My Dog Urine Smells Like Fish

Welcome to the intriguing world of understanding why your dog’s pee smell like fish. In this comprehensive guide, we will unveil the mystery behind these unusual smells and explore the possible causes.

We will also delve into the common health issues associated with fishy odors in dogs and provide effective preventive measures and treatments.

Let’s embark on this educational journey together to ensure a happy and healthy life for your beloved canine companion.

Fishy Smelling Urine in Dogs

When it comes to our furry friends, there are few things that can be as perplexing as a fishy odor emanating from their urine.

In this section, we will dive deep into the possible reasons behind fishy smelling urine in dogs and provide valuable insights to help you understand and manage this peculiar situation.

Possible Causes

There can be several factors contributing to the fishy smell in your dog’s urine. Here are some common causes:

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

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.

Dietary Factors

The food your dog consumes can impact the smell of their urine. Certain foods, particularly those high in protein, can result in a fishy scent when metabolized.

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.

simple training tricks
Every dog without exception - has a hidden intelligence inside. It’s an untapped resource to help you remove just about any troublesome behavior.


Dogs, like humans, require plenty of water to keep their bodies functioning correctly. Insufficient water intake can make your dog’s urine more concentrated, leading to a stronger and peculiar smell.

However, the precise amount is determined by various factors, including the dog’s weight, diet, age, exercise level, and overall health.

Here are some general guidelines:

  • Small Breeds (up to 20 pounds): Breeds like Shih Tzus, Pugs, and Boston Terriers typically require between 8.5 to 17 ounces of water per day. An increase may be necessary depending on the activity level.
  • Medium Breeds (21 to 50 pounds): Dogs such as Border Collies, Bulldogs, and Basset Hounds need approximately 17 to 34 ounces of water daily. This amount can go up if the dog is very active.
  • Large Breeds (51 to 80 pounds): Breeds like Golden Retrievers, Boxers, and German Shepherds should drink between 34 to 50 ounces of water per day.
  • Giant Breeds (over 80 pounds): Breeds such as Great Danes, Saint Bernards, and Newfoundlands may need 50 ounces of water or more daily.

Remember, these are just guidelines. For example, if your dog eats a lot of wet food, which is about 70-80% water, they might not need as much water as a dog that eats dry food. Similarly, if it’s hot outside or your dog has been very active, they’ll need more water.

Recognizing Health Issues

While occasional fishy smelling urine may not be a cause for concern, repeated occurrences or additional symptoms could indicate underlying health issues.

It is important to be vigilant and watch out for the following signs:

  1. Frequent Urination: If your dog needs to urinate more frequently and the urine smells fishy, it could be a sign of an infection.
  2. Blood in Urine: Any presence of blood in your dog’s urine, combined with a fishy odor, should raise a red flag and warrants immediate veterinary attention.
  3. Discomfort or Straining: If your dog shows signs of discomfort while urinating or exhibits straining, it could indicate a urinary blockage or infection

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.

Seeking Veterinary Care

If you observe persistent fishy smelling urine in your dog or notice any concerning symptoms, it is crucial to consult with a veterinarian.

They will conduct a thorough examination, perform diagnostic tests, and provide appropriate treatment based on the underlying cause.

The vet may recommend:

  • Urinalysis: This test examines the urine for any abnormalities, including signs of infection or other underlying conditions.
  • Bacterial Culture: A culture test helps identify the specific bacteria causing the infection to determine the most effective treatment.
  • Treatment Plan: Depending on the diagnosis, the vet may prescribe antibiotics, dietary changes, or other medications to treat the issue.
Proven Training Tips
A PROVEN "Battlefield-Tested" system for creating an incredibly well-behaved, intelligent dog who follows your every command!

Fishy Odor from the Dog’s Bum

One of the odors that can catch a dog owner off guard is a fishy smell coming from their dog’s bum.

While this odor may be unpleasant, it is important to understand its causes and take appropriate measures to ensure the health and well-being of your furry friend.

Anal Gland Issues

One of the primary reasons for a fishy odor coming from a dog’s bum is related to their anal glands.

Dogs have two small sacs, located on either side of the anus, known as anal glands. These glands produce a liquid that is typically expelled along with feces, marking territory and aiding in communication with other dogs.

However, when the anal glands become blocked or infected, it can lead to a strong fishy odor.

Infection or Inflammation

Another common cause of a fishy smell from the dog’s bum is infection or inflammation in the anal area. Certain bacteria or fungi can cause infections in this sensitive region, leading to an unpleasant odor.

In addition, an inflamed or irritated anus can also result in a fishy smell. It is essential to consult with a veterinarian if you suspect an infection or inflammation in your dog’s anal area.


Believe it or not, a dog’s diet can also play a role in the odor emanating from their bum.

Feeding your dog a diet that is high in certain types of fish or fish-based ingredients can contribute to a fishy scent. This is because the oils and compounds found in fish can be excreted through the anal glands, causing a distinct smell.

If you notice a fishy odor and suspect it may be diet-related, consider discussing dietary changes with your veterinarian.

Hygiene and Cleaning

Proper hygiene and cleaning practices are important for maintaining a fresh-smelling dog. Regularly cleaning your dog’s anal area can help prevent the buildup of bacteria and odors.

Use mild, dog-friendly wipes or washes specifically designed for cleaning the anal area to ensure a gentle and effective cleanse.

Remember to always follow the instructions provided by the product and consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns.

Veterinary Examination

If the fishy odor persists or is accompanied by other symptoms such as itching, discomfort, or discharge, it is crucial to seek veterinary attention.

A thorough examination by a veterinarian can help identify any underlying health issues or infections that may be causing the odor. They may perform tests or prescribe medications to address the problem and alleviate the unpleasant smell.

error: Content is protected !!