How Much Does a Dog DNA Test Cost?
A dog DNA test is a common thing for dog enthusiasts who not only want to learn the different breed mixes in their dogs, but also to gain insights into the unique genetic background of their precious canine companions. Serious dog owners know the importance of knowing the exact breed of dogs they have. This includes knowing the history of the dog, exercise levels, its personality traits, and its other physiological, mental and emotional characteristics.
How much does it cost?
- According to WebMD.com, the DNA tests are available both online and at many pet supply retail stores. They are usually priced from $60 and up. Usually, the most expensive tests are those that require a blood test at an actual veterinarian’s office.
- An article at WiseGeek.com revealed that a comprehensive dog DNA test costs around $120 to $150. The exact price is actually determined by the number of AKC (American Kennel Club) recognized breeds the test is capable of identifying. For example, a dog DNA test that can only recognize genetic markers for 50 different breeds is obviously less expensive than the one that could recognize over a hundred genetic markers.
- A dog DNA test kit is also available that allows dog owners to do the actual testing themselves. A kit is usually priced from $60 to over a hundred dollars, depending on the brand. A particular kit, The Wisdom Panel™ Insights, is sold at PetStreetMall.com and costs $92.99 with free shipping.
- Amazon also has a handful of tests that range anywhere from $40 to $99 for at-home kits.
What is going to be included?
- If you opt for a dog DNA test to be done all by yourself, you can always buy online or at pet stores. The Wisdom Panel™ by Mars, and the Canine Heritage™ XL Breed Test by MMI Genomics, Inc. are two of the most popular dog DNA tests. The former requires a blood sample, while the latter utilizes cheek cells. For more information on the particulars of the products, you can visit their official sites. On the other hand, if the test requires actual blood testing to be done by a licensed veterinarian, an owner must bring his dog to the nearest vet clinic.
- As for the process of actual tests, there are two ways to do it. The first is the one that requires a blood sample to be tested by a veterinarian. As per Wisegeek.com, participating vets have dog DNA test kits on hand or you can order one online and bring it with you. Included in the kit is everything needed to draw the blood samples. The sample must then be mailed to lab, and then the results will be sent to the owner a few weeks later. There is also the option of sending the results to the veterinarian for the dog’s medical file.
- The other way of doing the test is the one that requires cheek cells, which can be purchased online and will be mailed to the client. The kit contains all that is needed in collecting the sample, which are the swab and the container in which the swab is placed after taking the sample. With these, the visit to the vet is not necessary anymore. The swab is mailed back to the lab in a prepaid envelope. According to at least one of these services, results are returned in 4-6 weeks.
What are the extra costs?
- Vet’s fee. If you opt for a test that requires a licensed vet to perform, you need to consider costs for the professional fee, not to mention that visits before the actual test (may it be for inquiry) will cost a considerable amount already.
- Shipping fees. Buying the kit online can save you money. However, you need to consider the shipping fees that come along with every purchase as well as the shipping and reading of the sample. However, some sites selling dog DNA test kits offer free shipping and even contain a pre-paid envelope for the sample.
Factors that affect the price:
- Capacity of the test. As mentioned, dog DNA tests that can only recognize genetic markers in a smaller number are less expensive than those tests that can recognize over a hundred genetic markers.
- Location/Vet Clinic. Each veterinarian’s office will charge differently for a test like this.
Tips to know:
- If you want to have your dog tested, you must bear in mind that not all DNA tests are created equally. A particular DNA test might be able to identify more breeds in a sample than another. The “power” of the test in identifying a number of breeds actually varies. Thus, you should look for a test that is capable of recognizing a number of breeds at an affordable price.
- It must be recognized that accuracy may be an issue in dog DNA tests. However, companies that offer these tests are constantly working to improve accuracy by increasing the number of recognized breeds in their databases.
- According to experts, there is a potential drawback of the cheek swab. A swab can potentially fail to collect enough DNA material to yield results which will cause the owner to have to repeat the test. Although labs will not commonly charge for re-testing a new swab, results will be delayed by several weeks.
How can I save money?
- It is known that buying dog DNA tests online can let you save considerable amount of money. Kits available online are less expensive than those bought in a store. However, they may be less comprehensive. This is the reason that you should not compromise the quality of the test for the price alone.
- You can also save money of you do the test with your family vet. Like any other procedure, you can ask for discount from your family vet.
- You should consider the need for this test. In most cases, knowing the exact DNA information of your dog will make no difference to you or the dog, and therefore you should save your money by not doing the test at all. Spending this money simply to satisfy your curiosity is a waste.