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How to collect a urine sample from your dog

  • 8, Jan 2024
  • Read time: 3 mins

If you're getting ready to take your dog to the vet, you may have been asked to collect a urine sample to take with you.

Don't worry if you're not sure where to start – our guide will help you with the steps you need to take.

Make sure you are prepared in advance of your vet visit so you have plenty of time to collect the sample. Even the most well-trained dogs have their moments, so don't rely on them to pee on command. Especially if you're in a rush!

Labrador waiting at vet

What do you need?

You'll need a relaxed dog with a full bladder!

Think about timing when it comes to collecting the sample. Don't leave it too late before leaving home for the vet, as your dog may not be willing to pee on command. Try not to put too much pressure on your dog to provide the sample when you need it.

When your dog is ready to go, there's some equipment you'll need to collect the sample.

  • A tray covered with tin foil (to reduce contamination)
    • You may prefer to use a different dish, pot or container. What works best will depend on your dog and how they usually urinate (e.g. lifting a leg or squatting)
  • Gloves to protect your hands
  • A sample pot or tube (this should be provided by the vet in advance)

How to collect a sample

Your vet may advise you to collect the sample at a certain time of day. If not, doing so during their first walk of the day is probably best.

If possible, have a walking partner with you. You may find it easier to have one person holding the lead while the other collects the sample.

  1. Collect the sample the same day as your vet visit
  2. Stick to your normal walking routine so your dog feels comfortable and happy

  3. Keep your dog on a lead so you can be sure they're nearby when they are ready
  4. Wait until your dog begins to pee, then slide the tray underneath the stream or hold the container to collect the urine
  5. Be careful to avoid spillage or contamination. You may want to bring the sample pot with you so you can transfer the sample straight away
  6. When you're able, carefully transfer the urine from the container into the sample pot. Screw the lid on tightly
  7. If you're not heading straight to the vet, put the sample in the fridge until you are ready to leave

Tip: Depending on what container you use, you may find it more convenient to collect the sample in your garden so you don't have to carry it too far.

How soon should the sample be collected?

The sample should be collected the same day as your vet visit. If possible, collect the urine as close to the time of your appointment as you can.

If you're not heading straight to the vet after collection, put the sample pot in the fridge until you're ready to go.

What if I can't collect a sample?

If you have trouble collecting a sample, contact your veterinary practice for advice. They'll be able to guide you on what to do next.

More generally, to prepare for collecting samples in the future, try getting your dog used to the items you use in advance. For example, if you use a tray, you could leave it by their food bowl for a couple of days before so they get used to it.

If your dog is reluctant to have you close by while they pee, you can solve this with some simple training. Gradually build up your proximity to your dog as they pee until they become used to you being nearby.

What do the vets test the urine for?

This will likely depend on why your vet has requested a sample in the first place. For example, they may be looking for something specific to indicate a particular illness.

Generally, vets will test dog urine for markers such as:

  • Red blood cells
  • White blood cells
  • Ketones
  • Glucose
  • Bacteria
  • Proteins
  • pH

Vet bills and pet insurance

Testing urine samples is an important part of identifying certain illnesses or conditions. Any dog can become ill or be injured in an accident at any time. Having the right pet insurance can give you peace of mind that the vet bills are covered during a difficult time.

Begin your dog insurance quote today

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