It can be distressing when your house-trained pooch urinates in the bed, but he's not trying to get back at you for some reason, as many folks believe. Still, the behavior could cause you to panic and not be able to trust your dog anymore. You can't very well sleep in a bed your dog has just peed in. Once you understand what could be causing the behavior, you can tackle the problem.
An anxious dog can be prone to peeing in the bed. If your dog is afraid of thunderstorms, a common phobia, he might seek solace on your bed. Or your dog might just have a nervous disposition, and he feels most comforted on the bed. Once he's on your bed, if he hears a clap of thunder or becomes more anxious than usual, he might pee. You can help prevent this from happening by putting your dog on a schedule. Feed him, walk him and play with him at the same times each day. You also might want to discuss with your vet the possibility of giving your dog anti-anxiety medications.
Sometimes dogs pee in the bed to mark it. Marking delivers the message that the dog will protect and defend the marked area against intruders. Typically dogs who are more aggressive mark the perimeter of the house to let other dogs know the house is being protected. Less confident dogs might only mark your door or your bed. Generally the less confident the dog, the more likely he will be to mark objects intimate to you, such as the bed. Less confident dogs don't really want to fight; the hope is the urine smell will scare off any intruders. Start taking an alpha role around the house. Let your dog know that you are in charge so he doesn't feel he needs to protect you.
Aging or Medical Reasons
If a dog has a urinary tract condition or some other medical problem that causes him to drink more water, he might accidentally pee on the bed. Once he does, the smell might cause him to pee there again, even after the medical condition is solved. Treat the area with an enzymatic urine odor eliminator to prevent future urination there. Some older dogs become incontinent; they cannot hold their urine. If that's the case with your dog, speak with your vet about possible treatment. Place an absorbent pad on the bed if you want to allow an incontinent dog to sleep there.
Bar Him From the Bed
Until you can figure out why your dog is urinating on the bed or if you're working on preventing future occurrences, restrict access to your bed by closing the door or barring it with a baby gate. If your dog sleeps with you on the bed, choose another spot for him, such as a crate or his own bed. After working with your dog to solve the problem, you may be able to allow him back on your bed without any accidents. However, be prepared for the possibility but he might never be completely trained not to urinate on the bed and decide whether snuggling with pooch under the covers is worth the occasional clean-up.
By Laura Agadoni
Dog Health Guide: Anxiety Symptom in Dog
Partnership for Animal Welfare: Dog Tip -- Marking -- Understanding It, Stopping It
Medi-Vet.com: Urinary Incontinence in Dogs
VeterinaryPartner.com: Urinating on Beds
About the Author
Laura Agadoni has been writing professionally since 1983. Her feature stories on area businesses, human interest and health and fitness appear in her local newspaper. She has also written and edited for a grassroots outreach effort and has been published in "Clean Eating" magazine and in "Dimensions" magazine, a CUNA Mutual publication. Agadoni has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University-Fullerton.