My Dog Peed in Her Sleep! What To Do About My Dog’s Urine Incontinence

The first thing to cross your mind once you hear that a dog has been wetting their bed is that probably, it’s a small puppy urinating while sleeping that hasn’t learned the rules properly yet. But as logical as it may seem, this is usually not the case. If your dog urinates on the bed, read on to find out more!

Older dogs, that have already been perfectly housebroken, can also pee in their sleep and it has nothing to do with the level of laziness or effectiveness of potty training. The best thing to do when faced with situations like these is to skip the dog trainer and go directly to the vet. There are many reasons why your dog might be peeing in her sleep, sometimes it can be directly connected to some specific female problems and very often it is a sign of some underlying medical condition. So just like with any other medical condition – the sooner you find out what you’re dealing with, the better.

Also Read: Help! My pup just won’t wee outside!

To understand why your dog has been peeing her bed, you first have to understand the way things work. Basically, successfully housebreaking your dog, means that she learned how to interpret the special stretch receptors in her bladder walls. This means that once your dog’s bladder gets filled up with urine, said stretch receptors in the bladder wall get activated, triggering muscle contractions that signal to your dog that it’s time to run to the door and bark in order to be let out. At this point, your dog is controlling the sphincter around the neck of the bladder, allowing her to ‘hold in’ urine, up until you let her go outside.

The female issue that might be making your dog wet her bed

A really common cause among female dogs for wetting in their bed is the so-called ‘primary sphincter mechanism incompetence’ or PSMI. This condition has also been referred to by vets as hormone-responsive urinary incontinence, estrogen responsive incontinence or even as simply spay incontinence.

Study collected data shows that 1 out of 5 female dogs have been affected by PSMI after being spayed. The scientific explanation behind this would be that – after being spayed, the estrogen levels in the dog’s body lowers. Since estrogen is important in maintaining a good muscle tone of the sphincters, once the levels lower, trouble can happen. This is especially noticeable in aging dogs because these muscles in spayed dogs tend to get even weaker over time, causing leakage and difficulties holding in urine. And even though it’s mostly seen in senior dogs, it can sometimes affect younger dogs, too.

Dealing with your dog’s female problems

Of course, the first thing to do is consult your vet for any advice on how to control your dog’s female problems causing her to pee in her bed. You can ask your vet for some prescription medication that will help your dog through strengthening those muscles. For instance, one such medication you can ask for is phenylpropanolamine which has been proven really helpful in strengthening weakened sphincters. And for cases when phenylpropanolamine is simply not strong enough – you can try with DES (diethylstilbestrol) estrogen.

Other possible reasons your dog might be peeing in bed

But of course, not only female dogs can have problems like this. All dogs can develop weakening of the bladder’s sphincter, regardless of their sex and age. Yes, it is less common in males than in female dogs, but when it does happen it usually has to do with their level of testosterone. Very similar to estrogen’s effect in female dogs, testosterone has a huge impact on the strength of the bladder in males.

If you’re the proud owner of a female dog that you’re positive has no estrogen problems, but yet pees in her sleep, there are some other possible causes you might want to check for. For instance, your dog might be having a urinary tract infection, bladder stones, ectopic ureters or even a brain / spinal cord disease (cause a disruption in the communication between your dog’s nerves of the sphincter and her brain).

Sometimes, dogs with diabetes (which makes dogs drink more water) and Cushing’s disease may also experience difficulties controlling their bladder. Both these diseases usually cause dribbles of urine throughout the day, but they too might result in peeing during your dog’s sleep.

Can peeing in bed cause any serious complications?

Peeing in bed will be as surprising for your dog as it will be for you. This means that sometimes your dog might choose some strange ways to deal with the situation, for instance – lick her private areas. Although it might sound pretty safe, being exposed to urine that is caustic can cause urine scalding which might result in raw, reddish skin and dirty hair.

One more complication that a lowered sphincter tone can cause is allowing for bacteria to easily enter the dog’s urinary tract and cause an infection. To prevent this, when experiencing urinary incontinence, make sure you check your dog’s urine at least once in 6 months.


If you do notice your dog has been peeing his bed, the first thing to do is learn of the possible causes, don’t panic and see your vet. Of course, some issues are not so serious and you can definitely solve by yourself, but sometimes even though it looks simple, you can risk your dog getting some serious complications by not treating her in the most suitable way.

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