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Collecting a Urine or Feces Sample From Your Dog

The vet asks you to bring in a urine or feces (stool) sample. How?

Stool Samples

A stool sample is easy. You don't need to chase the dog around the yard. You can pick it up where it lies.

The sample needs to be fresh, so you need to collect it very soon after the dog leaves it. Most dogs poop after meals, so watch your dog then.

Once the dog has left you his little prize, you can collect it. It needs to be clean, so you can't just scoop it up off the ground. Flip a new, clean plastic bag inside out and place it on your hand. Use this "glove" to pinch off a sample, being careful not to get any soil or plant matter and making sure none of the sample touches any plants or the ground. If the idea of handling the stool in this way bothers you, use a very clean disposable implement, such as a tongue depressor or cotton swab to scoop us a sample, avoiding contamination.

Store the sample in the refrigerator and take to the vet the same day.

Urine Samples

This is a little trickier since you can't scoop it from the ground. The first trick is to know when your dog pees — usually first thing in the morning or after a meal, or when you let him out after a while inside.

Follow your dog with a clean, closeable container such as a disposable food container. The container must be very clean.

If your dog is reluctant to pee when someone is standing behind him with a cup — an entirely understandable reaction — then go out with a leash and a clean, long-handled stainless steel or plastic soup ladle. It also needs to be clean and sanitary. Try to catch the sample mid-stream. Avoid the first or last drops.

Transfer the sample to your clean, disposable container. Refrigerate and get it to the vet the same day.


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