Why Peeing In Their Sleep Occurs For Dogs

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The most common reason why dogs experience peeing in their sleep is Urinary incontinence. This situation can be due to several reasons, such as neuter/spay, urinary tract infection, and kidney problems, and diabetes. The age of your dog can also affect their ability to control their bladder, but this is not always the case as some younger dogs experience this problem as well.

Urinary Tract Infection

The inflammation caused by a condition such as a urinary tract infection can cause your dog to not realize that he is peeing while asleep. A dog with an infection of the urinary tract may have excessive thirst and therefore, pee more often – sometimes not waking when his bladder is full.

Urinary incontinence is a medical condition whereby your pet cannot control his or her urination or urinates without realizing it, usually when sleeping or resting; you find this mostly among middle-aged spayed female dogs.

Urinary incontinence is not the same as inappropriate elimination. When a dog urinates around the house or outside the litter-box, we referred to this as inappropriate elimination. Both Urinary incontinence and inappropriate elimination may be a medical issue. We tackle the issue of peeing on the carpet in a separate blog.

Why does urinary incontinence occur mostly during sleep or rest?

The muscles of your pets are totally relaxed, including the muscles in the urethra (the urinary tube)which keeps urine inside the urinary blad

Why urinary incontinence is most common in middle-age spayed female dogs.

The hormones estrogen and progesterone strengthen the muscles that keep urine inside the urinary bladder. A female has less estrogen and progesterone when sprayed. The male hormone testosterone also helps strengthen the muscles that exit the urinary bladder. While urinary incontinence is rare in male dogs, it is most common in neutered males.

My female dog pees just a tiny bit in her sleep. Do I need to be concerned

Female dogs often urinate a few drops in their sleep, enough to wet the fur but not enough to wet the bedding. It may not be enough urine to bother you, but it is enough to make your dog prone to urinary tract infections. Chronic UTIs can lead to kidney infections and bladder stones. That’s why it’s crucial to treat even very mild urinary incontinence.

How do you treat urinary incontinence treated?

First we must rule out any underlying medical condition. We can diagnose urinary tract infection with a simple urinalysis. Radiographs may be necessary to detect bladder stones. Other conditions that result in an abnormally full bladder include early kidney disease, Cushing’s disease, and diabetes. Pets with these conditions are much more prone to leakage. We can treat all these problems with medication and/or diet.

We can treat urinary incontinence by replacing lost hormones with medication: Proin, which is phenylpropanolamine (similar to progesterone) and Incurin, which is canine estradiol (similar to estrogen).

For the treatment to be safe and effective, Pets on long-term medication must be monitored with lab work and physical exams every six months. Pets on Proin also need regular blood pressure checks, since pets with high blood pressure should not take this medication.

Neuter or Spay

While problems such as this from reproductive surgery can occur in males, it most often occurs in females. One out of five female dogs experiences incontinence due to spraying. This due to the low level of their estrogen which then affects the muscle tone of the sphincters. 

In males, the same weakened sphincters are to blame. This can be treated by the Veterinarian with some prescription drugs, though it is less common. 

Spinal Cord Disease

A dog with a disease of the spinal cord may have a lack of mobility or a lessened sense of feeling which may lead to incontinence when awake or asleep. Your veterinarian can evaluate your pet to determine whether the illness causing the peeing while asleep is a degenerative disease.


Canines who are developing diabetes may have excessive thirst leading to frequent urination, which in some dogs may mean peeing during sleep. Other signs of diabetes may be lethargy and weight loss, despite an increased appetite.

Kidney Disease

Drinking a lot of water is a symptom of kidney disease. A pet who normally is housetrained may have accidents while asleep may be a sign of Weakness and disorientation caused by a kidney problem.

What to do if your Dog is Peeing in His Sleep

Once you realise that your dog is having issues controlling his bladder while asleep, you will want to begin monitoring any other unusual urinary habits your dog may be performing. If, for example, the amount of water drunk within a day increases or there are signs of leakage, there may be a more serious underlying issue. 

After monitoring your dog, you will then want to take him to a vet in order to determine what the problem is and how to begin treatment. A weak bladder will not harm your pet but if it is paired with any other more serious issue, the situation will need to be addressed immediately. Your vet may require a urine sample to best determine what the problem may be before prescribing any specific treatment. Once the tests come in, discussion of treatment will then take place.

Prevention of Peeing in His Sleep

Sometimes the best form of prevention is exercise. Those weak sphincter muscles need toning just like any other muscle in the body. Taking your dog for a long walk before a nap or bedtime can help to strengthen the muscles and provide an ample amount of time for your pet to empty his bladder on the way. Besides exercise, it is difficult to prevent peeing during sleep as your dog has no control over it. Take your pup to the vet as soon as possible to get help in fixing the issue. 

What To Do If Your Dog is Peeing in His Sleep

If your dog urinates in his sleep, it isn’t because he lacks discipline — it’s because he needs help. While you can reduce the risk and severity of a sleeping accident with exercise and by helping him develop positive habits, it’s going to take more than that to completely lick this problem. Only your veterinarian can offer all the know-how and tools that you and your dog need to beat incontinence once and for all.

Tip #1 – Monitor and track any other unusual urinary habits your dog may have. For example, if he drinks an excessive amount of water or demonstrates other symptoms of incontinence, like dribbling urine, these could add up to something more serious.

Tip #2 – Take your pooch to the vet with your findings from Tip #1. While sleeping incontinence alone may indicate a simple weak bladder, when paired with other symptoms, it could indicate a more serious condition. Your vet will analyze your dog’s condition and possibly request a urine sample, before prescribing a course of treatment. Note that many dogs who’ve spayed or neutered may experience incontinence for a time afterward. The dog is treated so as to strengthen the bladder and allow the dog to “hold it in” while he sleeps.

Tip #3 – Take your dog for an extended walk before he settles in for a nap. This gives him ample opportunity to empty his bladder, and the exercise will help him sleep better.

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