I’ve had my dog for a while now, and I’m noticing that his urine smells like fish. This is certainly not normal, and I was getting worried about his health.
Could it be something to do with his diet? Or is there a more serious medical issue going on?
If Your Dog’s Pee Smells Like Fish
Dogs have a chance of developing a urinary tract disorder (UTI) which leads to the development of an unpleasant odor (fishy smell) in their urine.
A UTI is a bacterial infection of the urinary tract, or bladder. The bacteria enter the bladder through the urethra (the tube that empties urine from the bladder).
Besides UTI, other illnesses such as kidney stones, bladder cancers and prostate problems can also cause an offensive odor in dogs’ urine.
In most cases, the unpleasant urine odor is caused by bacteria known as E. coli that lives in the dog’s intestine.
When it enters the urinary tract, this E. coli begins to multiply and causes an infection.
The infection leads to the release of ammonia into the urine. This ammonia has an unpleasant odor that smells like fish.
Signs to look out for when your dog is suffering from UTI include loss of appetite, increased thirst, frequent peeing, weakness, smelly or cloudy urine, persistent licking on his urinary opening and fever.
How to Prevent Your Dog from Getting a UTI?
Make sure he is on a good diet. A high-fiber diet is essential, and he should drink plenty of water and exercise regularly.
These three things are the most important steps you can take to prevent your dog from developing a UTI.
Can Dog Food Cause Urinary Problems?
Dog food is often a cause of urinary problems because of the presence of minerals such as magnesium and phosphate in the processed food.
These minerals will cause struvite stones to form in the urine.
Having said that, it can be hard to tell which food is the culprit.
With so many types of dog food on the market, it can be difficult to know which one will be “safe” for your dog.
Here are some tips to help you:
Look at the label! The first thing you should do is to check the label on all of your dog’s food and treat packages.
All reputable companies will list on their labels the ingredients that make up their products. This tells you what your dog is actually eating.
Make sure the dog foods are made up of high-quality protein (meat and fish), healthy grains, and good fats.
If your dog has been experiencing urinary problems, you may want to cut down or do away with all the “processed” foods in his diet and see if that helps.
Foods that contain high amounts of oxalate such as spinach, organ meat, carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, asparagus and dairy products should also be avoided.
It is important that you choose a healthy and appropriate diet that is balanced in protein, fat, carbohydrates and other nutrients for your dog.
Your veterinarian can help you select a proper diet that will be safe for your dog. Some dogs have more sensitive tummies than others, and choosing the wrong diet can lead to serious health problems.
What Dog Breeds Are Prone to UTI?
Though all dog breeds are likely to suffer from UTI at some point in their life, you may be surprised to know that certain breeds such as Yorkshire Terriers, Shih Tzu and Bichon Frise are more prone to UTI.
These breeds tend to have a more sensitive bladder wall, which makes them more susceptible to developing UTI.
A dog’s gender can also influence its risk of developing an UTI.
Generally, females are more likely to get UTI than males. This is because their urethra is shorter, which makes bacterial invasion easier.
How Do You Test and Treat UTI in Dogs?
There are several tests that your vet can perform to confirm the diagnosis of a UTI in your dog.
The most common one is urinalysis, which checks whether there are any bacteria present in the urine sample.
Your vet will prescribe antibiotics to treat UTI only after a urine sample has been tested.
This is because there is a possibility that your pet could be suffering from another condition, such as kidney disease, that may cause symptoms similar to those of a UTI.
Why Does My Dog Smell Like Fish?
We spend a lot of time and energy keeping our bodies clean by bathing every day, but that’s not something that we do for our dogs.
This is partly because dogs hate bathing as they believe that their body odor is part of their charm.
They are often attracted to rotten, stinking, and foul smelling things and love to roll their bodies over them, which is why their bodies often smell like rotten fish.
At the minimum, you ought to bathe him at least once a month or when you feel that he needs it.
You should never bath him every day as it will only irritate him and make him feel uncomfortable.
Be sure to only use dog shampoo when bathing your dog as it will not cause any irritation to his skin or coat.
For me, my dog simply loves his oatmeal shampoo as it helps to relieve any allergies or hotpots he has.