6 Reasons Your Dog's Peeing On Your Bed (& How to Stop It)

If your dog is peeing on the bed, it's insanely frustrating, but there are a few ways to help your dog with patience and understanding — and get it to stop.

Published December 8, 2023
Dog looking guilty and way from the camera

While we can't directly ask our dogs about their behaviors, we do have several theories that might explain why dogs sometimes pee on our beds. You know your dog the best, so as you're looking through the reasons in this list, consider each carefully — and don't discount medical reasons even if your dog seems otherwise healthy. Once you create a shortlist for your dog, sit down and try to rule them out one by one. You and your dog will be happier for it.  

1. UTI or Other Hidden Health Conditions

If your dog is experiencing any kind of incontinence, a quick trip to the veterinarian should be the first thing you try. After all, medical reasons tend to be tricky, and anything you try along the behavior route won't work if there's an underlying medical factor at play. Your veterinarian will probably want to check for a few potential medical conditions, like urinary tract infections, bladder stones, hormonal imbalances, cognitive dysfunction, or other issues. It's important to look at the whole picture and, if needed, treat the whole issue, not just part.

2. Pain or Arthritis

While this is also a health condition, it's important to call out separately. As dogs get older, they sometimes have a tough time getting up and moving around, especially if they're dealing with sore joints or arthritis. Even though they know exactly where the bathroom is, getting up and making it there in time can be really hard for them. 

If your veterinarian suspects incontinence, or pain and arthritis, they may suggest different medications and supplements that can help. You can also look at things like building a dog ramp to help make mobility easier.

Options for Aging, Mobility-Impaired, or Ill Dogs

Senior Great Dane resting on the couch

As an expert in the fields of canine behavior, nutrition, and cancer, I am continuously being sent new products to try out. The hope, obviously, is that I will love the product and provide some feedback they can advertise on their blog or company website. I was recently sent a DoggieLawn product, and I was incredibly impressed. 

It's not only great for house training but also a real game-changer for senior dogs or those with health issues, making it easier for them to reach this natural grass pad. I know not everyone is going to like an indoor potty area, but this one is definitely at least worth looking into.

Need to Know

I am so impressed, in fact, that I have already recommended a bunch of DoggieLawn products (and no, I don't receive any commission from recommending this).

3. House Training Issues

House training is another common culprit when dogs pee on their owner's beds. Maybe your dog hasn't quite gotten the hang of where they're supposed to do their business. It could be that their training wasn't finished, or maybe the rules weren't super clear to them. Or, you know, maybe the way they were trained was a bit hit or miss.

To sort this out, you'll need a good dose of patience and emphasis placed on consistent house training routines. Make sure your dog knows exactly what you want them to do. And don't forget to give them plenty of chances to go pee in the right spot — and when they get it right, make a big deal out of it with some praise or a treat. Positive reinforcement training goes a long way.

4. Marking Their Territory

Another reason your dog might be turning your bed into their personal bathroom could be all about marking their territory. To them, your bed isn't just a comfy place to snooze — it's a prime spot that they share with you, their favorite human. By peeing on it, they might be thinking, 'Hey, this is my area, and I'm keeping it safe.' It's their way of saying to the world, 'Back off; this spot is taken.' They're not exactly considering that they just christened your fancy Egyptian cotton sheets. 

Need to Know

In their minds, your dog's doing you a solid by telling any other would-be bed occupiers to steer clear.

If territoriality is part of the puzzle, use enzymatic cleaners to remove the scent completely and discourage remarking. If the scent is still there, your dog may still try to mark it as their own. Keep the bedrooms, or at least the beds, off-limits unless supervised, especially when you're not home.

5. Stress and Anxiety

Guilty Blue Mastiff Dog

Alright, let's tackle a trickier issue that's a bit harder to handle. Just to give you some context, I've worked with quite a few clients who've faced this problem. I remember one of my past clients had a dog so anxious that she would pee on the bed at the slightest thing, like someone just walking near it.

Dealing with anxiety is really tough. It's not a pleasant feeling at all. And when it comes to helping our furry friends work through their anxiety and stress, it's important to remember that it takes time and patience. There's no overnight fix, but with consistent support and understanding, you can definitely make progress.

To help your dog, provide adequate physical exercise and mental stimulation to prevent anxiety-driven behaviors. Holistic or traditional veterinarians may also have medicinal recommendations for anxiety.

6. Over-Excitement

For some dogs, simply being on the bed is a major coup that can make them so excited they just have to "let go." This is usually the case if you see your dog running or rolling around on the bed right before it happens. It may not even happen anywhere else in the house — because your bed is yours, and to share it with you is The.Best.Ever. Unfortunately, sometimes this means that your pup might do better with different sleeping quarters. However, if you're patient you can work with a behavior expert to desensitize your dog, reducing the likelihood of on-bed zoomies and accidents.

Understanding the Reasons

I can't emphasize enough how important it is to determine the why. Find out why your dog is peeing on the bed. The reason will significantly impact the route you choose to take to fix the behavior. Grasping the various reasons why your dog might be peeing on the bed allows us to tackle the issue more efficiently. By knowing the root cause, we can choose the most appropriate response, whether that's adapting our training methods, making their living space more comfortable and stress-free, or seeking additional advice from a veterinarian or a dog behaviorist.

6 Reasons Your Dog's Peeing On Your Bed (& How to Stop It)