Testing your dog’s DNA (be sure to check out these test kits) has several benefits.
First and foremost, it will tell you about your dog’s genetic makeup and the potential risk factors for developing any hereditary diseases associated with a particular breed.
This will give you advance notice to adopt some kind of preventive measures that will mitigate if not eliminate the risk.
Secondly, it will help you identify personality traits specific to your pet and you can tailor training plans suited to its personality.
Finally, testing the DNA of dogs is very beneficial for breeders to produce healthier pups’ without the health risks.
How Does The Test Work?
It is extremely simple to use the DNA testing kit.
All you have to do is to collect the sample and send it to the laboratory for evaluation. Your results will be delivered to you via mail. The accuracy of the test will depend on the company and their database. It will also depend on the sample provided by owners.
Things To Do Before Testing
Before you actually start learning to do the test there are few things that must be done.
- Select a reputable laboratory or company: The accuracy of the result will depend on the quality of the laboratory and the size of the database the company has; the more the database the greater the chance of a match. The best way to begin the procedure is to ask your vet for a recommendation. Choose a laboratory with a good and qualified laboratory and a good and friendly customer service.
- Consider the cost: The cost of the test varies based on the nature of the test and where it is done. Once you have narrowed down a few laboratories, compare the costs for each individual tests and look at the additional heads like transportation charges, admin charges etc. If the difference is not much, choose the more popular company with a larger database.
- Select a test: DNA testing is a very broad-based testing and is used for various purposes. The test by the lab will depend on what you are looking for – parentage, diseases etc. Normally tests are charged per sample. In case you want to find out if your pet has any specific DNA, for example, the DNA of a wolf then that is done at an additional cost.
Step By Step Guide
Now that all the essential details have been taken care of you can focus on the actual procedure. Always make sure that you are following the instructions provided in the kit explicitly to prevent any contamination of samples as this will lead to inaccurate results.
- Collect the sample for ancestry: All kits come with the necessary equipment needed to collect samples. Take the swab of the kit and rub it gently along the inside of the dog’s cheek and under its tongue for around 60 seconds to get a good sample. Place the swab back in the collection container.
- Collect the sample for parentage test: In this case, you must collect the sample of the mother and the father. Collect one sample at a time and label it neatly before collecting the second sample.
- Send the sample to the lab: Usually, all companies provide their own sample collection bag or envelope to send the samples back to them. Once you have collected the samples put them securely in the envelope and mail it back to the company. The results will take a few weeks to come.
- Order for a DNA profile: Approach the laboratory and order for a DNA profile which will help you identify your dog in case of any theft or loss. A DNA profile is also useful for your vet to diagnose any medical conditions and treat them appropriately.
- Review the results: Once the results are back, review its details and verify if all the tests that you asked for have been performed and if the parentage has been identified. If you have tested for multiple fathers (parentage) and do not find a match you will have to repeat the test.