Dogs are never more vulnerable than while they are sleeping, and sharing your bed is a sign that you are part of the pack. What about those little accidents that may happen, though? Why is your dog peeing on the bed – and are they doing it on purpose?
This is a more common problem than you may think. Many pet owners complain that their dogs have peed on their bed in front of them, or that their dogs continually urinate on their bed. In some extreme cases, it could be even worse – it’s not unheard of for a dog to poop on a pile of clothes!
Let’s take a look at this problem and try to get to the bottom of this unsanitary canine behavior.
Table of Contents:
Why is My Dog Peeing on My Bed?
If a dog is going to pee inside the house, your bed is as good a place as any. There are many reasons why this may be happening, and each case is unique to the dog in question. Let’s take a look at what might be occurring.
Is My Dog Peeing on My Bed on Purpose?
The short answer is … probably.
Here’s the thing – your bed smells like you. Think about it – this is the place that you spend your evenings, which means that you’ll be sweating, drooling and shedding skin all over the sheets. Sorry if this makes you sound less than debonair, but it’s true!
Dogs will take comfort from these familiar scents, which is why they are so keen to climb into your bed in the first place. This is why they’ll be drawn to your bed, and if they need to eliminate indoors, it’s likely that this is where they’ll do it.
Aside from the medical concerns that we discussed above, there are a handful of other potential behavioral reasons why your dog is peeing on your bed.
- Your dog is attempting to strengthen your bond. Seriously! Out in the wild, dogs often pee where other other dogs have previously left their mark. This is to claim ownership of a pack and scare off potential rivals by making a pack look bigger. If you have adopted a rescue dog that pees on your bed, this may be a reflex behavior.
- Your bed comforts your dog. Because your bed smells so strongly of you, your dog will probably find it hugely comforting. This means that they’ll think of it as a safe place to eliminate, which is naturally a very vulnerable activity for any canine.
- Your dog is excessively submissive. Dogs want to satisfy their human owners through their behavior. This is just one of the reasons we bond with them so well. Sometimes, however, this desire to please can go too far. If you have a dog that is excessively submissive, they’ll tend to pee constantly – whether that’s out of excitement, fear or just general subservience. An overly submissive dog peeing in your bed isn’t acting out – in many respects, it’s a measure of their respect for you. All the same, it’s a behavior that needs to be grown out of.
- Your dog is trying to send you a message. As we have previously stated, if your dog wants to make sure you get a message, your bed is a great place to leave it. Fido knows that you’re going to get into bed eventually, and maybe he’s trying to tell you that he’s sick, afraid of something, or is a little stressed out. It’s not the cleanest or sanitary way of communicating, but your pooch means well!
- Your bed smells of dog pee already. If your dog has had an accident on your bed, maybe when he or she was a puppy, the smell will linger within their sensitive noses. If they’re desperate for a pee, this scent may confuse them and make them think your bed is an approved urination spot.
My Dog Peed on My Bed for the First Time
If your dog has peed in or on your bed for the first time, it may be the result of a health problem – either a passing concern that they will quickly shake off or some kind of sickness that requires the attention of a vet. Alternatively, it’s possible that your dog is trying to tell you something.
One reason why a dog may suddenly take to peeing on your bed is that they are feeling a little anxious. Have you recently changed your routine or that of your dog? Are you working longer hours, meaning that Fido is getting less attention than usual? Are you feeling a bit under the weather, or stressed out about money, work or anything else? Dogs can sense pheromones, and they will pick up on these vibes.
We have also mentioned that wild dogs will pee on top of another scent to make a pack appear larger and stronger. If your dog is worried about you, they may take to peeing on your bed to deter any rivals or competitors. Try giving your dog lots of cuddles and reassurance, and let them know that you are still the alpha of the pack and don’t need them to look out for you.
My Dog Peed on My Bed in Front of Me
When your dog pees in front of you, it’s not an act of defiance or revenge. It may look that way if Fido is staring you directly in the eye while eliminating all over the bed, but your dog may actually think that they’re showing you respect!
This is particularly likely if your dog is excessively subservient, an issue that we discussed a little earlier. If you’re playing with your dog on the bed and they suddenly stop to pee, it may be a case of excitement getting the better of them. Your dog may even be trying to say thank you – remember how we earlier stated that dogs use the scent of each other’s pee to communicate? It’s possible that Fido is trying to say, “this is great – more tummy tickles please!”
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your dog is looking sheepish because they know they have done something wrong, either. Science has discovered that the so-called ‘guilty look‘ that dogs give their owners is a result of a human response to their behavior, not the behavior itself. Your dog will not connect with the fact that you are angry with the fact that they peed on the bed. They’ll just assume that you’re angry at them for needing to pee.
My Dog Peed on My Bed – With Me Inside
So, you’re enjoying a leisurely lay-in on a Sunday morning, and your canine companion decides to leap onto your bed to join. It’s a picture of perfect domestic bliss… until your dog pees on the bed, and you within it!
Ask yourself a few simple questions if this happens. Have you been spending enough time together as a human-and-hound blended family? Have you recently introduced another dog (or cat) to the family home? Have you been spending time at somebody else’s house, returning home with the scent of another animal all over you? Your dog may be peeing on your because he or she is trying to re-assert their territory, and marking you as theirs.
As always, don’t be angry at your dog for displaying this kind of behavior. Instead, offer plenty of reassurance and positive reinforcement so that your canine companion fully understands that they still matter. One of the side effects of the unbreakable bond and devotion that dogs offer is that they occasionally get insecure. A little reassurance never hurt anybody!
Behavioral and Medical Problems Cause Dogs to Pee Indoors
When a dog starts to pee indoors, it shouldn’t be ignored – there will be a reason for this behavior. The simple fact is, as fascinating as dogs find the pee of their friends, they don’t actually relish the smell of their own.
If you have ever raised a puppy that has yet to be toilet trained, you’ll have noticed that they instinctively pick a spot of the house to relieve themselves that’s about as far as way from their food bowl as possible. Even from a young age, dogs have their priorities straight!
So, if your dog is peeing indoors, there may well be a problem that needs to be looked at.
Separation Anxiety in Dogs
Dogs are social creatures by their very nature. This means that, unlike humans, they don’t necessarily want or need time alone.
You have to bear in mind that time moves very slowly for our canine companion. They don’t wear wristwatches, and they don’t pass the time by watching TV or reading books. When we head out of the door and don’t take our dogs with us, they start to wonder when we’re going to come back – if ever!
Who is going to feed them if we stay away? How will they get outside for walkies – and, indeed, to be their business? These are the panicked thoughts that we believe run through a dog’s mind when left alone.
Even if we’ve just strolled around the corner for ten minutes, that can feel like hours for a dog. That’s why you’re greeted by a tail-wagging frenzy when you return – you’re back! You didn’t abandon them! You bought food! Best human ever!
Some dogs take this to another level though, due to a condition that is known as separation anxiety. Dogs that have this issue tend to grow extremely distressed when left alone in the house, and one of the symptoms is urinating and defecating indoors. If your dog pees on your bed every time you leave them home alone, speak to a vet about separation anxiety. The chances are, your dog is leaving you a message in a place that they know without a doubt that you’ll find it.
Weak Bladder in Dogs
If your dog is peeing on your bed – or anywhere else indoors – while you’re at home, the chances are separation anxiety isn’t to blame. It may simply be a case of your dog suffering from a weak bladder, especially if Fido is growing a little older. Speak to a vet about this problem, as your dog will probably be mortified and embarrassed about his regular accidents.
Medical Problems That Cause Dogs to Pee Indoors
There are a number of medical concerns and problems that may lead to a dog peeing indoors. These come with varying degrees of worry and severity, but a vet should investigate the reasons for incontinence as soon as possible. According to WebMD, there are 10 major categories of causes of urinary incontinence in dogs.
According to PetMD, peeing indoors could point to any of the following problems.
- Lesions in the brain or spine
- UTIs (Detailed UTI information can be found at the American Kennel Club)
- Over- or Underactive Bladder (Due to Defective Organs or Disease)
- Diabetes (Recent scholarly statistics about Dog Diabetes Mellitus can be found here)
- Kidney Disease
My Dog Peed on My Bed – How Should I React?
You shouldn’t. Don’t even acknowledge the incident, other than to clean up the urine and consulting a vet if you deem it necessary. Scolding a dog for urinating or defecating if sending a message to the pooch in question that eliminating is wrong, and a bad behavior. And never, under any circumstances, rub your dog’s face in it!
This will make your dog embarrassed and ashamed at their need to go, and they’ll do whatever they can to hide the evidence in the future. This could lead to your dog peeing in your bed again, where they think that the smell will be masked by your own, or even worse, eating their own poop through fear of being discovered!
Of course, you may wish to train your dog not to go onto your bed as a result of this. Just be aware that if this is a sudden change in policy, it will confuse poor Fido.
If you have previously allowed your dog to sleep in your bed for weeks, months or years and they are suddenly banished, your dog won’t put two and two together. Dogs won’t connect current events with what happened two minutes ago, let alone earlier in the day or overnight! If you don’t want your dogs on or in your bed, train them not to clamber onto the sheets as soon as you bring them home.
Why Does My Dog Keep Peeing in His or Her Own Bed?
It’s not just your bed that could face the doggy sprinkler system treatment – dogs may also pee in their own bed. This isn’t normal behavior and should be taken very seriously.
Aside from some of the reasons that have been previously discussed, including excessive subservience and ill health, one other reason why this may be happening is that your dog is marking their territory.
If you have more than one dog or more than one animal in your family home, your dog may be intimidated and sending a message to these competitors. Peeing in his or her own bed is a dog’s way of saying, “this bed is for me and me alone. Go and find your own place to sleep.”
Peeing in their own bed is usually a sign of distress for dogs, though – much like where they eat, dogs don’t like to pee where they sleep. If your dog starts to wet the bed out of the blue, you should consult a vet straight away.
How to Get Dog Pee Out of a Mattress
The quick answer is to get it to a professional dry cleaner, post-haste. As we have previously explained, dogs have extremely potent noses and will be able to smell any traces of pee on a mattress.
When looking for a spot to relieve his or herself, a dog will always gravitate to a familiar smell and repeat the trick. Unless you get a good, thorough clean of your mattress, you may find that what began as a one-off accident becomes a recurring behavioral problem.
If it will take a while for you to get to a dry cleaner, however, or you have any other reason why it’s not an option, you could try a home remedy.
- Always start to by mopping up any excess urine using a towel or cloth, then douse the stained area with baking soda.
- Make a washing solution that includes your detergent of choice alongside white vinegar (to help with the smell), and apply to the stain.
- Leave this for around five minutes, then mop up the mix and add more baking soda to dry it out and prevent a permanent stain.
- Leave the mattress to dry naturally – this will probably be overnight, to ensure that you have a spare, or somewhere else to sleep for the night.
This may help, but please allow us to reiterate – professional help is always advisable!
Why Would a Dog Poop Indoors?
Sometimes a dog will take their interior soiling to another level. You may find that your dog has pooped on a pile of clothes, or has taken to leaving little presents in your bed or elsewhere in the house.
Sometimes, dogs poop indoors for the same reason as they pee. If we took our example of a dog pooping on a pile of clothes, this may stem from the comfort that comes from this laundry smelling like you. Avoid leaving clothing anywhere by a closest or basket, and see if this helps – it may have just been a one-off accident.
Overall though, a dog pooping on the bed or elsewhere indoors is typically a source of concern; it’s generally considered to be a bigger deal than peeing. If a dog has diarrhea it may be a passing health ailment, such as eating something that disagreed with them, but it could potentially point to a very serious medical concern.
If your dog has pooped indoors, have them checked out by a vet. There’s a chance that they just want some attention (and let’s be honest, poop is a pretty surefire way of getting that!), but it may point to something more worrying.
Why does my dog pee on my bed in front of me?
Your first reaction might be that it’s a sign of disrespect – after all, that’s how you’d feel if a human did it! But believe it or not, it’s more likely to be a sign of submission. It could also be because your dog associates your bed with comfort, and dogs like to pee where they’re comfortable. We explore many other possible reasons in the article.
How can I get my dog to stop peeing on my bed?
Whatever you do, don’t shame your dog or rub his face in it! The best reaction is no reaction, and positively reinforce your dog when he pees where he’s supposed to. Also, clean your bedding and mattress thoroughly because a lingering smell will make him more likely to do it again. We have more tips in the article.
Why does my dog pee on my pillow?
We promise it’s not to annoy you! It could be because he smells your scent there and finds it comforting, or one of the other reasons we give in the article. If this is a new behavior, you should rule out any medical condition that’s making it harder for him to hold his bladder.
Why did my dog pee on my bed while I was sleeping?
If your bed was sleeping in your bed with you, it might just be nocturnal incontinence – which is common, especially in older dogs. Alternatively, it might be a urinary tract infection – or just a more simple behavioral reason like we describe in the article.