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There are few things more frustrating than pet accidents in the house. The only thing worse than accidentally stepping in a puppy puddle on the floor is finding a dog pee soaked spot on your bed. It can be even worse if it’s bedtime by the time you discover it.
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After cleaning up the mess and hopefully getting a good night’s sleep, you will want to understand why your dog chose your bed as its potty. Like most inappropriate dog behaviors, peeing on the bed can result from many different things.
The priority for your sanity (and your laundry) is to stop your dog from using your bed as a toilet. Let’s look at why your dog pees on your bed so you can best address and correct them.
Dogs instinctively use olfactory messages (smell) to communicate things. This is why dogs have been known to mark their territory with urine.
Marking is a dog’s way of putting their name on something so other dogs know that the tree, rock, or backyard is theirs. Mostly, this is an entirely automatic action to show ownership. However, there are layers to this, as sometimes marking something as their own is a response to feeling anxiety.
Peeing on something personal to you, like the bed, can be a direct signal from your dog that they are not pleased about something. With a limited means of communicating their discontent with their owners, it is up to you to interpret what may be wrong.
Remember that marking your sheets may feel like a spiteful action, but it is more likely an instinctual response that your dog can learn to change. You shouldn’t punish your dog in response to peeing on the bed, as this will not help stop the behavior.
Emotional or Uncontrollable Reasons
General or separation anxiety is often a reason for a sudden change in your dog’s behavior. If you have just returned to the office or have introduced a baby or even a large piece of furniture into the home, your dog may be having difficulty adjusting.
Some dogs and certain breeds will also urinate in excitement. This isn’t a conscious action on the dog’s part but rather their body’s uncontrollable reaction to feeling wired up.
Some dogs also have submissive urination, an inherited, programmed behavior that causes a dog to pee when they are anxious. Submissive urination was a helpful survival mechanism for showing another dog they are more dominant. In your home, however, this involuntary reaction can be a source of stress for the dog and its owner.
Sometimes hormonal changes can trigger behaviors like marking. An intact female dog will frequently urinate in various places when she is in heat. Her instinct is to make sure male dogs know she is ready to mate, and for a dog, the best way to get the message across is to spread their scent around.
A female dog in heat will mark anywhere another dog may smell it, including the bed. If this might be your dog’s reason for peeing on the bed, there is good news! Studies have found that spaying or neutering your dog can help stop marking on the bed or marking altogether.
As the person who spends the most time with their pet, you likely know which of the above is affecting your dog. You should always consult a veterinarian to ensure you are addressing the actual problem.
Although unlikely, it is always best to ensure no other health conditions are at play. Your vet will do a complete check-up on your dog to ensure nothing else might need to be treated like a urinary tract infection or diabetes.
How to Stop Your Dog From Peeing on the Bed
You can start remedial training with your dog after a clean bill of health from the vet. The first step is to wash your sheets and mattress thoroughly. Use a product like Rocco & Roxy Odor Eliminator that will eliminate the dog urine smell to nip any olfactory association in the bud.
Next, it is time to plan out your training and commit to it. Use a housetraining schedule to keep things organized and on track for success. As with any dog training, consistency and diligence are essential.
- Make a point to supervise your pet while at home. See if you can pick up on their queues and intervene before another accident on the bed happens.
- If you know your dog is adjusting to changes such as a move or a new schedule, try implementing some tips to prevent separation anxiety.
- Increase the frequency and make a routine of playing with your dog when taking them outside for a potty break
- Give a lot of praise and/or reward when your dog pees where they are supposed to
- Separate your dog from the bed, making sure to close the door to your bedroom or use gates as a barrier
- If necessary, keep your dog on a leash at home or crate them while you are out for periods until you trust they will no longer pee on the bed.
- Enlist the expertise of a training program to help remediate the behavior as positively and as effectively as possible.
Remember that for your dog, peeing on the bed is most likely an attempt to communicate with you. As frustrating as it may be, it isn’t your dog’s intention to upset you; punishment won’t work to make the problem disappear. Be patient and observant. See if there is something you are doing or a lifestyle change you can make to address the inappropriate urination.
Reinforce where and when your pup is supposed to pee and focus on spending more time with your pet. Doing so will likely create an even stronger relationship with your dog and save a few extra loads in the washing machine.
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