Dog Urine Color - Why is My Dog's Urine Yellow or Brown/Yellow/Red/Orange?
Ever see the color of your dog’s urine change? Wondering why your dog has blood and/or brown color in his or her urine? Keeping an eye on what goes in and out of your dog is important to their health! Just as we unconsciously keep mental notes of what our urine looks like, we should do the same for our dogs. Dark urine or blood in your dog’s urine could be a serious health issue that you may need to address immediately with your veterinarian.
To start, you should take several close looks at your dog’s urine. What is the color? Is it clear, light yellow, bright yellow, dark yellow, brown, orange, or a reddish-pink? Each color has its own indications. You don’t want to jump the gun though if your dog only had one episode of atypically colored urine. For example, one episode of dark yellow or clear urine may mean nothing serious at all. It may just mean that your dog hasn’t had anything to drink in a few hours or he/she had too much water in a little amount of time, similar to humans.
Clear/light yellow urine – this is the color your dog’s urine should be. There should be a mixture of clear to light yellow urine whenever your dog pees. This means that your dog is well hydrated and is probably not suffering from any serious illnesses of their vital organs. But, if your dog’s pee is consistently clear with little to no yellow at all, then this could indicate over-hydration. Dogs tend to repeatedly over-hydrate if they are constantly feeling thirsty from a kidney infection or failure. If you see this, you should take your dog to the veterinarian for testing.
Bright/dark yellow urine – this color often indicates dehydration. Dehydration may occur if your dog has an illness which also has signs of lack of appetite and vomiting. Make sure your dog has access to fresh, clean water so they can hydrate themselves. If your dog refuses to drink then seek advice from a veterinarian, as your dog may be sick.
Brown/orange/reddish-pink urine – typically with this color urine you should seek attention from a veterinarian immediately. The colors brown and orange could indicate the release of an oxygen and iron binding protein called myoglobin that is found in the muscles of a dog. This protein is released when the muscles are stressed. For example, if your dog barks excessively at something like thunder, the muscles that are used to bark and run around may become over stressed, therefore becoming temporarily damaged and over worked, leading to the release of myoglobin. Typically, you won’t be able to tell by yourself if your dog has any interior muscle damage, which is why you should go to the vet. Bilirubin may also be released, which is a brown/yellowish pigment, found in bile made by the liver. If the liver is not functioning properly, too much bilirubin may be produced. Brown could also indicate old blood in the urinary tract. Old blood could be caused by a past kidney infection, kidney/bladder stones, bladder infections, or tumors. If there is pink or red in your dog’s urine it could indicate current problems with any of the aforementioned causes of brown urine. This means, your dog could be currently suffering from kidney stones, a bladder infection, a urinary tract infection, and so on. You should seek veterinarian assistance immediately so testing can be done and possible medications can be prescribed.
Secondly, take note of how your dog is acting. If you see several occasions with unusual urine colors along with atypical behaviors such as your dog laying around excessively, not acting like him/herself, not drinking, not eating, not moving, or whining in pain then it could be safe to say that your dog may be suffering from an illness. If you have trouble catching your dog when he/she is in the act, you may have some interest in our Dog Potty Training/Housebreaking Bathroom Bells. They are training bells that your dog shakes at the door when they need to go out to the bathroom. Don’t get too worried just yet if you only see one or two incidents of abnormal urine but your dog seems to be his/her happy self. Your dog may just be partying at the water bowl too much! Take notes throughout the day of your dog’s urine and consistent behavior. If the pee color goes back to normal then there may be no cause for concern. Just remember to take a mental note for the future in case your dog’s urine changes color again.