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10 Most Common Reasons Why Your Dog Smells Like (Cat) Pee

Why Does My Dog Smell Like Pee

Does your snuggle-loving dog come up to you smelling like pee?

If this smell makes your nose crinkle…

What about cuddle time with your furry friend if they smell like pee all of a sudden?

Should you be worried that your dog might have health problems?

What can you do to prevent your dog from smelling like that?

Read on to discover…

  • 10 common reasons why your dog smells like pee
  • What it means for your dog’s health
  • Some health issues that might be causing your dog to smell like pee
  • 11 helpful tips to prevent this smelly situation
  • And much more…

Why does my dog smell like pee?

Dogs that smell like (cat) pee or ammonia usually pee themselves. Pee splashes and accidents may happen often. It could also be one of these dangerous health implications: UTI, kidney disease, bladder stones, or dehydration. Sometimes it could be their diet or other animals peeing on them.

10 reasons why your dog smells like (cat) pee

#1: Your dog peed on themselves

Is your dog potty-trained? And they still smell like pee?

No matter how consistent you are with their potty break schedule. Your dog may still have an accident from time to time.

Also, note that there are times that some pee is likely to wind up in their fur.

In some cases, your dog may need your help during their potty break.

Puppies have a higher chance to pee on themselves because they don’t have great balance yet. Their feet may still be wobbly when they pee.

If this happens with your senior dog, they might also be needing your assistance. 

Older dogs are likely to pee on themselves because of physical incapacities due to their age.

If you also notice small puddles of pee around your house and your dog pees when they see you or other dogs. They may be peeing on themselves due to the following reasons:

  • Fear.
  • Anxiety.
  • Shyness.
  • Excitement.

This behavior is submissive urination. It is common for puppies who are still gaining confidence around others. 

Most dogs grow out of this behavior. Once they start being more confident and safe around their environment.

#2: Rolling around in their own pee

Does your dog try to roll around every smelly surface you pass by during walks?

Dogs like to roll in strong-smelling stuff like their own or other dogs pee. They will try to dive and wiggle their backs on every surface with a strong smell.

It might mean that your pooch is trying to keep their natural scent.  

They are trying to remove any unpleasant or unfamiliar scent on their body.  They do this by rolling and wiggling on surfaces to mask any unwanted smell.

You sure don’t want your pooch diving in smelly surfaces, right? 

You should switch to using mild scented soaps instead. This will reduce their discomfort from the unfamiliar scent.

You might also want to know: 11 Weird Reasons Why Dogs Roll In Their Food (And Treats)

#3: Your dog’s diet

A frustrated pet parent shared in a forum that their dog smelled like pee.

They were able to trace it down to Natural Balance. It’s the name of the recent dog food that they gave their pooch.

But this certain brand isn’t the only culprit that might be causing the smelly situation. In addition, you should look out for certain ingredients from your dog’s diet that might be causing this.

Here are a few:

  • Carbohydrates.
  • Processed foods.
  • Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Other than making your dog smell like pee, these foods still have health benefits for your pooch. Like healthy skin, improved cognitive function, and promotes a strong immune system.

If one of these ingredients is part of your dog’s diet, you should consider reducing its amount from your dog’s next meal.

#4: Urinary tract infection

Your dog’s pee will smell like ammonia if they have a urinary tract infection. 

The foul smell of their pee is prone to stick to them. It’s because this infection will cause your dog to make an unwanted mess.

These symptoms include:

  • Straining.
  • Accidental urination.
  • Bloody or cloudy urine.
  • Whimpering when they pee.
  • Licking near the urinary opening.

UTI is very uncomfortable for your pooch. You should consult your veterinarian to get immediate treatment for them.

Check out this article: Why does my dog drink so much water at night?

#5: Kidney disease

Your Dog Smells Like Cat Pee Due To Kidney Disease

Hoomans and dogs’ kidneys share the same function. It filters waste products and excess fluids from the body.

So if your dog’s kidney function is the problem, it can cause your dog to smell like pee all over their body.

Some dogs suffering from kidney disease also have bad breath that smells like pee.

This smell happens when waste products build up in your dog’s kidneys.

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), this is a warning sign of kidney disease.

Aside from the smell, you should also look out for these signs:

  • Lethargy.
  • Vomiting.
  • Seizures.
  • Pale gums.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Loss of balance.
  • Too much or lesser urine volume.

If you observe these symptoms from your dog, they need immediate medical attention.

#6: Bladder stones

Bladder stones are another medical problem that might cause this smelly situation. It develops in your dog’s urinary bladder where they obstruct the flow of urine.

The blockage can cause your dog to have a hard time peeing. Drops of pee will remain on their fur as they try to relieve themselves leaving the smell of pee on your pooch.

Veterinarians are unsure what causes bladder stones to form. But you can prevent this by doing these things:

  • Observing your dog’s urination habits.
  • Providing them with a well-balanced diet.
  • Ensuring your dog has plenty of water intake.
  • Going to annual check-ups at your dog’s vet.

Learn more: Why Do Dogs Arch Their Backs? 13 Reasons & 9 Situations

#7: Urinary incontinence

Are there traces of pee all around your house?

Is your dog always covered in their own pee?

Well, it’s not their fault.

Urinary incontinence is when your dog loses control of their bladder. It may be small leaks of pee or a large amount of urine.

Here are a few reasons that cause this:

  • Birth defect.
  • Bladder stones.
  • Prostate disorders.
  • Hormonal imbalance.
  • Urinary tract infection.
  • Injury or degeneration of the spine.
  • Underlying medical conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, and Cushing’s disease.

It is hard to prevent urinary incontinence in your dogs. 

But you can still manage this by:

  • Using doggie diapers.
  • Exercising your pooch.
  • Putting waterproof pads under their bedding.
  • Ensuring proper hygiene to prevent skin irritation.

#8: Dehydration

If your dog doesn’t get enough fluids, it might affect the smell of their urine. 

Dehydration will result in a stronger scent of ammonia in their pee.

Your dog may be dehydrated if they are exhibiting these symptoms:

  • Lethargy.
  • Vomiting.
  • Dry nose.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Excessive panting.
  • Darker colored urine.
  • Bubbles in the urine.

How much water should your dog take to avoid dehydration?

Veterinarians suggest that 0.03 oz. [1-2 mL] of water per kilogram of your dog’s body weight is needed every hour. 

For example, if your furry friend is a 10kg dog they should drink about 480ml in 24 hours.

You should never forget to fill your dog’s water bowl. Ensure that they are also drinking enough water during the day.

#9: Your dog is anxious

Did you try to introduce a new puppy to your dog? You might’ve expected a cute and excited reaction from your dog.

But instead, your dog pees on the new puppy.

It’s rude, right?

If your pooch is anxious, they might pee on your other dog. It is probably due to the unfamiliar scent when you introduced them to each other.

You can avoid this by introducing proper socialization to your dog.

Here are a few things that might help if you want to socialize your dog:

  • Introduce them to calmer dogs first.
  • Take them for a walk to observe other dogs.
  • Keep their leash loose when they try to approach other dogs.

#10: Cat urine marking

Cat Urine Marking

If none of the reasons mentioned above ticked the boxes and you have a cat… Your cat is definitely the culprit.

Cats are likely to mark on your dog too.

Your pooch may still be an unfamiliar creature for your cat. So your cat is probably trying to reduce their anxiety by peeing on your dog or their beds.

You can try to introduce your new pup to your cat by introducing their scent first. Then allow them together to stay in the same place.

11 tips to avoid your dog from smelling like cat pee

#1: Use dog-friendly wet wipes

Cleaning your pooch with wet wipes can help remove any unwanted smell. You should add this to your daily routine with your dog. 

It is time-efficient because it only takes a few seconds to give them a wipe. You can do this after walks where they have a higher chance of stepping on their pee or other dogs’ pee. 

This will prevent the build-up of urine smell if you don’t have the time to give your pooch a bath yet.

Use wet wipes that are only formulated for dogs because they have different pH levels than us. It can be tempting to buy regular wipes because it’s cheaper but it can cause skin irritation to your pooch.

If you are looking for a cheaper alternative, we got you! You can make an alternative that is also safe for your pooch.

You need:

  • Paper towels.
  • Air-tight container.
  • 2 cups distilled water.
  • 2 tbsp gentle dog shampoo (preferably made from natural ingredients).

Put the paper towels in an air-tight container then pour the mixed liquid solution. Let it soak for five minutes then it’s ready to use. You can store this and use it as needed.

#2: Trim their fur

Pee splashes can be hard to manage, but trimming your dog’s fur can be an instant solution.

Urine smell can stick to your dog’s fur and it can even leave stains. So, trimming their fur is the best option to prevent this from happening. 

You can take them to a grooming service. Or you can invest in a hair trimmer to save you time and money.

#3: Regularly clean your dog’s bedding

When pee dries on fabric or the foam, the pee will leave a horrible smell. It can also prompt your dog to pee on their bedding over and over again.

You should use pet-safe laundry detergent to clean your dog’s bed effectively. Mild and fragrance-free laundry detergents are the safest options for your pooch. 

This will prevent any skin irritation or severe allergic reaction to your dog.

How often should you clean your dog’s bed?

You should clean their bed once every week or at least every two weeks. This will prevent the buildup of any unwanted smell that might transfer to your pooch.

#4: Odor eliminating spray

If your pooch loves to roll around on surfaces that they peed on. 

On your next trip to the grocery, try grabbing some odor-eliminating spray.

You can spray these on surfaces where your dog usually urinates. It can remove the smell in an instant!

But if you are a thrifty pet parent, you can make this spray yourself.

The ingredients are cheap and safe for your pooch. You can find these in your kitchen already.

To make this, you only need:

  • 1 cup of water.
  • A spray bottle.
  • 1 cup of vinegar.

Mix the ingredients all together in the spray bottle. Then, spritz the formula, let it sit, and it will remove the smell completely.

#5: Baking soda

Did your dog accidentally pee on your new rug? It might stain and leave a horrible smell.

Baking soda is the best weapon for accidents inside your house. In addition, it is the cheapest odor neutralizer that actually works! 

You can sprinkle baking soda on the damp area. Leave for a few minutes. And it will soak up the smell and even remove the stain.

It’s just that easy. 🙂

#6: Give them a bath

Freshen up your pooch with a good bath. 

Some dogs love to splish splash in their baths. But some are not fans of bath time.

Here are a few tips to make bath time more comfortable:

  • First, secure them with a bath mat or towel to step on.
  • Choose a mild-scented dog shampoo.
  • Give them treats while you wash them.

#7: Choose super-absorbent diapers

Your pooch could be suffering from incontinence caused by urinary problems. Or maybe they’re still too young to pee on their own.

Either way, you can try making them wear super-absorbent diapers. 

If you want a time-saving option, you can choose disposable ones. Or if you prefer cost efficiency, there is the washable kind that is also a great option.

A belly band is recommended for male dogs. It goes around your dog’s waist.

Warning: Urine burns may occur if your dog’s skin is in contact with urine for a long time. If pee has already overflowed, make sure to change your dog’s diaper immediately.

#8: Place pee pads under their bed

Are you a busy fur parent? Do you prefer easy clean-ups?

Pee pads to the rescue!

Like diapers, pee pads also soak your dog’s pee. You can simply toss them in the trash if they’re already soaked in pee.

If your pooch pees in their bed due to certain medical conditions, just place a pee pad under the sheet of their bed. It will keep their bed free from stink.

#9: Hydrate your pooch

Water consumption flushes toxins from your dog’s body. So, it is important to keep them hydrated to avoid bladder problems.

It prevents smelly situations because water tones down the smell of ammonia from your dog’s pee.

#10: Healthy-balanced diet 

A healthy pooch may stink, but they should not always smell like pee.

Balance is essential to your dog’s diet because it keeps them healthy. 

A healthy balanced diet will keep your dog away from diseases that might affect the odor of their pee.

Here’s what you should include to your dog’s diet to keep them healthy:

  • Fat.
  • Whole grains.
  • Protein (from an animal).
  • Fruits and vegetables that are safe for your dog.

Some dogs require specific nutrients according to their needs. So, it is important to consult a veterinarian if you want to know what’s best for your dog.

#11: Get them treated

They probably need immediate medical attention.

Veterinarians can trace what is possibly causing your pooch to smell like pee.

But how would you know if your dog needs immediate medical attention?

Aside from the strong urine smell, here are a few signs to look out for:

  • Lethargy.
  • Excessive thirst.
  • Appetite change.
  • Difficulty or excessive urination.

A trip to the vet will ensure that your pooch is safe from life-threatening diseases.