To determine the utility of performing urine Gram stain for detection of bacteriuria compared to routine urine sediment examination and bacterial aerobic urine culture. Prospective, observational study. University teaching hospital. Urine samples acquired via cystocentesis through convenience sampling from 103 dogs presenting to a tertiary referral institution. All samples underwent routine urinalysis, including sediment examination, as well as urine Gram stain and quantitative bacterial aerobic urine culture. The urine Gram stain demonstrated improved sensitivity (96% versus 76%), specificity (100% versus 77%), positive predictive value (100% versus 83%), and negative predictive value (93% versus 69%) when identifying bacteriuria, compared to routine urine sediment examination. The urine Gram stain is highly sensitive and specific when detecting the presence of bacteria in canine urine samples. Gram staining should be considered when bacteriuria is highly suspected and requires rapid identification while bacterial culture is pending.