This article was updated on August 26th, 2023
If you’ve paid any attention to your dog’s bathroom habits, you’ve probably noticed that their poop can change color, sometimes daily, depending on what they’re eating. But you may not have noticed that the color of their pee can change frequently as well. While we’re normally worried about dark or bloody-colored urine, the opposite end of clear urine can be alarming as well.
We’re here to help you work through why your dog’s pee may be clear in color, if you should be concerned about it, and what, if anything, can be done.
“Peeing clear for more than a day or two could indicate that something more serious than drinking too much is going on.”
Veterinarian at Senior Tail Waggers
When Clear Pee is NOT a Concern in Dogs
A dog’s urine is a concoction of water and waste products. The color of it can be affected by how much water a dog is drinking, or not drinking, and how many waste products the kidney concentrates into it.
Normal, healthy dog urine should be a pale yellow, as shown on the picture below:
You may hear your veterinarian say ‘straw-colored.’ This means that they are taking in enough water and that the kidneys are doing their job to concentrate it sufficiently with waste products. There may be some variation in what a normal color between dogs is, so it’s important to have an idea of what your dog’s normal healthy urine color is.
Now, if your dog happens to have a lighter than normal colored pee, say clear or nearly clear, it can just mean that:
- they are overly hydrated, or that they took a few too many water breaks that day.
- they normally have lighter-colored pee than other dogs.
“If you notice a clear stream once or twice with no other signs, chances are your dog is fine.”
Veterinarian at Senior Tail Waggers
When is Clear Pee a Concern in Dogs
One or two ‘off’ colored pees usually don’t mean much, but if your dog starts making a habit of having clear pee, you may want to consult your veterinarian. For example when:
- Your dog’s pee appears clear for more than a day or two.
- You notice other signs of illness, including vomiting, not eating, drinking a lot, or losing weight.
Top Causes of Clear Pee in Dogs
If you’ve started noticing that your dog’s pee is consistently taking on a clear color, it may be due to any of the following reasons. If this lighter urine is something new in your dog or if they are showing any other signs, be sure to contact your veterinarian.
1. Increased Water Consumption
The more water a dog drinks, the more has to be flushed out. This means more frequent potty breaks and potentially clear pee. Dogs may drink more water for a number of reasons, some of which are very normal. Warmer weather, increased exercise, or changing to a kibble diet can all make a dog camp out at the water bowl, potentially causing them to pee clear. These color changes are usually temporary though, and your pup won’t have any other signs. Other causes of drinking more water than usual relate to health conditions. We’ll look at those individually below.
2. Diabetes Mellitus/Insipidus
If you knew there was a type of diabetes called diabetes insipidus, you’re way ahead of the game! This is a rare disease in dogs where a dog’s body either doesn’t make enough or doesn’t react properly to hormonal water regulation. Instead, their body asks for more and more water, even if they don’t need it. The result is lots of dilute, clear-colored urine.
Diabetes mellitus, on the other hand, is the one we’re more familiar with. It can also cause clear-colored urine as a dog’s body tries to dilute out the high concentrations of blood sugar by adding water. Dogs may also not eat, lose weight, and have bad breath.
Blood tests can help diagnose either of these types of diabetes, and both can be treated with medication and continued monitoring.
3. Kidney Failure
In simple terms, the kidney’s job is to remove excess water and waste products from the body. They can increase or decrease the concentration of the urine based on the amount of water and waste products that need to leave. However, as kidneys age or if they are damaged, such as with kidney disease, their ability to do that decreases. Instead of being able to pack a whole lot of waste into a small amount of water, they start to put smaller and smaller amounts in there. This leads to lighter-colored urine, increased water consumption, even nausea, vomiting, not eating, and weight loss.
Kidney failure can’t be fixed, but it can be managed if caught early. Changes in diet, medications, and fluids can all help kidneys to function and dogs to feel as good as they can for varying amounts of time, depending on how much kidney damage has occurred.
Disclaimer: This content is not a substitute for veterinary care. Always consult with your vet for health decisions. Learn more.
4. Other Causes
Heart failure, Cushing’s disease, changes in a dog’s electrolyte balance, and others can also cause clear pee. Each of these can lead to increased water excretion from the body, diluting the urine. Look also for increased drinking, increased appetite, coughing, exercise intolerance, or changes in behavior as well.
Treatments for Clear Pee in Dogs
If your dog’s lighter or clear pee has become consistent, it’s time to look at how you can, well, ‘clear’ it up.
At-Home Treatments for Clear Dog Pee
If your pup isn’t showing any other signs other than clear or lighter-colored urine, you may choose to monitor them for a day or two and see if things change. Again, seeing clear pee on one or two trips outside shouldn’t be too much of an alarm, especially if everything else seems right with your dog.
You may also want to keep a close eye out for other signs, including drinking more, eating less, weight loss, or behavior changes. As a point of reference, dogs normally drink about one ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. This means that a 10-pound dog should drink about 10 ounces of water. You can use these guidelines to measure how much your dog is drinking to determine if it’s excessive or not. Keep in mind that every dog is different, and some variation is normal.
Veterinary Treatment for Clear Pee in Dogs
If your dog’s clear pee doesn’t darken up in a day or two or they start showing other concerning signs, be sure to contact your vet. They will be able to determine the cause of the lighter-colored urine, tell you whether it’s a concern or not, and start treatment when necessary.
Diagnosing causes of clear pee is going to start with, you guessed it, a urine sample. If you’re able to catch one in a clean container, your vet will thank you. They may run some blood tests to check blood sugar levels, hormonal responses, and organ function as well.
From there, they’ll look to start treatment. Some medical conditions that cause clear pee will need medications, including insulin for diabetes mellitus or desmopressin for diabetes insipidus. Kidney disease may be managed with a diet change, fluids, and other medications. Cushing’s will require medications.
The cost of these treatments is going to vary widely based on the cause. Most of these issues will need lifelong treatment and monitoring and can get very expensive in the long run.
Clear Pee FAQs with the Vet
Is clear pee in dogs good?
The normal color of a dog’s pee is light yellow to nearly clear. It may be normal for some dogs to run on the clearer side, depending on their hydration status. If you notice that your dog’s pee is clearer than usual, watch them for other signs as well as for the color to return to normal.
Why is my dog’s urine so clear?
Clear or lighter colored urine may be due to a dog drinking more water or to their body excreting more water. Drinking more in response to warmer weather, more exercise, or a dry dog food diet can be normal, whereas drinking more due to health conditions such as diabetes, kidney failure, and Cushing’s disease should warrant a vet visit.
Does clear pee mean my dog has a UTI?
UTIs are usually characterized by more frequent pee breaks, urinating small amounts, or foul-smelling or cloudy urine. Clear urine is more often caused by drinking more water or by the kidneys failing to concentrate pee successfully.
Does clear pee mean my dog’s kidneys are failing?
Peeing large amounts of dilute or clear urine may be a sign of kidney disease or kidney failure in dogs. They may also be drinking more, eating less, nauseous, losing weight, or vomiting.
What color should my dog’s pee be?
The normal, healthy color for most dogs’ pee is light yellow, straw-colored, pale gold, or clear yellow-you can choose the phrase you like best. Very dilute or clear pee, as well as very dark yellow, red, or brown pee, should be checked out by a vet. See our dog pee color chart.
Disclaimer: This website's content is not a substitute for veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian for healthcare decisions. Read More.