4 Reasons Your Dog’s Urine Smells Like Ammonia

Why Your Dog's Urine Smells Like Ammonia - Image 1

Have you noticed a stench coming out of your dog’s kennel? You could be wondering “Why does my dog shed smell awful?”

Actually, this is the smell of your dog’s urine. If a dog constantly pees inside the kennel, it will start stinking badly.

The situation can be worse if your dog pees in your living room – not just in the room, but on your rugs or couch. What a mess!

So what contributes to this smell? Why does the urine smell like ammonia instead of like normal urine? In this article, we answer these questions.

The following are probable causes of your dog’s urine smelling like ammonia:

1. Your dog is sick.

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Kidney diseases make urine very concentrated as it doesn’t get filtered well. This means most chemicals will just remain in the urine and it will contain a smaller proportion of water.

Ammonia is one of the chemicals that are excreted in urine by the kidney. If the kidney fails, there will be more ammonia than water in the urine, thus causing the smell.

2. Your dog isn’t well hydrated.

Dehydration can be disastrous, both in humans and dogs.

A well hydrated body has a good amount of water getting excreted in urine. In this case, the body reabsorbs a small amount of water, leaving the rest for excretion. Dilute urine doesn’t have a strong smell.

If your dog is dehydrated, its body will be striving to retain as much water as possible.

This means almost all the water will be reabsorbed in the kidney and only a small amount will be left to form urine. This is when concentrated urine that smells like ammonia results.

3. Your dog is on a new diet.

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Just like humans, dogs excrete exactly what they eat.

Have you ever noticed a change in the smell of your urine when you change your diet? Or, a more practical example: has any medication ever changed the smell of your urine?

Well, a change in your dog’s diet can totally change the way its urine smells. For instance, foods like asparagus and fish can make the urine smell like ammonia.

Make sure that you’re feeding your dog foods that are safe. If you want to feed it mushrooms, for example, take a look at this article.

4. Your dog has a UTI.

Urinary tract infections (UTI) are very common in dogs. They occur when a dog’s urinary tract gets exposed to bacteria.

This can cause a lot of pain and discomfort to the dog. UTI causes concentrated urine which is also very painful to pass.

Check if the dog has other symptoms of a UTI. These may include barking when peeing, discomfort signs, constantly licking the urinal area, and the strong smell of ammonia.

How To Treat This

Concentrated urine is definitely a danger sign for your dog. Once you spot the symptoms, try to hydrate it as much as you can. This will leave it with some excess water to make its urine dilute.

Furthermore, observe its diet and notice if there was a change. Make sure you don’t give it foods that may result in its urine smelling like ammonia.

Finally, check for any infections and diseases like kidney stones. If necessary, seek professional advice and treat your dog until it recovers.

Once the dog is healed, work out the preventive measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again in the future.


It can be disturbing when your dog’s urine smells like ammonia. This is especially true when it pees all over the place, making the whole house stink.

Make sure you identify your dog’s problem. You can seek advice from a professional for clarity. If your house smells like an ammonia factory, you can use odor removing bags or an enzyme cleaner to get rid of the stench.


  1. Mikhail Volensky June 16, 2019
    • Kevin June 18, 2019
  2. Misha June 17, 2019
    • Kevin June 18, 2019

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