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Urinating in His Bed in Dogs

Written By Darlene Stott
Published: 06/19/2017Updated: 05/07/2021
Veterinary reviewed by Michele K.
Why is my dog urinating in his bed?

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 may not be related to marking, submissive urination, or lack of house training, but may be caused by 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 a few 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, but is treatable with medication. Most dogs will develop arthritis as they age. 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. 

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. 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. 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 prescription 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 t-shirt 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 between $500 and $3000.  

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Urinating in His Bed Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals





Two Years


0 found this helpful


0 found this helpful

My pet has the following symptoms:
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

Answered by Dr. Michele K. DVM

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



8 weeks


7 found this helpful


7 found this helpful

My pet has the following symptoms:
8 week puppy wee’d in bed

Sept. 27, 2020

Answered by Dr. Michele K. DVM

7 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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