Peeing the bed is often related to human children rather than to dogs. But it’s more common than you’d think and there are very different reasons why some dogs pee on their beds. Finding out the reasons behind this unusually common behavior is the first step towards helping your dog overcome it. Managing it isn’t possible since you can’t wait for your dog to grow out of it or send it to bed with a diaper.
1. Problems with housetraining
Start by asking yourself if your dog is fully housetrained. Housetraining is a task that requires consistency and a lot of patience. Some dogs can appear to be completely housetrained but then find another place to relieve themselves indoors, and a comfy bed can look like the ideal spot.
If you suspect this may be your dog’s case, don’t be afraid to go back to the basics and start over the housetraining process. It’s not uncommon for dog owners to think that they’re done with it when they’re not.
If you start to find accidents spread around the house and not only on your dog’s bed, that’s an indicator that housetraining could be the issue. This means it’s time to start it over to establish boundaries and house rules for your dog.
Urine marking is something that both males and females instinctively do. Along their daily walks, they’ll mark trees and other things along the way to tell other dogs they’re claiming that territory. Some of them can also do this around the house to scare off potential intruders.
While most prefer to keep their beds clean, dogs that feel threatened and insecure may take extreme measures to protect their bed and go as far as peeing on it to keep others away. If this is your dog’s case, you’ll notice it only lets out small amounts of urine at a time.
This behavior is common when a new family member arrives in the household such as a baby, another dog, or even a cat.
3. Emotional issues
Another behavioral reason behind dogs that pee on their bed is related to emotional issues such as stress, anxiety, fear, or even grief over the loss of a family member. This emotional distress can lead dogs to temporarily lose control of their bladders and isn’t necessarily a sign that they’ve lost their housetraining abilities.
This can be caused by a variety of different things but they’re mostly related to changes in the dog’s physical environment like loud noises, traveling, separation from its owners, or unknown house guests. Dogs can feel anxious for any reason at all, depending on how sensitive they are to changes.
The only way to stop your dog from peeing on the bed is by addressing the underlying emotional issue. So if you think there may be an emotional reason that is leading your dog to pee on its bed, take the time to observe what happens before the accident and consider that context to understand what is affecting your dog.
Dogs can also pee on their own bed involuntarily. This usually happens when they’re relaxed or sleeping and is due to the urethral sphincter that starts to fail. The dog’s urethra is what stops it from peeing and when these muscles stop working properly and no longer contract, they allow urine to leak.
Although this is more common in older dogs and spayed female dogs of large breeds, it can happen in any dog at any age, gender and size. This condition can also be linked to neurological problems such as tumors. In this case, dogs will start to pee on their beds while they’re asleep which means it’s time to go to a vet as they can help treat or manage this condition.
5. Other medical conditions
There are two common medical conditions that cause dogs to pee on their beds which are urinary tract infections (also known as UTI) and kidney disease.
A UTI is when bacteria start multiplying inside a dog’s urinary tract and cause symptoms such as pain when peeing, blood in urine, and decreased bladder control. This condition is more likely to develop in dogs with other conditions such as diabetes, tumors, and bladder stones.
As for kidney disease, this condition can be acute or chronic. In both cases, this condition results from the kidneys not being able to eliminate toxins from the bloodstream. The acute version of this disease happens suddenly and can sometimes be reversed while chronic kidney disease can’t be cured and develop gradually.
Both medical conditions require a trip to the vet so they can be properly diagnosed. A vet will also be able to teach you what is the best way to treat or manage your dog’s condition.
Making sense of it all
When dogs pee on their beds, the first step to prevent it from happening again is to figure out why it happens in the first place. It can be a frustrating behavior but punishment is never the answer and can only make matters worse, especially if there’s an emotional reason such as fear or stress behind it.
Ideally, you’ll want to start by taking your dog to a vet to rule out any medical conditions and, only after that should you try to address potential behavioral problems.