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Dog Incontinence: Is Your Dog Peeing In Sleep? Help Guide 2022

Long Haired Chihuahua sleeping on a sunny day

“Oh no!” you say when you look across at your dog in his bed and notice that your dog peed in their sleep. "Now what? Why is my dog peeing in their sleep?" These are the questions that might be flashing through your mind.

When dogs are normal, it is normal for them to need to be taken out to urinate often. When they're an adult dog, it's not nearly as often. It's not normal for an adult dog to not wake up in time to be let out to go to the bathroom. There are many things that could cause a dog to pee in their sleep, it's very often that the muscles in the bladder, called the sphincter muscles, have been come weakened and therefore the dog no longer has control of their urination. This can happen when your dog has certain diseases like UTI (urinary tract infection), Spinal Cord Disease, or Diabetes.

How Do You Help With a Dog Peeing in their Sleep?

small black dog sleeping on a chair

First thing is to get your dog to a vet as soon as you can so the vet can determine what the underlying problem could be. A weak bladder is certainly not a deadly disease type of problem, but when it is associated with other problems like kidney disease or diabetes, then sure, it can result in death if it not quickly addressed.

Incontinence is the reason dog peeing in sleep – and often dogs that have been neutered or spayed can have this problem too. And believe it or not, dogs’ age like humans do and sometimes, like humans, they just no longer have proper control over their bladders. It is not always the case though, because you get younger dogs who can also suffer from incontinence. Whatever the circumstance, you need to get your dog to a vet for a proper diagnosis. 

Why Is My Dog Peeing While Asleep?

puppy sleeping on a brown leather couch

Urinary Tract Infeciton

If your vet tells you that your dog has a urinary tract infection, you might have become aware that your dog has an excessive thirst and because of this, is peeing more often, not even waking when his bladder is full.

Neutering or Spaying

Neutering a male dog or spaying a female dog can sometimes cause problems too, although it most often occurs in female dogs. Sometimes as much as 1 out of 5 female dogs will experience incontinence after being spayed. It is called spay incontinence. It occurs when the female dog’s levels of estrogen drastically drop, and this affects the dog’s muscle tone sphincters. These situations can be treated with prescription drugs which your vet will provide.

Bladder Stones

Bladder stones in your dog might even start out small but can grow in number and size over time. You will soon understand why your dog has urinary accidents when he has bladder stones. Ouch!

Spinal Diseases

These diseases can leave your dog with a lack of mobility or even a lessened sense of feeling which may lead to incontinence even when awake, let alone asleep. The vet should evaluate your pet to determine whether there could be illness causing the peeing in his sleep is caused by a degenerative disease.


Dogs with diabetes may experience excessive thirst which can lead to excessive urination. Look out for weight loss and lethargy as well, perhaps even increased appetites.

Kidney Disease

When a dog has kidney disease, you will also notice the dog drinking more than normal. There is also weakness and disorientation caused by the kidney problem. This means your dog could have accidents whilst sleeping.

Hormonal Imbalance

Often urinary incontinence is a common problem among older female dogs, and particularly while they are sleeping. Sometimes dogs even dribble urine as they walk around the house, completely unaware of the problem as it is occurring. Often they become disturbed when they discover they have soiled themselves with urine. Usually, the most common cause is hormone imbalance that affects the bladder and the sphincters, causing slow leakage of urine. The vet will run tests, and if other more serious problems are ruled out, the most likely diagnosis could be the hormone imbalance syndrome. Fortunately, it can be treated effectively with safe medications.

It's Time To Monitor Your Dog's Peeing Habits

fluffy dog sleeping on a white leather couch

Once you are aware of your dog peeing in sleep, you will want to monitor him, watching out for other unusual urinary habits; how much water he drinks for example. This information will be important for the vet so he can determine what the problem is and how to begin treatment as soon as possible. He will probably take a urine sample to begin with so he can make a diagnosis. Here are some observances which might help if dog peeing in sleep:

  • Write down the times you think he is urinating
  • Does his urinating happen a lot or just frequently?
  • Does there seem much effort involved when he is urinating?
  • Does the urine have a strange color or an unpleasant odor?

Take your Dog on a Walk to Allow him to Empty his Bladder

Pit Bull Sleeping on a rolled up blanket
  • Apart from the visit to the vet and the prescribed medication, another preventative remedy is walking your dog. The weak sphincter muscles need to be toned up and strengthened – then the dog also has time to empty his bladder whilst out on his walk. Maybe the vet himself will have recommended plenty of exercise for your dog.
  • You need to be aware that after hard exercise, this is the greatest times for leakage in a dog as his body will be relaxed and the muscles will be fatigued.
  • During leaking times, using diapers for your dog is an option when he goes to sleep; a diaper that fits well against his legs. But remember not to cut off circulation! 
  • Also, make sure you take your dog out for a last pee just before you leave for work in the morning or before you head to bed at night.
  • You should also consider getting a waterproof dog bed as this is the main point of problems where they may be soiling their bed. Waterproof liners are also available if needed and will give you an extra layer of peace. 

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Prevention and Clean Up Methods

With all chronic medical issues, the best way to alleviate or prevent the problems is to try and keep your dog as healthy as you can. Look at these great tips:

  • Feed him a greatwhole food diet.
  • Try and use natural pest controls around your home instead of pharmaceuticals.
  • Try and find a holistic vet that can help your dog with natural remedies like CBD or Turmeric.
  • Give adequate exercise and fun for your dog to keep him happy, alert, and not overweight.

For clean-up most pet mess cleaners will do. We love the Natural Doggie All Natural Pet Mess Cleaner. It has no added chemicals, and is a pure enzyme cleaner, eliminating stains and smells quickly and effectively!

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Give your dog plenty of one-on-one time with lots of time and lots of love from you. These go so very far in creating the longevity and healthy life you want for your best friend!

Meet The Author 

Grant Withers

Canine Specialist & Writer

Grant is an award-winning writer for SitStay with a passion for pets and especially dogs! Grant loves writing about furry little goofballs and aims to educate pet parents about anything and everything regarding their dogs.

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