5 Tips For Taking Your Pet’s Poop Sample To The Vet

Taking your pet’s poop into the vet with them as part of their yearly checkup is an essential part of your pets healthcare plan. Some people may think otherwise but keep in mind that any pet at any age is at risk for getting parasites and a lot of these parasites can be transmitted to humans.

Having your pet’s poop sample checked 1-2 times a year is part of being a responsible pet owner.

But when, where and how do you get that poop sample successfully to the vets office?

We’ve got you covered!

Here are my 5 tips on getting that all important stool sample to your vet!

1. The fresher the better. If your dogs poop has been sitting out in the back yard for 3 days, leave it there. A 3 day poop sample is not very diagnostic.  The same goes for cat poop.  A cat poop that has been sitting in the litter box for 3 days and is severely dehydrated, you know, it cracks like a stick,  is not a good sample. Fresh samples provide better results!

2. Storage is key. If your pet has an appointment in the afternoon but only poops in the morning, that’s o.k. You can store it in your fridge, or in cooler weather, store it outside. Do not store it in the freezer or leave it baking in the hot sun, this will make for a bad sample.

3. Bigger is not better. Most vets and labs only need a small amount of poop to run a fecal sample. About the size of 2 sugar cubes. (double check with your vet just to be sure) You do not need to bring the whole pile of poop.

4. Pick your container wisely. Most vet offices should have fecal containers for you to take home and collect a sample. Other containers that work well are old pill bottles, or plastic containers.  Plastic bags can work well but they can leak so make sure that you’re double bagging the sample.  Poop bags work awesome and are great for all involved!! Make sure you also label your sample with your pets name.

5. Make sure you’re bringing poop. A clump of kitty urine can often be confused for cat poop but a cat urine sample will be rejected when checking for fecal parasites.

Do you have any other tips to add? Maybe some secrets you are keeping about how you get your dogs poop to the vet? Please share!

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Other posts you may be interested in:

7 Tips On How To Collect A Dog’s Urine Sample

Do You Know How To Properly Put A Dog Harness On?

The Secret Grey Dot Inside A Dog’s Black Nail

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37 Comments on 5 Tips For Taking Your Pet’s Poop Sample To The Vet

  1. bichonpawz
    October 16, 2012 at 2:14 am (3 years ago)

    Thank you for the tips Jen! Awesome!!

  2. Daisy
    October 16, 2012 at 3:24 am (3 years ago)


    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  3. emma
    October 16, 2012 at 7:07 am (3 years ago)

    This post stinks 😉 No, seriously, good tips!

  4. olivia Rubin
    October 16, 2012 at 7:28 am (3 years ago)

    I go to,the salad bar or deli and ask for a plastic container at my supermarket.

    • Mary
      June 26, 2015 at 6:40 am (8 months ago)

      Great tips, especially if I need to transport snake poop (nappy bags obviously). One piece of advice though if youre going for the salad bar container, see-through containers are great for making sure you dont mistake the contents for salad, but might make people in the waiting room feel queasy – and people in the street give you a wide berth!

  5. Finn
    October 16, 2012 at 9:01 am (3 years ago)

    BOL! This is good because we are going on Sunday with a sample! I am glad bigger isn’t better because I always bring a big bunch and now I know better!

  6. Pamela | Something Wagging This Way Comes
    October 16, 2012 at 9:10 am (3 years ago)

    I love your reminder to bring a small sample. I remember James Herriot writing in one of his books that the farmers took delight in bringing the biggest samples they could from their cattle or pigs. :)

  7. Sam
    October 16, 2012 at 9:22 am (3 years ago)

    We’ve never had much of a problem with the poop samples – my favorite are the pee samples. There is nothing like following your dog around with a soup ladel…


  8. Sam
    October 16, 2012 at 9:23 am (3 years ago)

    Sigh… ladle…

    Sam 😀

  9. Kimberly, The Fur Mom
    October 16, 2012 at 9:43 am (3 years ago)

    I’ve been able to pick up poo in a poop bag and store it on the porch (cool weather) until the vet appointment. The only bummer is that if your vet doesn’t have the proper tests, you can get a false positive (or negative) which we experienced.

    It’s funny that when it comes to other dogs, the idea of picking up their poop is gross, not with our dogs. It’s not a day in the park, but it’s not terrible either.

  10. Jodi
    October 16, 2012 at 10:11 am (3 years ago)

    OMG you are busting my gut this week. “it cracks like a stick?” LOL I (as you know) am a rule breaker. Yes, yes I am. I take the poop in the zip lock baggie, only because I had never thought to stick it in an old pill bottle, but now you’ve told me, I’m on the case.;-)

  11. Taryn
    October 16, 2012 at 10:54 am (3 years ago)

    I think you pretty well covered it :-)

  12. Blueberry's human
    October 16, 2012 at 11:15 am (3 years ago)

    I always use a plastic container too. Usually what I do is take a plastic spoon and knife and cut out the top portion of the poo that hasn’t touched the ground so it doesn’t have any debris in it. I am grateful I have a block fence so my neighbors don’t see me in my yard looking like I’m about ready to feast on some dog poop. And yes I usually store it in the fridge if the appointment isn’t right away. Great tips – glad to know I am doing things correctly! :)

  13. caren gittleman
    October 16, 2012 at 11:17 am (3 years ago)

    I never realized that such a small amount of poop would be enough! This is quite timely because we will be bringing Cody and Dakota’s poop in for their annual fecal exam at the end of October :)

  14. Nichole
    October 16, 2012 at 11:24 am (3 years ago)

    I’m LOLing about your #3… so true! :) I had no idea ziplock bags weren’t a good thing though… we’ve always used them when we didn’t have the little poop containers from the vet’s office, and they’ve never suggested otherwise. hmm… We do have many old pill bottles though!

  15. Corbin
    October 16, 2012 at 11:54 am (3 years ago)

    I’m not quite sure why, but this post had the momma laughing hysterically… maybe her immature side giggling at all the mentions of the word “poop?”

  16. 2 brown dawgs
    October 16, 2012 at 1:19 pm (3 years ago)

    Such useful tips. :) I have always used ziploc bags and our vet has never had an issue with it. Of course we try not to smash. 😉

  17. Gina@dawsondogs.com
    October 16, 2012 at 3:12 pm (3 years ago)

    Only with dogs and kids does the conversation always ends up to be about poop. BOL.

  18. Jen
    October 16, 2012 at 5:08 pm (3 years ago)

    Nobody’s ever said anything to me at my vet’s office about the proper storage and comportment of poop samples. I wish they had! I knew there had to be a “right” or “more right” way, but there it is.

    *knock wood* I have never had to bring a urine sample. I hope I never have to.

  19. Flea
    October 16, 2012 at 5:33 pm (3 years ago)

    Okay. So. Smashed poop is bad. And store poop in the fridge. Uh huh. Check.

    Did you know that humans have their poop checked after age 40? True story. Don’t ask me how I know.

  20. kristi
    October 16, 2012 at 8:46 pm (3 years ago)

    Once again, your wealth of information never ceases to amaze me…sigh, I just had to wipe the tear from my eye;)

  21. dawn
    October 16, 2012 at 10:16 pm (3 years ago)

    Great tips! I love the size recommendation.:>) I think people thought we were back there rooting through the poop with our hands looking for worms. I certainly didn’t get paid enough for that.

  22. KB
    October 17, 2012 at 12:23 am (3 years ago)

    Ruh roh, we break one of your rules every single time. We use a zip-lock bag. I will ask them for a sample container to keep on hand the next time that I’m there (which seems to be weekly…).

    Thanks for the great suggestions! I always love that moment of walking into the vet’s office and plopping the “sample” down on the counter… Hah! Poor receptionists.

  23. Karen Friesecke
    October 17, 2012 at 3:09 am (3 years ago)

    But I WANT to bring my entire pile of smelly poop to the vet 😀
    Thanks for the tips!!

  24. houndstooth
    October 17, 2012 at 10:11 am (3 years ago)

    You’ve got some great tips, and I guess I’m lucky, because ours are just about guaranteed to leave a fresh deposit right outside the vet’s office!

  25. Ann Paws
    October 18, 2012 at 9:50 pm (3 years ago)

    Great post! THANK YOU for telling people that bigger is not better!!! I am a vet tech, and we used to get the HUGEST samples that would stink up the whole clinic lol. People would cram the containers until they were practically overflowing with fecal material.

  26. Tylersat99
    February 19, 2013 at 1:46 am (3 years ago)

    Just on the light side, Lexie and Mica do not like for you to watch them go to the bathroom. They will try to move to a spot in the yard they hope you can’t see. I therefore let them out and watch out the back window. They rarely go at the same time or place which makes it pretty to see where they go and sneak out a few minutes later and get some!

    • Jen
      February 19, 2013 at 7:20 am (3 years ago)

      Lol. Sherman is the same way!

  27. Tylersat99
    February 19, 2013 at 1:51 am (3 years ago)

    Btw why is smashed poop worse that trying to dig those tiny spoonfuls out of a Newfy pile? I never feel like I got the right spot?

  28. Grant
    July 23, 2013 at 7:54 am (3 years ago)

    Very good tips and you gave No-no’s in detail! Nice one.

  29. sharon
    December 30, 2013 at 7:50 pm (2 years ago)

    Just an editing note: #5: ‘your’…. correct to: “You’re”

  30. Loosgoose
    January 13, 2014 at 7:14 pm (2 years ago)

    If you’re running a website, you should know the difference of YOUR and YOURE.

    ****I allowed this stupid comment through because it’s hilarious. If you feel the need to correct someone, do it right.

  31. Vet Tips
    March 13, 2014 at 2:26 pm (2 years ago)

    Great post! Been reading a lot about different tips for taking my pet to the vet. Thanks for the info!
    Vet Tips recently posted…Belle Dog of Month: March 2014My Profile

  32. Jojo
    May 22, 2015 at 11:41 am (9 months ago)

    Poop bags work but ziplocks don’t?

    I guess we know who your sponsor is.

  33. Tonka's Mom
    February 19, 2014 at 7:54 am (2 years ago)

    Thanks for the helpful tips. I smiled when I saw your site in my Google search because I’m prepping to take my own brown newfie to the vet tomorrow. :)


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