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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. 

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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Mutt

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Two Years

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Urinating In Bed

My dog pees in her bed that is in her crate, never does she pee in the house. We have tried calming plug ins and incontinence medication but have had no luck. She is perfectly healthy as well. I have noticed she tries to lick it up once she has done it as well

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Some female dogs can develop an incontinence if they are spayed. Some dogs can develop UTI's that can cause this problem. It would be a good idea to have her seen by a veterinarian, as they can test her urine, examine her, and see what might be causing this. Once they know more, they will be able to let you know what treatment might help.

Oct. 8, 2020

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Bull dog

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8 weeks

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Na

8 week puppy wee’d in bed

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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2 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. It is not uncommon for babies to have accidents, as they are learning what is okay. If the problem continues, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them and see what might be going on, and get treatment if needed.

Oct. 12, 2020

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Min pin/Brazilian rat terrier

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3-4

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Anxiety

I believe my dog experiences stress while I’m gone during day and urinates on his bed. I got a doggie door so he can go outside while in at work but he goes outside and still urinates on the side of his bed. I buy him treats to chew on to try and give him something to do while I’m gone but it don’t work. The urinating is driving me crazy! 😳 please help!

Sept. 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. If the area where he urinates has an odor of urine to him, he likely thinks that is where he is supposed to go. If you are able to block that part of the house so that he cannot get in there, that may help. If he is still having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get treatment for them.

Oct. 16, 2020

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American Staffordshire Terrier

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Nine Months

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Urinates On His Own Bed

Hi can u plz get back to me

Sept. 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get treatment for them.

Oct. 18, 2020

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English Bulldog

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Three Years

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Peeing In Bed

My dog continues to pee in her bed since she was a puppy, her bed only. This last week it has gotten worse. I am unsure why. It doesn’t smell strong or different. However I did work more this week than normal?

Sept. 24, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. I hope that your pet is feeling better. If they are still having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 23, 2020

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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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Moderate severity

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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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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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1 found helpful

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Fair severity

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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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