BACKGROUND There is a growing concern regarding the increase of antimicrobial resistant bacteria in companion animals. Yet, there are no studies comparing the resistance levels of these organisms in European countries. The aim of this study was to investigate geographical and temporal trends of antimicrobial resistant bacteria causing urinary tract infection (UTI) in companion animals in Europe. The antimicrobial susceptibility of 22 256 bacteria isolated from dogs and cats with UTI was determined. Samples were collected between 2008 and 2013 from 16 laboratories of 14 European countries. The prevalence of antimicrobial resistance of the most common bacteria was determined for each country individually in the years 2012-2013 and temporal trends of bacteria resistance were established by logistic regression. RESULTS The aetiology of uropathogenic bacteria differed between dogs and cats. For all bacterial species, Southern countries generally presented higher levels of antimicrobial resistance compared to Northern countries. Multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli were found to be more prevalent in Southern countries. During the study period, the level of fluoroquinolone-resistant E. coli isolated in Belgium, Denmark, France and the Netherlands decreased significantly. A temporal increase in resistance to amoxicillin-clavulanate and gentamicin was observed among E. coli isolates from the Netherlands and Switzerland, respectively. Other country-specific temporal increases were observed for fluoroquinolone-resistant Proteus spp. isolated from companion animals from Belgium. CONCLUSIONS This work brings new insights into the current status of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria isolated from companion animals with UTI in Europe and reinforces the need for strategies aiming to reduce resistance.