Collecting Stool Samples for Dogs

Stool samples from your pet may be needed for various vet examinations, when your pet is sick or goes for a routine checkup. Your vet may ask you to collect a stool sample in some cases and to be able to perform this task and protect your health, you should know some stool sample collecting basics.

Things You Need to Take a Dog Stool Sample

When you need to collect a stool sample to take to the vet, you will need:

  • A pair of gloves, when you handle the feces
  • A plastic/glass/metal container with a sealable cap; make sure the container is clean and doesn’t contain any food residue or rust, as these can contaminate the feces and the results may be compromised. Make sure that the cap is well sealed, so that the contents won’t accidentally contaminate your bag or the area it will be transported in. Some vets will provide you with a sterile container, so if you have time, pick up a container from your vet’s clinic.
  • A stick, which may be used to avoid touching the feces with your hands
  • A spoon or a syringe, which will help when the feces are liquid
  • A label, which you should place on the container and include the name of your pet and the date and hours when you’ve collected the sample
  • A plastic sealable bad, where you will place the container

Get all these needed supplies and then find a time to collect the feces.

Find the Right Time for the Stool Sample

The right time to collect the feces will be chosen by you. You should know when your dog usually eliminates feces. Take the supplies you’ve prepared when you take him outside, or take only a sealable bag and make the transfer to the container when you get home.

Make sure your dog doesn’t feel that you are monitoring him, as this will add some stress and he may not produce feces.

If your dog won’t produce feces for over 12 hours or when he usually does, you may give him some fish oil or canned pumpkin, which should stimulate the bowel movement.

It’s not recommended to pick up some old feces from the yard, as these won’t do for a stool sample test. In addition, the feces may be contaminated with various substances from the soil, which will interfere with the test results.

Protective Measures When Taking the Stool Sample

The dog feces may carry a number of bacteria and parasites, some of which may be transmitted to humans as well (i.e. zoonotic diseases).

For this reason, you need to protect your health by wearing gloves and avoiding direct contact with the feces you collect.

If you dump some remaining feces, make sure you dispose of the bag properly, so that other pets or your children won’t get in contact with the remaining feces.

Wash your hands after handling the feces and dump the gloves that you’ve used also.