Catching a Pee Sample: Urine Collection for Urinalysis Canine

I might ask you to catch a pee sample.

Or “collect a urine sample for urinalysis” if I feel nerdy and I’m pushing my glasses up my nose when I say it.

The dog isn’t going to go pee in a cup.

Neither is a cat.

For the cat, you can take a “litter pan” (any pan) and buy a few kitchen cups of plastic or glass beads. Put those in the pan as “fake” nonabsorbent litter and put the cat in a cage or carrier with that “litter pan”.

Sooner or later, the cat’s going to be “about to bust” and it will PEE in the beads in the pan. Even if it happens to HATE peeing in a pan of beads, it will do THAT instead of peeing in the box and standing in it.

Dump the urine into a ziploc off the beads and bring it to the office. But if we’re closed and you can’t bring it within 4 hours you can put the sample in a cool place. Or the refrigerator. But a cool place in a new Ziploc bag would be better.

You know those refrigerators that keep fancy wine “cool but not refrigerated?”  –  that’d be right for urine prior to testing.

But refrigeration is a good-enough second place.

A hot sample right out of the pet and into our machine would be perfect. Hahahaha.

I don’t trust a pee sample older than 24 hours anyway.

A jar with a metal lid isn’t entirely the best because the metals in the lid may change certain urine characteristics so err on the side of a ziploc plastic baggie. Or some plastic tupperware or similar.


Collecting pee from a dog is a male thing, and a female thing.

The male often “lifts a leg” and then when you catch HIS pee in a little cup, the lifted leg comes down and knocks the pee out of your hand. So be careful.

And when you squat down to put a little cup under the pee-parts of the male OR female dog it often kind of ‘freaks them out’ and they spin around and at least, stop peeing. So it can be difficult. Here’s the solution to that.

If you get a paper or styrofoam cup and trim it down to about an inch deep, and you tape it onto a stick, rod, yardstick, spindle – –  then you can nonchalantly put the cup under the dog’s pee parts without hovering closely enough to freak them out.

So yeah, of course, certain dogs don’t care.

But for the dogs with that sense of modesty – you can tape the cup to a stick and catch the pee with that. Transfer the pee to the ziploc bag and you’re good-to-go.

Bring it in still-warm, warmish, a couple hours old, stored in a cool place or less-than-24-hours in the refrigerator.

If it’s warm on the counter for 12-24 hours it’s ruined because there won’t be viable cells to see, too many bacteria will grow, and crystals may form due to cooling.

Fresh, warm, pee.

Cup. On. A. Stick.

Have an amazing day.


Author: Dr. Erik Johnson
Dr. Erik Johnson is the author of several texts on companion animal and fish health. Johnson Veterinary Services has been operating in Marietta, GA since 1996. Dr Johnson graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991. Dr Johnson has lived in Marietta Georgia since 1976.