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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.

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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. 


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.


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.

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.

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.

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. 


Urinating in His Bed Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

French Bulldog
5 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms


I recently bought a 5 month old puppy, she came from the same home her parents were in. She will not pee on a puppy pad or outside she will only pee in het bed. Dhe can hold it for hpurs and drinks alot but then chooses to wee in her bed. Especially at night , she has a crate with her bed and a puppy pad but chooses to urinate on her bed. We need help please. She is an ancious dog and doesnt like to be on her own. At night she sleeps in her crate in our bedroom or she howls all night. She follows us round during day and just wants to be with us all the time.

Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1828 Recommendations
This issue is more behavioural than medical, you may need to restrict access to her bed during the day and leave her in her crate with puppy pads so that when she has no option to go you can praise her for the use of the puppy pad. You also may need to change her bed to a different one if she has associated the sight and smell of it with urination. You may also need to consult with a Trainer to help as well. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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11 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Our chihuahua has never been 100% potty trained but it has suddenly gotten way out of hand and he has started peeing on our couch and blankets and I even watched him run to his own bed and pee. Does this sound medical related or out of spite? We have a new baby but she is 5 months old now and he just started this the past few weeks and she isn't the first either, it's baby #4! He rarely gets attention anymore because he doesn't let the kids pet him and we are always busy with the kids but this a new low :-\

Michele King
Dr. Michele King, DVM
301 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Jacob may have a medical condition that needs treatment. It would be best to have him evaluated by your veterinarian and have some testing done to evaluate his urine, kidneys, blood sugar, and systemic function. It may be all the changes in the house, but he may have a urinary tract infection or a disease that is causing him to urinate more. Your veterinarian will be able to examine him and guide you in any treatments that he may need.

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7 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms


My dog is a Dalmatian cross husky, she will be 7 in Jan. We adopted her 2 years ago from the spca. She came from a home where she was ignored into a busy loving home with 3 kids who walk and cuddle with her all the time. She is a great dog. There have been some changes the last few months with me going back to work and us adopting a kitten in June, she likes cats more then dogs and we didn't want her left alone in the house. The last 4-5 months she has been peeing in the house. Only in the front room on the carpet and her bed. We have taken her to the vet and they can not explain what is happening other then she is aging. How can we help our puppy!?!? We are really concerned because she won't even move after she pees, she just lays in it.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond


Callum Turner
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1828 Recommendations
Cases of ‘incontinence’ may be due to ageing but many times are attributable to a behavioural issue like separation anxiety, stress or another factor. If the urination started after you went back to work or the introduction of the kitten, that may be a precipitating factor; you should think about other changes which have occurred around the home which may be causing distress. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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