Our expert says:
Dog Behaviour Expert
Hi Cecelia, it is unusual for a dog to soil its own bedding so there may be a physical connection, so do check that out with your vet, especially is she is a senior dog. They even have dog nappies nowadays for cases such as older dogs.
Which ever way you try to change this, what you will have to do first is to completely wash all the bedding with a mixture of 1/3 white vinegar to 2/3 water. Even wash the basket she is using or get a new one. There is a definate possibility that as the bed already smells like a toilet, she is using it as same, but like I say, not the norm.
A question -do you go out with her? Sometimes, as funny as it may seem, and I have worked with several dogs where the problem at night time seems to be that they were nervous of going out alone. In many instances just supplying a light source close to the door made a big difference, and with some others, it only happened when it had been raining and the dog did not like the feeling of wet on its paws.
another alternative, is to allocate a specific area for her to use as an inside bathroom at night time, but close to her bed after you have washed/changed it. To stimulate her to use this, pick us her last stool, or even put a piece of newspaper on a wee to get the smell on it, and place this on top of the new toilet area. that will make it smell more like a toilet and she may use it easier. There is also an article on my free www.friendsofthedog.co.za website on teaching your dog to eliminate on paper that you can read through.
Have a look which area she uses for elimination in the day, and if she is small enough, pick her up and take her to that place, making sure you close the door behind you.
If this were my own dog, I would at least make a call to the vet to get his/her opinion, but firstly I would observe the dogs daily elimination pattern to determine how often weeing, what colour urine, does it smell etc. This information will give your vet more of an idea of what could be causing this. Good luck
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