How it Works


Your Dog’s DNA is the only way they can tell you what they want and what they need to be happy and healthy. Certain breeds need certain kind of care, while others need certain kinds of exercise. Each type of dog has its own unique requirements. It’s important that owners understand these well before or after bringing their new friend into their life. Even more importantly, most breeds are predestined to some kind of disease or ailment. Having this knowledge before they become sick is extremely important in being able to treat or possibly even prevent an unhappy outcome.


Easy Cheek Swab. No Blood Test Needed.

step one


You will receive your What’s Your Mutt dog DNA test in the mail. Carefully open it up and review the instructions included in the box.


Using the provided swab, swab the inside of your dog’s mouth. Be sure to give them a treat and tell them they’re a good boy or girl! Enclose the swab in the provided packet to mail off to our lab.

step two
step three


Ship your swab off to our lab! You will receive your What’s Your Mutt dog DNA test results in the mail shortly after. Once you have the results, be sure to check out our materials to find out what the results mean for your best furry friend.


An Overview of Your Dog's DNA

Your dog’s DNA is about 2.5 billion units (nucleotides) long, almost as long as your own. That is a lot of information! If we were to write the canine genetic code on paper, it would fill over 800,000 pages (or over 4,100 books). While most DNA is identical between dogs, there are differences that occur throughout the genome, known as variants. Variants are what make your dog unique. They occur, on average, every 1,000 units or so, so your dog probably has around 4 million genetic variants that make it unique! Detecting variants in DNA can teach us a variety of information that otherwise would remain hidden. What’s Your Mutt can identify these variants throughout your dog’s genome in order to determine their breed history, likely behavioral and physical traits, and disease susceptibility.

But how?

Certain variants have been shown to be associated with ancestry lineages, traits, and diseases. The presence of associated variants in your dog’s genome indicates if diseases or traits are likely to be expressed or not. Just like in humans, some genetic variants lead to expressed differences, such as eye color. Other genetic variations simply influence a trait. For example, a dog’s weight might be influenced by genetic variants, but it is also highly influenced by external factors such as diet and activity level. The presence of specific variants can also be used to detect genetic patterns that can be traced back to specific breed lineages. This is often done by examining the patterns of all the variants at once. In other words, there is no single variant that makes a dog a Labrador Retriever. Rather it is the suite of variants in concert that creates unique breeds.

When you send your dog’s swabs to us, our lab extracts the DNA from the cheek cells. From there, we examine the DNA for the variants that are associated with ancestry lineages, traits, and diseases. A series of specialized analyses are used to process the results of the variant testing to predict your dog’s breed ancestry, likely behavioral and physical traits, and disease susceptibility. We pack all this information into one convenient report and have it on its way to you and your furry friend within weeks.

What is Genotyping?

investigating the genetic constitution of (an individual organism)