What You Need to Know About Animal DNA Testing
DNA tests might be all the rage for people trying to understand their family heritage and ethnicity, but did you know that it’s possible to test your pet’s DNA too? Many pet owners are flocking to buy these testing kits to understand more about their beloved animal’s breed, health history, and other vital insights.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about getting your animal genetically tested.
Why Do An Animal DNA Test?
You probably love your furry friend more than you’re willing to admit. In fact, many consider their pets to be core members of the family.
We feed them, provide them with shelter, and take care of them when they are injured or sick.
Many people with pets are now testing their animal’s DNA to gain valuable information about their overall health and well-being.
These kits for animals can check for a variety of genetic diseases and disorders that your dog or cat may be at risk of developing.
A test can help you identify which genetic mutations exist within your pet’s DNA, and help you take proactive measures before they become at risk.
Others turn to pet genetic testing to understand what breed their animal belongs to.
Many people pay a lot of money for purebred pets, and a test is a simple way to ensure your breeder was telling the truth.
Other tests provide a percentage of breeds that mutts are composed of, giving you more information about what breeds are in their genes.
How It Works
It’s relatively easy to get a sample of your pet’s DNA, it just may require a bit of patience.
You can get a sample of DNA from your animal by swabbing the inside of their cheek.
It’s best to do this a couple of hours after they’ve had something to eat as the goal is to gather what is called deoxyribonucleic acid-laden saliva.
Labs need a good amount of this to work with the sample.
When taking the sample, remember the following:
- Collect the sample a few hours after your pet eats to avoid pieces of food or residue
- Keep your animal calm to prevent them from biting the swap stick
- Make sure your animal hasn’t been in close contact with another pet a couple of hours prior to swabbing, as you’ll want to avoid cross-contamination
- Give your pet a treat afterward to reward them for a job well done
Once you’ve successfully taken the DNA sample of your pet, you simply send the specimen back to the company.
Your results will likely come by mail or straight to your inbox.
Getting The Results
Depending on the company you chose to use for your pet’s genetic testing, you’ll likely receive the results fairly soon.
Be sure to read carefully as some test results are available within a week, while others may take up to eight weeks.
If you’re in a rush to get results, you’ll want to pick a company that can deliver them faster.
Make sure to register with the testing company and provide the information they request, so the results will find their way back to you.
Recommended Dog DNA Kits
When browsing for the right pet DNA kit, take time to do your research.
Identify what information you want to gain from testing, and be sure the company you choose provides results aligned with your needs.
Top pet DNA testing companies include:
- Wisdom Panel: Covers 99.9% of the breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club, weight recommendations, characteristics of breeds, and a genetic mutation test covering over 150 diseases
- DNA My Dog: You’ll get a health risk report including known predispositions as well as a breed certificate and guide to personality traits and behaviors
- Embark DNA: Includes checks for 175 known conditions, genetic trait information, and a search covering over 250 breeds
Different companies will offer various insights, so be sure to do your research carefully. Pick a DNA test for your pet that you feel most comfortable working with.
Before long, you’ll find out things about your pet you only ever dreamed of knowing.