Why Is My Female Dog Peeing on My Bed All of a Sudden

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The smell of dog pee hits your nose as you walk into your bedroom. Why is my female dog peeing on my bed all of a sudden? It’s got to be one of the worst places your dog could choose.

So why is she doing it? How can you stop her? Most of all, how do you get the dog pee out of the mattress? 

We’ll cover all that and more today, but let’s start with what is causing her to pee on your bed in the first place.




Reasons Why a Female Dog is Peeing on The Bed All of a Sudden

There are several reasons why your female dog may have started peeing on your bed.

Health Issues

It’s important to keep your dog on a regular veterinary checkup schedule, but even if you take your dog in annually, health issues can still crop up from time to time.

Here are a few common ones that may cause your dog to pee in inappropriate places.

  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): UTIs are pretty common in dogs, they occur when bacteria travel up the urethra into the bladder.

    They then grow and become a bigger problem, UTIs are especially common in female dogs as they have a shorter urethra than male dogs. 

    If your dog has a UTI she may dribble urine unintentionally and lick her genitals often, she will also need to pee a lot which can lead to peeing in inappropriate places, for example, your bed.
  • Bladder Stones: If your dog has gotten a UTI, there is a possibility that she got bladder stones with it.

    Bladder stones are mineral formations that build up in the bladder, there is often a mixture of large and small stones.

    The most common signs of bladder stones are blood in the urine and straining to pee, stones are dangerous because they can block the urine flow entirely. This causes a buildup of pee that can’t be released.
  • Incontinence due to aging: If your dog is getting older it may struggle to hold in their pee, this is especially true of older female dogs. They can lose control of the neck of their bladder causing pee to leak out. 

    If you think your dog is incontinent, you may notice they have damp legs often.

    They may always smell of urine, or get a rash on their back legs if they are always covered in pee and they may lick their genitals often. Incontinence occurs wherever they are, which may be your bed.
  • Diabetes: Affects how a dog converts food to energy, it causes sugar to build up in the dog’s bloodstream but doesn’t send sugar to the cells that need it to function.

    The excessive sugar that is in the bloodstream can cause damage to your dog’s organs.

    Symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst, excessive urination, weight loss, and increased appetite. Left untreated diabetes can have negative effects on your dog and it can be life-threatening.
  • Kidney problems: The kidneys filter and remove waste from the blood, many different kidney problems cause negative health for your dog.

    Kidney problems are typically diagnosed late which can put a lot of strain on your dog’s body.

    Some common signs of kidney problems are increased thirst, increased peeing, weight loss, bad breath, weakness, vomiting, and diarrhea.

    It’s important to watch for these signs and symptoms so you can get your dog care if you suspect a medical condition.

Your female dog peeing in your bed could occur for behavioral reasons rather than a health condition.

Behavioral Triggers

Behavioral changes can occur at any time throughout your dog’s life, even well-adjusted dogs may have experiences that cause undesirable behavior such as peeing on your bed. 

Here are some of the more common triggers.

  • Stress and anxiety: If your dog is prone to stress or anxiety she may exhibit unfortunate behaviors one of these can be peeing in inappropriate places. If your dog is highly reactive, she may pee out of fear. 
  • Changes in routine or environment: Change can be hard for dogs, a dog may start peeing in bad places because they don’t understand what you want from them.

    Or because their routine was changed and they needed to go to the bathroom somewhere. 
  • New household members or pets: If you introduce new people or pets into the house your dog may pee to mark her territory, this is an expression of dominance.

    If your dog feels her place is threatened in the “pack” she will do what she must to claim it.
  • Separation anxiety: This is a common problem that dog owners face, if your dog is scared to be separated from you it can cause lots of behavioral problems including peeing on your bed.
  • Fear: This is a big one, if your dog is scared enough she may lose control of her bowels like a child wetting the bed due to a bad nightmare. Fear can cause a lot of behavioral issues.

You’ve ruled out medical issues and you’ve ruled out behavioral issues. The next possible cause of your dog peeing on your bed is hormonal changes.

Hormonal Changes

If your female dog is not spayed, she may be peeing on the bed due to hormonal shifts.

  • Estrus (heat cycle): Going in and out of heat can cause your female dog to have many undesirable behaviors.
    • She may start to spray or mark she has a strong drive to mate and will spray to attract a male.
    • She also has more urine production which may cause her to unintentionally pee inside if she’s not getting enough trips outside. 
    • A female dog is under a lot of stress, this can cause a behavioral aspect to your dog peeing inside. 
    • Finally, your dog’s uterus grows while she’s in heat, placing more strain on her bladder.
  • Pregnancy-related changes: As any pregnant woman will attest, the urge to pee throughout pregnancy is strong.

    Not only is there less room for the bladder, but hormonal shifts cause pregnant dogs to drink more water, supporting increased blood flow.

    It may be that your pregnant dog just can’t hold it, it also may be leaking out due to pressure. It may be time to get out a doggy diaper for your pregnant pup.
  • Spaying and its effects: Spaying a dog will help you cut back on the negative side effects of Estrus also eliminating pregnancy and its symptoms.

    It can affect your dog’s ability to hold her pee, estrogen strengthens the supporting ligaments of the urethra. So when your dog is spayed the muscles and sphincter of the urethra become weaker.

    Your dog may leak urine unconsciously and unintentionally, only about 5% of female dogs develop spay incontinence.

As you can see, hormones can play a huge role in your dog’s peeing habits both consciously and unconsciously. But how do you determine which trigger is causing the problem?




How to Identify the Underlying Cause of Sudden Peeing

To know why your dog is suddenly peeing on your bed, the first step is to rule out the medical issues by consulting a veterinarian.

Your vet should be able to help you rule out both medical and hormonal causes of sudden peeing. 

You should also keep a urination diary to track your dog’s patterns and triggers, and see if you can find any common triggers that always happen before an incident.

Make sure you’re paying attention to changes in her environment, behavior, and diet. It is worth noting if any of these things changed before the behavior change occurred.

If you can pinpoint a possible change try reversing it (if possible) to see if the behavior stops.

You think you may have a possible cause for your dog peeing. Now it’s time to try and stop the behavior.




How to Stop My Female Dog From Peeing on My Bed

There are several key steps to stop this unwanted behavior.

Consulting a Veterinarian

First, consult a veterinarian, and give them information from your urination diary as well as any other symptoms your dog is experiencing.

This information will help them rule out medical and hormonal issues, they can then recommend tests and examinations. Possible diagnostic tests would be bloodwork, palpating, ultrasounds, x-rays, and urinalysis.

Addressing Health Issues

Once you’ve determined what the health issue is, it’s time to treat it. 

  • Treating UTIs and infections: Typically your vet will prescribe antibiotics and may recommend a diet change.
  • Treating Bladder Stones: Bladder stones can be treated through surgery, dietary change, or by placing a catheter and flushing them out. Treatment will depend on the size and placement of the stones.
  • Treating Chronic conditions – Diabetes or kidney problems: These treatments will be dog-specific, but insulin injections are common for diabetes. Exercise and diet changes are common for both kidney problems and diabetes. 

Once health issues are ruled out it’s time to check out behavioral solutions.

Why Is My Female Dog Peeing on My Bed All of a Sudden
Image Credit: Martin Behrendt from Unsplash

Behavioral Solutions

If your dog is peeing on your bed for behavioral reasons it’s time to look at a different kind of solution.

Make sure you have created a stress-free environment for your dog, this involves getting rid of anxiety triggers as well as giving them a comfortable place to retreat and relax.

You should also work on desensitization training, gradually introducing them to triggers in a safe and controlled environment. Offer positive reinforcement when they don’t react to bigger triggers, and teach your dogs that things that seem stressful to them are ok.

Positive reinforcement is a big part of this, if your dog associates triggers with positive outcomes they will react less and less to them.

But as you learned, behavior isn’t the only thing that can cause peeing on a bed, you also need to consider the hormonal issues.

Hormonal Considerations

There is no way to stop hormonal issues from occurring short of spaying your dog, this is a good option as it protects your dog’s health and decreases the pet overpopulation issue. 

If you choose not to spay your dog then managing estrus behavior is important, if your dog is in heat it may be a good idea to provide them with their own space.

This way you avoid them peeing in inappropriate areas, you should also be able to recognize signs of pregnancy:

  • Increased appetite
  • Larger nipples
  • Swollen belly
  • Gaining weight
  • Fatigue
  • More affectionate
  • Irritable

If your dog has gone through a heat cycle and had any contact with an unfixed male, there is a chance of pregnancy. If you start seeing any of these signs you should begin pregnancy care.

Knowing the causes and solutions to your dog suddenly beginning to pee is important, but even better is knowing how to prevent it from starting in the first place.




Preventive Measures

Taking your dog for routine vet check-ups is important, it can help you find potential medical issues before they result in your dog peeing on your bed. Getting prompt treatment for your dog can ensure they stay in good health.

You should also maintain a consistent routine and environment as much as you are able, and decrease triggers for stress and anxiety so you don’t have to fix symptoms after the fact.

Training and socializing your dog reduces the risk of stress and anxiety-related behaviors, thus helping to avoid the behavior.

Redirecting marking behavior is important, try offering plenty of time and incentive to mark outside. If you notice your dog getting ready to mark inside, get their attention with a treat and take them outside.

Take lots of walks, allow your dog the time to explore other dog’s scents and mark over theirs, letting your dog claim your house on the outside can reduce marking inside.

Sometimes you don’t catch your dog in time though, how do you effectively clean an area so that your dog can’t smell their pee and assume it’s okay to do it again?




How to Get Dog Pee Out of Bed Sheets and Mattress

It is so important to clean an area that your dog has peed very thoroughly, if your dog smells their pee, they may assume it is a good place to go again. Dogs have a long snout and a very sensitive sense of smell, even if you can’t smell it they might be able to.

So how do you successfully clean a bed and sheets so they don’t repeat the action?

Immediate action

The faster you act to remove the urine, the less it will manage to seep into the mattress and bedding. Start by blotting it up with paper towels or absorbent rags.

Preparation

Build a cleaning kit specifically for your dog, make sure you test any cleaning product you plan to use on a hidden area of bedding so it doesn’t damage the fabric. It should include things like:

  1. Enzyme-based cleaners
  2. Baking soda
  3. Hydrogen peroxide
  4. A mild detergent

Enzyme-based cleaner

Enzymatic cleaners are preferred because they break down the proteins in urine rather than just trying to mask the smell, this makes it less likely for your dog to pee in the same place.

Soak the area of urine and let it sit on the mattress or bedding for the length of time specified on the label.

Blotting and rinsing

Let the enzymatic cleaner sit for the recommended time, then blot the treated area to remove leftover moisture. Rinse the area to remove residue that your dog may be able to smell.

Drying

The best place to dry your bed and bedding is outdoors in the sun, this will help eliminate odors.

Neutralizing odors

Next, sprinkle baking soda on the area to help remove any leftover odors that may still linger. After it has sat for a time, vacuum up the leftover baking soda.

Washing bedding

Now that the mattress is clean, wash the bedding with a mild detergent in warm water. Add white vinegar to the machine when it hits the rinse cycle to break down any leftover scents.

Protective measures

It is never a bad idea to keep your mattress covered with a protective cover, mattress and bed covers make clean-up easier they slow down urine seepage into mattresses. As well as likely preventing future accidents.

Cleaning up properly will go such a long way to decreasing a repeat offense.




FAQs

How do I know if my female dog is marking?

If your female dog is lifting her leg to pee in specific areas or if she is in heat, she may be marking.

Can spaying my female dog help stop the sudden urination on the bed?

Heat cycles and pregnancy are both potential causes for your dog urinating on the bed, spaying your dog may stop the behavior. Although it will take a few months for her hormones to regulate after the procedure.

Does the smell of dog pee ever go away?

Cleaning the area where your dog peed properly, decreases the chance of the smell lingering time is of the essence though, make sure you clean it the second you know it’s there.

Do female dogs pee to show dominance?

While it is more common in male dogs, some female dogs will still pee to assert dominance.




Conclusion

Now you have an understanding of the causes of inappropriate urination, how to prevent peeing on your bed as well, and how to clean up the resultant mess. 

Make sure you take time to consult a veterinary professional so you can rule out possible medical conditions that may affect your dog for the rest of their lives.

Patience and understanding are important qualities, your dog needs help to enjoy a better quality of life.

Written By

Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a also a pet writer and expert with more than 20 years of experience of working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.

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