Is your dog is peeing in the house at night despite being house-trained? This could be a sign of underlying stress, anxiety, frustration, or an irregular daily routine. But it’s also important to note that sudden incontinence could be a result of health issues such as a urinary tract infection or diabetes.

For young pups, lack of proper training is usually the culprit. However; if your dog was already an ace at staying dry, it may be time to consider other factors.

Let’s take a closer look at the most common causes of nighttime accidents in dogs.


Housebroken Dog Urinating in the House at Night – Fear and Stress

In young and very trusting dogs, fear is one of the most common causes of nocturnal peeing in the home. Typical triggers here are:

  • Loud noises: when cars honk, trains go by, or fireworks are set off.
  • Separation anxiety: When dogs are alone at night and can’t see their masters.
  • Territory threat: When your dog notices the smell of a dominant neighbor’s dog.

Some dogs react to this stress by defecating in the home at night. Typically, however, other symptoms are usually evident here as well:

  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Lowering the muzzle
  • Pulling in the tail
  • Restless and nervous behavior
  • Trembling on the body

Identifying and addressing the root cause is crucial in resolving nighttime house soiling in dogs. Additionally, taking the following steps can also aid in the process:

  • Show extra love and care.
  • Create a cozy and secure sleeping area for your pup.
  • Minimize any potential sources of disturbance.
  • Consider letting your dog sleep in your bedroom.

Avoid using harsh punishments or scolding as this can escalate your dog’s anxiety and make the situation worse.

Summary

If young dogs pee at night in the apartment, then fear is often responsible for it. Emptying the bladder at night only serves to reduce stress here. The solution is to find the underlying cause and then avoid it.


Urinary Tract Infection

If your dog pees in the apartment at night, although he is actually house-trained, then a urinary tract infection is obvious.

3D Rendered – Medical illustration of dog anatomy – urinary system

Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a common bacterial inflammation affecting the urinary system, particularly prevalent in female dogs due to their shorter urethra. In fact, UTIs account for a staggering 15% of all veterinarian visits.1

Signs of UTI in dogs include:

  1. Constant licking of the genital area
  2. Whimpering and whining while urinating
  3. Sudden nocturnal incontinence
  4. Increased frequency of urination
  5. Change in urine color

These infections tend to occur more frequently during the wet and cold seasons of autumn and winter. Treatment typically involves antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medication, along with increased fluid intake to flush out the bacteria. With prompt treatment, most dogs recover from UTI within 5 days.

Summary

A urinary tract infection may be responsible if dogs suddenly pee into the house at night. This bacterial inflammation occurs relatively often, is usually accompanied by other symptoms and can be remedied with medication.


Arthritis: A Common Ailment for Aging and Large Breed Dogs

Arthritis, an inflammation of the joints, affects a staggering 20% of all dogs, particularly older dogs and large breeds.

Arthritis in Dogs

Nighttime incontinence in dogs with arthritis is often a result of their discomfort in getting up to go outside for their evening bowel movements. In severe cases, the pain can be so intense that the dog is unable to sleep and their bladder remains active.

Other symptoms to watch for include:

  1. Stiff gait
  2. Avoidance of stairs and jumps
  3. Swollen joints
  4. Groaning while getting up
  5. Inactivity

While there is no cure for arthritis, with the help of medication, physical therapy, and diet changes, its symptoms can be effectively managed. With less pain, your dog will no longer feel the need to constantly relieve themselves in the house at night.2

Summary

Dogs with arthritis often prefer to pee indoors at night rather than take on running and walking pain. Large and old dogs are most often affected. However, medical treatment can significantly reduce discomfort.


Diabetes: A Growing Concern for Canines

Diabetes in dogs is caused by either a lack of response to insulin (type 2) or an inability to produce insulin (type 1). Unlike humans who typically suffer from type 2 due to high sugar diets, type 1 is becoming increasingly prevalent in dogs.

The result is the same: high blood sugar levels and a shortage of sugar supply to organs, muscles, and cells.

Signs to watch for include:

  1. Excessive thirst
  2. Weight loss
  3. Nighttime incontinence
  4. Decreased appetite

According to studies, one in 300 dogs are affected by diabetes, with a 80% increase in incidence over the past decade.

Diagnosis is usually done through a blood test. While the disease itself is incurable, its symptoms can be greatly reduced through medical treatment.

Summary

In diabetic dogs, the organism no longer functions properly due to hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia; this can lead to affected dogs peeing or even defecating in the house at night.


Young Pups and Immature Bladders: A Common Challenge

If your young and housebroken pup is still making their way into the apartment at night, it might be due to their immature bladder. Young puppies under 6 months old have bladders that are small, similar in size to a prune, and can easily be triggered by even small amounts of water or wet food.

Dogs AgeFor how long dogs can hold urine?
< 6 months1-3 hours
6-12 months2-8 hours
1-8 years6-12 hours
8-10 years4-10 hours
10 years2-6 hours

Check here for detailed Information in How long your Dog Breed can hold it’s Urine


As Dog’s grow older, their bladders will become larger, leading to fewer nighttime bathroom trips. In this case, all you need to do is show a bit of patience and remain consistent in your training – providing appropriate feedback along the way.

An alternative solution is using reusable dog diapers; these can be a great solution for dogs with bladder problems, particularly in the case of nocturnal incontinence. These diapers are designed to provide a comfortable and secure fit for dogs, helping to prevent accidents from happening in the house.

One of the main advantages of reusable dog diapers is that they are more environmentally friendly than disposable diapers, as they can be washed and used again. This can also be more cost-effective in the long run, as you do not have to continuously buy new disposable diapers.

Summary

When young dogs pee in the house at night, then, among other things, a small bladder is more often responsible for this. For anatomical reasons, puppies can rarely hold their urine for more than 1-3 hours. Dog diapers can provide a remedy here.


Spaying and Castration

In female dogs – when they undergo spaying surgery, their ovaries are removed. This prevents them from being able to reproduce.

Dog after Spaying Surgery

However; this also affects their hormone-levels as the removal of ovaries results in a reduction in estrogen production. Estrogen helps control the sphincter muscle at the urethra, and a lack of it can lead to incontinence. If your dog is a spayed female, the surgery may be the cause of her nighttime accidents.

On the other hand, male dogs rarely suffer from this problem. This is because they only produce about 20% of the estrogen found in female dogs.

If your dog is suffering from incontinence due to spaying or castration, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian. Depending on the severity, the issue may be treated with medication or hormone therapy.

Summary

When bitches are spayed, hormonal incontinence can occur due to the deficient production of estrogen. Affected dogs, therefore, pee more often at night in the house. A veterinarian should be consulted here for diagnosis and treatment.


Other potential causes that your puppy suddenly pees in the house at night

In addition to the above triggers, the following conditions may also be responsible for nocturnal incontinence:

  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Parasites
  • Kidney and bladder stones
  • Spinal injury
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Medication
  • Tumor disease
  • Pain

Summary

Dogs may urinate in the house at night due to various reasons such as fear, stress, separation anxiety, urinary tract infection, arthritis, diabetes, or lack of proper training.

Common triggers for fear and stress include loud noises, being alone at night, and territorial threats. Urinary tract infections are common in female dogs and can be treated with antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medication.

Arthritis can cause discomfort in getting up and going outside, leading to nighttime incontinence. Diabetes can also lead to nighttime incontinence in dogs and can be diagnosed through a blood test. In young pups, lack of proper training can be the cause of nighttime accidents.

It’s important to address the underlying cause to resolve nighttime accidents and to avoid using harsh punishments or scolding.

Read also: I Lost My Temper And Hit My Dog – What To Do Now?

  1. Ball KR, Rubin JE, Chirino-Trejo M, Dowling PM. Antimicrobial resistance and prevalence of canine uropathogens at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine Veterinary Teaching Hospital, 2002-2007. Can Vet J. 2008 Oct;49(10):985-90. PMID: 19119366; PMCID: PMC2553511.
  2. ARTHRITIS MANAGEMENT AND PREVENTION – Colorado State University (last seen 02/08/23)

Marco

Marco Heitner

Hello, my Name is Marco. My family has had pets since I can remember. Today we have a large aquarium and, since recently, a four-month old Labrador. I am the owner of this website, and it is my great pleasure to provide helpful knowledge about pets. Our team is constantly working hard to publish well-researched reports here.

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