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Home > Dogs > How Do Dog DNA Tests Work? What You Need To Know!

How Do Dog DNA Tests Work? What You Need To Know!

dog getting swabbed for DNA testing

Dog DNA tests have become extremely popular with dog owners over the last several years. Not only do these DNA tests tell you more about your furry friend’s heritage, but they also help you take better care of your pooch as they age. You can purchase a dog DNA test online or at most retail stores, and they’re pretty simple to use if you follow the directions.

In this article, we’ll tell you exactly how dog DNA tests work.

divider-dog paw

What Are Dog DNA Tests?

Everything about your furry friend, from the shape of their tail to their ears, tells you something unique about their history. Just as with human DNA tests, doggie DNA tests let you find out everything you want to know about your pup’s family tree.

In many cases, pet owners are shocked by what’s revealed through their dog’s DNA. Many times, they find that their dog has a few different breeds in them that they never expected them to have, which is why DNA tests are so important to both humans and pets alike.

Embark Breed dog dna testing

How Do Dog DNA Tests Work?

Believe it or not, the process of getting your dog’s DNA tested isn’t as hard as you might think. We’ll walk you through it below.

Step One

Take a DNA sample from your dog using one of the kits you can find online or in your favorite pet store. Don’t worry; this process isn’t painful for your pup at all. It consists of a simple cheek swab, and that’s it.

Step Two

Put the sample in the envelope that was provided, then seal it. Once you’ve sealed the DNA sample properly, send it back to the lab you got your kit from and wait for your results.

Step Three

It should take between two and three weeks for you to receive a report of your pooches ancestry, and now all you need to do is wait!


How Much Do Dog DNA Tests Cost?

Of course, you already know there are quite a few different brands of DNA tests out there to choose from. On average, one of these tests will cost you $70 to $200, depending on the brand. The less expensive brands usually just give you information on your dog’s breed ancestry while the more expensive brands provide information on your dog’s genetic health risks and other data that could be of high value to dog owners.

DNA test tube
Image By: create jobs 51, Shutterstock

Why Do Pet Parents Get Dog DNA Tests?

Dog owners decide to invest in dog DNA tests for a variety of reasons. We’ll talk about a few of those reasons below.

To Learn More About Their Mixed Breed Mutt

Many pet owners have mixed-breed dogs, with mutts being the most popular breed of dog in the United States. Mixed breeds are usually lovable, friendly, and can be a bit protective, and their owners adore them, regardless of their ancestry.

Many mutt owners decide to get doggie DNA testing just because they are curious about their beloved pet’s ancestry.

To Understand the Way Their Dog Behaves

Whether your dog loves to dig, bay at the moon, bark a lot, or herds ducks at the park, you’ve probably often wondered why they do the things they do. Some pet owners get a dog DNA test to find out why their dog behaves in the strange way they do.

For a Weight Range Prediction

Dog DNA tests can help you determine a healthy weight range for your canine. It can also help predict how much your puppy will weigh when they’re a full-grown adult dog.

To Discover Potential Illnesses

There are health risks associated with every breed of dog out there, and they’re often passed down from the parents. A dog DNA test can help determine which illnesses and conditions might be passed down to your furry canine. This will help you prevent the same illnesses and conditions from happening to your beloved pet.

To Prevent Purebred Inbreeding

A dog DNA test can help you determine a level of genetic diversity in your purebred pup which is very important when you’re breeding purebred dogs. It can also help provide certification for your breed of dog, though some organizations refuse to accept DNA tests as proof, so be careful with that.

For the Fun of It

If you’ve ever traced your own family tree, then you know how fun the process can be. The same holds for your dog’s family tree as well. Of course, in all actuality, your pup could care less about his family tree, but for many pet parents, it is a fun thing to do, so why not?


Final Thoughts

While doing a doggie DNA test may seem scary to you as a pet owner, it is really a very simple process. No matter what your reasons are for wanting to have the test done, it’ll still be fun to know the ancestry of the furry member of your family, don’t you think?

Featured Image Credit: Anna Hoychuk, Shutterstock

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