Dog DNA Testing: When and How Can I Test Newborn Puppies?
Dog DNA testing is an invaluable tool for responsible dog breeders who want to ensure healthy litters with ideal traits and for many other reasons too:
- You think you might keep a puppy for your breeding program, but need to know they are clear of disease before making that decision
- Savvy buyers also want proof of health testing before they choose a puppy
As a dog breeder, would you like a tip to make pet DNA testing your newborn puppies easier? You may think you have to wait until puppies are weaned before obtaining cheek-swab samples, but I have good news for you! You can test litters at any age. No need to wait until right before they go home with their new families.
Concern: Many people worry about cross-contamination from the dam’s milk, or skin cells from her teats.
Solution: Separate dam from the puppies for 30-45 minutes, then check their mouths for milk. If they are milk-free, it’s OK to swab them.
Pet DNA Testing: Other Common questions from Dog Breeders about DNA Testing
How hard is it to collect the samples?
- Easier than you think. If you order test kits from us, each dog receives a separate kit which includes a white sample envelope and 4 polyester/dacron swabs in sterile paper. Label the sample envelope with the dog’s details, use all four swabs to collect cheek cells, and insert them into the sample envelope. You can discard the paper wrappers the swabs were in. If testing several dogs at one time, it’s helpful to label each sample envelope before swabbing the dog. This ensures the swabs are associated with the correct dog
How do you tell the puppies apart in a large litter?
- Most breeders use colored paper collars, and record which pup gets which color. Another method is to record markings of individual pups (although this method can make for very wordy record-keeping)
- It is not recommended to use string or yarn, as these can be swallowed and cause intestinal blockage, or can get caught on things, risking strangulation
- Whether you use a notebook or a spreadsheet, keeping detailed records definitely makes the process easier
The puppies don’t have their official names yet, but you nevertheless want them to appear on the reports. What do you do?
- You can submit additional information to be added to the report later.
Tip of the Tail
DDC Veterinary values our customers, and we serve the needs of dog breeders all over the world. We are always ready to take your questions about how and when and what to test for in your kennel. It is a privilege to help you and your dogs thrive.