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How to do a DNA test on a dog at home (5 easy steps)

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    Dog DNA tests have become very popular in recent years. DNA testing your dog can reveal information that you can use to better plan for their care and make sure that they have a long and healthy life.

    The process of testing a dog’s DNA involves ordering a DNA test kit, collecting the sample, and mailing it to the laboratory. Once mailed, your dog’s sample is compared to an extensive breed database of other DNA samples. The result will give you more ideas about your dog’s DNA and ancestors’.

    You can now take a doggie DNA test to determine the breed mix of your dog, determine whether your dog is prone to certain diseases, or simply to see how unique your dog’s genetic make-up is.

    This information is also critical for dog breeders, as it can indicate if a dog is suitable for breeding or not. 

    The process for DNA testing your dog is very simple, but it can be intimidating if you’ve never seen it done before. 

    In this article, we will take a look at how to do a DNA test on a dog, but before we proceed to the step by step guide, let’s try to answer some of the important questions related to a dog DNA test, including its benefits.

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    How do dog DNA kits work?

    How do dog DNA kits work - What Breed is My Dog How to Identify ANY Dog Breed - Is my dog a pure breed (7)

    The DNA testing process is easy and straightforward for dog owners. You can order a dog DNA test kit from Amazon and other online retailers. 

    The two most famous dog DNA testing kits are Embark and wisdom panel. Both breed tests comprise a cheek swab. 

    How does a dog DNA kit work? After buying it, you need to activate it, by swabbing your dog cheek with a cotton-tipped applicator, and then sending the sample to the lab. Once it arrives at the lab, technicians manually extract and process the DNA on the cheek swab. A computer algorithm then creates a chart of how much of each breed your dog’s DNA matches.

    You will receive the results through email within a few weeks. It will be in an attached PDF or online. 

    Both Embark and Wisdom Panel allow you to create accounts on their websites, where you can register as many DNA kits as you like. 

    On the website, you can view all the finished data, which you can then print out and save. This can be useful for trips to the vet.

    Benefits of dog DNA testing: why test your dog’s DNA?

    Dog DNA testing is becoming increasingly popular, but it is not only a fun way to learn about your dog’s heritage. Knowing your dog’s breed can also help you alter his training to his breed tendencies. 

    It can as well allow you to keep track of certain diseases related to the breed that may come up later.

    Dog DNA testing can be a great advantage in determining who they are and why they behave in a certain way. 

    The following are other great benefits of dog DNA testing;

    1. It helps you know your dog’s breed, breed mix, ancestry, and parents
    2. It helps you know how big your puppy can be, his optimal weight, and nutritional recommendations
    3. Dog DNA helps owners to understand and prevent possible health and genetic complications that are common to some breeds.
    4. It helps you learn about the personality traits that are common to some breeds.
    5. It helps prove your dog pedigree

    How to do a DNA test on a dog 

    how to do a dog DNA test - What Breed is My Dog How to Identify ANY Dog Breed - Is my dog a pure breed (1)

    Dog DNA test kit is very easy to use. If you own a mixed-breed dog and have been wondering about its ancestry, a DNA test can help you find out

    If you want to know how to do a DNA test for your dog, read on, in the following paragraphs, I will take a look at the step-by-step guide on how to do a dog DNA test. 

    But before I proceed, the following are the things you need to consider before the test.

    Things you need to consider before the test

    1. Choose a reputable company/laboratory

    The accuracy of the test result depends on the size of the database and the laboratory of the company you choose. 

    The larger the database, the greater the possibility of a match, the better way to start the procedure is to ask your vet for a recommendation. 

    Choose a lab with a good and qualified lab, with friendly customer service.

    2. Weigh the cost

    The next thing to consider is the cost of the test, the cost varies depending on the nature of the test and where it is performed. 

    Once you have checked a few brands/laboratories, you can now compare the costs of the individual test and the extra charge that comes with the service. 

    If the difference is not much, go for the most popular company with a bigger database and great customer reviews.

    3. Select a test

    A dog DNA test is a comprehensive test and is used for different purposes. The test will depend on what you are looking for: ancestry, diseases, genetic conditions, personality, etc. 

    You can ask your vet to order the type of test you want. 

    Alternatively, you can check online or visit the lab in person to directly request the test from a lab that is into dog DNA tests.

    The step by step guide to professional dog DNA testing

    Now that you have taken care of all the important details, you can focus on the main process. 

    Carefully follow the directions provided in the kit to avoid any contamination of the samples since this will lead to incorrect results. 

    Note: ​​If you have purchased embark or wisdom, you just need to follow the simple instructions that you find in the box of the DNA kit.

    The following are the steps by step guide on how to do a professional DNA test on puppies and parents. 

    Step 1: Collect the sample for ancestry

    All dog DNA test kits contain the basic tools required to collect the test samples. Open the kit and bring the tube out of the package, get the swab from the tube, and rub it softly within the dog’s cheek and under the tongue for about sixty seconds to get a good sample. After that take the swab out and place it back in the tube.

    Step 2: Collect the sample for the parentage test

    The next step is to use the swab to collect the sample of the pup’s father and mother. Before taking the swab, if the pup is still feeding on the mother you will need to separate them for some minutes to avoid sending milk to the lab. Collect one sample at a time and write the names of the dogs on the sample tubes.

    Step 3: Send the sample to the laboratory

    All DNA test kits come with a sample collection envelope to send the sample back to the kit provider. Once you are done collecting the sample, you can securely put them in an envelope and mail them to the company. The results may take a few weeks. 

    Step 4: Order a DNA profile

    You can go to the laboratory and request a DNA profile of your dog, which will be very helpful in identifying your dog if the need arises. The DNA profile can also be helpful for the vet to properly diagnose your dog and treat any medical conditions.

    Step 5: Review the results

    Once you get the result, you can review the details and confirm if the tests you requested have been performed and if the dog’s parents have been identified. Check if the test really identified certain parents as a DNA match and if any dogs were excluded as likely parents.

    Read also:

    1. How to tell what breed is my dog?
    2. How to tell if a dog is purebred?

    Which dog DNA test is best?

    embark dna test, What Breed is My Dog How to Identify ANY Dog Breed - Is my dog a pure breed -- (1) (1)

    The best dog DNA test kit is the Embark kit. This is the most comprehensive and accurate dog DNA test. It runs your dog’s DNA against a database of more than 350 breeds with 200,000 genetic markers and also tests for over 190 genetic diseases and traits. 

    The following are the other reasons why Embark dog DNA test kit still maintains the lead as the best dog DNA test kit.

    1. Embark can detect the breed that makes up as little as 5 percent of your dog’s general DNA breed mix.
    2. The test kit was developed by veterinarians in collaboration with Cornell University.
    3. It gives the most accurate results and is the top-rated dog DNA test.

    FAQs about dog DNA tests

    FAQ - What Breed is My Dog How to Identify ANY Dog Breed - Is my dog a pure breed (4)

    How to DNA test a dog at home?

    When testing a dog’s DNA, one has to follow these easy steps. Initially, the process of sampling your dog involves ordering a DNA test kit like Embark, followed by collecting the sample. Once collected, the sample is sent via mail to the laboratory and compared with an extensive breed database of other DNA samples. The result will give you more ideas about your dog’s origin and ancestors’ lineage.

    Are dog DNA tests accurate?

    Although these tests can provide some fascinating results, they should be viewed with caution. This is because dog DNA tests are not as accurate as human DNA tests. A dog DNA test is not 100 percent accurate, experts advise dog owners to be cautious when reading these test results.

    At what age can you do a DNA test on a dog?

    You can test your dog’s DNA at any age. If you are testing a young puppy that has not yet been weaned, I recommend that you wait for the puppy to be weaned to prevent cross-contamination from the mother’s milk. And if it is difficult to wait, ensure the puppy has not fed from the mother or been in oral contact with other puppies for about 1-2 hours before collecting the sample.

    How much does dog DNA testing cost?

    DNA testing for dogs is becoming increasingly popular because every dog owner wants to learn more about their dog family’s ancestral past or discover the hidden aspects of their dog’s personal heritage. Before now, dog DNA testing was known to be very expensive and only available to high-end laboratories. But today, the cost has dropped to such an extent that it is affordable to an average owner. The best dog DNA tests for home use will cost between $70 and $200.

    Can a vet do a DNA test on a dog?

    The process is very simple and can be done by a dog owner or a veterinarian. The tests require a swab from your pup’s cheek or a blood sample drawn by your veterinarian. Some vets prefer to provide a blood sample since they can confirm that large amounts of DNA are present.

    Read also:


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    Our modern world is heavily reliant on technology. When it comes to your pet, it’s important to be able to keep track of their medical information. DNA tests allow us to do just that!

    Since dog breeds are not all the same genetically, knowing which breeds make up your dog’s (and your dog’s ancestors’) DNA can help you predict traits before they show up.

    Dog DNA kits can provide you with a wealth of information that can help improve your dog’s health for years and make it possible to keep your furry pals healthy.

    Dog DNA testing always meant having to go through veterinarians. Now you can test your dog’s DNA for the price of a couple of pizzas right at home!

    With Embark, testing your dog’s DNA is even easier. It’s all done at home, and you get all the insights you need about your dog’s health and ancestry in an easy-to-use interface. 

    Embark is offering a special deal for our readers. If you want to get a DNA test for your dog, you can do so with $50 off.

    Learn which breeds are in your dog and how that might affect their appearance, health, behavior, and lifespan.

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