Your veterinarian may require a urine sample for many reasons. Urine is the end result of the body's filtration system, so there is a lot that can be learned by testing the levels of certain nutrients found in the urine. Learning how to collect a urine sample from a dog should be on every pet parents' to-do list.
Collecting a urine sample is actually a lot easier than you may think. I know most owners cringe at the thought, but it's actually not that bad. If you've had a bad experience in the past that resulted in getting urine on your hands or clothing, you need to watch my video guide.
Your vet may recommend a urinalysis for a number of reasons. Sometimes they will collect a sterile sample by inserting a long needle directly into the bladder and extracting urine. However, if they know they will need the sample in advance of your visit they may ask you to collect one yourself and bring it in with you.
Your vet will require that the sample be as fresh as possible – usually less than 30 minutes old if possible. If the urine is not refrigerated, it needs to be tested within 2 hours of collection, but refrigeration can extend that time up to 5 or 6 hours.
Some reasons for a urine sample request include:
- Urinary tract problems including UTIs and bladder infections
- Kidney problems
- Liver problems
- Health concerns about protein, glucose or sugar levels
…and there are many more. Basically, if your vet requests a urine sample it is no reason to panic. In fact, some veterinarians just like to do a urinalysis at each yearly checkup to be on the safe side.
So, you know you need a urine sample, but how are you supposed to collect it? It's not as difficult as many people make it out to be, and you can certainly do it without having to chance getting pee on your skin or clothes.
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How To Collect A Urine Sample From A Dog
You're going to need a ladle and a small container with a lid when you're learning how to collect a urine sample from a dog. In my video I explain that I purchased a ladle at the dollar store, and I use Ziploc containers that have a screw on lid. These containers can be found at virtually any store that carries Ziploc bags. They're cheap and leak proof.
Now that you have the right supplies, you just have to time things right. If you observe your dog, then you know her regular routine. Give her a drink of water about 1 hour before you need to collect the urine sample.
If she won't drink water, try adding a tablespoon of low sodium broth to the water bowl. That should entice her to take a drink.
After her drink, the waiting game begins. After about an hour, take Fefe outside and follow her around until she finds a place to pee. Be patient, because it may take her longer than normal with you tailing behind her.
Once she squats down, stick the ladle underneath the stream of urine and collect your sample. If you dog is a male and lifts his left to pee, you'll do the same thing – you just may need to be a bit more creative when it comes to catching the urine.
Now, it's easy to dump the urine from the ladle into the container. Apply the lid, and you're good to go! The handle of the ladle allows you to keep your hand out of the way while collecting the sample, so you shouldn't end up with urine on your skin or clothes.