Why Did My Dog Pee the Bed and What Does It Mean?
It’s not exactly an unusual occurrence for a pet parent to let their pup share their bed. In fact it’s so common these days that you can even purchase bed frames with special ‘dog bed sections’ built in. And why not? Co-sleeping with children is very common too these days, and it is your furkid after all. Plus dogs are cuddly, warm and affectionate, so much better than a boring extra blanket on a cold night.
Where things can get a little annoying – and yucky – though is if your dog pees the bed. Then the sleeping arrangement seems a lot less delightful and you’ll no doubt be very tempted to not only consign your dog back to his crate for the night but to discipline him for the deed as well.
Before you do that though, have you stopped and tried to figure out just why your normally well behaved doggo did such a naughty thing?
The fact is that the question “why did my dog pee the bed?” can have a number of different answers, and figuring out which of them might apply in your situation may help you put an end to the problem while also ensuring that underlying health or behavioral problems are not the real cause.
However, before we go much further, you may be wondering right now just how you are going to get those ugly (and stinky) pee stains off your mattress. This excellent video from Two Moms Review shows you how to do just that.
Now that you know how to clean your bed up, it’s time to concentrate on just why the pee ended up there in the first place, and what you can do to hopefully correct the behavior.
Medical Reasons for Doggy Bedwetting
The unfortunate fact is that in some cases of doggy bedwetting the behavior is found to have a medical cause. If this is first time it’s happened they may be suffering from a UTI – urinary tract infection – which often leads to pups only being able to urinate in small amounts – due to the pain it causes to do so – and the result is the bladder leakage that ended up on your bed.
Urinary tract infections can be standalone events, or may be symptoms of a larger problem like kidney stones, bladder stones or undiagnozed diabetes. Therefore it would the best idea to take your dog for a check up with their vet, even if they seem perfectly healthy in every other respect.
Age may also be a factor. Like humans, as dogs age they may lose some of their basic cognitive functions. Medically it’s known as cognitive dysfunction syndrome and it is, in some ways, like a canine version of Alzheimer’s. This can result in dogs behaving in unusual ways and ‘forgetting’ some of the things they have learned in life, like that peeing in the house is not a good thing.
Psychological Reasons for Doggy Bedwetting
Some pet parents assume that their pup’s bed peeing habits are associated with territorialism, and in some cases they may be quite right, especially if there are other pets in the home. However, that is not the only possible psychological cause of canine bedwetting.
Peeing where they shouldn’t – and probably know they shouldn’t – can often be an involuntary response to stress or anxiety. It can also be a sign of loneliness, and the act of urinating where they should not a cry for additional attention. And yes, it may even be naughtiness, especially if your furkid is still a puppy.
Whatever the reason that your dog pees the bed shouting at him – or worse still smacking him – about it is cruel, inappropriate and will never solve the problem.
Preventive Measures to Stop Doggy Bedwetting
If your vet determines that there is a medical cause for your pup’s new bedwetting habit she will guide you as to how you should proceed, and whether you should even allow co-sleeping any longer. If he’s perfectly healthy physically, you may have to do a little amateur psychological analysis to determine if outside factors that you can control to a certain degree might be the cause.
For example, canine behavioral expert and dog trainer extraordinaire Cesar Millan has written extensively on his website about what is termed submissive urination. He does not necessarily mean that a dog pees when scared – although that may be a cause, but also simply when they get over stimulated.
To deal with submissive urination he recommends working slowly – and calmly – through the possible triggers – loud noises, fear of new things, competition with other pets – to distract your pup from them while reinforcing positive behaviors, like urinating in the proper places at the right times.
If all else fails, it may be time to put an end to co sleeping with your pup. That does not have to mean that they are banished to sleep alone in the kitchen though. Investing in a comfortable, attractive dog bed – and there are some wonderful options available – that your furkid is then taught is his, and where he must stay at night – can be an effective way to help ensure your pup does not feel left out and lonely while also helping you to maintain a bed that’s dry clean and comfortable!