Sunday, January 20, 2019

How To Collect a Urine Sample From Your Dog

collecting urine sample from dog

Updated 4/8/2024

A urine sample is a small amount of urine collected from a dog and is an essential tool for veterinarians to diagnose, screen, and monitor medical conditions.  Veterinarians often check a dog's urine sample each year as part of an annual exam.  Some health conditions where a urine sample may be necessary are:

Depending on your dog’s health concerns, it may become necessary to collect a "free urine sample" at home, as opposed to your vet collecting a urine sample in the office. This can be much less stressful for your pet but a little challenging at first.   Here are some tips to collect a urine sample at home:

Preparation: Make sure you have a clean container to collect the urine. A sterile cup or a clean, dry jar will work well. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after the process to prevent contamination.

Timing: Choose a time when your dog needs to urinate. The easiest time is usually first thing in the morning. This is the time your pet's bladder tends to be full and the urine is concentrated.  Take your dog to the usual backyard or spot they go to relieve themselves. You can also encourage them by giving a command they associate with urinating, such as "go pee pee". It can be tricky because dogs don't like interference when they are trying to go. What has worked well for me is to use a plastic disposable plate. As soon as my dog starts to go, I quietly slip behind him and put the plate underneath. Usually your dog will turn around immediately and may stop midstream so acting quickly is important.
Collect the Sample: As your dog begins to urinate, carefully place the container underneath to catch the urine midstream. Be careful not to touch the inside of the container. Helpful tips: Keep your dog on a short leash so they will be close when they start. If your pet squats, slide the container forward from the back.  If your dog lifts his leg, try to catch mid-stream.  What seems to work well is a plastic plate since it covers a large area.  Then you will have to transfer the urine into another container but with a big dog, you will have the best chance of capturing the sample. Working with a partner may be helpful too.  
Secure the Sample: Once you've collected enough urine, carefully transfer it to the container and seal the container. Place it in a baggie to prevent leakage or spillage.

Storage: Place the sample immediately in the refrigerator, especially if you're not able to take the sample to the vet right away. Make sure it's labeled with your dog's name and the date and time of collection. If possible, put it in a cooler for the drive. This helps prevent bacteria from growing and improves the accuracy of the test. 

Collecting a urine sample from your pet may not be the most fun activity, but can be extremely helpful in keeping your dog or cat healthy. It might take a bit of patience but using these steps can help make it less stressful for you and your pet.

Author: Susan Davis
Orignal Post: 1/20/2019
Updated: 4/8/2024