Why Does My Dog’s Breath, Pee, or Poop Smell Like Ammonia?


If you have noticed that your dog’s breath, pee, poop, or fur smell unusual or really unpleasant, then it is possible that something is wrong with them, and they require treatment. This might not always be the case for everyone, but it is something that you should be aware of, just in case there is a problem that you need to know about.

Quite a few people have noticed the smell of ammonia on their dogs, and it has turned out to be something that required medical attention. If this is what you are smelling, then you might be wondering how concerning the problem is. There are some reasons that are more common than others, and we will explain these further on.

However, you should know that there could be a health problem going on, and we are here to help you to know if you should be worried or not. We are going to explain all of the potential things that could be happening to your dog in this article, but if you do notice this smell, you should contact a vet for more information.

Why Does My Dog Smell Like Ammonia?

There are actually quite a few reasons that could explain why your dog smells like ammonia, and this smell could be coming from a few different sources. If you have noticed this smell around your dog, no matter where it is coming from, we are going to explain some of the things that might be causing it below.

Why Does My Dog’s Pee Smell Like Ammonia?

If you have noticed that there is a change in smell when your dog has urinated, then it could be a sign that something is wrong. A strong smell of ammonia in the urine could be a sign that they have a kidney infection or disease. 

The kidneys are really important, as they help to break down toxins or waste in the blood, and get rid of them from the body. If the kidneys are not working as they should be, then they may be struggling to break down and get rid of the toxins. This could lead to increased levels of urea, which could be the thing that is causing the ammonia smell.

It could also be due to the fact that your dog is dehydrated, which could explain the ammonia smell. Dehydration can cause many issues for dogs, and it can be caused by either not drinking enough, diabetes, or kidney disease. A dog that is well hydrated will have a good amount of water in their urine, which will not produce a strong smell. 

However, if your dog is dehydrated, their body will try to retain as much water as possible, leaving their urine with a strong smell. This means that most of the water will be reabsorbed into the kidney, and only a small amount will go into the urine. This can cause a strong ammonia-like smell.

One of the best ways to know how hydrated your dog is would be to check the color of their urine. If it is a darker shade of yellow, they are dehydrated, but the clearer the urine is, the more hydrated they are. The smell of ammonia would typically be associated with a darker color of urine.

Why Does My Dog’s Breath Smell Like Ammonia?

If you are smelling ammonia on your dog’s breath, this is something else that could be a sign of kidney disease or kidney infection. This could be paired with strong smelling urine, or it could simply just be their breath. If this is the case, then you should probably take your dog to the vet to get checked out, just in case there is a serious problem. It could be a sign that they have a serious health condition. 

If you are smelling ammonia every time your dog breathes anywhere near you, then you should take them to see a vet, just to be on the safe side. It is better to check and have a false alarm than leave the problem to get worse.

Why Does My Dog’s Poop Smell Like Ammonia?

Of course, there is no such thing as nice smelling dog poop, but there are some smells that just aren’t normal. However, if you have started to notice an ammonia smell every time they empty their bowels, then there might be a cause for concern.

If your dog’s poop has started to smell like ammonia, it could be a sign that they are experiencing some gastrointestinal problems. It can also be a sign that they are not digesting their food properly, and ammonia smells are a warning sign that this is the case.

Why Do My Dog’s Farts Smell Like Ammonia?

Again, this is something that will never smell pleasant, but any smells that are out of the ordinary can be a sign that there is a problem. However, if you have found that your dog’s farts are smelling like ammonia, there probably isn’t a serious issue. It is more than likely due to the digestive activity that is going on in your dog’s stomach.

Why Does My Female Dog Smell Like Ammonia?

It can also be possible for your female dog to have a strong ammonia smell surrounding them, and the most common reason for this would be that she has a urinary tract infection. You might wonder if this smell is to do with her coming into heat, but this is really unlikely. However, it is also worth being aware of the fact that male dogs can get urinary tract infections too.

If you didn’t already know, a urinary tract infection, or UTI, is a bacterial infection that takes place in the urinary tract. It can become quite painful and cause a lot of discomfort for your dog.

Some of the signs that your dog has a UTI are that they are licking at their urinal area often, crying or barking when peeing, or strong smells of ammonia. This infection is quite common among dogs, and antibiotics can be prescribed by a vet to treat it. 

How Do I Know if My Dog Has a UTI?

There are lots and signs and symptoms that could point to the fact that your dog has a UTI, including straining to urinate, crying out when urinating if it is painful, and even blood in the urine. Some signs of a UTI are much more serious than others, but it will all depend on how severe the infection is and how long that they have had it for.

One of the biggest signs to be aware of is a very strong odor when your dog has urinated, as this is often the most obvious symptom. However, you should also know that sometimes, a dog will not show any symptoms of a UTI, but it could be uncovered when a vet is looking for something else.

Some of the most common UTI symptoms include:

  • Bloody and/or cloudy urine
  • Straining or whimpering during urination
  • Accidents in the house
  • Needing to be let outside more frequently
  • Licking around the urinary opening
  • Fever

One of the most serious symptoms of a UTI is blood, and if you think that there is blood in your dog’s urine, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. This could simply be a sign of a UTI, but it could also could be a sign of the following conditions:

  • Poisoning
  • Kidney disease
  • Trauma
  • Cancer
  • Stones in the urinary tract

What Are the Signs of Kidney Disease?

As you now know from what you have already read, there could be lots of things that are able to explain why your dog smells like ammonia.

However, if this smell is persistent and none of the above options can explain it away, then you should know that it is possible for your dog to have kidney disease. This condition is very serious, and it will need treatment straight away. Some of the signs of kidney disease in dogs are:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy or low energy levels
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Bad breath
  • Strong ammonia smell from the mouth or urine

This is not something that you can leave, and you will need to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible if you notice. You will need to get the right diagnosis for your dog, so they can start treatment as quickly as possible.

How Do I Get Rid of the Smell of Ammonia in My House?

This might be something that will solve itself if you open a few windows, but if the problem is still lasting for your dog, then your house is still going to smell like ammonia. So, the first thing that you need to do is to take your dog to the vet, who will be able to get them a proper diagnosis.

Once they have done this, your dog can begin treatment, which will hopefully get rid of the ammonia smell. The best way to get the smell out of your house is to stop the source from producing the smell.

However, if you have treated the problem and the ammonia smell is still lingering around your house, then you will need to get the cleaning supplies ready and tackle the smell head on. We will leave some handy cleaning solutions for you below.

Vinegar- This is great for cleaning up any dried urine stains on your flooring. All you need to do is mix baking soda and vinegar together in a spray bottle, spray the affected area, and blot at it with paper towels. You might need to repeat this process more than once to get the best results. Eventually, the smell will disappear.

Wet vacuum cleaner- These are great for persistent odors. You can use this vacuum a few times on your carpet, and eventually, the smell will go away.

Enzymatic cleaners – This is a special type of cleaner that is designed to get rid of any stains and odors that your dog has left behind. So, if all else fails, you should get your hands on this type of cleaner. They work on lots of different types of surface, depending on the one that you buy, and they can even be used on hardwood floors.

Ventilation – This is something that is really important as it can help to air out your home and hopefully waft away those unpleasant smells when you are cleaning. Try to open all the windows in your house while you go through the cleaning process. Hopefully, by the end of this process, your home will smell as good as new again in no time.

Don’t forget to clean up the poop from the garden while you are at it, to get rid of any unpleasant smells that are lingering there. You can also use a pressure washer on patio surfaces for an extra cleaning boost.

Kerry White

Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.

Recent Posts