Obtaining a urine sample from your pet can be tricky business. If your veterinarian or veterinary nurse has asked you to collect a urine sample from your pet at home, here are some handy tips on how to go about it.

Collecting urine from your dog

Your dog will urinate generally after waking in the morning or after feeding in the evening. Exercise and walks are another good time to be watchful for urination.

Firstly take a thoroughly washed, flat plastic container such as a margarine container, a meat tray or an old frying pan to use for collection. Wait until your dog begins to urinate, and slowly and gently place the container under the stream. Try not to be abrupt or too quick as that can frighten him/her. About a tablespoon of the sample is all you need for testing.

For canines who regard their privacy highly and are hesitant to stay still, keep them indoors for an extended period. When let out they will urinate for an extra long time allowing you to manoeuvre into position for adequate collection.

Once the urine is collected pour it into a clean screw top jar (specimen jars are available from the clinic) and get it to the vet clinic within 1 hour, or put in the refrigerator for a maximum of 12 hours. This is very important if you are not able to take the sample into the clinic immediately.

If all this fails, keep your dog inside for a few hours before bringing them to the clinic. Do not let them out of the car. Come and see us first so a friendly nurse and a suitable collection container can be ready. Your pet will be encouraged to urinate with all the nice smells they encounter around the clinic.

Collecting urine from your cat

For indoor cats either replace litter in the tray with non-absorbent kitty litter (available at the vet clinic), cut up straws or a plastic bag cut into strips. Some cats will urinate with no kitty litter in their litter tray at all. Other cats will allow you to collect their urine by placing the lid of the yellow lidded urine collection jar under them when they are urinating.

When your cat has urinated, tip his/her urine into a clean screw top jar (specimen jars are available from the clinic) trying not to spill too much litter into the jar. It is best to do this outside or over the laundry sink, as it can be a messy job. Your vet clinic may also be able to provide you with a syringe to draw the urine up so there is little waste.

For outside cats or those not too keen on the above collection method, keep your cat in a confined area such as the bathroom or laundry. Leave them there for a few hours and bring them to the clinic in a cage. A vet or nurse can usually express urine from your cat as long as his/her bladder is full. Sometimes a short stay in hospital is required to allow the bladder to fill up.