Why Did My Dog Pee on My Bed?
If you’re currently dealing with your dog's “accidents” around your home, especially in your bed, you’re probably very frustrated.
And we get it. All you want to do when you get back home is lie in your clean, dry bed with your dog and rest.
But instead, you’re asking yourself ‘Why did my dog pee on my bed...Again?!”.
Even though it’s hard to deal with, the important thing is not to punish your dog, scream or yell. Instead, take a smarter approach.
Find out the real cause of your dog peeing on your bed and then work on it. So, let’s start with possible causes of this problem and steps you can take to solve it.
Why Did My Dog Pee on My Bed and How Should I Deal With It?
When you first notice that there’s a puddle on your bed, the most important thing is to go down the following list and rule out the causes one by one.
First and foremost, if your dog suddenly started peeing on your bed and in the house, you should take it to the vet.
There are multiple medical reasons why a dog starts peeing in inappropriate places. One of the most frequent medical causes are urinary tract infections, which are common in dogs.
The vet will need a sample of urine for analysis and if they determine that your dog indeed has a UTI, they’ll prescribe antibiotics.
There are, however, other medical conditions to look into, if UTIs are not the cause.
Your dog may have issues with the bladder or kidneys. Inflammation, bladder stones, tumors – all of these can cause inappropriate urination.
Of course, more serious conditions will also have other symptoms, so keep an eye on your dog’s general behavior.
There are some medical conditions such as Cushing’s disease, diabetes or spinal injuries, which are unrelated to the urinary tract, but can also be the cause of this problem.
If you have a senior dog, your vet will probably consider urinary incontinence after ruling out all the other options. Urinary incontinence is when the dog doesn’t have control over urination.
This can also go together with some of the conditions we mentioned above and can appear in young dogs as well. If this is the case, there are some helpful medications that your veterinarian.
If you have a young dog, training issues are more likely to be the reason for this behavior, and not medical issues. But better to be safe than sorry.
So, no matter how young or old your dog is, a vet is a good place to go to first.
If your vet managed to rule out all the medical causes, the next thing to look at are issues in training.
If you have a puppy, you still have time to get this behavior under control. Your puppy will learn to control their bladder and go where they are taught to go.
But as they get older, your task is to make sure they are housetrained.
If your already trained dog starts peeing on the bed, you may consider retraining, or reenforcing the training you already did.
Issues in your dog's behavior are connected to training as well, but they usually have underlying causes that you need to figure out.
Only then can you work on the specific issue. In this case, that’s peeing in the bed.
One such cause can be territory marking. This behavior is especially common in males.
It’s motivated by sex hormones, so a good solution is to alter your dog. However, if this behavior has been happening for a longer time, it may become a habit.
So even if you alter your dog, they may continue peeing on the bed and in the house. If this is the case, you’ll need to dedicate time to retraining your dog.
How to Differentiate Marking From Peeing
There is a way to know if your dog is marking territory instead of just peeing. You need to look at the amount of pee. If the puddle you see is large, this means your dog had a full bladder.
They probably couldn’t keep it in or had another reason for having to pee then and there. On the other hand, when marking, they will pee just a bit, so you’ll see small puddles.
They will probably be many of them all over the house. This is a clear sign of marking.
Another cause can be a strong emotion felt by your dog.
Excitement, fear, submissiveness, anxiousness – all of these emotions can cause inappropriate urination.
How will you know if these are the causes? Well, the best thing to do is to observe your dog and the context in which your dog is peeing.
Take a note (literally, in your phone or in a notebook) of when the dog has peed, what happened immediately before that, or on that day, and whether they peed anywhere else in your home.
If emotions are the cause, you’ll probably be able to see some patterns after a while.
Let’s give an example.
Every day at 3 pm, when someone in your family comes from work, your dog runs to the bed and pees. If this is a regular case, chances are that your dog is crazily excited and just can’t hold it in.
Another example would be a long-term change. A new dog or a cat, a baby, someone moving in or away, someone passing away etc.
All of these events are huge for you, but also for your dog. Don’t forget that.
Why Your Dog Chooses Your Bed
Now that we covered many causes of improper urination in dogs, you must be asking yourself ‘Why did my dog pee on my bed, out of all the places in the house?’.
And that’s a good question. The truth is, your dog doesn’t have any ill intentions when they pee on your bed.
You have to remember, that even though we love them, and they are members of our family, dogs are animals.
And as all animals, they don’t hold grudges and seek revenge. As a matter of fact, chances are that your dog will pee elsewhere in the house, not just on your bed, depending on the reason.
So, if you think your dog is doing this to annoy you and make your life miserable, you’re almost certainly wrong.
Rather than taking this personally, feeling angry and frustrated, try figuring out the reason for this behavior. Chances are that some of the reasons we mentioned above are the cause for peeing.
This means that your dog is showing you that something isn’t right. Make sure you receive the message and do something about it. But what exactly can you do?
We already mentioned some things above. We’ll summarize them now, and talk about some other options for you.
What to Do When Your Dog Pees on Your Bed – Step by Step
Now that we’ve covered some probable causes of your dog’s urination in your bed, let’s review what you should do to stop it.
We recommend going through the list from top to bottom, starting from the most important thing - a health check!
1. A Visit to the Vet
Even though we’ll usually say that going to the vet is the last resort, this is not the case with inappropriate peeing.
You read all the possible medical causes earlier in this article, so it makes sense to make sure that your dog is completely healthy before you start retraining.
You don’t want to train a sick dog. Not only will it be completely useless, but you’re prolonging the suffering of your dog and it’s not doing any good for them.
Depending on the age of your dog, you may not have even started with housetraining yet. If this is the case, then lucky you. You’re probably going to solve the issue soon.
However, if you already went through housetraining once, you may need to repeat the process again.
3. Identify the Context
If you determine that your dog is dealing with emotions by peeing on your bed, you need to know when that happens.
Learn about what triggers the behavior and then eliminate it if possible. For example, constant fighting in the house and an intense atmosphere can affect the dog.
Try to work on the relationships inside your home and everyone will benefit from that. If you often bring your work home, and you’re on the edge about it, your dog can feel it. Try to stop this from happening.
On the other hand, if the trigger is something you can’t eliminate, see how you can help your dog learn how to live with it and deal with it better. You might be asking, “how do I do that?”
It depends on the trigger. For example, if your dog is afraid of other dogs outside, find a very friendly dog and work on socializing your dog with it.
If a new baby is a trigger, work on making positive associations.
If the dog lost an owner, and you’re taking care of it now, work extra hard on building a relationship and make the grieving process easier.
4. Increase the Number of Walks
Depending on your schedule, your dog may not get enough time outside to fulfill all his needs.
As a responsible owner, your job is to get to know your dog and make sure it has everything it needs for a happy life. This includes enough walks or potty breaks.
If you see them peeing on the bed frequently, try taking them outside more times during the day.
You don’t have to have a proper one-hour walk every time. 15 minutes should be enough for fulfilling basic needs.
Fresh air, a bit of sun, a place to pee - they can have all of this in 15 minutes. Do this every time your dog wakes up from a nap, or drinks/eats.
These are most frequently the times your dog would go to the bed to relieve itself. If you see that there are other times when this happens, then make sure you go out then.
Another thing to do during these walks is praise the dog every time they pee. Making positive associations is the key here.
And you should avoid yelling and punishing it when he pees inside. We’ll talk more about that below.
5. Clean Up After Your Dog
It’s important to be thorough in cleaning up the pee. You need to use enzymatic cleaners in order to remove the smell completely.
This is important because your dog is sniffing all the time to recognize smells around it.
If they can still smell pee on your bed, your dog will think this is a good place to go and will likely go back to peeing on the bed.
6. Hire a Professional
If you think you tried everything, and you don’t see any results at all, you may want to try contacting a behaviorist or a dog trainer.
This doesn’t have to be anything long term. One consultation and their visit to your home will probably give you enough knowledge to move forward with solving the problem successfully.
Of course, depending on the cause, you may need more sessions. But it will be worth it once you no longer have to deal with peeing on the bed.
7. Keep Your Cool
Whatever you do, it’s important to remember to stay calm. I know it’s beyond frustrating having to deal with a situation like this.
But, yelling, screaming, scolding your dog - none of this will help. As a matter of fact, it may make things worse. Your dog may make an association between yelling and peeing.
This may lead to them being afraid to urinate in front of you, even outdoors, when they should.
Another thing to avoid is punishing your dog by putting their nose near their pee, or rubbing anything in their nose. This just doesn’t work, contrary to what you may have heard.
Even if it works for some people, there are better ways to approach this problem, which you’ve read about above.
The key is in positive reinforcement when your dog pees outside, and keeping your cool when accidents happen.
If you were wondering ‘Why did my dog pee on my bed?’, we hope you found your answer here. As you saw, there are many ways to approach the problem of inappropriate peeing.
Starting from a vet visit, all the way to getting professional help – something will work. It’s important to remember that there is a cause for every behavior your dog displays.
It’s nothing personal, it’s just a message that your dog is trying to convey.
As someone who cares about their dog, you will want to hear this message loud and clear, and help your dog deal with their problem. Good luck!