Why Does My Dog Mark His Bed?

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Whether you have an older dog or a young puppy, you might have noticed that they pee in their bed quite often. This is a really annoying habit because it takes ages to keep cleaning up after them. 

It’s hard to understand why dogs do this. Do they do it on purpose? Can they control it? Could it be a medical issue? We’ve compiled a list of reasons why your dog might be urinating in the bed. 

What is bed marking?

Bulldog sitting on a fluffy bed

Now, what does the phrase bed marking even mean? Bed marking is a term that is different from urinating. Bed marking is not done to relieve the bladder; instead, it’s done to mark personal places, sort of like a greeting card.

Think of it as graffiti, rather than painting the house. It has no real purpose other than to mark territory and show other dogs that they’ve been there. 

Urination, on the other hand, is done with the purpose to empty your dog’s bladder. Urination can be controllable or uncontrollable. 

Why does my dog mark his bed?

There are many reasons why a dog would mark or urinate on his bed. Some of them can be fixed, but others are warning signs of future health issues.  

It’s possible that your dog is marking the bed on purpose. It’s also possible that your pooch is incontinent and is involuntarily peeing in his bed.

Territorial Marking 

Territorial marking shows other dogs that your pup has been there before. Marking can be done by male or female dogs, but it is most common with adolescent male dogs. 

Marking is what is done by your pup as they pass by cars or fire hydrants. Your dog may mark their bed to signify their bed is their own spot. Or, they might mark it in order to get your attention. 

If you’ve bought a new animal into the house, then your dog might be marking the bed to dominate their space.


Cute puppy yawning in dog bed

Some younger or adolescent dogs are unable to hold their urine when they are excited. This means that they will unintentionally let out a few drops of urine while you are playing with them.

If you notice pee on the bed right when your dog is playing with the bed, it is likely incontinence due to excitement. 


For dogs with arthritis, every little movement is painful. This means that many arthritic dogs will avoid getting up to relieve their bladder. Instead, they will resort to peeing in their own beds. 

If you notice stiff walking, reluctance to walk or go up the stairs, sore joints, or any of these symptoms, there is a chance that your dog is suffering from arthritis. In this case, you should take your dog to a vet to get this joint pain diagnosed. 


Older dogs naturally lose the ability to hold their urine. This doesn’t necessarily need to have a health issue or medical condition as the reasoning behind it. Bladder issues can just happen naturally to some dogs with age.

As dogs age, the muscles that hold the urethra closed begin to deteriorate, leading to involuntary urination, even at night. 

If you notice that over time, a puddle of urine is appearing in your pup’s bed more and more, this could be a sign of age-related incontinence.  

Emotional Distress

naughty dog destroyed its pet bed

Emotional distress or anxiety is a common reason behind incontinence. If your dog suffers from generalized anxiety or separation anxiety, then it can be hard for them to control their urine when they are extremely stressed or nervous.

If you notice that your dog also chews his bed, then it’s likely that he suffers from anxiety. Consider investing in a high-quality, calming dog bed to help soothe his nervousness & give him a restful sleep. 

Act of Submission

Some dogs view peeing as a way to get their owner’s attention. See if you notice any attention-seeking behaviors right before your dog pees, such as barking, whining, or pacing. Plus, if you notice them making eye contact with you as they pee, it’s likely they are doing it as an act of submission.


Many dogs pee right after invasive urogenital surgery. Or, they may pee as a result of medication. Usually, medications like antibiotics or steroids can cause incontinence in puppies. 


French Bulldog Puppy sleeping on relaxing dog bed

Diabetic dogs may sometimes have a hard time controlling their urine. Diabetes makes it hard for dogs to hold their urine and their bladders can become very weak. So, they will often pee accidentally as they sleep. Just like humans, diabetic dogs can suffer from increased urination. 

Hormonal Issues

Dogs with hormone imbalances also find it hard to control their urine. If you find your pup peeing large amounts of urine throughout the day, it may be due to low amounts of sex hormones.

Visit your doctor if your pooch continues to pee even after you are taking him out for regular walks and removing any frightening stimuli.  

Kidney Problems

Frequent urination is often a sign of chronic kidney disease, acute kidney disease, or a kidney infection. This is a dangerous health condition that needs to be treated as soon as possible. 

If you notice that your dog has symptoms like increased thirst, a loss of appetite, or bad breath, these are all signs of kidney disease and you need to get your pet to an animal hospital. 


a dog near underpad with wet spot on the floor e1647522085311

A UTI, or urinary tract infection, is, unfortunately, a very common ailment for dogs. If your dog cries out or winces while urinating, there is blood in the urine, they are constantly drinking water, or the urine has a very foul smell, it’s possible that your dog has a UTI.

A Urinary Tract Infection is really easy to get rid of. Typically, all you need is prescribed antibiotics and the infection will clean up in a few weeks. 

How can I Stop My Dog From Peeing the Bed?

There are plenty of ways to prevent your dog from urinating in his bed.

If your dog pees the bed due to nervousness, you want to reduce your pet’s anxiety. Avoid any frightening stimuli such as vacuum cleaners, thunder, etc.

If your dog has separation anxiety, then begin to train them with separation anxiety in mind. So, give them plenty of exercise and reward them when they don’t react when you leave.

If your dog is doing it out of excitement or right before/after a play session, make sure that your pup has plenty of exercise and bathroom breaks throughout the day. 

Even after all these precautions, if you find that your dog is peeing the bed, especially at night, consider taking him to the doctor or to the hospital. There may be an underlying health issue causing 

How Can I Clean the Bed?

Working washing machine on white background

If you still need to clean up the bed, it’s a very simple process as long as you stay on top of it. As soon as it gets dirty, blot up any liquids with some paper towels or newspaper.

Then, throw the bed in the washing machine with a pet-safe detergent. If the bed is not machine washable, then check out this article about how to wash a dog bed

If there is some staining, use a mix of baking soda and vinegar as a stain-remover and let that mixture sit for a few minutes. You can also spray on a pet smell remover to reduce any odors.

If your dog peed on your mattress, here are some tips on how to efficiently clean it up.

Final Thoughts

The most important thing to remember if your pup has frequent accidents is to just be patient. Make sure to clean up as soon as you notice a mess to prevent stains or smells. 

Furthermore, check your dog’s water intake and pee from time to time. Make sure there are no underlying issues or behavioral issues that are causing the urination. 

Incontinence can be caused by a number of reasons, including disease, prescription medication, lesser estrogen or testosterone, or decreased urethral sphincter strength. 

If you notice any symptoms of more serious medical issues, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

If you found this article interesting, please share it with your friends and leave a comment down below. 

Thanks for reading!

Meet our writer

Anoushka’s love for animals began with taking care of the cows & chickens on her family farm. As she grew older, this love transformed into a love for dogs. She volunteers in a dog shelter, so she is well-versed in the care and comfort of all breeds of dogs.

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