How to Get a Urine Sample From Your Dog

How to Get a Urine Sample From Your Dog

Whether it’s your first time or the 31st time, no dog parent ever wants to hear their veterinarian tell them that they need a urine sample from their dog. You’re either thinking, “How in the world?”, or “Great, here we go, again!” Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how much you’re dreading it, sometimes it’s necessary to get a urine sample from your dog.

Any case of inappropriate urination requires it. By inappropriate I mean increased frequency, straining, foul odor or off color, including blood, and peeing accidents. A few medical conditions, like diabetes or Cushing’s disease, may also require a urine sample for diagnosis or medication monitoring. So, let’s get to it, here’s how to get a urine sample from a dog.

Step-by-Step Instructions for How to Get a Urine Sample From a Dog at Home

Sometimes, veterinarians will ask dog parents to bring in urine samples from their dog. This can either be as a recheck so that the animal doesn’t have to come in or because your dog gets too nervous when strangers want to get a sample. No doubt about it, for most dogs, urine collection at home is more favorable in most occasions. To make sure you properly collect a sample, follow these steps.

  • Choose a clean storage container. Your veterinarian may provide you with one, but if not, most anything with a tight-fitting lid will work. It needs to be clean but not sterilized and small enough to get underneath your dog. Take and toss kind of containers or old pill bottles work great.
  • Gather your tools. You can use the storage container as the catching device, or you may choose to use a soup ladle or cookie sheet as they are less intrusive and you may have better success with dogs that prefer their space and privacy while urinating.
  • Take your dog outside. Time your outing to when your dog is most likely to need to urinate, such as first thing in the morning. Putting your dog on a short leash or enlisting the help of another will make it much easier.
  • get a dog pee urine samplePick the place. Try to choose a guaranteed pee spot if you can’t get the timing perfect. Good pee spots would be those regular sites that they use in the yard, or perhaps a spot that other dogs frequently use. Allow them time to sniff around to greater feed their urge to pee.
  • Get the sample. Pay close attention to your dog’s cues. Some dogs sniff and circle, while others quickly posture to urinate. Either way, have your container ready to slide underneath or between your dog’s legs when they start to urinate. Some dogs may become suddenly shy or confused when you try this the first time, so it may take a couple of tries before you get a sample.
  • Protect it. Once you have your sample, put the lid on the container tightly, label it, and get it to your veterinarian as soon as you can. If you’re unable to take the sample in immediately, store it in the refrigerator.

Other Tips and Tricks for How to Get a Urine Sample From a Dog

The instructions above may seem straight forward, but in the real world getting a urine sample from a dog may be anything but easy. For those hard to sample dogs, here are a few more tips and tricks for getting a urine sample.

  • Have them hold it. If you’re headed to the vet because of a urination issue, recheck, or even a routine checkup, it never hurts to have your pup hold it. You never know when your veterinarian may ask for this precious commodity, and it will be much easier to get a sample if your dog needs to go. Don’t let your dog outside for a couple of hours prior to your scheduled appointment. This means whisk them from your house to your car and then from the car through the clinic doors, don’t let them doddle and sniff around in the parking lot as this may give them a chance to pee.
  • syringe urine sampleFixing the accidents. If your dog happens to be trained to a pee pad or other indoor potty device, you can still collect a sample. You can either bring the pad to the veterinarian for them to extract or they will provide you with a syringe that can actually be used to draw urine from the pad. Be sure to push the tip of the syringe forcefully into the pad to extract as much urine as possible. You can also use a syringe to collect urine from an errant puddle left on a hard surface, such as your kitchen floor. The same principles apply.

Veterinary Procedures for Collecting a Urine Sample From a Dog

If all else fails in collecting a urine sample by a free catch method, or in certain medical cases, your veterinarian may perform a cystocentesis. This procedure uses an ultrasound to identify the urinary bladder so that a needle and syringe can be used to collect a sample directly from the bladder.

A urine sample may also be collected by catheterizing the bladder. Either of these methods are preferable to a free catch sample in the case of a suspected urinary tract infection since there is no chance of bacterial contamination from the lower urinary tract. However, these methods are definitely more involved, you can’t do them at home, and may require sedation.

A urine sample may also be collected by catheterizing the bladder. Either of these methods are preferable to a free catch sample in the case of a suspected urinary tract infection since there is no chance of bacterial contamination from the lower urinary tract. However, these methods are definitely more involved, you can’t do them at home, and may require sedation.