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What is Urinating in His Bed?

A dog urinating in his own bed refers to the release of the dog’s own urine into his normal sleeping space, and is often more than just a small leak. This indicates a disturbance, not only for you, but also for the dog. It is not normal for a dog to urinate in his own bed, even as a puppy. The cause is probably not marking, submissive urination, or lack of house training, but a deeper problem, potentially medical. 

  • Emotional issues
  • Incontinence
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Kidney disease
  • Arthritis

Your dog may urinate in his own bed while he sleeps, releasing only a small amount or a full bladder of urine. He may also choose to purposely urinate in his own bed while he is awake; the cause is different in each case. Your dog may be stressed because of various emotional issues, or he may be experiencing a more serious underlying condition which will require veterinary assessment and treatment.

Why Urinating in His Bed Occurs in Dogs

A dog may urinate in his own bed for three general reasons. He might be stressed by a current or recent occurrence. There may be a problem with the dog’s urinary tract. Or there may be a deeper, more systemic issue.

Emotional Issues

A dog may urinate in his own bed if he is experiencing stress, anxiety, fear of abandonment, or grief, such as for the passing of another dog in the family. Anxiety can be caused by changes in a dog’s physical environment, loud noises, such as the sound of fireworks, thunder, or vacuum cleaners, separation from his pet parent, being left completely alone and isolated, or travel. Even emotionally stable dogs can have problems with anxiety, but if experienced repeatedly, anxiety can develop into post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Emotionally disturbing events that might lead to PTSD can include being attacked by another animal, being in a natural disaster, or witnessing violence to a close friend of any species. 

Incontinence

A dog may urinate in his own bed involuntarily, typically while relaxed or sleeping, if the urethral sphincter begins to fail. In this condition, muscles that involuntarily close the dog’s urethra stop working properly and no longer contract, allowing urine to leak. This usually happens in spayed female dogs of large breeds, but can happen in any dog. Often the result of physical deterioration associated with aging, this can also be related to neurological problems, tumors and infections in the bladder, and various anatomical causes.

Arthritis

A dog with arthritis may experience so much pain from standing up and walking that he opts to urinate in his own bed rather than stand up and go outside. Arthritis is usually a result of normal wear and tear on a dog’s joints taking a toll with age. One in five dogs will develop arthritis. The most common forms of arthritis involve degeneration or inflammation of the joints.

Urinary Tract Infection

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is caused by bacteria adhering to and multiplying inside the dog’s urinary tract. A UTI is more likely to develop when a dog suffers from a variety of other conditions, such as diabetes, tumors, bladder stones, and stress, among others. Females are more likely than males to suffer from urinary tract infections. 

Kidney Disease

Kidney disease can be either acute or chronic, and in both cases results from the kidneys failing to eliminate toxins from the dog’s bloodstream. Acute kidney disease is sudden and sometimes can be reversed, while chronic kidney disease develops more gradually and cannot be cured. It can occur for many different reasons, including an obstruction of the urinary tract, ingestion of a toxic substance, poor diet, organs deteriorating with age, and high blood pressure. Some breeds are more likely to inherit chronic kidney disease, including the Samoyed, Shih Tzu, Poodle, Rottweiler, Cocker Spaniel, and the Doberman Pinscher.

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What to do if your Dog is Urinating in His Bed

If your dog is urinating in his own bed because of stress, anxiety, or other emotional problems, the first line of defense is interactive. Comfort or distract your dog. Try speaking to him in a low, soothing voice, play music designed to relax dogs, take him out for a nice walk, or just spend time together. An anxious dog needs to have his attention taken away from the disturbing stimulus. In extreme and intractable cases, a veterinary evaluation may be indicated. Your dog’s soiled bed must be either thoroughly cleaned or disposed of. Consider providing your dog with a waterproof bed.

If your dog is experiencing incontinence due to aging, medication may be the most effective treatment. Your veterinarian might prescribe ephedrine or phenylpropanolamine to strengthen the urethral sphincter; these are marketed under different names as commercial medicines. Hormone replacement medications may also be effective. Medication will be prescribed on a trial basis at first, and is effective for 70% of incontinent dogs.

Arthritis must be treated with diet, exercise, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Exercise may include physiotherapy and water therapy, such as the dog walking on a treadmill while its legs and part of its torso are underwater. Acupuncture, laser treatment, or ultrasound, magnetic, or stem cell therapies may also be indicated. Many arthritic dogs respond very well to a trained and licensed acupuncturist. 

A urinary tract infection is treated primarily with antibiotics. Make sure that your dog can empty his bladder when urinating, as bacteria must be flushed from your dog’s system. If the infection is severe, your dog may need pain medication, and a urine culture should be done several days after the treatment has been completed, to be sure that the infection has cleared.

Kidney disease is always a serious condition, though the treatment differs, depending on whether it is acute or chronic. If your dog has acute kidney failure, hospitalization may be indicated, and your dog will receive fluid therapy to flush toxins from its body. In severe cases, your veterinarian may recommend dialysis. Chronic kidney disease will also require fluid therapy, possibly through the administration of subcutaneous fluids on an outpatient basis. Your dog may be prescribed a low protein and low phosphorus diet.

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Prevention of Urinating in His Bed

To prevent emotional trauma for your dog, keep him away from things that typically frighten dogs, such as fireworks, moving skateboards, and vacuum cleaners. A garment with a snug fit can help your dog to feel secure. 

Incontinence, arthritis, bacterial infections, and kidney disease are not normally preventable, as many dogs develop these conditions as their bodies age and deteriorate. Always provide your dog with a healthy diet and clean fresh water, keep him at a healthy weight, and prevent injuries. Carefully monitor and supervise your dog so you are aware early on of any changes that occur.

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Cost of Urinating in His Bed

If your dog is urinating in his own bed because of emotional distress, there may be no need for medication or veterinary treatment. Incontinence, arthritis, and kidney disease will require veterinary treatment. The average cost of treating incontinence and arthritis is $300. The average cost of treating kidney disease is $7000. 

 

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Urinating in His Bed Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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English Bulldog

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7 months

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Urinating In House

Our 7 mth old bulldog is mostly potty trained but always takes the opportunity to pee on something soft (area rugs, her bed, the couch, etc). She doesn't have #2 accidents anymore & obviously knows to hold that, but she pees whenever she feels like it. She's not a nervous dog & we don't have another dog, but it almost seems like marking. We've tried cleaning it w/ enzyme cleaners, getting a whole new dog bed to make sure there aren't any scents, clapping when she's doing it and taking her outside, etc. She'll even continue to sleep in it after she's urinated. How do we get this to stop?!

July 23, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. That us frustrating, I am sorry that is happening. Since you have tried all the things that we recommend and she is still doing it, it would probably be a good idea to have her seen by your veterinarian. She may have a UTI or other problem that is causing this. They will be able to run some labwork and see what might be going on. I hope they are able resolve this problem for her.

July 23, 2020

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English Bulldog

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Nine Years

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Urine In Bed Only At Night

Our male EB just started urinating in his bed this last week. He does it every night. He goes out right before bed and will go to sleep but wake up a couple hours later and squat and pee a small puddle then go back to sleep. Some nights it happens more than once but it’s never a full pee just small puddles. There is no issue during the day whatsoever. Even if he’s left alone for 6-8 hours while we are working. Our vet ran urine panel and said it was normal as is the prostate. He has some arthritic pain in his back and legs so we have been treating with a NSAID but no change in the bed wetting.

July 10, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Gina U. DVM

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Hello So sorry to hear about your dog. If there is not an infection, he could have urinary stones causing these issues. Your vet can take x rays to make sure that there are not stones and even start your dog on medication to help treat this issue. There are over the counter bladder supplements that you can give your dog that would help with his urinary issues. I hope that your dog starts to feel better soon.

July 10, 2020

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Georgie

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Goldendoodle

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4 Months

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Urinating In Her Bed

We brought home our puppy Georgie about two months ago. We have had trouble potty training her but recently she has been getting better. In the last week she has peed on all of our dog beds multiple times. For background info, we also have another 3 year old golden doodle.

Aug. 17, 2018

Georgie's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

She may be smelling the urine on the dog beds and not understand that that is not okay. Going back to basics with training, frequent trips outside with positive reinforcement, and either cleaning those dog beds well or getting rid of them for a while until she is back on track might help.

Aug. 17, 2018

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Juliet

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Dachshund

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18 Years

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Wets Bed

I have an 18 yr old dachshund named Juliet, she is house trained, but has been peeing on her bed. We reciently moved from where we had a companion for her albeit more of a toleration more than a friendship, but this started before a good amount of time before we moved. I am taking her age into consideration, and she does have what appears to be a growth in her lower stomach close to her hind leg. I can’t afford, emotionally nor physically, to have any work done on her, and because of her age I know just putting her under could be fatal. She has a healthy appetite, and is able to walk once she gets going. I have also noticed her hind legs when standing tend to buckle or slip from under her. I’m beginning to wonder if I am being selfish keeping her with me because she is a childhood pet and if it’s time to let her go.

Aug. 8, 2018

Juliet's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

It certainly sounds like the urinary incontinence and leg weakness is related, I am sure you’re aware of the spinal issues affecting the breed so she has done well if this is the underlying cause; you should visit a Veterinarian for an examination (check the mass) to be on the safe side to ensure that she isn’t in pain (dogs are quite stoic) and possibly anti inflammatories may help depending on the cause. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 8, 2018

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Scout

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Beagle

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4 Years

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Peeing In His Bed

I have a beagle who is 4. We recently adopted him as he was given up by his previous owners. He seems to be completely stress free, and has adjusted very well to living with us with the exception of peeing in his beds. At first I chalked it up to him being confused and stressed about a change in his environment. But now I’m not so sure as he has settled in and seems very happy otherwise.

July 22, 2018

Scout's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Since you don't know Scout's history, this may be a behavior that he has had for quite some time. If he only urinates in his beds, it may help to change the type of bedding that you use, and to make sure that you walk him frequently so that he doesn't need to urinate when you go to bed. If he continues to do that, it might be a good idea to have him examined by your veterinarian to make sure that he doesn't have an underlying urinary problem.

July 23, 2018

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Bailey

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Japanese Spitz

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9 Months

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Urinating On Any New Bed Or Mat

My dog is a Japanese Spitz and she just turned 9months old. We got her a bed a few weeks ago and discovered that she peed on it. After washing it, she went back to the bed and peed on it again. We just got her a cooling mat too due to the weather and she seemed fine with it initially then she starting scratching and biting it before peeing on it again. How can we help our puppy? Thank you so much!

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Ronny

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English Bulldog

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4 Years

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Urinating On Everything
Constant Scratching At Bed & Ground

We are Ronny’s third home. He came from an abusive back ground. But have now owned him for three years. He’s recently started to scratch in his bed. And on the concrete. He now refuses to walk on the grass to go to the toilet. He poos and pees on the patio. And recently peed in his companions bed.

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Maru

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Collie

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5 Months

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Serious severity

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None

Maru is 5 months old, has been with me since 8 weeks. She's a rough collie & very smart, but she refuses to be toilet trained. It's been 3 months of nonstop training, I will spend anywhere up to an hour outside with her trying to encourage her to go with no luck, then she comes inside and goes on the floor. She also pees on my bed (where she sleeps). Not in her sleep or by accident, she will deliberately squat and pee on the bed. She has no medical issues, she just flat refuses to be toilet trained. I don't want to limit her water intake, but I don't know what to do.

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Alex

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Poodle

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17 Years

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Incontinence
Skinny
Blind
Urinates
Partially Deaf

Had my dog since he was 2 months old, he leared to go outside within 2 weeks of me getting him and has never been a problem. He is now 17 and pees every night on his bed. I am having to use absorbent pads with gel in them for dogs. I go through about 50 of them a week. Sometimes he will gojust in his sleep and lay in it (which causes him to stink). other times I will take him out for a 45 min - 1 hr walk and he goes pee then comes back in and 10 min later goes inside. He is now relegated to a crate. I have gone to the vet and had all kinds of blood test, urinalysis, and ultrasounds performed on him and nothing seems to be wrong. At this point I think the vet is jerking me around for money saying "we need to perform more tests"...realistically it might just be his old age and may be time to say goodye to him and put him to sleep. My wife and I talk about this for 3 months straight but we both love him and can't seem to make the call. We did once, then cancelled. Lately its so bad we are changing out his pee pad at least 4 times a day and bathing him twice a day. (this has been going in for a while now. Been to 4 vets and none of them seem to know what it is and just want to do test after test after test ($$$) All they really care about is getting money. None of them even mentioned how skinny he is, when I discuss putting him to sleep they resist the notion (They likely want to keep him around because they know his owner will pay) Most people think the vet is their friend and they forget the vet is running a business and will do unscrupulous things to make profit. Selling tests and medication is HUGE part, sometimes medications are marked up 700%. I am at a loss as to what to do. I am thinking We should put him to sleep, but he walks, eats, but for the most part doesnt really interact with us much anymore besides grubbing for food.But we still remember the playful pal he was and the years of joy he has given us. We just dont want to pull the rug from undr him too soon, or too late for that matter, and NONE of the vets will give it to us straight. They are just interested in getting money (not much different from human doctors really) They act like they are your friend to build rapport with you and then start the whole sales process.

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Peaches

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Boston Terrier

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3 Months

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Wets The Bed

I've had peaches since she was about 7 weeks old and she has always done really well at going potty outside have had barely any accidents. She sleeps in my bed at night with me and has been doing really well no . Well here lately she has been urinating in her sleep and not waking up afterward and it's not just a little spot it's a full bladder.

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