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What is Peeing in His Sleep?

As a puppy, your dog will need to be taken out to use the bathroom every few hours. But that is completely normal. What isn’t normal is if your dog doesn’t wake up to urinate, and ends up soaking his bed while asleep. This problem tends to happen when the sphincter muscles in the bladder are too weak to allow the dog control over urination. Such an issue can be brought on by:

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Neuter or spay
  • Spinal cord disease 
  • Diabetes 
  • Kidney disease

If you notice that your dog is peeing in his sleep it is extremely important to get him to a vet as soon as possible in order to determine the underlying issue. While a weak bladder by itself is not deadly, when paired with something like diabetes or kidney disease, it can result in death if left unaddressed.

Why Peeing in His Sleep Occurs in Dogs

The most common reason why dogs experience peeing in their sleep is incontinence. This problem can come about from a number of different things, such as neuter/spay, urinary tract infection, and bladder stones. Age can also affect the ability for a dog to control its bladder, but it is not always the case as some younger dogs experience this issue as well.

Urinary Tract Infection

The inflammation caused by a condition such as a urinary tract infection can cause your dog to not realize that he is peeing while asleep. A dog with an infection of the urinary tract may have excessive thirst and therefore, pee more often - sometimes not waking when his bladder is full.

Neuter or Spay

While problems such as this from reproductive surgery can occur in males, it most often occurs in females. After going through the process of being spayed 1 out of 5 female dogs experience incontinence, also known as spay incontinence. This is because their levels of estrogen are drastically lowered, which then affects the muscle tone of the sphincters. 

In males, the same weakened sphincters are to blame. But it is far less common. Both situations can be treated with prescription drugs provided by your veterinarian. 

Spinal Cord Disease

A dog with a disease of the spinal cord may have lack of mobility or a lessened sense of feeling which may lead to incontinence when awake or asleep. Your veterinarian can evaluate your pet to determine whether the illness causing the peeing while asleep is a degenerative disease.

Diabetes

Canines who are developing diabetes may have excessive thirst leading to frequent urination, which in some dogs may mean peeing during sleep. Other signs of diabetes may be lethargy and weight loss, despite an increased appetite.

Kidney Disease

Drinking a lot of water is a symptom of kidney disease. Weakness and disorientation caused by a kidney problem could mean a pet who normally is housetrained may have accidents while asleep.

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What to do if your Dog is Peeing in His Sleep

Once you realise that your dog is having issues controlling his bladder while asleep, you will want to begin monitoring any other unusual urinary habits your dog may be performing. If, for example, the amount of water drunk within a day increases or there are signs of leakage, there may be a more serious underlying issue. 

After monitoring your dog, you will then want to take him to a vet in order to determine what the problem is and how to begin treatment. While a weak bladder will not harm your pet, if it is paired with any other more serious issue, the situation will need to be addressed immediately. Your vet may require a urine sample to best determine what the problem may be before prescribing any specific treatment. Once the tests come in, discussion of treatment will then take place.

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Prevention of Peeing in His Sleep

Sometimes the best form of prevention is exercise. Those weak sphincter muscles need toning just like any other muscle in the body. Taking your dog for a long walk before a nap or bedtime can help to strengthen the muscles and provide an ample amount of time for your pet to empty his bladder on the way. Besides exercise, it is difficult to prevent peeing during sleep as your dog has no control over it. Take your pup to the vet as soon as possible to get help in fixing the issue. 

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Cost of Peeing in His Sleep

Treatment cost will vary depending on the cause of your dog’s peeing during sleep. For instance, if your dog is diagnosed with incontinence, the cost of treatment will be between $50 to $1500 depending on the severity. If your dog is diagnosed with a urinary tract infection, the average cost is $350.

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Peeing in His Sleep Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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German Shepherd

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Five Years

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Unknown severity

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5 found helpful

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Peeing While Alseep

Pees while she is alseep

Aug. 7, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. She may have a urinary infection, or an incontinence. Is this is something that is not getting better and keeps happening, it would be best to have her soon by a veterinarian. They will be able to examine her, check a urine sample for infection, and see if there is anything else going on. There are medications that can help this, and we just need to figure out the right one. I hope that all goes well for her.

Aug. 7, 2020

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Golden Retriever

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Six Months

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Unknown severity

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Urinating While Sleeping

We took a urine sample to the vet when we noticed he was starting to pee more consistently during naps and sleeping overnight. They found two types of bacteria in his urine and said it was a UTI and gave us antibiotics. However, the urinating while sleeping was still happening. We took a second urine sample to the vet. Now he has only one type of bacteria in his urine. We were given a different antibiotic. We are at the end of this medication and he is still urinating in his sleep. What are the next steps? What else can I try at home?

Aug. 6, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. It is unusual for a dog so young to have any kind of resistant urinary tract infection, but it may be possible. There isn't anything that you can do at home, but what I might do at your veterinarian is have them do some blood work, and make sure that there is nothing wrong with him sustemically. I hope that all goes well for him.

Aug. 6, 2020

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Chihuahua

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9.5 years

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0 found helpful

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Urination While Sleeping

My dog has owed on her sleep 3 times in the past 3 days, two of the times in the past 24 hours. What can I do?

Aug. 5, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. I assume you mean that your dog is urinating in her sleep? That may be a sign of a medical problem, and the best thing to do would be to have her seen by a veterinarian. They can do some lab work, check her urine, and see what might be going on. Once they know more, they will be able to let you know what treatments are available. I hope that all goes well for your dog.

Aug. 5, 2020

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Toy australian shepheRds

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2 months

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Hight Temp Urinating In Sleep

There is no diarrhea or vomiting

July 31, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. If your puppy has a fever and is urinating in his or her sleep, she may not be feeling well, and puppies are prone to other infectious diseases besides intestinal diseases. It would probably be best to have your puppy seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine him or her, see what might be going on, and see if any treatment is necessary. I hope that your puppy is okay.

July 31, 2020

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American Bulldog

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Eight Weeks

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1 found helpful

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Peeingin Her Sleep

She is peeing frequently and in her sleep

July 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. This is not uncommon in young puppies, and they often grow out of this behavior. One thing that can help is to make sure that she goes outside right before bed, and make sure that she actually urinates, rather than just playing. If the problem continues, it would be a good idea to mention it to your veterinarian at her next preventive care appointment, as they may want to do some lab testing. I hope that all goes well for her!

July 28, 2020

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Meg

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Springer Span

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7 Weeks

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Mild severity

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Mild severity

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Urinating In House

My 7 Yr Springer Spaniel had started peeing when a sleep or relaxed. She was spade after her first season at about 1 Yr old. She's not off her food or latargic in any way. Please advise

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Wren

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Mixed

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5 Years

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

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Urinary Incontinence

My 5 year old female mixed breed (spayed) has been leaking urine in her sleep pretty consistently for the past month or so. In the past, this has been a symptom of a UTI for her, so I got a urinalysis and culture. There were no signs of infection or bladder stones, so the vet diagnosed her with urinary incontinence and started her on an estrogen medication (DES). For the first 5 days it worked great, the accidents at night totally stopped. After 5 days, I am supposed to switch to 2x per week, and now she is leaking urine in between those doses. Should I up the dosage/frequency, or try a different medication? The alternate medication the vet mentioned had more risk of side effects of high blood pressure. I plan on speaking with my vet, but they are closed on the weekends so it will have to wait.

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Harley

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Italian Greyhound mix

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12 Years

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Pees In Bed

My 11 year old sleeps with me and has always had access to outside through doggie dog but she has started peeing in bed and I don’t know why in I don’t have any money now for vet is there something I can do

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Miley

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Boxer

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8 Years

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

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Weeing While Asleep

My 8 year old boxer dog was diagnosed with having a stroke 9 weeks ago. I have come home to a little accident about 4 times in the last 3 weeks but have been unsure what one of my dogs it was and why. Until last night when she weed on my bed while she was asleep and didn't have a clue what she'd done. She is currently taking vivitonin and was spay around 6 years ago. The only other time she's had an accident in doors was when she had her stroke which I thought she'd totally recovered from

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Angel

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Maltese

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13 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

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Liver Enzymes Are High

I have a 13 yr old Maltese, Angel. She is having nightmares and when she does she wets the bed. This has been going on for about a year now. She cries out and my Yorkie, Suzy Q comforts her through her nightmare but always wets and lies in her own urine. What would a dog dream about and then immediately wets herself?