Fortunately but unfortunately, this is a very common occurrence for our senior dog population.
The term for this is urinary incontinence which implies that your dog loses control of its bladder while they are asleep. Incontinence almost exclusively happens when an animal is asleep because of the weakening of their muscles of the sphincter that hold in urine.
We have covered incontinence on The Senior Pet Podcast and you can listen to learn more in this episode. The good news is that we have wonderful medications to treat this problem.
The first step is just to rule out that there isn’t another issue going on such as; a urinary tract infection, bladder stones, etc. It is very important that you treat anything else because incontinence can happy due to these and you can potentially cure the issue.
Once you and your veterinarian have “diagnosed” incontinence by ruling out other medical issues, then we can treat it. There are three main treatments: soy analogs, hormones and muscle strengtheners. All of these medications can be very effective and have both good and bad side effects. I would speak with your vet about which one is best for your dog.
Often, once starting a medication the episodes of urinating the bed disappear completely and you (and your dog) are happier for it!
– Dr. B