Picture this: You’re scrolling through the television channels in the middle of the day, and on almost every single one there’s a different type of daytime chat show.
We all know the ones. You land on one that looks interesting - they are testing three men to see who fathered a child!
Only, get this, rather than human men, these are dogs. No, you aren’t in some weird alternate universe.
Don’t worry, this isn’t really ‘a thing’! Although we do wish it was... Anyway …
This crazy scenario is not actually that far from the truth though when you consider the fact that DNA tests for dogs are ‘a thing’.
Whilst they don’t bring us the same level of entertainment as some of our favourite daytime talk shows, the excitement of finding out more about our perfect little pooches is up there with that of the drama of those shows.
DNA My Dog happens to be one of the leading companies for DNA testing kits out there for our furry friends, and this article aims to give you a comprehensive review of DNA My Dog as a company.
The article will be detailing the different tests available, how the tests are taken, what they test for, and why this could be helpful to you. So without further ado(g), let’s get started with a little bit of information about this wonderful company.
Who are the brains behind DNA My Dog and what do they do?
DNA My Dog is a wonderful dog focussed company based in Canada, but with distributors in 15 different countries around the world.
The company is known to do lots of work in Canada and North America with dog shelters, helping with fundraising, and other such important things for our furry friends.
In fact, on their website, they tell us that so far, purchases of DNA Testing Kits from them have raised over a whopping £97,000. That is just incredible, as I am sure all of you animal lovers will agree!
As if that wasn’t cool enough, they also have a wide social media presence where they post lots of adorable photos of the dogs in the shelters they work with, and photos of customers’ dogs too. We highly recommend checking them out!
As for what they do, well, as well as being incredible helpers for our homeless doggo pals in shelters, they have devised a number of different tests for your dogs!
These tests can check anything from the breed of your dog, allergies, genetic age, and even test our deceased puppers. More on these wonderful tests later!
What is a DNA Test and why does my dog need one?
At this point, you may well be wondering what on earth a DNA test is and why you would need to get one for your dog anyway. As a brief overview of DNA Testing, it can open up a whole world of information about your dog for you.
You can learn about their genetic history and ancestry. As well as this you can get some more information on your puppers health status, which may, in turn, help you in the future as it could let you know any health issues early before they arise seriously.
If you ask us, we truly think that the explanation of what a DNA test actually does is more than enough reason to want to get one. Why would you not want to find out more about your perfect pooches, right?
But just in case you needed another reason, we’ve got just the thing! DNA Testing a puppy or younger dog, especially a rescue pup who may not have any history, allows rescue centres to find the absolute perfect home for each dog.
Think of it as a little crystal ball.
A DNA test can actually tell you all about the traits a dog will grow up to have, such as whether they are likely to shed, to grow into huge animals or stay teeny, tiny. As if that wasn’t enough, it can also check for traces of wolf or coyote in your dog - especially helpful if it was rescued from the wild!
What Tests There Are
As we mentioned a little earlier on DNA My Dog has a number of different tests to choose from that can be delivered straight to your home.
This section of the company review aims to give you a little breakdown of each test and what it should be used for.
In total, there are 7 different testing kits available to purchase from the company. They range from a Basic Breed Identification kit to a comprehensive Full Genetic Screening kit. All of them can be found on the Shop tab of the DNA My Dog website.
DNA My Dog Breed Identification Test
The first test on our list is the Breed Identification Test. This simplistic, basic test does exactly what it says on the tin. It tests the breed of your dog, identifying all the breeds that are contained within your dog’s DNA.
Your results will be emailed to you within two weeks and will give you a percentile breakdown of each level of breed found in your dog, as well as a photographic chart of the dominant breeds that exist in your dog.
Your results will also include personality traits and health issues that your dog could be predisposed to, based on what can be found in your dog’s DNA makeup.
As with all testing kits from this company, there is free shipping, although do bear in mind that depending on where in the world you are, you may pay a shipping fee or customs charges.
DNA My Dog NEXTGEN Breed Identification and Genetic Age Test
Next on the list is the NEXTGEN Breed Identification and Genetic Age Test.
This test gives you the same breed identification as the one previously including the percentages of the different breed levels within your dog and its dominant traits, breeds, and predisposal to health concerns.
However, on top of this, this test goes into a little more detail than the test discussed previously, as it also provides information on the biological age of your dog (also known as genetic age).
The reason this is useful is that it is different from the chronological (actual) age of a dog, as it can give us a breakdown of predicted life expectancy based on a number of factors that actual age alone cannot produce.
It is measured using the Telomere scale and looks at the cellular level of our dogs to determine how the ageing process works.
It should be noted that DNA My Dog does not recommend that this particular test be used on any dog under the age of one, because before that age the Telomere test can present inaccurate results.
DNA My Dog Breed Test PLUS Wolf - Canid/Hybrid Test
This particular test, like the ones before it will test the breed makeup of your dog and include details on the dominant breeds within your dog, as well as the traits they may have, and the risk of any health concerns.
However, instead of assessing the genetic age of the dog, this test is designed to test those wild little puppers who are suspected to have a touch of wolf or coyote in them.
This is especially useful for those dogs who have been knowingly rescued from the wild in areas with a large wolf and/or coyote population.
DNA My Dog Deceased Dog DNA Breed Testing
Another handy kit from this company is the Deceased Dog DNA Kit. As horrifying as it is, our furry friends don’t live forever.
The company noticed that there had been a lot of customers asking if there was any way they could find out what their old furry friends’ breeds were, even after they had passed on. DNA My Dog worked really hard with a university laboratory to devise the perfect test.
Rather than sending a kit out to you, they will contact you and ask you to send them some items that once belonged to the dog in question. Accepted items have to have been in contact with the dog’s mouth, and cannot have been touched by any other dog or the test will not be accurate.
It has to be an item that has had that particular dog’s saliva on it. The list includes, but is not limited to, teeth from the dog, old chewed toys and bones, blankets, and even your dog’s toothbrush if they had one.
The items must then be sent out to the company who will test them, and your results will be emailed to you in the same way as the other tests within 3 weeks. The time is a little longer because of the slightly different testing process that must be undertaken.
DNA Breed Identification Test PLUS Full Genetic Screening
This test is the most comprehensive that the company offers, as not only does it test the breed identification as described in the products explored above, it also screens your dog’s DNA for over 100 of the most common dog diseases for your dog’s breed.
This full genetic screening process is undertaken by leading experts, and for that reason, and due to the amount of extra testing that goes into it, this test takes 4 weeks to get the results.
That is double the amount of time that the other tests can, but we truly think it is worth it. This is the perfect choice for anyone who is thinking of breeding their dog, or who just wants all of the information they can possibly get about their dog.
Canine Full Genetic Health Screening (Does Not Include DNA Identification Test)
Maybe you already know the DNA makeup of your dog, and you have already identified each of the breeds that make up your furry friend.
In this case, you may still want to genetically screen your dog against all those horrible health issues out there. Look no further than this comprehensive test here.
Just as the test above tested for the 100 most common health concerns of each dog breed, this test does just this. In this test, you are purchasing just the genetic screening test, and it does not include any test for DNA Identification.
Just like the test above, this one takes 4 weeks to get the results back to you due to the additional screening that needs to be done by experts in the genetic screening field.
A great one for those health-conscious canine carers!
Allergy Test My Pet Canine Allergy Test
Last up we have an allergy testing kit for your furry friends called Allergy Test My Pet (At My Pet for short).
This test is a trademark all on its own and even has its own website. It is a very popular kit for those owners with allergy-prone puppers. It tests for over 100 common dog allergies, including households products, foods and environmental allergens.
The testing process is the same as the tests explored above, and the results can take between 2 to 3 weeks to come back to you. It is a non-invasive, pain-free procedure for your dog that will have countless health benefits.
What’s not to love?
How Testing Is Done
Testing your dog is a completely pain-free procedure that is completely harmless for all of our furry friends. So much so, in fact, that your dog won’t even notice it’s happening. They’ll likely just think you are trying to play with them or give them a snack.
I’m sure the thought of a DNA test conjures up images of blood tests and such like, but this couldn’t be further from the truth, at least in the case of DNA My Dog.
It is collected via a super gentle and sterile polyester swab that will be put inside your dog’s mouth and brushed against the inside of their cheek. Quick, easy, and painless … unless of course your dog decides it tastes good and thinks it’s a snack.
Worry not though, puppy-loving pals, because DNA My Dog is very prepared for a mistaken snack situation. You are actually supplied with two of these swabs in each kit, one to be used as a backup. If your greedy doggo decides to eat both of the swabs, you can just contact DNA My Dog who will send out some clean ones.
Maybe the thought of swabbing the inside of your dog’s mouth is laughable to you because they’ll probably just think your whole hand is a snack. Or maybe you’ve tried to swab numerous times with no avail.
All is not lost, for DNA My Dog can accept blood samples as a last resort. Please note that this is a far more invasive way of DNA Testing which will include your dog having to have a needle inserted into them to get the blood drawn.
Only blood that has been taken by a registered and certified veterinarian will be accepted by DNA My Dog. to test in this way incurs an additional charge of £20 and must first be discussed with the company who will be able to give you further guidance on the process.
They supply you with an email address that you must contact them on if you want to use a blood sample instead.
Pros of DNA Test My Dog
- Some of their tests can possibly help the health of your dog
- Some tests may help to deter any problems in the future, and even lengthen the lifespan of your furry friend
- You can get to know your poochy pal even better and find out exactly what breeds are in them
- The tests can make predictions about traits of your dog
- You can test early for any possible allergies your dog may have
- The tests can help to improve the overall quality of your dog’s life
- The test is easy and non-invasive for your little puppy pal
- The company does incredible work for shelters around the US and Canada
- The company works with leading experts
Cons of DNA Test My Dog
- Some tests can take up to 4 weeks to come back which may be too long of a wait for some customers
- The mouth swab process may not suit all dogs, especially playful dogs who may not stay still to be swabbed
- Not all breeds are included in their database, and not all possible allergens are tested for, either. However, the company does update their databases often.
Overall, it is clear that DNA My Dog is an incredible company with even more incredible values.
The work that they do with animal shelters and the money they raise through the sale of their various testing kits is enough to brighten everyone’s day.
On top of this, in terms of a DNA Testing company, they are certainly a worthy competitor of other brands on the market, supplying a number of countries around the world with a variety of different testing kits that will suit most needs.