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Home > Dogs > Checkpup Dog Wellness Test Kit Review 2024: Our Expert’s Opinion

Checkpup Dog Wellness Test Kit Review 2024: Our Expert’s Opinion

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Our Final Verdict

We give Checkpup a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.

Quality: 5/5
Ease Of Use: 4.5/5
Easy To Understand: 5/5
Thorough and Data-Driven: 5/5
Timeliness: 5/5

Keeping our four-legged friend’s health in check is probably the most difficult task of pet ownership and one that we are constantly improving throughout the duration of our pup’s life. From sorting out the right kind of food to feed, keeping the biome balances, and our dog’s environment conducive to health – it’s a whole lot to tackle at once. But even in the midst of seemingly doing everything right, how do you know if it’s all actually working?

In comes Checkpup, a vet-developed tool to help assess your dog’s health and wellbeing.

Even the most skilled veterinarians can sometimes miss things that impact our best friends, so having a Checkpup result to pinpoint what needs a more thorough look at is so helpful! This is akin to us people doing home health tests and sending them into the lab to locate more specific information. The more information we have at our fingertips, the better we can lead our lives (and help our pets lead their lives).

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About Checkpup

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Checkpup is an at-home health test in which you take a fur sample from your pup and send it to Checkpup’s lab. The test looks for your dog’s nutritional health, body functions, and more. This is very similar to various at-home health tests for people, such as saliva tests to check for imbalances.

Checkpup was started by a collective of veterinarians and scientists wanting to offer nutritional and functional medicine for dogs. Interestingly enough, this is not as readily available for animals as it is for people, so there was definitely a big need for it! Checkpup promises that the entire process is a result of “Over 20 years of nutritional and functional health experience, over 45 years of laboratory analysis, over 40 combined years of pet parenting, and a commitment to invest millions into the future of pet wellness.” (via the Checkpup About page).

For dogs, the fur reveals the most information about their health. Although blood tests and urine tests tend to be more standard, the fur represents a much longer and deeper nutritional and wellness time frame. The fur offers a full metabolic map and can also show what the future holds if nothing changes. According to the scientists involved in Checkpup, you can even detect minerals and toxic metals 10,000 times smaller than what blood tests are able to find, which means that this analysis can show things that blood tests would easily miss.

Checkpup analyzes the fur constitution and provides a detailed report that includes a wellness check, toxic metals check, metabolism/diet check, and systems check. I did a saliva test like this for myself, and it revealed a lot of data about my nutritional needs and deficiencies, so it was a no-brainer to do this for my dog.

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Overview

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Here is the Checkpup overview and what you can expect from your at-home test.

Pricing

The Checkup Wellness Test Kit is priced at $199.00, which definitely feels hefty. However, medical costs tend to be in the triple digits, so this price tag also shouldn’t feel unusual! This includes everything from shipping to the lab results themselves. Similar types of tests (such as saliva tests) are very similar in price, so even in the comparable market, this price is right on point.

In my opinion, you can’t put a price tag on health diagnostics for the ones we love so much, so $199 isn’t the worst fee.

Shipping Times

The test shipped very quickly to me.

I believe my sample of the test was delayed by the post office when I sent it in, so it did take longer for the Checkpup lab to receive my package than it should have, but I wouldn’t put that on Checkpup’s shoulders.

Once the lab received my test, I got the result within a couple of days.

Sample Collection Process

The sample collection process was super simple. The package itself came with very easy-to-understand step-by-step instructions. What made it really neat was that the Checkpup kit package opened in the exact order of steps for you to complete!

All that needed to be done was snip some fur, fill up the little sample collection bag, add that to the prepaid package included in the kit, and drop it off at the post office. Truly could not be simpler than that.

I gave my pup a bath and then waited 12 hours before taking the sample and making sure she was nice and clean. As Checkpup suggested, I took the sample from her belly, where the snipped fur wouldn’t be all that noticeable.

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Lab Results

I found that the lab results were very thorough, with detailed explanations all the way through. Checkpup offers results in the following categories:

  • Wellness Check: The wellness check results cover the thyroid performance, autonomic balance, adrenal stress, inflammation, blood sugar handling, energy level, and immune system.
  • Systems Check: The systems check results cover the endocrine, autonomic, and immune systems, as well as the liver and gallbladder systems, the integumentary (skin and hair) systems, the digestive, heart, and liver systems, the muscular, kidney, and bladder systems, and the nervous systems.
  • Metabolism + Diet: The metabolism and diet section covers oxidation, and offers suggested meal plans for your pup.
  • Toxic Metals: The toxic metals panel covers whether your pup has been exposed to lead, mercury, aluminum, cadmium, and/or arsenic. I did have some trouble registering for the test, however. More on this in the personal experience section.

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Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Very detailed at-home health test for your pup
  • Covers a full wellness check, systems check, metabolism, diet, and toxic metals exposure information – all of which are thoroughly explained
  • Offers a detailed meal, nutrition, and vitamin curriculum for your pup based on the results
  • Adds a list of to-dos on helping your dog gain even better health based on the results
  • Very simple fur sample test, so no dealing with saliva or blood
  • Free shipping to your home and to the lab
  • Results quickly
  • Your pup has its own webpage with detailed results
  • Vet-created and approved
Cons
  • I had trouble registering my kit due to glitches on the website. This could very well have been my internet connection, but it was something to note!
  • Considering follow-up tests are highly recommended, it can get pricey over time

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Easy To Collect Sample

The sample collection process is painless and simple for both me and my dog. Your pup will not experience any trauma or stress. Just snip some fur samples, and that’s it.

Very Detailed Results

The results came back with a lot of information, broken down into very easy-to-read contexts. I am not a veterinarian, and the results don’t speak to me as if I am—the details are thoroughly explained and very digestible. I find this to be such a breath of fresh air, as I don’t feel overwhelmed with not understanding the results.

Customized Health Plans Based On Results

Alongside the results, Checkpup also creates a wellness checklist to help improve your pup’s health based on the results. So, the results get translated into actionable changes (which is so helpful).

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Is Checkpup a Good Value?

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At the end of the day, your pup’s health is priceless. Good health leads to a longer life, avoidance of premature death (I am sorry to be so harsh!), and a grand quality of life.

Checkpup’s test is so thorough and detailed and unveils a lot of information that veterinarians miss. To me, a $200 kit is well worth the knowledge I got out of it. Plus, the process was simple and straightforward, and that has value as well.

I will say they do suggest a follow-up test every three to four months, which can add up over time (so keep this in mind).

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can Checkpup diagnose illnesses in my dog?

Checkpup is aimed at finding imbalances and system distress but is not meant to diagnose any particular illness. Imbalances can lead to illnesses or make illnesses worse, but this is for your veterinarian to find, not Checkpup. Although Checkpup is vet-developed, it is not meant to provide a diagnosis.

Should you do a Checkpup test more than once?

Yes! It is recommended that another Checkpup kit be created in four months to assess the progress and changes.

What happens if Checkpup can’t read the sample you sent in?

This seldom happens. For any problems, please reach out directly to [email protected].

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Our Experience With Checkpup

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For background, my pup came from the animal shelter – she was found as a stray at a year of age. She came to me in a horrid condition, and her initial veterinary exams showed malnutrition, calcium deficiency, and a slew of health conditions. I’ve spent the rest of the years trying to remedy the first year of her life and manage her body as best I can, with guidance from my vet.

However, much like my own medical experience in which I had to take my health into my own hands and do my own set of at-home saliva and blood tests to uncover my own imbalances, it made perfect sense to do something like this for my dog.

Then the Checkpup Wellness Kit came to my door! I loved the package right off the bat – it was so cleverly designed that I wanted to give a huge high-five to their graphic designer. The package opens in such a beautiful way, with a detailed explanation of all of the steps. The box and tabs keep unfolding in the exact order you should be doing. Plus, the images were so lovely!

Taking the sample was very simple, and my pup didn’t fuss at all. I gave her a bath and then waited the recommended 12 hours before collecting the sample. I started at the very top of her back so she could understand what was happening and then collected the rest of the samples from her underside.

Once the samples were added to the little packet, I put that into the prepaid envelope and dropped it off at the post office. I then went to activate the kit online, which presented itself with a questionnaire about my pup’s visible health (such as her energy levels, skin, etc.). After inputting the activation code from my box and finishing the questionnaire, all that was left to do was wait for the results.

I did encounter one issue: I got an email from Checkpup saying that the box was not actually activated despite going through the steps. I had to redo all of it because my registration didn’t seem to take the first time. There was a bit of a technical difficulty there!

Once my results came, I was blown away by the detail of each aspect. I did learn some uncomfortable things, such as various deficiencies that my vet did not catch and I wasn’t aware of (but explained various ticks of hers that we all chalked up to be normal for her). Although it can feel a bit sad and disheartening that everything you’re doing doesn’t always come out right (she had a lot of red flags on mineral and vitamin deficiencies), it is so important to see this information and find ways to improve those results.

From collecting the samples to receiving the results, I could tell how much attention to detail this company paid. Everything is so well explained; I cannot emphasize that fact enough. I felt like Checkpup was trying to educate me as much as they possibly could so that there was no way to misunderstand or misread the process and the results, and I appreciated that so much.

Anything to do with the medical side of things tends to be so complex and leaves you overwhelmed, but Checkpup did the entire opposite. The checklist of ways to improve your pup’s health and results was also beyond the valley of amazing, as this made actionable suggestions to improve her health. All of these were detailed in a checklist, and I was eager to get started!

I took these results to my veterinarian for a follow-up and am very much looking forward to the future with my pup.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, the information I got out of Checkpup was worth every single penny—I would do it over and over again. Expanding my knowledge of how my dog is doing and where we can improve her health is fundamental to pet ownership, and for this, Checkpup is absolutely revolutionary.

I urge everyone with a four-legged family member to do this.


 

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