Do It Right! A Guide on How to Use a Dog DNA Test Kit

Probably, you heard the craze about dog DNA kits and tests, and have searched the internet for the best choices for a dog DNA test as well as asked the pet store and vet which the same thing. Well, congratulations! You are amongst the most responsible pet owners since you are curious about your dog’s genetic profile that can help you feed him better and understand his traits and behavior.

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Now you’ve spent almost or more a hundred dollars on a quality dog DNA test kit. What now? Of course, you wouldn’t want to do a trial and error since you’ve spent a decent amount of cash. Or you wouldn’t want to do it and the results come back as invalid just because you made an error during the DNA sample collection process.

As such, we are here to help you, so read on!

What Dogs Can be Tested?

Basically, any breed of dog, both adults and puppies, can be tested but the limitations will depend on the brand on the brand of the kit that you bought. You can easily identify this by researching the number of genetic markers that the company or provider have. Nonetheless, some of the best choices for a dog DNA test as well as the most expensive ones have a great number of breed profiles.

When Is the Best Time to Collect the Sample?

The time of day as to when you would collect the sample does not really affect the results of the DNA test. However, there are certain factors that might affect the result and compromise the sample, leading to an inaccurate result and worst, invalid result.

That being said, some experts suggest that adult dogs should be swabbed at night, ideally a few hours after they have eaten and finished their water. In this way, there would be no food stuck in their teeth and gums.

For puppies that are still being nursed by their mom it is important that you take the sample an hour or more after they have fed from their mom. Similarly, make sure that they have been separated from their siblings for the same time so that there is no tendency of mixing its saliva with its siblings. We all know that they love to play around and lick each other.

How to Collect a Clean Swab Sample?

Now that you already have knowledge about the precautions you need to take, let’s now head to the actual collection of the sample. Do take note that reading the manufacturer’s instruction is imperative since some kits have additional steps. Nonetheless, we listed the general steps below.

  1. Wear a pair of gloves so as not to compromise the sample.
  2. Open the pack and get the swab provided.
  3. Open your dog’s mouth. For puppies, it would be best to give them an unflavoured chew bone to prevent them from chewing the swab.
  4. Place the swab on the inner cheek of your dog and swirl it firmly for about 20 seconds.
  5. Release the swab slowly and place it into the insert that is included in the package and leave it there for at least five minutes for it to dry.
  6. If there is a second swab included, repeat steps one to four.
  7. If in case the kit you purchased comes with a tube or container with a liquid, place the swab/s, close the container, and shake it.
  8. After which, go to the manufacturer’s website and activate the test, and wait for the special activation confirmation number that you will use to label the sample.
  9. Place the swab back into the insert, if no tube or container has been included, and then place it in a sealed box or envelope and send it immediately to the company’s lab.

Collecting the sample for your dog’s DNA is not very difficult. You just have to make sure that you don’t compromise the sample.