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Do Puppies Pee in Their Sleep? Important Care Facts

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

puppy peed on bed sheet

Puppies have extremely small bladders, so it is very common for them to have accidents throughout the night. Because they are growing, they need tons of water. However, they don’t really have much room to store all of this water.

Puppies need to be let out often. The smaller the puppy, the more often they will need to be let out. This is one reason why very small breed puppies are notoriously hard to potty train. They simply need to be let outside so much.

A puppy’s bladder muscles are not completely developed until 4–6 months. Before then, they may struggle to hold their urine at all, which can lead to frequent accidents. Luckily, their control will increase as they get older.

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When Should You Worry?

With that said, if your puppy is housetrained and not terribly young, frequent bedwetting is not normal. Having frequent accidents with a puppy that is yet to be housetrained is different. However, if your dog suddenly changes their urination routine (and begins peeing on their bed again), it may be a sign of an underlying problem.

For instance, UTIs commonly cause urination problems in puppies. Therefore, you may want to take your puppy to the vet if they suddenly start having accidents for no apparent reason.

With that said, there are also other reasons why your puppy may pee on their bed. We’ll take a look at all the reasons below so you can be completely informed.

puppy peeing inside the house
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

The 4 Causes of Bedwetting in Puppies

Typically, dogs will prefer to urinate away from where they sleep. After all, no one wants to sleep on a soaked bed. Therefore, if your dog is wetting their bed, something is going on that is causing them to be incontinent. Usually, this is normal for many dogs younger than six months, as their bladder muscles are not very strong.

However, for dogs that have regressed and older puppies, there is usually an underlying reason, such as:

1. Surgery

Any sort of surgery can cause changes in the bladder muscles, which will lead to bedwetting. Spaying and neutering, in particular, can cause bedwetting problems. Often, this is caused by the rapid change in hormones which can affect the urinary tract system.

Usually, these problems are particularly common when the dog is relaxed—such as when they are sleeping. Luckily, this behavior goes away after about two weeks. If it continues past this time, speak to your vet.

Of course, accidents should not be punished during this time. Be sure to continue offering appropriate opportunities to urinate outside, especially before they sleep. An empty bladder is far less likely to cause accidents, after all.

golden retriever puppy sleeping
Image Credit: JackieLou DL , Pixabay

2. UTI

As we have stated, UTIs can quickly cause your dog to begin having accidents again. Any dog can suffer from a UTI, including males. However, it occurs most commonly in females as the urethra is shorter. Bacteria have a much easier time infecting a female than a male since it has less distance to travel.

One of the common signs of a UTI is regular accidents throughout the house. The dog may also strain to pee without producing anything, drink more, and ask to go out more often. Usually, dogs have accidents because they struggle to control their urine through the pain.

It isn’t uncommon for these puppies to leak urine regularly as they no longer have complete control of their bladder.

UTIs can be difficult to spot in puppies, as they often have many of these symptoms anyway. For instance, puppies urinate quite a bit and have more accidents in the house because they are still learning. However, if your puppy suddenly starts having more accidents, it may be best to talk to your vet.

3. Kidney Disease

Kidney disease isn’t very common in puppies. However, it does occur. Poisoning is one of the most common causes of kidney disease in puppies. Pain medicine, antifreeze, and a range of other items can lead to acute kidney failure. Furthermore, kidney infections can also lead to acute kidney failure. However, an underlying immune problem often plays some role.

Either way, kidney failure is often characterized by increased accidents, excess thirst, decreased appetite, and lethargy. Usually, it is treated by handling the underlying cause. Quick treatment is necessary to prevent long-term kidney damage.

Image Credit: Maximilian100, Shutterstock

4. Intervertebral Disk Disease

This condition usually only occurs in dogs with elongated backs, such as Beagles, Dachshunds, and Shih Tzus. However, it can technically occur in any dog. IVDD occurs when your dog gets a “slipped disc.” One of the discs in your dog’s spine stops absorbing shock and becomes swollen.

This swelling slowly cuts off the nerves in the spinal cord. Depending on where the injury is, dogs may experience paralysis in a variety of locations. Usually, the bladder is affected. Even before the dog becomes completely paralyzed, they may experience weakness. Of course, when a dog’s bladder muscles begin to deteriorate, they often have accidents.

While this condition seems extreme, it is often treatable to some extent. Surgery can be done. However, this isn’t always necessary. For many dogs, strict rest and medications to help the swelling can be used instead.

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Lots of puppies accidentally urinate when they are very young. This behavior is normal, as puppies do not get complete bladder control until 6 months old. Smaller puppies may have a particularly hard time since their bladder will be extra-small.

However, once your dog is completely potty trained and over 6 months of age, they should only be having minimal accidents (and preferably no accidents at all).

If they do continue to have accidents, you should quickly see your vet, as there is likely an underlying cause.

Featured Image Credit: cunaplus, Shutterstock

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