dogs that can’t Stop Peeing in Their Beds?
Yes, there are several that work very well. We’ve created a list of them for you below.
- Hartz Home Protection Unscented Odor Eliminating Gel Dog Pads
- SincoPet Reusable Pee Pad
- Yangbaga Washable Pee Pads for Dogs
- Mihachi 2 Pack Washable Pee Pads for Dogs
It’s unusual for a young, healthy dog to pee in bed, although older dogs can suffer from incontinence. If your dog is otherwise healthy but peeing in bed constantly you should look closely at what could be causing the problem and, if you can’t figure it out on your own, talk to your local vet.