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How to DNA test your pet

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

Swab. Send. Smile.

Now you can learn more than ever before about your pet’s ancestry, traits, and health in three simple steps.

People showing their dog a DNA test kit

Swab just 15 seconds to gather a DNA sample.

Frequently ask questions:

When is the best time to collect a DNA sample? We recommend waiting at least two hours after feeding your pet a meal or treat to swab. (Water is fine—no delay necessary.) This helps ensure you get an uncontaminated sample. How will I know if I collect enough DNA? You might not see anything on the swabs. But if you followed the instructions above, you likely captured plenty of genetic material. Regardless, our lab performs quality checks on every sample prior to analysis. So, in the unlikely event that yours don’t have enough high-quality DNA for processing, we’ll let you know.

Send your sample to our lab using the prepaid mailer.

Once we receive the genetic sample, the science starts. First, we determine your pet’s DNA sequence at thousands of locations across the genome during a process known as “genotyping.” We then check it against the world’s largest breed database to ensure the highest possible accuracy. The process is complex, but the outcome is simple: A clear, articulate breakdown of what makes your dog unique.

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

Dig into the results (and throw a breed reveal party).

After two or three weeks and millions of calculations, your results will arrive. And they’ll be actionable. 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. The results may also be surprising. Many mixed pets display traits associated with certain purebreds, despite not having those breeds anywhere in their ancestry. Such are the wonderfully unpredictable ways of genetics! But one thing’s for sure, you’ll know more about your dog than you ever imagined possible. And you’ll be able to provide better care as a result.

Find the best DNA test for your pet. When it comes to the health and happiness of your dog, there’s always more to know. Wisdom Panel™ simplifies the science so you can care smarter. That’s why we’re the pet DNA service most used by veterinarians.