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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.

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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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mixed

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Four Years

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6 found helpful

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Incontinence

Sophie has been peeing in her sleep. I have brought her to the vet and they says she does not have diabetes, bladder stones or UTI. Not sure what else To do.

Dec. 30, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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6 Recommendations

Hello, some female dogs will have urinary incontinence as they get older from the failure of their sphincter muscles in the bladder to work correctly. It would be best for you to ask your vet about incontinence medication for your dog. I have also found vetrascience bladder strength treats help.

Jan. 10, 2021

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Six Months

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8 found helpful

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Urinating While Asleep

Hi my baby girl "Jemma", never ever goes potty inside on the floor, on furniture, let alone right where she's sleeping and as shes still asleep. I'm getting very concerned. This started the day before yesterday.

Dec. 2, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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8 Recommendations

It sounds like her bladder is inflamed and/or irritated. Causes will range from bladder stones to an infection or even a congenital defect. At her age, it's very unlikely to be a sinister cause We need her examined by a vet and you should bring a fresh urine sample for them to check.

Dec. 2, 2020

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ameri

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Seven Months

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0 found helpful

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Urinating In Her Sleep

Hi. My bulldog"Jemma", never ever goes pee insids on the floor let along in her bed as she's asleep. I'm concerned

Dec. 2, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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0 Recommendations

It's possible there is an underlying lying medical issue here such as a urinary tract infection. The first step would be a vet check and a urine analysis. She may well need some medicine such as antibiotics .

Dec. 2, 2020

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Labrador Retriever

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Four Years

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8 found helpful

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Unknown severity

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Peeing

Our dog has always been very good about letting us know she needs to go out. Lately she has been sleeping and there’s a big wet spot under her. She doesn’t even notice. We take her out as soon as it happens and she pees. She isn’t showing any other signs of issues.

Nov. 14, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Kate D. MA VetMB MRCVS

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8 Recommendations

Hello, Thank you for contacting us about your dog. There are several possible causes of urinary incontinence like you describe. Sometimes it can be related to a bladder infection. Other times there can be some weakening of the muscles that hold the bladder closed. We also see these symptoms sometimes in dogs who are drinking more than usual, for a range of reasons, and so producing more urine than they normally do. Each of these possible causes has a different type of treatment to help resolve the underlying issue or help reduce the symptoms. My advice would be to take her to your vet for a full check up. It would be helpful if you can measure the amount of water she drinks in a 24-hour period, so that the vet can calculate whether she is drinking a normal amount or an excessive amount. Taking a sample of her urine with you will also be helpful. I hope the problem gets resolved soon.

Nov. 14, 2020

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Catahoula mix

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4 1/2 years old

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1 found helpful

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Peeing In Sleep Dry Mouth

He's always done alot of twitching an whimpering in his sleep but most recently he has been peeing a little bit in his sleep

Nov. 12, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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1 Recommendations

Hi there. Urinating while asleep indicates incontinence which can have several causes including a sphincter muscle incompetence, urinary infection etc. He should be checked over and the vet will likely run bloods and urine tests to get to the bottom of things.

Nov. 12, 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

Has Symptoms

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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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

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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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Moderate severity

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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?

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