Even though you love your dog no matter his or her breed, it’s a lot of fun—and not at all expensive—to find out what breeds make up your dog.
Knowing your dog’s breeds can also help you and your veterinarian anticipate and, in some cases, prevent breed-specific health problems—or, at the very least, help you save some money by purchasing insurance against them. (In my case, if I had done DNA testing earlier, I would have saved a bundle by insuring one of my dogs for hip dysplasia, which all five of the breeds he has in him are prone to and which he was diagnosed with just past the age of one year.)
But not only can DNA-testing your dog satisfy your curiosity and give you valuable health information about your pet; your purchase of a kit can also help out TAGS! We are selling DNA testing kits from Mars Veterinary, an American DNA testing lab, for just $55! This is cheaper than any of the three DNA kits I recently bought for my dogs (before TAGS had kits available, of course!), and the best part is that $10 of your purchase price stays with TAGS!
Getting your dog’s DNA sample is easy:
- Insert one of the provided swabs (they look like long Q-Tips) into your dog’s mouth between the cheek and the gums and, using a circular motion, rub the swab against the cheek. I found it best to do this first thing in the morning before my dogs ate, drank, interacted with one another, or played with toys—activities that could sabotage the integrity of the test.
- Put the swab in the provided envelope.
- Repeat the process with the second provided swab.
- Fill out the provided form or register your DNA kit online. (By registering it online, you can check for updates on the testing process.)
- Mail the kit to the testing lab. The test kit includes a postage-paid envelope; however, it’s American postage, so you will have to buy the postage to send it to the United States. (I think it cost me less than $3.)
That’s it! It’s easy, and it’s really a whole lot of fun learning your dog’s ancestry and investigating his or her various breeds!
To get your kit, email TAGS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(If you’re interested in learning about the surprises I was in for and my thoughts on the DNA tests we did, go to www.wordwitlox.com/dogblog to see Cora’s, Dusty’s, and Hogan’s DNA test results!)