5 Reasons Why Your Dog Pees On Your Bed and What to Do

Dog laying on bed with sad eyes

If you’re reading this article, chances are, you’ve experienced the not so fun event of your dog peeing on your bed. If you haven’t, let me paint a picture for you. You’ve  just gotten ready for bed after a long day. You’ve locked all the doors, turned off most of the lights, showered, brushed your teeth, and all you hear is that sweet bedtime siren calling out. You walk into your room ready to slip into bed and there it is. That wet spot on the mattress – on full display. Maybe you stare at it quietly for a second, maybe you let out a “noooo” in clear agony. Either way you proceed to experience all five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depressions, and acceptance) in less than five seconds. 

Now you have to strip the comforter and sheets, put them into the wash, and start cleaning up the expensive mattress that you splurged on – because hey, we spend almost a third of our life laying on it, so why not. This is not fun in the least.  

So the question remains, why does my dog pee on my bed?

Dogs may pee on your bed due to the following reasons: potential medical issues, feelings of anxiety, instinctively mixing their scent with yours, marking territory, or they haven’t yet mastered control of their bladder

Each of these five main reasons have more information to them and deserve a little further explanation. In this article we will dive into the following: the five main reasons why dogs pee on the bed, proper clean up to discourage further peeing, and most importantly –  how you can fix this behavior moving forward.

Let’s get to it!

Reasons Your Dog Is Peeing on You Bed

Below are the main reasons behind why your dog may be peeing on your bed. It’s important to know that these aren’t in any ranked order. It is also important to point out that it might not be just one reason – meaning your dog may be peeing for a couple of the reasons below. 

1. Potential Medical Issues

It is important for you to be aware that your dog peeing on your bed could be a sign of a medical issue. More than likely it’ not a big issue, but you should be aware of that possibility and what to look for. It is important to communicate that this is not intended as professional veterinary advice, but are some tips based on personal experience. 

Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary Tract Infections, or UTI’s, are quite common, especially in females and female puppies. Females are more likely to develop UTI than male dogs. UTI’s occur when bacteria gets inside the urinary tract. 

UTI’s are a very common reason dogs pee on the bed. It may be easy to think that the dog is ignoring housetraining or just not caring, but that isn’t’t true. They haven’t forgotten that they should pee outside, they simply can’t hold their pee as well due to the infection. 

In the first two months that we had Juno, our Australian Shepherd, the poor girl developed a UTI twice while in the middle of house training. This definitely set her back on how quickly she was potty trained, but there were some signs that let us know it wasn’t just having accidents.

Some commons signs of a possible UTI:

  • Frequent peeing or squatting to try to pee
  • Small, maybe quarter sized spots of pee
  • Painful urination
  • Decreased bladder control

fIf you suspect that your dog has a UTI, call and schedule a visit with your veterinarian and have your dog checked out. The good news is that in most cases a course of antibiotics will clear the infection up. 

SIDE NOTE: Something I learned from my veterinarian that I didn’t know before, is that it’s common for dogs to not show much improvement until the very end of their antibiotic course. For instance, if your dog is on antibiotics for ten days, don’t expect to see a real difference until day nine or ten. Unlike humans, who typically show improvement in a couple days on antibiotics, dogs just take longer. 

Other Medical Issues

While a UTI is the most common medical issue for peeing on the bed, there are a few other potential issues to at least be aware of.  

Other possibilities include:

  • Diabetes
  • Incontinence (common in aging dogs) 
  • Bladder stones
  • Cognitive or neurological issues. 

How to fix this Issue?

If you have any inkling that your dog may be peeing on the bed due to an underlying medical reason, please don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian. Make sure you pay attention to if your dog is awake or asleep when they pee on the bed, as well as, the size of the wet spot. All of this can help your veterinarian diagnose what’s going on. 

2. Your dog is mixing their scent with yours

For your dog, so much of their life is about scent. This is the same reason that dogs like to carry around or lay on your clothes. Being around the scent of the pack is an instinctual behavior hardwired into dogs. From a very young age, dogs learn that being in the pack equals safety and security. That’s one of the reasons you see puppies all piled up together (it’s also a great way to stay warm).

For this same reason, your dog feels safe and secure around your scent. They love everything about your smell. It speaks to them on a level we don’t really get in humans. Although, I will argue that my love of the smell of sizzling bacon may rise to that level. 

Of course, just because your dog feels the urge to want to add their scent to your belongings, doesn’t mean the behavior is acceptable. 

How to fix this issue?

If your dog is peeing on the bed just to mix scent, then you need to revisit basic house training.  

The first step is to limit your dog’s access to the bed, especially when you are not around.  Your dog has lost the privilege to be on the bed.  

Secondly, just as you did in the beginning, make a big deal about going potty outside. Create the biggest possible positive association with your dog to peeing in the proper space.  This will help reinforce the good behavior. 

After a few weeks, try letting your dog on the bed again with close supervision. In time, they can earn back the privilege to sleep on the bed.  

3. Marking their territory

One of the more “not so cool” reasons for peeing in the bed can be your dog feeling the need to mark their territory. This can be a very challenging behavior to overcome. While most dogs prefer to keep their beds clean, this behavior can show its ugly head when your dog is feeling insecure or threatened. This tends to be most common when you add a new family member. This could be another cat or dog, or even a new baby. 

A good way to identify this behavior is based on how much your dog is peeing. If they’re emptying their whole bladder, chances are it may be an accident and not them marking their territory.  However, if your dog is letting out a smaller amount of pee, chances are they’re  purposely marking their territory. 

Again, this may be a tough one to break, but there are some training solutions. 

How to fix this issue?

The main goal in tackling this issue and eliminating this behavior is to rebuild your dog’s confidence. 

The first step is the same as above – limit your dog’s access to the bed, especially when you’re not around.  Again, your dog has lost the privilege to be on the bed.  

Secondly, you’ll want to focus on rebuilding your dog’s confidence. This can be done by relationship-based training, which means work on activities that strengthen the relationship between you and your dog. 

The following are some good suggestions to build confidence while training:

  • Give Treats
  • Lots of affection
  • Lots of verbal praise
  • Spend solid time playing or doing things your dog loves

The biggest thing here is to use positive reinforcement with an insecure dog. DO NOT use negative or adverse tactics like dominance, force, yelling, or scolding.  This will backfire on what you are trying to build. 

Additionally, the same tactic of letting a few weeks go by and letting your dog on the bed again with close supervision is a good idea. In time they will earn back the privilege to be on the bed.

This can be a slow process. Be patient and don’t have too lofty of expectations. This takes time. 

4. Emotional Peeing

pug wrapped up in a blanket looking sad

There is a chance that your dog is peeing on your bed as a physical response to emotional states. There are different emotions that can cause a dog to pee on your bed and it is important that you can properly identify what is causing the peeing and what to do about it. 


Anxiety is another common reason for peeing on the bed. This is often caused by stress or fear. This can come about from something scary like fireworks or thunder. It can also come from a new guest or a house full of guests. Additionally, separation anxiety is also a factor in this reason for peeing on the bed.

This type of emotional stress can cause your dog to act abnormally in situations. When your dog is stressed, they may seek the comfort of their bed. When you pair them seeking the comfort and safety of their bed with the emotional distress, which can cause loss of control of their bladder, it can result  in an accident on the bed.  If your dog is extremely scared or stressed, they may pee on the bed out of a fear of leaving to go to their normal bathroom spot. 

If you believe your dog is peeing on the bed due to anxiety, make sure you look out for the other telltale signs.  

If your dog is stressed you will see excessive displays of:

  • Yawning
  • Whining
  • Licking of paws
  • Shaking
  • Hiding

Anger or spite

Many owner’s, my past self included, mistakenly believe that their dogs are peeing on their beds out of spite. This is simply not true. While we humans have the ability to do something out of spite or passive aggression, dog’s just aren’t wired that way. 

The reason dogs mistakenly appear to pee on your bed out of spite is actually because of anxiety. They can feel insecure or scared after being yelled at.  What might a dog that is insecure or anxious do? They will seek comfort in the bed and pee from emotional distress.  

How to fix this issue?

In order to curb anxious peeing it’s necessary to address what is causing the behavior. Observe your dog. See if you can find the trigger that is causing the anxiety, stress, or fear. If possible, eliminate that source. 

If you can’t eliminate the source, then you will have to take time to build confidence and desensitize the dog to what is causing the stress. 

Again, follow relationship-based training, working on activities that strengthen the relationship between you and your dog. 

The following are some good suggestions to build confidence while training:

  • Give Treats
  • Lots of affection
  • Lots of verbal praise
  • Spend solid time playing or doing things your dog loves.

Additionally, you may have to spend some time slowly introducing your dog to whatever their trigger is. Over time, through increasing exposure with positive results, your dog should soon ignore what was previously a trigger. 

Of course, if there appears to be a deeper issue at hand, you may need to talk to your veterinarian or a dog behavior specialist for further guidance. 

5. Still learning to control their bladder

Another common reason for a dog peeing on the bed is that the dog hasn’t mastered control of their bladder yet. This is typical if we allow a dog on the bed too early in their house training. This is true for puppies or an adopted dog that hasn’t been properly house trained. These situations are normal expected accidents. 

small golden retriever puppy sitting in food bowl

How to fix this issue?

Until the dog has displayed consistent housetraining success, refraining from allowing them on the bed is a wise thing. Most new puppies won’t be truly reliable until 5-6 months of age. Adopted dogs may take more or less time depending on any pre-existing issues.  

What not to do

DO NOT yell at your dog

As frustrated or as mad as you may be, you have to keep from yelling. Dog’s will not understand that you are specifically mad about peeing on the bed. Yelling or severely scolding will only confuse the dog about house training.  

DO NOT rub their nose in it

This is an old school way of training a dog that quite frankly has no evidence that it has the desired effect. You are only teaching your dog through fear.

Additionally, your dog’s nose is super sensitive and this is quite a negative experience for your dog. Your dog may actually retreat from you in fear when they have to go. 

It’s important to understand that dogs don’t dislike their own pee and poop, so this will not have the outcome most people think. You will get much further with rewarding what you want, rather than punishing what you don’t want. 

Proper Cleanup

Cleaning up after your dog pees on the bed is a super important task that you need to make sure you get right. It’s important because you want to keep your bed clean and you want to make sure you eliminate the odor to keep your dog doing this again. 

How to Proceed

I am aware of basic fabric clean up tips, such as, “dab up liquid, don’t rub it in”. However, I kow dealing with mattresses is different than or fabric cleaning. So I decided to look for professional suggestion in this area. 

After some research, I was able to find out a fantastic way to remove dog pee from your mattress. Tuft & Needle, a mattress and bedding company, published their recommendation on how to get urine out of a mattress. Follow these steps if you want to ensure a good, clean mattress. 

Steps to Clean Fresh Pee From Your Mattress

1. Remove all of your bedding and get it into the wash right away.
2. Dilute the white vinegar with water in a spray bottle in a 50/50 mixture.
3. Grab a towel and BLOT the liquid in the mattress out. If you scrub, you’ll run the risk of pushing the urine even further into the foam of your mattress, making it harder to get the odor out.
4. Once you’ve blotted most of the moisture away, spray your white vinegar mixture generously over the area. Continue to blot out excess liquid.
5. Cover the area in baking soda and move on with your day. Let it sit for 8-10 hours, the longer the better.
6. Vacuum up the baking soda and inspect the area. If there’s still staining or odor left behind, you can repeat this process until things are back to perfect.
courtesy of Tuft & Needle: How To Get Urine Out Of A Mattress

Steps to Clean Dry Pee From Your Mattress

1. Take a spray bottle and combine your life-saving solution:
– 8 oz Hydrogen Peroxide
– 3 tbs Baking Soda
– 2-3 drops of a liquid detergent (think dish soap)
– Optional but a bonus: add a few drops of essential oil to leave behind a refreshing scent. Lavender is said to create a relaxing environment to drift off to. Don’t shake the bottle to mix, instead a few swirls should do the trick.
2. Spray a generous coating over any visible pee stains, make sure you cover everything evenly.
3. Let the mixture sit until dry, you should see a layer of baking soda residue form.
4. Vacuum off the residue and you should be set!
5. If the stains are still visible, or a urine odor remains, you can repeat this process until they’ve totally disappeared. The longer you can let the mixture sit and work, the less likely it is you’ll have to repeat these steps.
courtesy of Tuft & Needle: How To Get Urine Out Of A Mattress

Additional Products

While following the above will get your mattress clean, you may want to take a further step to protect your mattress against repeat offenses. This can be done by using a safe, non-toxic, odor eliminator such as  Pets & Pals Organic Pet Stain Odor & Remover or 

One More Good Tip

For the love of Pete, buy a waterproof mattress pad or cover. This is not for training purposes, but it will protect your mattress and keep it clean. These aren’t expensive and definitely worth it. These pads and covers will also keep your mattress safe from anyone and anything else from staining or ruin it.


Thank you for taking the time to read my article! I hope it was helpful and insightful. I absolutely love dogs and my mission is to help dog owners better understand their dogs and how to care for them in the best way. Please checkout my about page: CLICK HERE!

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