Dark urine in pets is a sign there could be some health issues going on you aren’t aware of. According to veterinary professionals, the color of your pet’s urine provides a wealth of information as to the state of their health. Not all urine is created equal, which means your dog or cat’s dark urine might indicate your beloved furry friend is suffering from something they can’t tell you. If you’re not sure how to judge the color of your pet’s urine, this comprehensive guide to dark urine can help you learn what to look for and whether or not it’s something you should worry about.

Educating yourself about pet urine might not be high on your bucket list of things to do in life, but it might be one of the most important things you learn to do. You’re not a vet, and you don’t know how to save your dog if something happens, but you can prevent further health complications by learning what color to look for, so you know when to worry and when to relax. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the color of your dog or cat’s urine.

What Is the Significance of the Color of Urine?

Dark urine is significant, but so is light colored urine and every color in between. The color of your pet’s urine is indicative of their overall health. Regular light yellow urine is a sign there is nothing wrong with your pet. Dark urine indicates there might be a health problem. Other colors in the urine can indicate health issues as well.

The significance of urine color is important to all animals, and it means you have some issues you need to deal with. You must know that your pet’s urine can tell a lot about what’s going on inside of the animal, and you cannot ignore it if and when there is any color change. Ignoring your pet’s urine color when it changes could be a deadly mistake.

What Does It Mean If Your Pet Has Dark Urine?

dog pee on the matt

When your pet has dark urine, it’s not always a cause for concern. The trick is to determine what color the dark urine really is. Once you know what shade is dark, you can decide whether you must worry or if it’s nothing. Here’s a breakdown of the dark urine colors to learn more about.

Dark Yellow Urine

If your pet has dark yellow urine, you need not worry. There’s nothing about dark yellow urine that indicates there is anything wrong with your beloved pet other than a simple fix. Dark yellow urine is an indicator your pet might need a bit more water to drink. It’s typically indicative of dehydration, and all it means is you should encourage your pet to drink some more water. This is especially important at the end of the day or after your pet spent time outdoors.

Dark Orange Urine

It’s not always easy to determine whether your pet’s dark urine is dark yellow or orange, but take heed if your pet’s urine appears dark orange. This is not a simple fix with some water and rest.

This is a worrisome color that might indicate more serious problems.

  • Jaundice
  • Damaged red blood cells
  • Severe dehydration
  • Pancreatic issues
  • Bile duct issues
  • Liver disease
  • Gallbladder issues

If your pet’s urine appears dark orange more than once, call your veterinarian right away. There is no time to waste diagnosing your pet and learning what you can do to help him or her overcome any potential health issues as they appear. Do not ignore this color.

Dark Brown or Black Urine

If your pet’s dark urine appears brown or black, get the animal to the vet right away. Your animal is facing serious health problems, and you do not have any time to waste getting them checked out. It could mean your animal ingested something toxic such as onions, zine, garlic, or over-the-counter medications meant for you or your children.

It could also mean your pet is suffering from muscle damage caused by some type of trauma, and the body is releasing hemoglobin into the body. This is never good news. Your pet needs immediate medical attention. Call your veterinarian and let them know what is going on right away.

Other Colors That Might Not Be Dark

While discussing the importance of urine, it’s important to note that it’s not just dark urine you must be on the lookout for. Your pet might have urine that’s a completely different color, and it might not be dark. Pink, red, or a mixture of any other color might indicate your pet is suffering from another issue.

Red or pink urine often appears worrisome because it appears there is blood in the urine. This is a sign of a urinary tract infection. It’s uncomfortable and annoying, but it’s not going to harm the overall health of your pet. This is not a problem you should worry too much about, but you must call your vet and ask what steps to take to help your animal get through this issue.

If your pet’s urine is more red than pink, it might indicate there is another problem.

  • Lower urinary tract disorder
  • Clotting diseases
  • Cancer
  • Trauma
  • Bleeding
  • Cystitis

If you notice your pet’s urine appears red, call the vet. It might not be anything more than a urinary tract infection, but you must be certain it’s not something more serious. Your vet can diagnose the problem with very little time and effort, and he or she can get your pet on the road to good health following this issue.

Possible Remedies

dog drinking a water

Before you look for treatment options you can handle at home to ensure your pet’s urine changes back to normal from dark, you must understand serious health issues cannot be treated at home without the help of your veterinarian. However, you can treat a urinary tract infection and mild dehydration at home. You can also prevent health issues by utilizing a few of these tips.

Remedies for UTIs

Your pet can suffer from a UTI just like you can suffer from one. If you catch the infection early, you might be able to handle it at home without a trip to the vet. The best way to help flush out a UTI is with water. Make sure your pet drinks ample water. Push water on them as often as you can and be sure your pet is drinking as much as possible by refilling their water bowl throughout the day.

Add apple cider vinegar to a spoonful of plain yogurt or the pet’s food or water. This might help the infection by neutralizing the harmful bacteria. This means your pet can overcome the infection faster and without as much stress. It’s one way to help them feel better faster, and you’ll notice a quick change to the color of your pet’s urine.

Remedies for Dehydration

If your pet is dehydrated, it’s important you bring the pet inside. The sun can cause dehydration to become much more serious much faster, so get that pet indoors as quickly as possible. Encourage your dog to drink more water. The more water you can get in your pet, the better it is for their mild dehydration. If your pet’s dehydration is so bad their urine is black or brown, you should not attempt to handle it at home. Get that pet to the vet right away.

Prevent Health Problems

The best way to ensure your pet’s urine doesn’t become dark is to prevent health issues. You have a greater chance of preventing health issues if you ensure your pet eats a healthy diet, gets plenty of exercise, and lives in a happy home. Make sure you don’t skip veterinarian appointments and be sure your pet is treated for any health issues he or she might have. If you do this, you might be able to prevent your beloved pet from contracting any issues that make their urine turn dark in the first place.


Your pet is important to you and taking note of the color of his or her urine is always important. This doesn’t mean you need to check the color each and every time your pet uses the restroom, but you should look at it every few days to make sure the color isn’t changing. It’s also important you look at your pet’s urine color when you spend a great deal of time outdoors. If you take your dog running or you spend ample time at the park playing, make sure your dog’s urine isn’t showing signs of dehydration.

As always, your vet is your best reference for any questions you might have. if you feel concerned about the color of your pet’s urine, call the vet and ask about it. There’s no such thing as a pointless or paranoid question when it comes to the health of your pet. Your pet’s health issues are easier to treat and overcome when they’re caught early, and that is something you can control by taking note of his or her urine color. It’s a little thing that makes a big difference.