The aim of this study was to investigate the characteristics of canine uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) and the interaction between canine UPEC and human bladder epithelial cells. Ten E. coli isolates collected from dogs with cystitis were analyzed for antimicrobial resistance patterns, the presence of virulence factors, and biofilm formation. The ability of these isolates to induce cytotoxicity, invade human bladder epithelial cells, and stimulate an immune response was also determined. We observed a high rate of antimicrobial resistance among canine UPEC isolates. All virulence genes tested (including adhesins, iron acquisition, and protectin), except toxin genes, were detected among the canine UPEC isolates. We found that all isolates showed varying degrees of biofilm formation (mean, 0.26; range, 0.07 to 0.82), using a microtiter plate assay to evaluate biofilm formation by the isolates. Cytotoxicity to human bladder epithelial cells by the canine UPEC isolates increased in a time-dependent manner, with a 56.9% and 36.1% reduction in cell viability compared with the control at 6 and 9 h of incubation, respectively. We found that most canine UPEC isolates were able to invade human bladder epithelial cells. The interaction between these isolates and human bladder epithelial cells strongly induced the production of proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 and IL-8. We demonstrated that canine UPEC isolates can interact with human bladder epithelial cells, although the detailed mechanisms remain unknown. The results suggest that canine UPEC isolates, rather than dogspecific pathogens, have zoonotic potential.