Dog Leaves Brown Spots on Bed? [Banish Them Now]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Let’s be honest, finding brown spots on your bed isn’t a fun feeling.

Those unsightly stains ruin your cozy mattress and mood.

It’s not just the stain that’s upsetting—finding out what’s causing those brown spots and how to clean them can be troublesome too.

In this post, find out why your dog leaves brown spots on the bed and what you can do about it.

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What Causes Your Dog to Leave Brown Spots on the Bed?

What Causes Your Dog to Leave Brown Spots on the Bed?

You love your dog, and I’m sure of that.

But those brown spots on your bed can leave you with a head-scratching moment.

That’s an expected reaction.

But before blaming your pup for being messy or untrained, why don’t you look at what might be causing these pesky stains first?

Let’s figure out these “brown spots” once and for all!

1. Incontinence or urinary tract infection

If your pup constantly pees on your bed, it may have a urinary tract infection. 

A healthy urinary tract has defenses against bacteria, but age or disease can weaken those defenses, making bacterial infections more likely. 

Escherichia coli (E Coli) is a common bacteria, and female dogs are more susceptible to it because their reproductive organs are closer together than males’.

2. Marking behavior

Your dog may leave mark signals to say, “This is my property—my bed, and it belongs to me.” 

Marking is a routine behavior of your dog. 

It’s a way for them to communicate with other dogs and let them know who owns what. 

Male dogs are more likely to do this. It is a hardwired, instinctive habit.

3. Anxiety or stress

Dogs are sensitive animals and can respond to many things. 

They may leave brown spots on their bed if they feel anxious or stressed. Loud noises, strangers, and new places can cause stress. 

Some breeds, like Lagotto Romagnolo, are particularly sensitive to noise. 

Additionally, separation anxiety is common among dogs and affects about 14% of them. It causes them to act out when left alone. 

Older dogs can also experience stress because of cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS), which can cause memory loss and confusion in senior dogs, leading to fear and aggression.

4. Medical issues

If your furry friend is leaving brown spots on your bed, here are the most common medical issues that could be causing it:

  • Low immune system: Dogs with low immune systems may suffer from a yeast infection. It can cause your dog to feel an itch with brown spots on the skin. It is often found on the feet or belly.
  • Digestive problems: Diarrhea or constipation can lead to pooping on the bed, which could be the reason behind the brown spots.
  • Allergies: Skin irritation and excessive scratching caused by allergic reactions can lead to open sores and infections, resulting in brown spots on the bed.
  • Parasites: Intestinal parasites could cause diarrhea.

5. Aging

As your dog ages, it may encounter health issues that could result in weight loss and brown spots on the bed. 

It is particularly true if they have been overweight for a while.

When they lose weight, their skin may rupture, causing bruising and bleeding and it also affects the ability of your dog’s body to produce new skin cells.

Additionally, your dog’s skin becomes thinner and more fragile, making it easier to rupture.

6. Training issues

Trained dogs are better-behaved happier dogs.

When you bring your new puppy home, they will not know what you expect. They will likely poop anywhere in the house and make mistakes.

Training your dog incorrectly or not training them at all may leave an impression that they can do their business in bed.

7. Feeding habits

If your dog consumes table scraps or fatty foods, it can give your dog diarrhea. 

It can make your dog not hold its bowel movements while sleeping, resulting in brown stains on your bedding.

Feeding your dog foods that are unsuitable for their nutritional needs can also cause health issues and unwanted mess on your bed. 

Providing your dog with high-quality food that meets its specific dietary requirements shows how much you care about them.

And don’t overfeed your dog human food because it may lead to stomach issues.

8. Lack of access to the outdoors

If your dog leaves brown spots on the bed, it may feel stressed.

Dogs tend to be more afraid when they’re home alone.

When you leave your dog alone for long periods, it may chew or scratch at the bedding to relieve their anxiety.

This is especially true for puppies who have not yet learned to cope with being alone. 

Even older dogs can be prone to chewing on or scratching at their bedding due to a lack of outdoor access or mental stimulation in their daily routines.

9. Anal glands impaction

Anal gland impaction is another sneaky culprit behind those unwelcome brown spots on our beds.

These little scent sacs can get clogged, causing discomfort and the occasional bed-staining surprise.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: My dog has red spots on his privates

What is the Brown Stuff Coming Out of My Dog’s Bum?

You know that sometimes things can get a bit messy down there with your pet. 

The “brown stuff” from your dog’s bum could be the result of various things and it’s important to recognize the difference between normal stool and something else that requires immediate attention.

So here are some causes of brown discharge from a dog’s rear end:


Pus is a thick, creamy substance that forms in infected body areas.

It’s usually white or yellow and often has an odor associated with it.

The type of pus from your dog’s bum depends on its issue.

Anal Fluid Discharge

Anal fluid discharge is a clear, watery liquid that can come from your dog’s bum.

If you see this type of fluid coming from your dog behind, it could indicate that your dog has eaten something that irritated his stomach.

Anal Sac Disorder

Anal sac disorder is a common condition in dogs and it occurs when your dog’s anal glands become impacted with fluid or waste products, causing them to become inflamed and irritated.

It can cause your dog pain and discomfort, and in some cases, can lead to your dog’s anal glands bleeding.


Pyoderma means “pus in the skin.”

It is an infection of the skin that causes red, hot, swollen areas on your dog’s body.

Bacteria entering cuts or abrasions on your dog’s skin often cause pyoderma.

Also, dogs’ allergies and other health issues can cause this condition too.


Urine is usually clear or yellowish, but it can turn brown if left to sit too long and oxidizes.

Your dog’s brownish urine color may indicate dehydration or kidney disease.

Watch your pet’s behavior and health, and if you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

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Signs That Your Dog Needs to Have Its Anal Glands Checked Out

Your dog has two tiny sacs located next to their anus called anal glands.

These sacs produce a smelly liquid that dogs use to mark territory.

When these sacs become inflamed and filled with liquid, they can cause your dog pain and discomfort.

Here are some signs your dog needs to have their anal glands checked out:

Presence of odor

Your dog will definitely have a slight odor around their back end, but if the smell becomes terrible and lasts for several days, it could mean something’s not right.

This is especially true if your dog still smells after expressing its glands.

Licking and biting

Your dog’s behind has a couple of tiny glands that produce a fluid released when squeezed.

But if you notice your dog is constantly licking or biting at their rear end, it could have an infection or inflammation in those glands.


If your dog is dragging their butt on the ground, it could mean they have issues with their anal glands, skin infections, or worms.

However, if they’re scooting without licking or biting, it could be a bigger problem like abscesses or tumors.


If you notice stains on your furniture or bed, your dog might have an anal gland issue.

Also, if their poop changes color from yellow to dark brown or black, it could mean an infection in their anal glands.

How Can I Prevent My Dog From Leaving Brown Spots in Bed?

Brown spots in the bed are a familiar scenario if you have a pet.

But they can be annoying and tiring if they occur every now and then.

Here are some tips that you can use to prevent this issue:

  • Train your dog to go to the bathroom: One of the main causes of brown spots on the bed is urinating on it. Training your dog to go outside for bathroom breaks can help prevent this issue.
  • Consider food to help your dog express glands: Diet plays an important part in helping your dog express its glands naturally too and can prevent anal sac diseases.
  • Use a waterproof bed protector: It can help protect your bed from a spill and is easily cleaned or replaced.
  • Keep your dog off the bed: If you don’t want your dog to leave brown spots on your bed, it is best to keep them off.
  • Provide your dog with their own bed: Giving your dog their bed can help prevent them from getting on yours. Make sure it’s comfortable and in a location that they enjoy.
  • Use dog diapers: If your dog is prone to fecal incontinence or is elderly, consider using dog diapers to prevent any mess on your bed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can you tell if your dog needs his anal glands expressed?

If your dog is scooting or dragging its bottom on the ground or excessively licking or biting around the anal area, these signs may show that it needs to have its anal glands expressed.

What does stress poop look like in dogs?

Stressed dogs may have diarrhea or loose stools with blood or mucus in their poop. Stress colitis, a condition in anxious dogs, is often called stress poop.

Why is my dog leaving poop stains?

If your dog has diarrhea or soft stool, it might leave poop stains as a result of diet, stress, or illness.

Is my dog pooping to mark territory?

Possibly, as your dog poops, the feces applies pressure on the scent glands, causing them to leave a mark.

In Conclusion: Dog Leaves Brown Spots on Bed

With a dash of detective work and a sprinkle of TLC, we can tackle those pesky brown spots on our beds.

By keeping a keen eye on our doggos’ health, grooming, and potty habits, we’ll be all set for snuggly, spot-free snoozes together.

Stay pawsitive and happy sleuthing! Check out these other articles too:

You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

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