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How to DNA test your pet

Otter (the dog) smiling at the camera
Otter (the dog) smiling at the camera

1. Swab. 2. Send. 3. Understand.

In three simple steps, you can uncover a new world of knowledge about your best friend and become a more enlightened pet parent. 

People showing their dog a DNA test kit

Swab just 15 seconds to gather a DNA sample.

Send your sample to our lab using the prepaid mailer.

Once we get your pet’s DNA, the science starts. Our labs are CLIA-certified, which means our geneticists handle each sample with human-grade equipment. The process is probably more like 3,000 steps, but here’s the TL;DR version. We start genotyping. You likely learned that term from high school bio, but, basically, it means we determine your pet’s DNA sequence at thousands of locations across the genome: the complete set of genes found in your dog or cat. We check the sample against our breed database. After 20+ years of research and testing, we’ve created the world’s largest breed database. So we’re able to give you the most accurate results possible. We create a clear breakdown of your pet’s results. This is like the scientific version of your pet’s life story. It’s where you’ll learn about all the puzzle pieces that come together to make your pet a unique (and loveable) individual

Hands holding a DNA kit
A mobile phone showing testing result in front of a puppy

Understand their results (and maybe throw a breed reveal party).

After two to three weeks and millions of calculations, your pet’s results will arrive. Two things to expect: Your results will be actionable. Yes, this will be a fun reveal. It’ll also be a moment to step up your pet parenting game. Because learning your pet has "a deletion in the pro-opiomelanocortin gene" is fine. But knowing that means they’re predisposed to overeat—and getting suggestions on how to manage that—is better. Your results may be surprising. Lots of pets have traits associated with purebreds that appear nowhere in their breed breakdown. But knowing your “Corgi mix” is actually a CattleWeenieDoxiPoo sets you up for so many new discoveries about what makes your pet tick. (And, hey, you can still always keep the I <3 Corgis mug.)  Your results help more than just your pet. Of course, knowing about your pet’s DNA will help you bring them better care. But, together, we can also advance research to help all pets lead happier, healthier lives. So, in just a swab, you’re contributing to scientific breakthroughs in pet care. Pretty cool, if you ask us.

Find the best DNA test for your pet. When it comes to the health and happiness of your pet, there’s always more to know. So we have four different tests to help you discover the answers you need to understand your pet— whether you’re excited to learn more about their breed mix or you want to go full crazy pet parents and run hundreds of tests to know all the details. (Yes, we’re the latter.)