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Dog Urine Color Chart: What Specific Shades Mean

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Most pet parents don’t spend much time thinking about dog pee, but the color of dog urine can reveal important information about your canine companion’s health.

You might be wondering, what color should dog pee be, anyway? Read on for more info about different dog urine colors (including a helpful dog urine color chart), and find out what’s normal – and what’s not – when it comes to dog pee.

Normal Dog Pee: What Does It Look Like?

How often do you really look at your dog’s pee? Unless your dog is having accidents in the house, you might not pay close attention. But knowing what is normal and abnormal for your dog can help you intervene sooner if your dog develops a health condition.

“By being attentive to your dog’s urine, you can potentially detect early signs of urinary tract infections, kidney problems, bladder issues, or other medical conditions,” says Dr. Nicole Savageau, a veterinarian at The Vets. “Normal dog urine is typically light yellow to amber in color.”

Erik Olstad, DVM, health sciences assistant professor at William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, University of California, Davis, adds that: “It varies for each pet, and normal dog urine, just like human urine, can vary throughout the day. That first morning urine, I’d be expecting that dog’s urine to be darker yellow than normal because it’s going to be more concentrated [since] they haven’t been drinking water throughout the night.”

The next time you take your dog for a walk, try to peek at their urine. If your dog usually goes on grass or a tree, but you’re very curious, you can try to catch a sample by carrying a small plastic food container with you and sticking it in the stream when your dog goes.

Dog Urine Color Chart

Normal and abnormal dog urine can vary in color. It can sometimes be difficult to discern the exact color of abnormal urine, but in general, any dark or cloudy color is a reason to see a veterinarian.

Urine Color   CauseAction
Light yellowNormalNone
Dark yellowDehydration
Concentrated urine    
Encourage dog to drink
Bright yellowCertain foods or supplementsMonitor/contact vet if no change
Clear and colorlessExcessive water intake
Kidney issues
Cushing’s disease
Veterinary attention if persistent, especially if urinating excessive amounts frequently
Brown or blackHeat stroke                
Urinary tract infection
Bladder stones
Hemolytic anemia
Urgent veterinary attention
GreenSevere liver disease
Specific urinary infections (Pseudomonas)
Urgent veterinary attention
OrangeHigh concentration of bilirubin
Liver or gallbladder issues
Red blood cell destruction (hemolytc anemia)
Urgent veterinary attention
Red or pinkBlood in the urine (hematuria)
Urinary tract infection
Bladder stones
Prostate issues (male)
In heat (female)
Anticoagulant rat poison
Traumatic injury affecting bladder
Urinary tract cancers
Urgent veterinary attention, unless female in heat
CloudyUrinary tract infection
Presence of crystals or mucus
Urgent veterinary attention

Changes in Dog Urine Color

Your dog’s water intake affects the color of their pee. The urine might look darker yellow than normal if your dog is dehydrated, or it may look very pale yellow or even clear if your dog had had a lot of water.

“It’s important to remember that individual factors, such as diet and medications, can influence urine color,” Dr. Savageau says. “If you notice any significant or persistent changes in urine color, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment if necessary.”

Many of these colors can also be caused by certain dyes and medications. Contact your veterinarian for advice if you’re noticing a change in urine color but your pet is otherwise acting normal.

Light Yellow Urine

According to Dr. Savageau, normal urine color can vary slightly in healthy dogs, but it is typically a light yellow to amber color. “Adequately hydrated dogs tend to have lighter urine,” she says, adding that, “occasional color variations within the normal range are generally not a cause for concern.”

Dark Yellow Urine

Dark yellow urine in dogs is usually a sign of dehydration. When a dog is not drinking enough water, the urine becomes more concentrated and darker in color. If you notice dark yellow urine and your dog is otherwise acting normal, try offering more water to see if the urine goes back to normal. If it remains consistently dark yellow, or if your dog is acting sick, schedule a visit with your veterinarian.

Bright Yellow Urine

Bright yellow dog urine could be from certain foods or supplements. Dr. Savageau says it’s not generally cause for concern, but if you’re worried, visit your veterinarian to have your dog checked out.

Clear Urine

Clear pee is urine that has no discernable color. If this happens when your dog drinks a huge bowl of water, it could just mean that they are temporarily extra-hydrated. However, clear urine in dogs could be a sign of kidney failure, diabetes, or Cushing’s disease. Drinking too much water and peeing more than normal (polydipsia/polyuria) are common symptoms of these three conditions. If you consistently see that your dog’s urine is clear, call your veterinarian.

Black or Brown Urine

Brownish urine in dogs, or urine that is so dark that it looks black, is a sign your dog needs urgent veterinary attention. It might be caused by hemolysis (red blood cells breaking down) or rhabdomyolysis, which occurs when dogs experience profound muscle damage. The dark color in the urine is pigment from the breakdown of muscle. In addition to occurring after a prolonged seizure, “[Rhabdomyolysis] can happen in cases of heat stroke,” says Dr. Olstad. “Any time your dog’s urine doesn’t look like urine, that’s when you need to go see your vet.”

Green Urine

Green urine in dogs is rare to see. Medical conditions which could cause green urine include severe liver disease or a Pseudomonas urinary tract infection. To be safe, contact your veterinarian for an exam.

Orange Urine

Orange pee can sometimes be difficult to discern from dark yellow pee (a sign of dehydration). If your dog’s pee is orange, it could indicate “a high concentration of bilirubin, which may be a sign of liver or gallbladder problems,” Dr. Savageau says. Orange urine can also develop if your dog’s red blood cells are getting destroyed, which can occur with an autoimmune disease called immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA). Either way, call your veterinarian.

Red Urine

Red or pink urine might be due to a condition called hematuria, or blood in the urine. “[In dogs,] that most frequently happens in the case of UTIs or urinary stones,” according to Dr. Olstad. “In rare cases, if a dog got into an anticoagulant rat bait, the dog could bleed into their bladder.” Dark red blood in dog urine is somewhat obvious, but lighter red or pink could potentially be pigment from another problem. Male dogs may have red or pink urine if they have a prostate infection or other prostate condition. You may see blood in the urine of female dogs in estrus (heat). Although not nearly as common as UTIs or bladder stones, urinary tract cancers like transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder can cause blood in the urine, as well. Your veterinarian can perform a urinalysis to confirm the presence of red blood cells and look for other issues.

Cloudy Urine

Murky or foamy dog urine is always abnormal. “Normal dog urine should be transparent,” Dr. Savageau notes. “Cloudy or murky urine can indicate the presence of bacteria, crystals, or other substances, suggesting an infection or urinary tract issue.”

Dog Pee Colors: When to See a Veterinarian 

Pay attention to changes in your dog’s urine, including its color, clarity, volume, frequency, and smell. Contact your veterinarian if the color of your dog’s urine changes, if the urine looks cloudy or milky, if you notice an unusually overpowering or foul odor, or if your dog is going more frequently, straining to urinate, or urinating in small amounts.

If your dog’s pee is dark yellow, but they are otherwise acting normal, you can try encouraging them to drink more water. Contact your veterinarian if the pee doesn’t change to a normal light yellow.

If your dog’s urine is clear, and they are also drinking more water than usual, it could indicate impaired kidney function or an endocrine issue like diabetes or Cushing’s disease. Consult your veterinarian for a full workup, including a physical exam, urinalysis, blood work, and possibly other tests.

If you see dark urine that is any color other than yellow, seek urgent veterinary attention. Some of the causes of dark urine in dogs are extremely serious, so time is of the essence.

Dr. Olstad points out that it can be difficult to discern dark-yellow urine from other dark urine colors like brown, orange, black, or green, so err on the side of caution and get your dog to a veterinarian as quickly as you can. His rule of thumb? “If in doubt, get the pee checked out!”