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How do I swab my pet's mouth well for a successful DNA test?Updated 3 months ago

See this short video starring Hosico Cat to see how a proper swab sample is collected:

For kittens and puppies who are still receiving milk, please wait at least 60 minutes after feeding before swabbing the mouth for the DNA sample.

There's no better time to swab your pet than when his or her mouth is completely rid of food/water particles. It doesn't matter the time of day as long as your pet has a clean mouth! Your pet can lick, chew, or bite the swab, so you may touch the tongue, teeth, or inner cheeks with the swab.

We really recommend rubbing the swab along the inner cheek pockets, as the cheek cells within your pet's mouth hold the DNA needed for the test. Picking up some drooling saliva may not work well enough, so it's best to twirl the swab along the inner cheek pockets and gums for at least 5 seconds. If you can swab the mouth for longer, please do!

You may also find that by petting your pet until he or she is comfortable, you may have a better chance of sneaking the swab in the mouth, as your pet may not pay as much attention to the swab then. You're welcome to comfortably burrito-wrap your fur baby in a blanket during this process. Please make sure to be gentle, a calm pet may willingly lick or bite the swab, and you'll then be able to quickly move the swab elsewhere in his or her mouth.

Avoid collecting drool! The best time to swab is in the morning, before the pet has taken a walk or eaten breakfast. 


Also - if you’d like, you may practice swabbing before the official sample collection by gently swabbing your pet’s inner cheeks at home with a regular, clean household Q-tip. 

Please give your fur baby a treat once you've been able to make contact with the Q-tip to allow positive associations with swabbing. If all else fails, you're more than welcome to ask your veterinarian or groomer to swab your pet's mouth for you.

Multi-Pet Households:

Please try to separate the pet you're testing from all other pets in your household for an hour or two before conducting the swab test, especially if your fur family tends to lick and clean one another. 

Do not swab your pet right after it has been playing with another pet in your household or with a toy shared between multiple pets. If possible, allow for half an hour to an hour after contact between pets before collecting the sample. Ideally, the pet should have a separate food and water bowl. 

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