When it comes to dog ownership, there aren't many problems that can top finding a stinky present from your pup waiting for you in bed. If your doggy has recently shown an icky penchant for eliminating where you sleep, it definitely won't help to lose your temper or get overly irked; instead figure out what may be causing the behavior, whether anxiety or a medical condition.
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If your dog keeps leaving unpleasant "surprises" on your bed, the behavior may actually be a reaction to stress and anxiety. According to the ASPCA, nervous dogs often prefer soiling areas that strongly carry an individual's scent—such as a bed. Perhaps your dog is relieving himself on your bed because he's stressed out about your new heavy workload and reduced hours at home—an example of separation anxiety. The little guy may be feeling lonely, and wanting to be closer to you in any way he can. In a totally different scenario, maybe he's feeling uncertain because you've just adopted a new puppy, and all your attention is now on the newbie.
Your doggy may also go number two on your bed as a reaction to pure fear. If he hears loud and upsetting sounds coming from outside—whether due to street traffic or inclement weather—loss of bowel control can certainly occur. Perhaps thunderous weather woke your cutie out of a mid-afternoon nap, and the terror of it all caused him to accidentally eliminate—all over your beloved satin comforter set.
Before getting annoyed by your doggy's house soiling issue, make sure that it is in no way related to an underlying health condition. Defecation problems can sometimes be traced to a variety of different ailments, including gastrointestinal parasites, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), perianal fistula and spinal cord disease. Geriatric dogs also often develop trouble controlling their bowels. Schedule an appointment with the veterinarian to check on your dog's health—and to make sure the bed defecation dilemma isn't something that is beyond your dog's control.
Consider the possibility that your dog may be defecating on your bed because he considers it a comfortable and safe spot. Perhaps he doesn't want to go outside because he feels exposed and unprotected when he defecates out in the open.
As for a simpler case, your dog may just want to avoid going outdoors because of the weather. Maybe it's burning hot and humid, or snowing heavily, and he doesn't want to deal with the discomfort.
By Naomi Millburn
Maryland SPCA: Re-House Training Your Adult Dog [PDF]
ASPCA: Separation Anxiety
ASPCA: House Training Your Adult Dog
The Humane Society of the United States: Housetraining Adult and Senior Dogs
ASPCA: Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Michigan Humane Society: Worms and Parasites
About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.