The best thing at the end of a long day is taking a relaxing shower and flopping into bed. You’ve dreamt about your pillow and comforter all day. It’s finally time. You get into your PJs, turn off the light, and slide into bed. But something is not right. It feels… wet? What on earth? You sit up, feel around, and it turns out there is a puddle on your bed. You look at the ceiling for a leak, you feel around for a water bottle or glass of something that might have spilled, but you find nothing. You prep for the sniff test. As you’re leaning in to get a whiff, your dog comes in with his tail between his legs. You don’t have to sniff; you know who did it.
The Root of the Behavior
Peeing in beds can happen with any dog and the root of the behavior is more notable than the dog’s breed. Your dog could be leaving his scent in your sheets for several reasons. He might have a medical condition, be anxious, excited, or nervous, not be properly house trained, marking, or just like your scent. Medical conditions like diabetes and urinary tract infections increase the need to urinate. If your dog is frequently piddling in your bed and in other places around the house, you need to take him to the vet. A diabetic dog will also have an increase in thirst, weight loss, vomiting, and lethargy. A dog with a urinary tract infection will show signs of fever, lethargy, licking themselves, and not looking well. Female dogs are more prone to urinary tract infections than male dogs. A dog with a lot of emotions could be peeing on your bed. If your dog gets excited when he’s in your bedroom and on your luxurious 1000-thread count bedsheets, he might just pee himself. This is common with puppies because they are still learning to control their bladder and be house trained. If your dog is anxious or nervous, he might pee all over the place, including your bed. If this is the case, your dog might also demonstrate other anxious behaviors such as excessive paw licking, trembling, or hiding and not playing. If you recently adopted your dog, he might not be entirely house trained yet. Never yell at your dog or rub his nose in it if he does pee in your bed. Instead, show your dog where he is supposed to relieve himself instead. If you yell at your dog, you might confuse him about urinating and defecating, which can create anxiety. Work with a trainer if you’re struggling with house training. Your dog might just be marking your spot as his. He wants you to know he is the boss and he’s your fierce protector. If this is the case, you work with your dog and a trainer to remind your pup that you are the boss and his protector of the kibble.
Encouraging the Behavior
Nobody wants to get into bed just to get out to wash the sheets and scrub the mattress. You want to stop this behavior right away before your dog develops bad habits. Dog urine is not good for your mattress or bedsheets and cleaning it will take time away from your much-anticipated slumber, which can be very frustrating. If you suspect your dog has a medical issue, it’s critical to take him to the vet. Diabetes is a serious condition that requires monitoring and medication. A urinary tract infection is painful and uncomfortable and will only get worse without treatment. Your vet will recommend medications and treatments to fix these problems. If your dog is severely affected by anxiety, your vet can suggest medications for that as well. The vet will help diagnose and treat any of these conditions, but a trainer might be a good approach, too. If your dog is marking, not house trained, or just excited, the trainer can work with you and your dog to remedy these problems. You might need to reintroduce house training or establish your dominance as the alpha. If your dog piddles when he gets excited, do not add to the excitement when he is in your bed.
Other Solutions and Considerations
Remember never to yell at your dog for urinating or defecating, even indoors. This will confuse him and possibly worsen the problem. When you work with the trainer, make sure you stay consistent with your training. Inconsistency will confuse your dog and make it less effective. Give your dog plenty of opportunities to relieve himself outside so he does not feel the need to urinate indoors. If your dog is drinking a lot of water, get him checked for diabetes, but also make sure his diet is not high in salt. Salt can make him thirsty which will make him urinate more. You might also consider limiting his access to parts of the house. If your dog is urinating on the bed when you’re not home, close the bedroom door and make sure someone comes by during the day to walk him. If he urinates on your bed when you’re there, then work with the trainer to change this behavior. When you need to clean up, there are special cleaners that eliminate an animal’s scent after he’s peed on something like bedding or carpet. They’re affordable and easy to use and will discourage a repeat offender if his reason is marking.
Puddles of pee are never fun to come across, especially when you’re in your PJs and ready to sleep. After you take your pup to the vet or trainer and have the problem solved, you can pull out your fancy bed sheets and comforter once again assured that they will stay fresh and clean.
By a Shiba Inu lover Patty Oelze
Published: 02/10/2018, edited: 01/30/2020