Critter Culture
Help! My Dog Is Peeing on the Bed!

Help! My Dog Is Peeing on the Bed!

Critter Culture Staff



Dogs have been humans' best friends longer than any other animal, and we've been palling around with our furry buddies since before we invented farming. Over all that time, across all those cultures, hundreds of generations of otherwise happy dog people have had to ask: why does my dog pee on my bed?

It may not be the first thing you think about when your dog comes to mind unless they did it this morning while you were brushing your teeth, but peeing on the bed is a real problem in dog households. Why do dogs do this, and how can you get them to stop? Is there something wrong with your dog if they pee on your $300 comforter set? If so, how can you help them?


Peeing on the bed: It's a dog thing

Welsh Corgi in the bed Cavan Images / Getty Images

There might be a lot of reasons why your dog is peeing on your bed. While most are harmless, some might be an issue you need to see the vet for. No matter how frustrating it can be to have this happen, especially if it's a nice bed and it just happened yesterday, and now you have to do laundry again today, try not to take it personally. Your dog might have a good reason.


Simple excitement

Happy Golden Retriever laying in bed ChristopherBernard / Getty Images

Dogs go wee-wee when they get excited, and hopping into bed with their favorite human can be pretty exciting. If your dog is a lively, wag-the-whole-torso type, you might have a hysterical piddler on your hands. When dogs are worked up, either from playing or the sheer over-the-moon joy of seeing you reach for the leash, they sometimes can't help themselves. A well-trained dog generally tries to control this, but everybody slips sometimes.


Your dog has to pee

Cute small Pomeranian dog peeing in the park Aonip / Getty Images

Man or mastiff, woman or wiener dog, everybody's the same when they have to pee. Unfortunately, the cure for a full bladder is an empty bladder, and few dogs have (so far) figured out bathrooms. If it's early in the morning and your dog hasn't been outside, they might have too much to handle and may not be able to wait for walkies. Try walking them later the night before and see if it helps.


Potty training may not be entirely successful (yet)

Portrait puppy dog sitting on a pee training pad with a spot looking up on wooden floor. smrm1977 / Getty Images

Even young humans sometimes pee the bed, so you have to expect some of this with young puppies. Early in the housebreaking process, your dog is likely to mess up many sheets, blankets, upholstery, carpet, and maybe table placemats, too, until you can get them properly oriented. There's no fast fix for this. Keep at the training, be patient, and remember that your pupper is trying to make you happy.


The housebreaking might have gone really wrong

Dog Jumping On Bed At Home John Abrenilla / EyeEm / Getty Images

Once in a while, housebreaking either doesn't work, or it misfires a bit. If somehow, your dog has gotten the idea that your bed is a place to answer the call, then that's where they'll go with a happy and clear conscience. There's no telling how a recently housebroken dog can get this kind of idea, but dogs do live in a world of their own. Again, be patient and keep training. They'll learn eventually.


Ironically, they love you

woman sleeping with dog Boris Jovanovic / Getty Images

It's adorable and frustrating that your dog might pee on your bed out of love for you. Dogs often choose places they feel safe to have a wee, and there's probably no safer place in your furry buddy's universe than your bed. It's warm, it's soft, and it smells JUST LIKE YOU!!! If you're your dog's special human, peeing near your sleeping spot could be a typical doggo version of a hug.


Marking territory

Dog Sleeping In Bed Matty Anderson / EyeEm / Getty Images

Everybody knows how dogs mark their territory. This is because a dog's reality is mostly scent, followed by sounds. Making a space smell like themselves is the dog version of scrawling NO TRESPASSERS! on a wall. Ironically, your dog could be "claiming" your bed for itself or on your behalf. The former is more likely if there are dominance issues, while the latter might happen if a strange dog has been in your house lately.


Something spooked them

dog hiding under the blanket

Have you ever had a dog indoors on the Fourth of July? Did your $1,000 Persian rug make it through the night? Dogs frequently release urine when they're scared or stressed, even if they're in your bed. If nothing seemed to be going on to scare your pooch, remember they might have smelled or heard something you didn't. This is way more likely to happen if you live with high-strung breeds like whippets.


Minor or temporary incontinence

Smiling Young Woman Sitting With Dog On Bed At Home Lucia Romero Herranz / EyeEm / Getty Images

Sometimes it just happens, man. Like, you know? Nobody's perfect. Not every incidence of wee has to have a specific cause. Sometimes a dog will just let go for no reason, and sometimes it happens on your 800 thread-count designer Italian sheets. That's rough, and your dog needs to know not to make a habit out of this, but sometimes you have to laugh off the little bumps in the adventure of dog ownership.


When to see the vet

Veterinarian Doctor Examining a Puppy PixelsEffect / Getty Images

Sometimes peeing the bed is serious, and your dog needs help. Chronic incontinence, especially in a younger pup, can be a sign of illness or an injury you didn't know about. Call the vet right away if your dog is urinating everywhere or peeing seems to be painful. If you notice other behavioral issues but they don't seem to be in distress, you can set an appointment or call the vet to ask for advice.


Effects of age on dog bladder control

Senior black labrador relaxing on armchair Justin Paget / Getty Images

Just like in humans, as dogs age, their ability to control their bladder may decline. This means that even an older dog who has been housebroken for years may start having accidents. Remember, these incidents aren't intentional; it's just one of the challenges that come with senior canine age.

You may need to adjust your walk schedule or consider pet diapers for your elderly friend.


Recognizing behavioral changes in senior dogs

Cropped image of female doctor stroking dog standing on field Cavan Images / Getty Images

In addition to bladder control, aging dogs may exhibit various behavioral changes, including confusion or disorientation. It's essential to watch for these signs because they can cause your senior pup to forget the rules about peeing inside.

An increase in accidents may be indicative of cognitive issues, such as Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, warranting a vet's visit.


The impact of spaying/neutering on urination habits

dog with head cone michellegibson / Getty Images

Spaying or neutering can affect a dog's urination habits. For example, spayed females may experience hormonal changes leading to sporadic incontinence. Neutered males usually mark less frequently, but exceptions exist.

Remember, these changes are generally manageable and should not dissuade you from spaying or neutering your pet, which has significant health and societal benefits.


Exploring different breeds: are some more prone to bed-peeing?

Chihuahua puppy schulzie / Getty Images

Some dog breeds are more prone to incontinence issues than others. Small breeds, like Chihuahuas or Yorkshire terriers, may have bladder control problems due to their size. On the other hand, larger breeds may struggle due to certain genetic conditions.

Your vet can provide more breed-specific guidance to help manage this issue effectively.


Coping strategies: how to clean and deodorize your bed

Cleaning the mattress. wsfurlan / Getty Images

When your dog does have an accident, it's essential to clean and deodorize the area thoroughly. This discourages future accidents in the same spot. Use an enzyme-based cleaner designed for pet stains, which breaks down the odor-causing bacteria. Follow up with a pet-safe deodorizer. And remember, patience is key in these trying moments.


The role of diet and hydration in canine incontinence

dog eating from yellow bowl Carol Yepes / Getty Images

Diet and hydration play vital roles in canine incontinence. Overfeeding can lead to increased urine production, and high-salt diets can lead to excessive thirst and subsequent urination. Dehydration, on the other hand, can concentrate the urine and irritate the bladder.

Always ensure your dog has a balanced diet and access to clean water. Consult your vet for dietary recommendations specific to your pup's needs.




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