Why is My Dog’s Pee Brown?

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When you notice a change in the color of your dog’s urine, it can be a cause for concern. Brown urine in dogs can signal various health issues, ranging from dehydration to more severe conditions like liver disease. In this blog, we’ll explore the potential reasons behind your dog’s pee turning brown and the importance of veterinary attention. If you observe brown urine in your dog, it’s essential to contact Broad Ripple Animal Clinic at (317) 257-5334 to schedule an examination.


What Causes Brown Urine in Dogs?


One of the more common causes of brown urine in dogs is dehydration. When a dog is not drinking enough water, their urine can become highly concentrated, leading to a darker color which may appear brown. It’s important to ensure your dog has access to fresh water at all times and is drinking adequately.

Infection or Inflammation

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) or inflammation can also cause the urine to turn brown. These conditions may be accompanied by other symptoms such as difficulty urinating, frequent urination, or painful urination. If you suspect your dog has a UTI or any urinary inflammation, it is crucial to get them evaluated by a veterinarian.

Liver Disease

Liver issues can change the color of your dog’s urine to a darker shade, such as brown. Liver disease can be serious and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), lethargy, and weight loss. Immediate veterinary care is necessary to address this condition.


Rhabdomyolysis is a breakdown of muscle that leads to the release of myoglobin into the bloodstream, which can cause the urine to turn brown. This condition is often triggered by severe muscle injury and can be life-threatening. Symptoms include muscle stiffness, weakness, and pain. Urgent veterinary attention is required.

How Is Brown Urine Diagnosed?

  • Physical Examination: The first step in diagnosing the cause of brown urine is a thorough physical examination by your veterinarian. This examination may include checking for signs of dehydration, assessing liver size and health, and evaluating for any signs of pain or discomfort in your dog.
  • Urinalysis: A urinalysis is a critical diagnostic tool that helps in assessing the health of your dog’s urinary tract and can indicate dehydration, infection, or other underlying health issues. This test will analyze the chemical and microscopic properties of the urine.
  • Blood Tests: Blood tests can provide valuable information about your dog’s overall health and the functioning of organs like the liver and kidneys. These tests are especially important if liver disease or rhabdomyolysis is suspected.
  • Imaging Studies: In some cases, your veterinarian may recommend imaging studies such as an ultrasound or X-rays to look for abnormalities in the urinary tract or organs that could be causing the discoloration of the urine.

What You Can Do to Prevent This

Ensure Proper Hydration

Make sure your dog has constant access to clean water. Encourage drinking by refreshing their water bowl regularly or considering a pet water fountain that provides a continuous flow of fresh water.

Watch for Other Symptoms

Monitor your dog for other signs of illness such as changes in appetite, lethargy, unusual behavior, or other changes in urination patterns. Early detection of these signs can help in prompt diagnosis and treatment.

Regular Veterinary Check-Ups

Routine veterinary visits are crucial for maintaining your dog’s health. Regular check-ups can help catch potential health issues before they become serious.

When Should You Contact Your Veterinarian?

Observing changes in your dog’s urine color like brown can indicate health issues that need immediate attention. By understanding the potential causes and taking the appropriate steps, you can help maintain the health of your beloved pet. If you notice that your dog’s pee is brown, contact Broad Ripple Animal Clinic at (317) 257-5334. Prompt veterinary care is essential to determine the cause and start the necessary treatment to ensure your dog’s health and well-being.

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Your pet is unique, unconditionally loving, and a valued part of your family, and Broad Ripple Animal Clinic recognizes the incredible bond you share. You can rely on our veterinarians and staff in Indianapolis, IN to be here for you, and be deeply committed to providing the highest level of care each time you visit. This includes giving you a central voice in the care of your pet and making you an integral part of the decision-making process.

Our AAHA-accredited animal hospital delivers a full spectrum of services, advanced technology, comprehensive pain management, and regenerative therapies to promote better healing.