Why Does My Dog Smell Like Pee? – (6 Reasons)

Dogs can get nasty odors from time to time, including the smell of urine. But why does my dog smell like pee? There are a few explanations here, some of which can be prevented and fixed at home. Your dog might have splashed pee on its long coat or that another dog peed on your pooch. On a more serious note, the pee smell on your dog could indicate urinary tract infection and potential kidney problems.

Why does my dog smell like pee?

dog smells like pee

why does my dog smell like pee

Urine smell isn’t typical to dogs, especially if it lingers for days. If your doggo smells like pee, the following might be the reason:

1. Splashed urine on fur

If your dog has a long coat, one common reason for the pee smell is splashed urine. As the dog urinates, the pee will flow into the long coat and dry up. Please read here: Using Homemade Enzyme Cleaner For Dog Urine

It will leave a strong pee smell that will linger until you bathe and clean your dog up. A splash-back is common among dogs, which will cause a stinky pee smell.

It’s also possible that your dog is peeing on its foot and their pee-soaked paws care harboring the nasty smell.

This happens when your dog pees on a hard surface, and the pee flows around its paws. It’s also the reason why you should bring your dog outdoors to prevent the pee smell. 

2. Dog peeing on another dog

During one of my dog park visits with Sherlock, another dog tried to pee on him. I was confused, and I frantically called the owner to get his dog.

Sherlock’s vet told me that this behavior is a symbol of dominance. The other dog at the park is trying to show Sherlock that he’s the top dog in the area.

It’s also a sign of over-marking as the dog tries to reclaim its territory.

A dog that pees on another dog will be a more serious problem among intact canines. Both males and female dogs can do this, so you should watch out.

The smell of another dog’s pee will make your pooch smell like urine. It may also spook your other dogs at home. 

3. Incontinence

Incontinence occurs when your dog can’t control its bladder. When this happens, your dog will pee just about anywhere. It can be on the bed, kitchen, couch, and so on.

A dog with incontinence can soak its body with pee if it happens to eliminate while lying down. This will make them stinky, so immediate baths are necessary.

But before you punish your dog, take note that incontinence is a health problem. It’s common to senior canines, but younger dogs may also suffer from it.

It can be due to a kidney problem or congenital abnormalities on your dog’s urinary system. Whatever the reason behind it, proper treatment from a vet is necessary.

The vet will conduct several tests that include, but are not limited to, urinalysis, blood tests, and physical exams. This is to determine the cause of incontinence for proper treatment. Please read here: Incontinent Dog Solutions

4. Urinary tract infection

If your dog doesn’t have incontinence, urinary tract infection might be the reason behind the pee smell. A dog with UTI will have foul-smelling urine.

When it gets into the dog’s coat or paws, even a small amount will be extremely smelly.

Also, as the urine sets into your dog’s coat, it will smell worse. This is because the bacteria that cause UTI will proliferate and make a stinking mess out of your dog.

Over time, the pee smell will become worse to the point that your dog smells like fish sauce or rotting fish. You should be alarmed if it’s accompanied by bad breath. In this case, you have to bring your dog to the vet immediately. 

5. Rolling on the ground with pee

If your dog loves playing outdoors, you should consider the potential that it rolls on the ground where other dogs peed. This happens a lot with my dog Watson whenever we go to the dog park. He will run around, roll, and his coat will get all the nasty stuff on the ground. One time, he went back with dog diarrhea all over his body. 

This can happen to any dog. Since you can’t see pee on the ground, you should prepare for a bath right after going to the dog park. Some dog parks also have washing stations where you can give your dog a quick rinse before hopping back to your car.

6. A change in diet

Another possible reason why dogs smell like pee is a sudden change in diet. Some pet owners report that their dogs smell like pee after switching to a new dog food.

It’s due to the dog food ingredients, which make your pet’s pee smell stronger. Sometimes, this isn’t a cause of concern. You just have to increase your dog’s water intake.

However, if your dog’s pee smell is followed by symptoms like lethargy, incontinence, diarrhea, and vomiting, you should bring it to the vet. The new diet might be causing stomach upset, which can be life-threatening if not addressed right away.

You also have to rule out the possibility that the new food is damaging your dog’s kidneys. This can happen if the food has high protein levels than what your dog needs.

How to remove pee smell on dogs?

If the vet ruled out any health problems, you could remove the pee smell on your dog using the following methods:

  • Quick bath. If your dog soaked its body with pee, the best solution is a quick bath. You have to wash the pee away so it won’t set into your dog’s coat and cause a lingering smell. While dry shampoo may mask the smell, it will not remove the pee, which can irritate your dog’s skin.
  • More hydration. Just like humans, dogs will have a very stinky pee if they don’t drink enough water. See to it that your dog always has a supply of clean and cool water. You can also give the pooch some ice cubes to chew on.
  • Trim. It’s important for those with long-haired dogs to give the pooch a trim from time to time. This will reduce the likelihood of splash-backs or fur getting soaked in pee. A professional groomer can help here, but you can also perform a DIY trim at home.

Why does my dog smell his own pee?

why does my dog smell his pee

Some dogs tend to have an obsession with their own pee. After eliminating, you may notice your dog sniffing the spot for minutes.

This is your dog’s way of committing its own pee smell to memory. The next time it has to pee, the doggo will sniff around to find his previous spot.

Also, dogs will sniff their own urine to ensure that it’s strong enough to mask the old smell. They do this if they want to mark territory or hide a previous smell they don’t like.

Some experts suggest that dogs smell their urine to check their health. While this is yet to be proven, pee sniffing shouldn’t be a problem.

Why is my dog’s pee so yellow and smelly?

A dog’s pee that’s very smelly and yellow is a sign of dehydration. Your dog needs more water to flush out the toxins in the kidney properly.

However, if your pooch is getting enough water, you should rule out the possibility of kidney disease. The best thing to do is to bring your dog to the vet for a comprehensive checkup. A change in urine color says a lot about your dog’s health.

You should take your dog to the vet and he will carry out a urine analysis. This tells a lot about the hydration level and the possibility of kidney stones.


Why does my dog smell like pee? It’s possible that your dog peed on its foot or that the urine splashed back into its coat. However, it can also be due to serious health problems like kidney disease or UTI. If you’re worried, it doesn’t hurt to check with the vet. Sometimes, a change in smell would indicate a health problem in your dog.

I hope the information from this article will help you notice any abnormality in your dog’s urinary system. This will also help you take better care of your dog’s food and water needs.

Thank you for reading!

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