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Cost of Animal DNA Testing
Who’s Your Daddy?
Animal DNA testing has grown in popularity over the past few years. Cost of animal DNA testing continues to go down. The harmless test can be performed on a variety of pets but is most often used for determining dog breeds. Curiosity might have proverbially killed the cat, but that very same sense of wonder can now expose a dog’s parentage or a feline’s ancestry.
A mixed breed canine, affectionately known as a mutt, is a bit of a mystery. Some pet owners like it this way. Others would prefer to have extensive information concerning the animal’s bloodline. This knowledge can be invaluable when taking precautionary steps to prevent or reduce the likelihood of common diseases and ailments that certain breeds are susceptible to.
A valid reason to have an animal tested is to satisfy the inquisitiveness alluded to earlier. Almost everyone with a mixed breed dog has wondered about its makeup. Now, it’s easy enough to prove if that palm-sitting Chihuahua is part Great Dane. Maybe that feisty cat has some wild in it.
A Simple Process
There are two main methods available for administering the DNA test. The easiest way utilizes a cheek swab to collect a sample. This manner of testing tends to be the cheapest. A kit is purchased, usually online, the sample is taken at home and then mailed, expediently, to a lab for analysis. An arguably more accurate test can be done by a veterinarian who sends a blood sample, taken from the animal, to a qualified facility. Whether a test is done at home by the owner or by the vet at a clinic, it will still take about two to three weeks for the results to be obtained.
Is It Affordable?
There are less than half a dozen companies in the USA that market genetic analysis test kits. These kits range in price from around $50 to $150. On the low end of that scale are the mail-in cheek swab packages that are administered at home by the pet owner and then sent to a lab. The less expensive ones can only identify 63 breeds. The mid-priced ones can differentiate between 185 breeds, including 97 percent of the AKC ones. The veterinarian performed blood samples occupy the top tier of testing. Costing around $150, these can identify 225 breeds of dog, which includes 100 percent of the AKC recognized ones.
The cheaper route might seem like the way to go, but keep in mind more than one third less breeds can be determined. The more expensive cheek swab tests can uncover a higher number and usually offer better data, but the most comprehensive results will come from the vet-issued blood test. This path is a little pricey but should include a thorough report which can also be augmented with live feedback from the veterinarian.
Now You Know
Considering that the price of DNA testing a pet is often less than a night out on the town, there’s no reason why an interested owner shouldn’t have it done. It’s easy, non-invasive and offers the peace of mind of knowing if a pet is prone to disease. Within a few short weeks of ordering a kit or making a vet appointment, the hidden secrets of an animal are revealed.