Will Puppies Pee In Their Sleep?

One of the noteworthy drawbacks of having a puppy, if I’m being honest, is that they tend to pee and poop all over the place. I hate cleaning up the mess, which is usually gross, and I also don’t enjoy the lingering odor of puppy urine afterward. (I’m pretty sure many of you out there will agree with me, it’s nasty.)

Of course, puppies don’t pee and poop all over the place on purpose; they do it because nature demands they do. Luckily, there are plenty of products around that have been developed to make puppy urine and feces less of a problem, including puppy pee pads. 

However, many of my readers have one question about a puppy peeing problem that’s hard to prevent, which is peeing in their sleep. More specifically, they ask, will puppies pee in their sleep?

The answer is that, yes, puppies sometimes will pee in their sleep. Like human children, there are several reasons why this can occur. One of the most prominent is that, since they’re young, their bladder control is still too weak. Some health problems can also cause a puppy to pee in their sleep, but they’re relatively rare.

Now that you know that, yes, puppies occasionally pee in their sleep, you may have other questions about the habit and how to prevent it. For example, why do puppies pee in their sleep, and when do they grow out of peeing in their sleep? For the answer to these questions and several others, read on. I have them for you below and some excellent advice to help your puppy get over their nighttime peeing as quickly as possible.

Why Puppies Might Pee in their Sleep?

One thing about puppies and dogs you need to understand is that they don’t typically urinate where they sleep. If a puppy over 6 months of age is frequently urinating where it sleeps, it’s probably suffering from other health problems causing the incontinence. 

Because they’re very young and have immature bodies, puppies have problems holding their bladder and will occasionally pee while they sleep. However, like children, not all puppies pee when they’re sleeping, and some pee more than others. One thing is sure; physical immaturity is the most significant cause of puppies peeing while asleep. 

Spaying and Neutering Can Cause a Puppy to Pee More

Although relatively uncommon, several other situations can cause your puppy to pee while they sleep. For example, a recently spayed or neutered puppy might be prone to peeing more than usual. That’s because, after spaying or neutering, a puppy’s hormones change drastically. Those hormones control several body parts, including their urethral sphincter. That’s a tiny but essential muscle that’s key to holding in their urine. If they can’t control this muscle, it relaxes, and your puppy will urinate uncontrollably. Typically it takes between 10 days and two weeks for a puppy to recover fully after being spayed or neutered. After that, their night-peeing should disappear on its own.

Urinary Tract Infections Cause Accidental Peeing Problems

Your night-peeing puppy might also be suffering from a urinary tract infection or UTI, which happens to female puppies more than males. A UTI will present several symptoms, including increased thirst, bloody urine, and frequent urination. Some UTIs can be painful enough that your puppy will struggle mightily not to pee. (It’s not fun to watch, I can assure you.) 

If your puppy is relatively well trained and starts peeing in the house more frequently, a UTI  is probably the cause. Your next step would be to visit your local vet to examine your puppy thoroughly. (UTIs are usually 100% curable, thank goodness.) By the way, there are cranberry supplements for dogs that, as with humans, will help your puppy to recover faster from a urinary tract infection. They’re a great choice if you don’t want to go the natural health route and avoid heavy medications.

Kidney and Spinal Cord Disease Can Cause Puppy Incontinence (But Very Rarely)

A dog suffering from acute kidney failure is typically older and long removed from being a puppy. However, it can happen to puppies if they drink antifreeze or gobble up a bunch of pain pills. (That’s why they now make antifreeze with a bitter taste.) 

Any type of spinal cord disease could cause incontinence in dogs, but you don’t typically see them in puppies. However, if your puppy were injured in an accident, its spine might be a damaged mess. Both kidney and spinal cord disease, while rare, can cause a puppy to urinate more frequently. 

When Do Puppies Grow out of Peeing in their Sleep?

As long as your puppy is healthy and isn’t suffering from an underlying health problem, they will typically grow out of peeing while they sleep at about 4 months of age. However, keep in mind that some puppies can take up to 6 or 7 months. 

By the way, it’s best to handle night peeing in stride, be patient with your pup and never scold them after they pee in their sleep. (The negative emotional connection can be emotionally damaging and cause future urination problems.) Suppose your puppy continues to pee frequently during the night after six or seven months. In that case, a trip to your local veterinarian might be necessary to rule out any underlying health problems. 

Again, however, the most frequent cause of night urination for puppies is simply that their bladder isn’t strong enough to hold in their urine yet. In time, that will change, and the problem will go away naturally on its own.

How to Prevent your Puppy from Peeing in their Sleep

If everything else is standard about your puppy’s health, the best way to prevent them from peeing in their sleep is to take them out to pee on a regular schedule. If your puppy’s bladder is empty, they won’t be able to pee in their sleep. Also, reducing your pup’s water intake about an hour before they nap is a good idea. Again, if their bladder isn’t full, they won’t have any accidents while they sleep.

The best piece of advice I have for preventing your puppy from peeing in their sleep, however, is to remain calm. Also, whatever you do, please don’t yell, scream or punish your puppy when they pee at night (or during the day). I’m not a dog psychologist, but I can tell you from experience that scolding a puppy for peeing isn’t helpful and can cause mental and physical health problems for your precious pup. 

Final Thoughts

Yes, puppies do pee in their sleep. It’s a relatively common problem that will typically disappear on its own by the time most puppies reach about six months of age. Several underlying health conditions can cause a dog to be incontinent, but all are very rare in puppies.

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog and that I answered all of your questions about puppies and night peeing. If you have more or would like to learn more about being a puppy parent, please see my other blogs on the subject. I tried to load my box with all sorts of practical, real-world information that I hope will help you to raise a healthy, happy, and well-adjusted dog.