Why is my female dog urinating in her sleep?

Dr. Barchas, my six-year-old Jack Russell (spayed) has begun to wet while sleeping, although she doesn't dribble when excited. We can't seem to figure out...
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Dr. Barchas, my six-year-old Jack Russell (spayed) has begun to wet while sleeping, although she doesn’t dribble when excited. We can’t seem to figure out why this is happening and what we can do to help her. It really seems to upset her when she wakes to fine her hind quarters (they are also stained yellow). Any suggestions on what I can do?

Patti Montgomeryville, PA

Urinary incontinence is a common problem in middle-aged spayed female dogs. It most frequently occurs in dogs who are sleeping. Also, some dogs may dribble urine as they walk around the house. In most cases, they are unaware of the problem as it is occurring, although they may be disturbed when they discover that they have soiled themselves with urine.

The syndrome may be caused by a number of medical conditions. For instance, kidney disease, bladder infections, and diabetes can lead to urine dribbling.

However, the most common cause is a hormone imbalance that affects the bladder and the sphincters and causes slow leakage of urine.

In your dog’s case, I recommend a trip to the vet to run a panel of blood and urine tests. The tests will check for the less common, but more serious causes of the problem that were listed first. If the tests come back negative, then the most likely diagnosis is the hormone imbalance syndrome.

Fortunately, the hormone imbalance syndrome can be treated with an effective and relatively safe medication called PPA. Some dogs require daily treatment with the medicine. Others need only intermittent treatment. You will have to consult your veterinarian and experiment with the medication to determine the best course of action for your pet.

9 thoughts on “Why is my female dog urinating in her sleep?”

  1. Corika robbertse

    My pit bull female is 6 years old and spayed for plus min 2 years now. When she’s a sleep she pee. She do gou out to pee outside. But still pee in the bed. Please help me she is very healthy and very lady like. When she pee in the bed and wake up she will be so shy when she see it.

  2. About 2 years ago my female 5 year old dog had stones and crystals in her urine. The veterinarian prescribed Prescription Diet SD. About 2 days after starting the diet we noticed that our dog would urinate while sleeping. The problem continued about 4 times per week while using the prescription diet for 2.5 months Urinating while sleeping stopped immediately when she stopped eating the prescription food. When I mention the issue to veterinarians they say that they have never heard of the problem. This week our pup was diagnosed with a significant amount of crystals in her urine. Fortunately no stones were found in the x-ray. we caught it early!!!! The veterinarian has prescribed Royal Canin SO for 2 months then re-evaluate. Should we expect urinating while sleeping to come back?

    1. Our nine year old hound dog mix recently started peeing in her sleep a few times week. I came here to see if anyone else was experiencing this and I saw your post. She was also recently put on Prescription Diet Food. What could the connection be?

  3. My female 3 year old Staffie doesn’t dribble at all when she is awake, but she empties her full bladder at least 3 or 4 times a week in her sleep, I don’t know if I should be worried with it not being every day.
    Over protective besotted pup lover

    1. Have you received any answers? Our situation sounds just like yours. Without running any tests, our vet is thinking she will need surgery. That idea feels overwhelming to me.

  4. My 2 year old altered female boxer doesn’t dribble or wet when excited, but wets in her sleep. We though that it might possibly be like a human child and wet due to dreams or maybe something to do with our male(altered). Any thought? Any suggestions? Any opinions? Will entertain anything that is meant to be serious and that is relevant to subject matter.
    Greatly appreciated!
    Thank you for time, A curiously concerned dogmom

  5. My 2 year old altered female boxer doesn’t dribble or wet when excited, but wets in her sleep. We though that it might possibly be like a human child and wet due to dreams or maybe something to do with our male(altered). Any thought? Any suggestions? Any opinions? Will entertain anything that is meant to be serious and that is relevant to subject matter.

    Thank you for time, A curiously concerned dogmom

  6. We had to put our 2 yr old daneiff (Dane mastiff) on we called pee pills everyday. It helped. Now our mastiff mix (5months old) is dribbling in her sleep. Hoping she will grow out of it. Good luck.

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