“What is the best dog DNA test?” With the rapidly-rising popularity of DNA testing, this is a question many pet owners want to know. You definitely don’t want to bark up the wrong tree on this one, so this blog is designed to be a comprehensive resource for you to help in determining the best dog DNA test to suit your particular needs. We’ll help answer popular questions such as:
What is a dog DNA test?
Who uses a dog DNA test?
How much does a dog DNA test cost?
How is a test performed?
How long does it take to get results?
How accurate are the results?
Why is it important to do a dog DNA test?
Who are the leading dog DNA test providers?
Let’s fetch some answers!
Dog DNA Test Overview
In a nutshell, these tests are used to answer important genetic questions about your pet. You can get screenings for:
- Inherited diseases
- Inherited traits
- Parentage verification
- Breed identification for mixed-breed dogs of unknown parentage
- And more
The breed-identification test is ideal for any mutt owner, but the other types of screens listed above are best used by veterinarians and breeders. Although many marketers of these tests claim that the tests have value for any pet owner, this is not always true—especially regarding screenings for inherited diseases and traits. So be sure to do your homework before purchasing in order to get the best value for your buck.
Process of Dog DNA Testing
When customers ask this question, it’s most often in relation to how DNA is collected, rather than how the analysis is performed in the lab. Most tests require samples to be collected via special polyester cheek swabs; some companies may still request brushes or sponges. DNA collected via cheek swab is every bit as accurate as DNA from a blood sample, and the process is much less traumatic.
Five (5) days to three (3) weeks is a good ballpark estimate for most testing providers, once DNA samples have been received.
You always want to make sure your dog’s samples are being tested through a trusted laboratory. This ensures that proper protocols and processes are in place in order to ensure accurate results. The accuracy levels of one-size-fits-all tests can be problematic.
Of the 150+ disease tests some companies run, over half of the tests may not be valid for the dog breed they are testing. For example: If you test a Boxer for Cystinuria (gene SLC3A1), it will always be clear. This specific mutation does not exist in Boxers; however, Boxers can still have kidney stones. These results can be very misleading for the average pet owner and can give a false sense of security, so be careful. Not all health problems have a genetic cause. This is just one reason why it’s important to choose the analyses that are relevant to your dog’s breed. You can then be confident that your dog’s results are accurate.
It is especially important to perform testing if you’re planning on breeding your dog. Testing for various genetic diseases that may afflict your breed or testing for traits ensures the healthy continuation of this type of animal…it’s the responsible thing to do!
Dog DNA Test Pricing
Like any type of testing, prices vary from company to company and from brand to brand. Generally speaking, costs range from $58 for a single-answer test to $89 and up for breed identification tests. Many companies offer bundled tests that range in price from about $120 to $199 per dog.
So Who Provides the Best Dog DNA Test?
Well, we might be a little biased on this one. There are many companies that offer dog DNA test services, and it’s important for consumers to do a little research before choosing a provider. Consider the following:
Question: Is testing performed at a trusted laboratory?
Our Answer: DDC Veterinary’s testing is performed in-house, at our own lab.
Question: How long has the provider been in business?
Our Answer: DDC Veterinary just celebrated our 15th anniversary! We’re world-renowned experts in the DNA biz.
Question: Is pricing reasonable?
Our Answer: We offer the lowest pricing possible without ever sacrificing quality. We also provide monthly specials for additional savings! Details for these are found on the website, sent via email to existing customers, and posted on our Facebook page.
Question: Does the provider have a reputation for providing excellent customer service?
Our Answer: We appreciate the 5-star reviews our customers give us nearly every day, and we’re proud to consistently maintain a 4.9-star overall rating. Our team treats you and your pet like one of our family—because you are!