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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.

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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.

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.

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. 

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.

Peeing in His Sleep Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Rya
American Staffordshire Terrier
2 Years
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Pee
Peeing

Hello, My 2 year old American Staffordshire Terrier/Boxer has wet the bed maybe 3 times in the past couple of weeks while she has been sleeping. I took her to the vet a week ago and they did a test and nothing was wrong with her. but it just happened today. What should I do?

Michele King
Dr. Michele King, DVM
237 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. I'm not sure what testing was done at your veterinarian, but possible causes for that to be happening include a urinary tract infection, a systemic disease like kidney disease or diabetes, or estrogen-responsive incontinence. All of these are treated differently, so it would be a good idea to call your veterinarian, talk to them about the testing that was done and what the normal results mean as far as what might be happening, and ask for suggestions on which direction to take now, as it is still happening. I hope that everything goes well with her.

Thank you so much. I will give them a call and see what test were done and see what I need to do now Since it is still happening.
THANKS!

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Lily
Siberian Husky
14 Weeks
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Pee in her sleep

My puppy (she’s 14 weeks) pees in her sleep. It’s happened maybe 4 times before. Should I take her in anywhere? Is this normal since she is a puppy? What I read here is kind of frightening.

Michele King
Dr. Michele King, DVM
237 Recommendations
Thank you for your question. Without examining her, I' not sure why she is doing this, but the first thing that you should probably do is have her seen by your veterinarian to have a urinalysis - they'll be able to see if she has an infection, if she's concentrating her urine, or if there are other causes for concern. One thing that may help is to make sure that she does urinate outside before she goes to sleep. I hope that everything goes well for her.

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