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

5 Steps For Taking Your Pet’s Poop sample To The Vets

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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 worms and a lot of these parasites can be transmitted to humans.

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

grey newfoundland dog puppy

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

We’ve got you covered!

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

1. The fresher the better.

If your dog’s poop has sat out in the backyard for 3 days, leave it there.

A 3-day poop sample is not very diagnostic.  

dog sitting on toilet

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(within 24 hours) provide better and more accurate results so try your best to snag a sample as soon as your pet poops.

2. Storage is key.

You want to preserve the sample as best as you can.

If your pet has an appointment in the afternoon but only poops in the morning, that’s o.k.

You can store it in the 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.

clean up your dog's poop

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 the sample with your pet’s name.

5. Make sure you’re bringing poop.

It sounds crazy but 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.

Which pets should have poop samples tested?

Every pet!

Pets should have their stool sample checked by the veterinarian at least once a year at their annual visit. 

Why should pet’s poop samples be tested?

Stool samples help your veterinarian decide if your pet has intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, coccidia, and giardia. 

Intestinal parasites hang out in your pet’s GI tract where you can’t see them.

dog sitting on toilet

The only way to detect the presence of intestinal worms is to look at a poop sample under the microscope and check for eggs.

Some of the parasites that a pet may have can be passed onto other pets and humans.

How long does the poop test take? 

Some veterinarians will do a fecal float or fecal smear in-house and this usually takes about 15-20 minutes.

Other veterinarians choose to send fecal samples out to the lab and this can take 1-2 business days.

Does your vet need you to bring your dog’s urine sample in too? 

 

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

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

Active Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Simple steps on bringing your pet's poop sample to the vet

Materials

  • Plastic container for poop transport such as:
  • Washed pill container
  • Fecal container from vet (if they have these)
  • Ziploc bag
  • Poop bag
  • Plastic spoon

Instructions

  1. Collect small, fresh poop sample-within 24 hours
  2. Store in the fridge or cool area until appointment
  3. Do not leave in the hot sun or store in the freezer
  4. Label with your pet's name
  5. Bring with you to vet appointment

Notes

Most veterinarians only need a small amount of poop but always call ahead to make sure.

Make sure you're bringing poop that doesn't have a lot of debris in it.

Use a plastic spoon to pick poop up and place in container. Throw away spoon!

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Malinda

Monday 17th of July 2017

Thanks for the great tips. You answered my questions!

Beth Elam

Monday 10th of April 2017

Im a vet assistant. I personally tell folks to fold up the amount of 2 peanuts in a folded piece of plastic wrap. Then put that in a small zippered plastic bag/baggie with your name and pets name clearly written. If someone puts loose stool in a gallon size baggie, it can end up on my arm skin in an effort to retrieve it. Gloves only cover hands & wrist. Also bringing in a huge amount because the owner is too lazy to get a small sample just wastes my valuable time due to having to dispose of most of the huge amount before doing the exam. But then afterwards i have to dispose of more of the same stool! Bringing in a strange container (tupperware, sugar bowl, etc) also wastes my time because i cannot put it into a regular trash can. I must wrap it & walk it to the not-nearby dumpster.

Renee

Saturday 24th of March 2018

Excellent tip, thank you.

Jojo

Friday 22nd of May 2015

Poop bags work but ziplocks don't?

I guess we know who your sponsor is.

Vet Tips

Thursday 13th of March 2014

Great post! Been reading a lot about different tips for taking my pet to the vet. Thanks for the info!

Loosgoose

Monday 13th of January 2014

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.

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