Strong Urine in Dogs

Strong urine in dogs can indicate a serious underlying medical condition. Prompt evaluation by a veterinarian will help determine the exact cause of the problem. An owner often notices the increased pungent aroma of a dog's urine when taking the canine outside to eliminate. The urine may appear darker, an indication of residual urine remaining in the bladder between eliminations. This may cause an increase in the strong urine smell. Hormones can also play a role.

Possible Causes

Stones within the bladder of the dog can obstruct the urine flow and prevent it from adequately leaving the dog's bladder. This causes the residual build-up to occur. Bladder or kidney infections also are causes of strong urine odour, as is the increase in glucose and urine output caused by canine diabetes. Dogs suffering from Cushing's disease will also have a higher urine output with a stronger urine smell. Chronic renal failure causes dogs to produce large quantities of odorous urine, according to Mar Vista Medical Animal Center, and kidney failure causes toxins to build in the urine despite a higher urine output.


The veterinarian will take the animal's history. He will order a urinalysis to determine what could be causing the increased odour in the dog's urine. He will also palpitate the dog's bladder to determine its capacity and to see if residual urine may remain. An ultrasound may also be ordered to better evaluate the dog's kidneys and bladder. X-rays can also help determine if stones are causing an obstruction to the urine's output.

Female Dogs

Unspayed female dogs often have a stronger urine smell due to hormones. The acid content of the urine is normally higher in a female dog than a male. Prior to a female dog coming into oestrus (heat), her urine will become especially pungent to better attract male dogs and allow them to know that her cycle is pending. She will urinate more frequently and may urinate in the house or other unsuitable locations to attract males, according to the Woodford Humane Society.

Male Dogs

Intact male dogs will lift their leg and urinate to mark territory. The urine can be especially pungent due to the male's hormones. Strong urine in a male dog that is marking his territory can be treated by neutering the dog. It will lower his need to territorially mark and it will also reduce the hormones that contribute to the strong urine odour.

Old Age

Incontinence can lead to a strong urine odour in older dogs. The dog will often dribble into its fur and skin while resting or sleeping. The area will gradually become saturated with urine, which produces an unpleasant smell. A veterinarian will be able to diagnosis the possible cause of incontinence. Medications are available to help treat incontinence in geriatric dogs.

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About the Author

Based in Oregon, Kimberly Sharpe has been a writer since 2006. She writes for numerous online publications. Her writing has a strong focus on home improvement, gardening, parenting, pets and travel. She has traveled extensively to such places as India and Sri Lanka to widen and enhance her writing and knowledge base.