P2X7, a damage-associated molecular pattern receptor and adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP)-gated cation channel, plays an important role in the activation of the NALP3 inflammasome and subsequent release of interleukin (IL)-1β from human monocytes; however its role in monocytes from other species including the dog remains poorly defined. This study investigated the role of P2X7 in canine monocytes, including its role in IL-1β release. A fixed-time flow cytometric assay demonstrated that activation of P2X7 by extracellular ATP induces the uptake of the organic cation, YO-PRO-12+, into peripheral blood monocytes from various dog breeds, a process impaired by the specific P2X7 antagonist, A438079. Moreover, in five different breeds, relative P2X7 function in monocytes was about half that of peripheral blood T cells but similar to that of peripheral blood B cells. Reverse transcription-PCR demonstrated the presence of P2X7, NALP3, caspase-1 and IL-1β in LPSprimed canine monocytes. Immunoblotting confirmed the presence of P2X7 in LPS-primed canine monocytes. Finally, extracellular ATP induced YO-PRO-12+ uptake into and IL-1β release from these cells, with both processes impaired by A438079. These results demonstrate that P2X7 activation induces the uptake of organic cations into and the release of IL-1β from canine monocytes. These findings indicate that P2X7 may play an important role in IL-1β-dependent processes in dogs.