Collect a Urine Sample From Your Dog With These Tips
Sooner or later, you’ll need to collect a urine sample from your dog to rule out illness or to bring to your dog’s annual exam. Of course, your vet’s office can collect your dog’s urine sample, but sometimes it’s a bit more difficult if your dog is easily excited or fearful—that’s where the pet owner enters the situation. Believe it or not, it’s pretty easy to collect a urine sample from your dog and you won’t even have to touch his urine! I promise.
Check out these simple tips on collecting a urine sample from your male or female dog!
First, Be Prepared
To make this procedure as simple as possible, you’ll need to plan ahead and use the right tools. You’ll need a container to collect your dog’s urine while he or she is urinating, and then transfer the collected urine into a sterile urine sample cup. As a veterinary technician, this is how I was taught to collect urine and I still use this method today. 🙂
What You’ll Need to Collect a Urine Sample
Sterile Urine Sample Cup
Ask your veterinarian for a sterile urine sample cup first. The urine sample cup is used for pouring your dog’s collected urine into it. You label it with your dog’s name and time his urine sample was collected, and transfer it safely to your vet’s office. Trying to collect a urine sample with this cup is next to impossible. If you’ve tried using it before, you know the struggle. 🙂
Urine Samples Have a Short Life
If you’re wondering how long you can keep a dog’s urine sample before testing, it’s best to collect your dog’s urine right before a vet visit because urine has a short life once collected. For best results, urine samples should be tested within 30 minutes of collection.
Urine samples that sit at room or warm temperature for longer than 30 minutes may produce unreliable test results. However, I’ve also found old urine samples that have been sitting in the refrigerator for more than 30 minutes may still provide unreliable results, so time is definitely a factor.
Usually, I bring my dog potty in our backyard, collect the urine sample, place the sample in an insulated bag containing plastic bags of ice and head straight to our vet’s office. Sometimes, I’ll arrive at our vet’s office early and collect a urine sample in their parking lot, but I’ve noticed most dogs get really excited in a new place, which can make collecting a urine sample challenging.
Always leash your dog when trying to collect a urine sample, and shorten your dog’s leash to 3 feet. That way, when your dog starts to pee, you’re right there to collect his or her urine. Keep movements slow and calm. Any fast moments will cause your dog to stop urinating.
How to Collect a Urine Sample From Your Dog
Collecting a Urine Sample From a Female Dog
Collecting a female dog’s urine is pretty straightforward and simple. Since female dogs squat to urinate, you’ll need a narrow and flat collection surface with sides to prevent urine from spilling out and grass or dirt from getting into the urine sample.
For large to medium female dogs, I use a saucer plate with sides. If your dog is small, try using a plastic container lid; make sure it has edges to prevent urine from spilling.
Bring your female dog out to her favorite potty area on leash, and walk behind her while holding the saucer. Once she squats to urinate, slide the saucer under her vulva to catch her urine. Remove the saucer as she stands up, being careful to move slowly as not to startle her. Moving the saucer as your dog is standing prevents her from stepping into the urine sample. Now, take the urine sample and pour into the sterile urine sample cup provided by your vet, label it with your dog’s name and time of collection, and head to your vet’s office.
Soon, you’ll be a pro at collecting your dog’s urine!
Collecting a Urine Sample From a Male Dog
It’s a bit tougher collecting a male dog’s urine. You would think it would be easier, but that’s not always the case. A soup ladle is the best and easiest way to collect a urine sample from a male dog. Just make sure to clean the ladle cup with alcohol before using.
Leash your male dog and bring him out into your backyard to potty. Shorten your leash and walk behind your dog while holding the soup ladle in your hand. Now, think of the soup ladle handle like an arm extension; you need to keep the handle flush with your wrist and move it slowly or else it will distract your dog. The moment your dog starts urinating, place the soup ladle cup in your male dog’s urine stream and remove once he stops urinating. Once urine has been collected, pour it in a sterile urine sample cup, label it with your dog’s name and information, and bring it to your vet’s office immediately.
A Word About Soup Ladles
Personally, I find plastic soup ladles are easier to use as a urine collection device than stainless steel versions. When a male dog urinates into a stainless steel ladle, it makes a loud sound, which can startle the dog. A startled dog will stop urinating and possibly refuse to urinate while you’re holding the ladle. I’ve had it happen to me many times. 🙂