4 Reasons that Cause a Dog’s Urine to Smell Like Ammonia

Dog Pees

Do you smell a strong, chemical-like odor any time after your dog urinates? The chief culprit of this smell is likely to be the waste product in the dog’s urine. While urine that smells like ammonia isn’t always a major cause for concern, there may be some cases when it can be.

What Causes a Dog’s Urine to Smell So Strong?

There could be a number of different medical, lifestyle, or dietary reasons that may cause the dog urine to suddenly have a strong ammonia smell. Here are the most common ones.

1. Your Dog is Dehydrated

Dehydration is a condition that can cause the dog’s urine to develop a strong ammonia-like smell. Not have enough fluid in the body would result in a higher concentration of waste products in the urine. You might notice the dog urine is much darker than usual or more yellow in color.

2. Your Dog has Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Yes, dogs can also suffer from medical conditions such as urinary tract infection. Dogs can get this infection when bacteria enter upwards through the urethral opening. The bacteria may come from feces or other debris. Strong urine smell isn’t the only common symptom of a UTI. Affected dogs may also have trouble urinating and constantly lick the urinary area.

3. Your Dog’s Diet is Contributing to the Strong Smell

Certain combinations of food may accentuate the smell of the dog urine. The smell could have developed due to a recent change to your dog’s diet or due to the introduction of foods such as asparagus and fish, which are known to make urine smell funny.

4. Your Dog is Suffering from Kidney Disease

In one of the worst-case scenarios, your dog could be suffering from some form of kidney disease or kidney failure. Kidney disease can cause the waste products in the urine to become more concentrated, which leads to the foul, ammonia smell.

How do I Stop my Dog’s Pee from Smelling?

Unless the strong ammonia smell is caused by an underlying health condition, there are certain steps you can take to stop making your dog’s urine smell so bad.

Keep Your Dog Hydrated

Make sure your dog is drinking plenty of water. Your dog should always have easy access to water, especially when you are away. Drinking water will solve a lot of problems by maintaining the concentration of waste products in the dog’s urine. The normal color of urine should be transparent yellow.

Keep Track of Your Dog’s Diet

Make sure your dog is being fed a healthy diet. Keep your dog well away from junk food and foreign objects. Dogs are curious animals and may end up consuming dangerous objects like plastic bags. This can lead to health conditions that cause highly-concentrated urine to form.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Make sure your dog gets plenty of physical and mental exercise every day. Dogs that endure a high amount of stress and boredom may eventually develop medical conditions or disorders that cause smelly urine.

How to Get Rid of Dog Urine Smell in the House

So your dog has already left his urine mark all over the place. What can you do to eliminate the strong ammonia smell in the house? Here are a few options.

Use Odor Removing Bags

Odor removing bags, such as Earth Care odor, may help eliminate the dog urine smell in the house. These bags contain non-toxic minerals that absorb the smell like powerful magnets. Place these bags next to the urinated spots and give it a day or two for the smell to go away.

Use an Enzyme Cleaner

An effective enzyme cleaner, such as the BUBBAS Super Strength Cleaner, can help you remove the strong ammonia smell from carpets, hard floors, and other floor surfaces. The activated bacteria in these products will do all the work by consuming or breaking down the odor-causing bacteria.

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John at My Pet Child

is the Founder of My Pet Child, where he shares his tips on living with a dog in an apartment.

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1 year ago

Where can I get odor removal bags and bubba super strength cleaner

Summer westerbur
Summer westerbur
11 months ago
Reply to  Iris

The names are links.

7 months ago

I had changed my Pom’s food from BlueBuffalo after my daughters dog died suddenly of pancreatitis, to Stella and Chewy’s, freeze dried, raw, dinner biscuits. There was almost no odor to her urine. A vet said I had to be extremely careful about salmonella so I changed her to: BilJack, dry kibble with chicken, oatmeal and yams. Now her urine is just as strong as it was on Blue Buffalo. I want her to get good safe food for the many years ahead. She gets her regular check ups, shots and meds. Can you please tell me what makes her… Read more »