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What to Do for Bedwetting Dogs


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It's not so fun dealing with a dog who leaks urine during the night. Not only is it a chore to keep ahead of the cleaning, but you have to think of your dog's comfort. Urine scalding is a common problem for dogs who wet the bed or have incontinence problems at other times of the day. To help a dog who loses control of their bladder, consult your veterinarian to find the cause and treatment.

Why is my dog wetting the bed?

When your housetrained dog gets up from their favorite sleeping place to leave a wet spot of urine behind, it's time to find out the reason why. A puddle of urine can mean a few things, ranging from drinking too much water the night before to an anatomical problem like an ectopic ureter.

  • An ectopic ureter means that one (or both) of the ureters leading to the bladder is not connected properly or is in the wrong location, causing leaking.
  • Estrogen responsive incontinence can mean the bladder sphincter weakens and urine leaks out. It is common in spayed females.
  • Spinal cord disease can sometimes cause leaking. You may see other symptoms, like muscle weakness.
  • A weakening of the muscles that hold the urine in the bladder can occur in aging dogs. 
  • Senility may come into account as well as the dog may not realize it's time for a bathroom break.
  • A urethra blockage can prevent normal urination and then leaking occurs. A total blockage needs immediate veterinary attention.
  • A problem with the prostate can cause urine leaking in your male dog.

How can I help my bedwetting dog?

As soon as you notice that your pooch is leaving a puddle behind on their bed, it's time to book an appointment at the veterinary clinic. Your vet will ask how long the incontinence has been going on, and whether there are other symptoms. They will ask whether your companion passes urine in a normal fashion, and inquire on how much water they drink. If a urine sample does not show infection, blood tests may be in order and perhaps x-rays or ultrasound, too. While you wait for the appointment, you will want to make your canine buddy comfortable. Use temporary measures to keep them dry in the meantime.

Diapers or Wraps

For lady dogs, there are a plethora of washable diapers that catch leaking urine, allowing your four-legged princess to sleep peacefully. Boy dogs have the option of tight body wraps that contain special pads. These wraps hold things snuggly in place to trap stray drippage at the source.

Special Dog Bed

For the dog that only occasionally pees the bed, medication may seem extreme and diapers might be a hassle. In these cases, your best bet would be to try a dog bed made specifically to keep urine out. These beds have waterproof linings and easy-to-remove covers. When your pooch leaks urine, all you have to do is peel off the covers and throw them in the wash. The bed won't absorb any of the urine smells that make night peeing so unpleasant.

Change in Diet

While not a cure all for everyone, some pet parents have found that a change to a natural diet, made from fresh food as opposed to dry kibble. Discuss this option with your vet. Results may take time and the transition has to be done slowly. In some cases, feeding a grain-free kibble has done the trick.

Options for a Dog Who Leaks Urine

Your vet will go over the options with you, based on your furry buddy's diagnosis. Medication for a bladder infection may be the answer. If there is a problem with the bladder sphincter, the vet can give your dog a prescription that increases muscle tone in the sphincter and bladder. Surgery is typically needed for an ectopic ureter, and if the incontinence is brought on by an underlying illness, treating the condition may be the solution. You may decide not to medicate or put an elderly dog through surgery, and in that case, doggy diapers may be the answer.

If your dog is leaking urine, don't despair. There are often reasons that can be easily remedied. Keep them comfortable as the vet makes their diagnosis and work together with your pet's caregiver to determine the solution that will work best for them.

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