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why does my dog pee on the bed

Why Does My Dog Pee On My Bed? Expert Help to Make it Stop

If you’re wondering, “Why does my dog pee on my bed?”—don’t worry, I have expert tips to make it stop! First, find out the reasons why your pup is peeing in the wrong place (Hint: It’s not out of spite). Then, learn four simple steps to get him to stop. And finally, I’ll explain the best way to clean your pee-soaked laundry so that your dog won’t return to the scene of the accident.

Read time: 5 minutes


There are fewer things more satisfying than climbing into your cozy bed after a long hard day and snuggling with your favorite fur family. But what if you settle in only to find urine-soaked sheets because your dog peed on the bed? Gross!

Has this happened to you? We typically associate pee accidents with potty training new puppies or incontinent senior dogs. But the truth is, there are many reasons why your dog pees on the bed. Digging down to the root cause of this unpleasant behavior is the first step to stopping the problem once and for all.

Why Is My Dog Peeing on My Bed?

One possibility is that your dog is attracted to the smell of your bed, which they perceive as a communal space. However, other factors such as urinary tract or kidney issues, potty training accidents, marking to establish territory, or anxiety could also be contributing to this behavior.

  • Urinary tract or kidney issues: Before addressing behavioral causes, it’s critical to rule out any medical reasons for your dog’s urination problems. Issues with the urinary tract can make it difficult for dogs to control their bladders. A urinary tract infection, cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), and kidney disease can all cause dogs to have accidents. Not to mention, these conditions can cause a lot of discomfort. 

Truthfully, any change in bathroom behavior could potentially have a physical cause. If peeing on the bed is new for your dog, head to your veterinarian right away to rule out any of these serious conditions. 

  • Potty training accidents: Unsurprisingly, young dogs who are potty trained are bound to have accidents. They’re still learning the appropriate and inappropriate places to pee. And surprise, surprise, your bed just might become a target. After all, it smells like you, it’s soft, it’s absorbent—what’s not to love? Also, young dogs simply can’t hold their bladders through the night. So if your dog sleeps with you, they’re much more likely to have an accident and pee on the bed.

Senior dogs are also prone to accidents. Urinary incontinence is fairly common among older dogs. They’re much more likely to dribble urine while they’re asleep. Unfortunately, progressive cognitive issues can cause them to forget their good potty-training habits.

  • Urine marking: Unlike the simple accidents we just talked about, urine marking is a territorial behavior. It’s often done in response to a perceived threat. For example, unfamiliar objects in the home like new bedding or even new people such as guests or a new baby can trigger urine marking. If your dog conflicts with another animal, even the family cat, he may begin urine marking as a way to establish his territory. Other triggers include contact with unfamiliar animals, anxiety, and lack of exercise.

It’s important to note that urine marking occurs most frequently in male dogs who haven’t been neutered. But it can also be an issue for intact female dogs. 

  • Excitement, fear, stress, and anxiety: Emotions can also be the reason why dogs pee on the bed. I think most pet parents can recall being greeted by a young dog who was so excited they dribbled urine! This is perfectly normal dog behavior. While many dogs grow out of it once they reach adulthood, some don’t. This could be one of the reasons your dog pees on the bed. 

On the other hand, dogs who suffer from less pleasant emotions such as fear, stress, and anxiety will often have accidents in the house. Loud noises like thunder and fireworks may startle them, leading to inappropriate urination. They can get so distressed that they run and hide, seeking a safe place. And that safe place is likely your bed. Separation anxiety can also be the cause of your dog peeing on the bed. Some of our fur family struggle when they’re left alone. To read more about my family pets’ experiences with separation anxiety, check out my blog post here.

Should I Punish My Dog for Peeing on My Bed?

Finding pee on your bed is enough to make the most patient person lose their cool. But punishing your pup or reacting out of anger won’t do much to help the problem. It may make the situation worse. Instead of learning that it’s not okay to pee on the bed, they’ll simply remember that you are angry and unpredictable.

Do this instead of punishing your dog: move your pup to another area, away from the scene of the “pee” crime. Take a deep breath. Then clean your linens with a safe enzyme cleaner specifically designed for pet messes (more on that in a little bit). 

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How Can I Get My Dog to Stop Peeing on My Bed?

1. Get a Clean Bill of Health

Visit your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical reasons for your dog’s pee problems.

2. Analyze Your Home for Triggers

Are there any new stresses that may be triggering your pup, such as new furniture, new guests, or new bedding? By desensitizing your dog to the new item, you may help them regain their calm. Slowly introducing your pup to the source of anxiety and then rewarding their positive behavior can go a long way in managing the problem.

3. Get Back to House Training Basics

Your pup may do well to get back to some basic dog training and housebreaking. Try limiting access to your bed. Only allow your pup on the bed when you’re on the bed. Take your dog outside for frequent potty breaks when you are home. Close the bedroom door when you’re not home. Try retraining your pup using crates. And of course, reward your dog with lots of praise and yummy treats when they pee in the right spot.

4. Clean Your Bedding with an Enzymatic Cleaner

I can’t emphasize this enough. I’m talking about your comforter, pillows, sheets, and mattress—clean everything! Anything that smells like urine will encourage your dog to keep peeing in the same spot.

How to Clean Dog Pee from Your Bed

Finding just the right cleaning product can be difficult. It needs to smell good and be tough enough on pee but still gentle enough for your precious pooch. And most importantly, it needs to completely neutralize dog urine. Otherwise, your dog’s sensitive nose will still smell the pee, leading to a vicious cycle of peeing, cleaning, and repeating.

If you want your dog to stop peeing on your bed, choose an enzyme cleaner. Unlike everyday cleaners, enzyme cleaners work by breaking down your pet’s waste, completely removing your dog’s pee and all traces of urine odor.

kinderbean works better than other cleaners on pet waste

After trying so many different cleaners and being repeatedly let down, I decided to take matters into my own hands and create my own enzyme cleaner, Kinderbean No Stress Mess Eraser. Not only is it great for spot cleaning, but you can even add it to your laundry!

Simply throw your bedding in your normal wash cycle, but be sure to add about a 1/4 cup of Kinderbean No Stress Mess Eraser to your detergent dispenser. This will help freshen the whole load and remove any traces of dog pee.

You can dry as usual, per the instructions. For very strong odors or excessive amounts of urine, you may need to soak the linens in a 4:1 ratio of water and Kinderbean No-Stress Mess Eraser for 12 hours then repeat the steps above for the wash cycle.

The Tail End

When you’re a pet parent, occasional pee accidents are to be expected. But if your dog has made it a habit of peeing on your bed after trying the steps above and you’re wondering, “Why does my dog pee on my bed still?” check with your veterinarian to rule out any serious medical problems. 
Once your dog gets a clean bill of health, find the root cause of the problem. Does your dog need some housetraining reminders? Is territorial urine marking to blame? Or are your pup’s emotions getting the best of him, causing him to pee on the bed? With perseverance and my favorite enzyme cleaner, Kinderbean, you and your pup will be on your way to clean, pee-free, bedding!

Kinderbean cta

Kristen Levine is a nationally acclaimed pet expert, influencer, and Fear Free Certified® Professional with over 30 years of experience working with pets.

Through this blog and her book, Pampered Pets on a Budget, Kristen has helped millions of pet parents solve problems and provide the best care for their dogs and cats.

Working alongside hundreds of pet professionals, including veterinarians, behaviorists and trainers inspired Kristen to become a pet parenting “guide”, providing readers with reliable information about health, wellness and lifestyle for dogs and cats and the people who love them.

A dogged advocate for pet adoption and rescue, Kristen has featured over 1,000 adoptable dogs and cats from the SPCA on live television and radio appearances to get them adopted. Her blog, KristenLevine.com has been featured in over 100 media outlets – including the New York Times, USA Today, FOX & Friends, Good Morning America, Women's Day, Reader's Digest, Good Housekeeping, Pop Sugar and more.

To stay up to date on the latest health and lifestyle trends for pets, Kristen regularly attends the top veterinary and pet product conferences, where she’s often a featured speaker.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. I’ve been worried about putting our dog in our bed again after she peed on our pillow. I think the best thing we can do is to get her trained before placing her in our bed.

  2. I have an 18 month old Romanian dog, rescued from a high kill shelter. I’ve overcome most problems except one which I just can’t fix.
    I have three other dogs so I’m not new to pet owning, all sleep in the bedroom or just outside and all sleep all night.
    The rescue wakes everybody very early in the morning and jumps on the bed EVERY DAY AND URINATES!
    I’m at my wits end having had to replace duvet’s because of the smell, I’ve bought repellent spray, got up at 5 but by time I’ve put on slippers it’s too late he’s peed. Help

    1. Hello Mollie,

      That sounds so frustrating! With rescue dogs, it can be difficult to say how their previous life affected their current behavior. This daily urination could be due to marking territory, showing submission, or even be part of a routine that started in his previous life. Once you’ve eliminated any medical reasons for his actions – and all regular training methods like those listed in this blog post have failed – a certified dog trainer or veterinary behaviorist may be your best bet. You can find board certified veterinary behaviorists in your area at the DACVB website.

      Another thing to consider is whether any of the urine has made it past your duvet and into your mattress itself. If it has, your dog will be able to smell it even if you can’t, which could contribute to his behavior. Mattresses can be very difficult to clean thoroughly, but a good enzymatic cleaner can help.

      I hope this helps – and I hope you find the solution that works for your pup soon.
      Kristen

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