You wake up in the wee hours of the morning and happen to glance over at your dog. You’re happy to see that your sweet furry friend is cuddled up near you on the bed, but then you notice something else – a wet spot right beside him on your comforter.
But your dog is well-trained and usually alerts you when he has to go to the bathroom. Why is he being so naughty all of a sudden?
It can be easy to blame your pooch when your dog pees while sleeping, although this is typically not something your dog is doing on purpose. In fact, if your dog pees while sleeping, it’s much more likely that there is a medical issue going on.
When a dog pees while sleeping, we can be left scratching our heads. Why is your dog doing this? Is he sick or in pain? Is there anything you can do to solve the problem?
If you’re asking yourself these questions then you’ve come to the right place.
Table of Contents
So, Your Dog Pees While Sleeping – What Gives?
If your dog is peeing while she sleeps, this could be a sign of a medical issue.
If you have a dog that pees while sleeping, you’re not alone. Many dogs go through this at least once or twice in their lives, and it’s often a symptom of something going on with them medically.
This is especially true if your dog rarely has accidents in the house or if your dog is exhibiting other symptoms of incontinence when he is awake.
The most common causes for discovering that your dog pees while sleeping are treatable, and are often ailments such as bladder infections or kidney stones.
However, if your dog pees while sleeping, it could mean there is something else going on that might be more serious.
For this reason, it’s incredibly important to pay attention to your dog if your dog pees while sleeping. Take your time to consider the potential causes of why your dog pees while sleeping, and then consult your veterinarian.
But how do you know if your dog pees while sleeping if he is not in the bed with you? What are some other signs of your dog having incontinence issues that could be a sign of a medical issue that needs attention?
Keep reading to find out.
How To Know If Your Dog Pees While Sleeping
Wet spots could be a sign your dog is peeing while sleeping.
If your dog sleeps in your bed, it may be easier to determine that your dog pees while sleeping. However, if your dog is a very small dog, you may not notice right away regardless.
When a small dog pees while sleeping, it could easily dry up by morning, especially if your dog only urinates a small amount. And if your dog sleeps on a carpeted floor or rug, or if he sleeps in a dog bed at night, it could be even more complicated to notice if your dog pees while sleeping.
Some other common signs that your dog is having incontinence issues or pees while sleeping could include but may not be limited to:
- Wet Spots on The Dog Bed Or Your Bedding
- Wet Or Soiled Fur On Your Dog’s Hind Legs
- Irritation On The Skin Or Your Dog’s Underbelly From Constant Contact With Urine
- Irritated Genitalia And Consistent Licking of Genitalia
- A Strong Smell of Urine Throughout The Home
- And Finding Accidents In The Home Even Though Your Dog Is Well House Trained
If you are noticing signs that your dog pees while sleeping or even that your dog pees in unusual places in the home he wouldn’t normally pee in, it’s time to do some more investigating.
Some Common Reasons Your Dog Pees While Sleeping
There are several reasons your dog could be urinating in his sleep.
Your dog may pee while sleeping for many reasons, and some reasons are more serious than others. Before you opt to try and solve the problem on your own, it’s important to consider the different diagnoses or causes of why a dog pees while sleeping.
Some of the most common causes a dog pees while sleeping could include but may not be limited to:
- Neutering or Spaying
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
- Bladder Stones
- Kidney Disease or Acute Kidney Failure
- Bladder Contractions
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Spinal Problems
- Tumors In The Urinary Tract
Let’s learn more.
Neutering or Spaying
Getting your dog fixed could be a common reason for incontinence.
Neutering or spaying can cause a dog to pee while sleeping, though this is often a temporary problem. The reason is that these surgeries often involve removing the dog’s sex hormones.
A dog’s body produces certain hormones that help control its reproductive system. These hormones also help control other functions in the body, including how much urine the animal releases when they go to the bathroom.
When we neuter or spay a dog, we remove these hormones which can affect how much your dog pees during the day. In some cases, this can even cause them to pee while they sleep at night.
The likelihood of your dog peeing while sleeping due to being spayed or neutered could depend on several factors:
The age at which your dog is spayed or neutered can also have an effect on whether he or she will develop incontinence issues later in life. Dogs that undergo a surgical procedure before six months old are much more likely to experience problems than those who undergo the procedure after this age due to hormonal imbalances caused by the surgery itself.
Some breeds are more prone to urinary problems than others after a spay or neuter. For example, Labrador retrievers are especially susceptible to these issues because of their large size and longer coats. Other breeds known for having trouble with urination include German shepherds, Dobermans, and Rottweilers.
Some dogs may suffer secondary infections due to their spay or neuter procedure, and this can lead to discovering your dog pees while sleeping. If your dog has recently undergone a spay or neuter and you notice this symptom, it’s important to contact your veterinarian to schedule a check-up.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
One of the most common reasons for canine incontinence is a UTI.
Urinary tract infections are incredibly common in dogs. If your dog pees while sleeping due to a urinary tract infection, it’s important to get your dog seen by your vet right away.
Some common signs of a urinary tract infection in dogs aside from a dog that pees while sleeping include:
- Blood in their urine
- Straining to pee (especially at night)
- Difficulty going to the bathroom
- Painful urination
Urinary tract infections are a common cause of incontinence, especially in female dogs. In fact, one study found that up to 75% of cases of incontinence in small breed female dogs were due to urinary tract infections.
If your dog is urinating in her sleep, it’s important to rule out this possibility before moving forward with other treatment options.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur when harmful bacteria grow inside the bladder or kidneys. This can result in inflammation, infection, and pain. Dogs can develop UTIs for a number of reasons, including:
Older pets tend to be more prone to UTIs because their bodies don’t fight off bacteria as well as younger pets do.
Female dogs are more likely than males to develop urinary problems. This is because they have shorter urethras than males, which makes it easier for bacteria to travel into the bladder and cause an infection.
Size and breed
Smaller dogs have smaller bladders and kidneys than larger dogs do. This can make them more likely to develop UTIs over time because their bladders and kidneys aren’t able to hold as much urine before needing emptying again.
If you make any sudden changes to your dog’s diet (including adding new foods), it can increase their risk of developing a urinary tract infection as it may alter their pH levels. This can lead to bacteria growth and infection.
Bladder stones are not only painful but they could be a leading cause to a dog peeing while sleeping.
Another reason your dog pees while sleeping could be due to bladder stones. Bladder stones are small mineral deposits that form inside of your dog’s bladder. They can be painful and extremely dangerous if they are not treated right away.
Your vet will be able to tell if your dog has bladder stones by doing an ultrasound or x-ray of the abdomen.
What Are the Symptoms of Bladder Stones in Dogs?
The symptoms of bladder stones in dogs vary widely depending on where they are located in the body and how large they are. Some dogs will experience no symptoms at all while others will have severe pain or blood in their urine. The following list of symptoms may indicate that your dog is suffering from bladder stones:
- Your dog pees while sleeping
- Bloody urine (hematuria)
- Straining to urinate (also called dysuria)
- Urinating more frequently than usual
- Urinating small amounts at a time
- Constipation or diarrhea (if the bladder stone causes blockage)
If you think your dog pees while sleeping due to bladder stones, it’s important to get your dog seen by a veterinarian right away. Bladder stones are not only painful for your dog, but they can also be dangerous.
Treatment for bladder stones include the following:
This is a procedure in which a veterinarian inserts an instrument into the urethra and flushes out the bladder with a sterile solution. This helps remove any remaining stones or debris from inside the bladder.
Sometimes antibiotics are prescribed to prevent an infection that can develop after a stone has been removed, especially if the stone was large or lodged in the urethra so that it couldn’t be flushed out easily.
Your veterinarian may prescribe pain relievers like tramadol (Conzip) or carprofen (Rimadyl). These medications often work well if given daily for several days until your dog feels better and no longer needs them.
Kidney Disease Or Acute Kidney Failure
If your dog is suffering from Kidney Disease, he will need to be seen by his vet right away.
Kidney disease or even kidney failure could lead to finding that your dog pees while sleeping. While this is relatively rare without other symptoms, it is serious and there are some symptoms you should look out for when it comes to either kidney disease or kidney failure.
Symptoms of Kidney Disease In Dogs
If you notice that your dog pees while sleeping, it could be a sign of kidney disease. Kidney disease is one of the most common diseases in dogs and it can affect both young and old pets.
The kidneys are responsible for filtering toxins and waste products from the blood, which means they work very hard at all times. If they become damaged or get infected, they cannot filter as effectively as they should and this can cause serious health problems.
The symptoms will vary depending on the severity of your dog’s condition. Some dogs will only show mild symptoms such as increased thirst and peeing more often than usual. Others may display more severe signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, or lack of appetite.
These symptoms could also be caused by other diseases so it’s important for you to speak with your veterinarian about them.
There are many different types of kidney disease, but some symptoms are common to all types. These include:
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive urination (especially at night)
- Lethargy and loss of energy
- Muscle twitches or tremors
- Vomiting, especially after exercise and eating
Symptoms of Acute Kidney Failure In Dogs
Acute kidney failure occurs when there is acute damage to one or both kidneys so severe that it requires immediate medical attention.
Acute kidney failure (AKF) in dogs is an emergency condition that must be treated quickly to prevent permanent damage to your dog’s kidneys. Dogs with AKF are unable to filter toxins from their blood effectively, so their kidneys become overloaded with waste products and fluid buildup begins.
If not treated promptly, AKF can cause irreversible organ damage and even death within just a few days.
Some common symptoms of acute kidney failure in dogs include but may not be limited to:
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Lethargy or depression
- Loss of appetite
- A chemical smell to the breath
- Blood in the urine
- Ulcers in the mouth
- Loss of coordination
Though the cause isn’t fully understood, bladder contractions can also cause urination while sleeping.
Bladder contractions could also be a reason your dog pees while sleeping. Bladder contractions are caused by a spasm of the pelvic floor muscles. The reason for this is not known, but it may be related to stress or anxiety. Bladder contractions occur most often when the dog is sleeping.
The dog will start to whine and cry out as if he or she needs to urinate. This can happen several times during the night. Treatment for bladder contractions in dogs includes medication (such as melatonin), dietary changes, and behavior modification training.
Some common signs of bladder contractions in dogs are listed below.
Finding Wet Spots
If you find wet spots around your dog’s crate or bed at night when they should be asleep, this could be an indication of bladder contractions.
Hearing Your Dog Whine Or Cry During Sleep
If you hear your whine or cry out during their sleep cycle, this could be a sign of bladder contractions. This usually happens when your dog rolls over onto his side and the pressure from their weight causes the urine to come out.
If your dog is panting heavily during their sleep cycle even though it’s not hot outside, this could be a sign of bladder contractions. Bladder contractions are uncomfortable, and many dogs pant when they are in pain or anxious.
Treatment For Bladder Contractions
The treatment for bladder contractions depends on what is causing them. The first step is always to rule out any possible medical conditions that might be causing bladder problems such as cystitis (inflammation of the urinary tract), kidney disease, or diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes).
If these conditions are ruled out, then behavior modification training can be used to help reduce the number of episodes of bladder contractions in dogs.
Hormonal imbalances in dogs can result in a number of unwanted symptoms, including if your dog pees while sleeping. This can be attributed to an imbalance in sex hormones, which include estrogen and progesterone.
It is important to understand that dogs have similar reproductive systems as humans do and therefore can suffer from many of the same conditions. These conditions include endometriosis, which is a common cause of hormonal imbalances in women and is also found in dogs.
Why might you find that your dog pees while sleeping due to hormonal imbalances?
The reason why your dog may be urinating while sleeping has to do with the release of certain hormones during sleep. These hormones are released by the pituitary gland, which controls the production of other hormones such as estrogen and progesterone.
When these two hormones get out of balance, they can cause many different issues including increased thirst, weight gain, and even urinary tract infections (UTI), which brings you back full circle to the top of our list.
This is why it is so important to have your dog seen if you do notice your dog pees while sleeping. While treating a possible urinary tract infection could help reduce the episodes, if your dog is having an underlying hormonal imbalance, then the UTIs could continue to return.
Dogs who struggle with spinal issues may also struggle with urinary incontinence.
Your dog may pee while sleeping because of spinal problems. Spinal problems are a common cause of incontinence in dogs. This is especially true for older dogs, but even puppies can have spinal problems that lead to urinary incontinence.
The spine is a complicated structure made up of bones, ligaments, and nerves. When something goes wrong with any of these structures, it can cause pain and discomfort for your dog, which can lead to you finding that your dog pees while sleeping.
The most common cause of spinal problems in dogs is degenerative disc disease (DDD), which occurs when the discs between vertebrae break down and become less flexible over time. This can cause the bones to rub together excessively during movement, causing pain and irritation in your pet’s back.
Incontinence caused by DDD usually manifests itself as urine leaking into the abdomen rather than dripping out as it does with other forms of incontinence like cystitis or urethral obstruction. This type of incontinence is known as urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence (USMI).
You can treat urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence in a number of ways. The first step is to determine if your dog’s incontinence is due to DDD or another health problem. If your vet suspects DDD and your dog is older than 4 years old, they may recommend surgery. However, there are other options that can help treat USMI in dogs at any age.
If you’re looking for the best treatment for your dog’s USMI, talk to your vet about medical treatments first. Medical therapy includes:
- Dilating the urethra using a special catheter
- Using medication to relax the muscles around the urethra
- Using medication to shrink the prostate gland (if present)
If these methods don’t work, surgery may be needed. The goal of surgery is to narrow or block off part of the urethra so that urine can’t flow back into the bladder.
Diabetes may make some dogs more prone than others to incontinence issues.
Diabetes is a serious disease that can cause many problems for your dog, including urinary tract infections and crystals in the urine. If your pet has diabetes, he might have trouble controlling his bladder, and this can lead to finding that your dog pees while sleeping.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to help manage this problem.
The first thing you should do is take your dog to your veterinarian to get a diagnosis of diabetes. Your vet will also be able to tell you if there are other factors that might be causing your pet’s incontinence, such as bladder stones or infections. Once you know what’s causing the problem for sure, you can begin treating it.
If your dog has been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus and is having urinary tract problems due to complications from the disease, there are several treatments that may help him regain control over his bladder function so he stops urinating in his sleep altogether.
First, feed your pet a high-fiber diet. This encourages him to drink more water, which helps dilute his urine so crystallization doesn’t occur as easily. Feeding canned pumpkin (available at most grocery stores) may also help because it contains fiber and other chemicals that can help prevent crystals from forming in your dog’s urine.
In addition, you should consider adding some raw vegetables or fruits to his diet as well. These will provide additional fiber along with other nutrients that may be beneficial for helping control blood glucose levels and reduce inflammation in the body. Some good choices include carrots, sweet potatoes, celery, and apples.
You can also give your dog probiotics daily to reduce inflammation and maintain healthy bowel movements. Your vet can prescribe an appropriate dose based on your pet’s size, weight, and overall health condition.
Last, giving your dog vitamin B supplements daily can help improve his immune system and keep him healthy overall, especially if he’s been diagnosed with cancer or another chronic illness that causes inflammation in the body or lead to discovering your dog pees while sleeping.
Tumors In The Urinary Tract
Tumors could be damaging or blocking your dog’s urinary tract, leading to incontinence.
Another cause for finding your dog pees while sleeping could be due to tumors in the urinary tract. Some common symptoms of tumors in the urinary tract include:
- Bloody urine
- Frequent urination
- Accidents in the house
- Licking the genital area
- Excessive drinking and urination
- Swelling or pain in the abdomen
If you suspect your dog pees while sleeping due to tumors in the urinary tract, it’s important to get him seen by your vet right away. Treatment for tumors in the urinary tract could vary and depend on what type of tumor it is, and if it has spread.
If your dog is older and doesn’t have any other symptoms, then the most likely cause of the accidents at night is because they have some type of benign tumor in their urinary tract that has grown enough to press on a nerve or blood vessel. This will cause them to leak urine when they lie or sit down. The leaking may also be worse when they are excited or anxious.
The treatment for this type of tumor often depends on where the tumor is, and how large it is. If your dog’s tumor is small enough, then it can be removed completely by surgery without any further complications or side effects.
If the tumor has grown larger than 2 cm then surgery may not be an option anymore because there are many blood vessels and nerves that run through this area that could get cut during surgery.
Other treatments can vary, but either way, if you feel your dog pees while sleeping due to a tumor it is important to get him into his vet as quickly as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment.
If your dog is on any medications like steroids or antibiotics, you may notice some incontinence.
Certain types of medications can be another reason your dog pees while sleeping. Some of the most common medications that can lead to urinary incontinence include corticosteroids, sedatives, diuretics, and even some antibiotics.
Corticosteroids such as prednisone or dexamethasone, which are prescribed for many different conditions including asthma and arthritis, can cause severe incontinence in some dogs.
Sedatives, tranquilizers, and antidepressants such as phenobarbital and chlorpromazine (Thorazine), can also cause mild to severe incontinence in dogs.
Diuretics such as furosemide (Lasix) are often used to treat heart failure or high blood pressure. These too can cause mild to moderate incontinence in some dogs.
Antibiotics such as clindamycin and nitrofurantoin (Macrodantin), which are used to treat urinary tract infections caused by bacteria may have the double-edged effect of causing your dog to pee while sleeping as well.
If you think your dog is peeing while sleeping due to medications prescribed by your veterinarian, content them. They may be able to change the dosage or even the type of medication to a brand that doesn’t cause you to find your dog pees while sleeping.
What To Do If Your Dog Pees While Sleeping
Don’t wait to contact your vet if you notice your dog is suffering from urinary incontinence.
You may be feeling a mix of different emotions if your dog pees while sleeping. While this is totally understandable, it’s important to remember that there are a few things you should do and things you should not do under these circumstances.
- Don’t scold or punish your dog for having these accidents as it’s likely there is a medical issue going on he cannot control.
- Don’t try and wait for the problem out without seeking answers from a professional
- Don’t make your dog sleep outside or in diapers as a remedy to the problem
- Don’t try home remedies without knowing for certain what is going on with your dog
- Don’t assume the problem will go away on it’s own
- Do contact your veterinarian for advice or treatment options
- Do make sure your dog has access to fresh and clean water every day
- Wash your dog’s bedding often
- Ensure your dog is eating a healthy diet
- Get your dog seen by a veterinarian right away if you find your dog pees while sleeping
We hope this has been a helpful guide on what to do if your dog pees while sleeping. Remember, dogs do not simply pee while sleeping for no reason. It’s important to be patient, do your research, and seek help from a trusted veterinarian.
Best of luck and thanks for reading!