FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Who is Royal Canin?
A: Royal Canin is a global leader in pet health nutrition. In an industry that continues to adapt to popular trends in cat and dog food, our mission will remain the same; to constantly bring, through Health Nutrition and shared knowledge, the most precise nutritional solution for cats’ and dogs’ health nutrition needs, by building on constantly deepened scientific knowledge and Royal Canin’s roots in the feline and canine professional networks.
Q: What type of Breeds are tested? What type of disease tests are run of each dog?
A: Following is a link to more detailed information about the individual disease and mutation tests run on each dog as well as a list of all the breeds tested for in the Royal Canin® Genetic Health Analysis™ test.
Q: What happens once my dog’s blood sample is received?
A: Once our lab receives the dog’s blood sample, it undergoes extensive analysis. Our proprietary algorithm involves more than 18,000,000 comparisons against more than 250 different breeds and over 1800 genetic markers. Once the analysis is completed, we generate two reports: a general overview of the results for the pet owner, and a more detailed, medically-focused report for your veterinarian. Once you receive the reports, you should schedule a consultation with your veterinarian to review the report.
Q: What is the difference between a blood-based breed identification test and over-the-counter swab DNA tests for dogs?
A: As opposed to over-the-counter DNA tests for dogs, ROYAL CANIN® Genetic Health Analysis™ is sold exclusively through veterinary clinics. While both types of tests give information about breed mix and optimal weight predictions, the blood test gives additional information about health conditions that the dog may be pre-disposed to as well as nutritional guidelines based on the dog’s breed mix.
Q: Where can I go to check my status?
A: Kit statuses are only available through our Gateway veterinary portal. You will need to contact your veterinarian to get the status of your dog’s sample. Once a completed report is generated, you and your veterinarian will receive an email notification and a link to view your reports. Please keep in mind that tests may take up to 3 weeks from the time a sample is sent to the laboratory to generate results.
Q: How long will the analysis take?
A: It will take approximately two to three weeks from the time the sample is received at the lab to process the dog’s blood sample and send the reports. To check the status of the analysis, contact our Technical Services team at 1(800) 592-6687.
Q: I heard that my veterinarian will receive a different report than I do, why is that?
A: ROYAL CANIN® Genetic Health Analysis™ tests for a predisposition to various health conditions. This information is highly technical and can be interpreted best by a medical professional. If there were any health conditions flagged, we would have provide information to your veterinarian with detailed information about the results, and resources for further testing. If necessary, any concerns that come up based on the results would come from your veterinarian.
Q: What if my dog is positive for a genetic mutation? Should I be worried?
A: Every mutation is different; some are highly predictive of disease, and some are dependent on other factors, such as the breeds involved, or the influence of other genes, the environment, and even diet. If a positive mutation is found, it is very important that you talk to your veterinarian about their recommendations for monitoring, treatment, or possible further diagnostic testing.
Q: How do I know the results are accurate?
A: All breed determinations are made by our proprietary computer algorithm that performs more than 18,000,000 calculations of each tested dog’s DNA. The algorithm scans more than 1800 genetic markers that have been collected and looks for matches to breed signatures, then provides a marker-by-marker certainty score for each breed match.
We are constantly validating our testing for accuracy. This includes repeated testing of a dog’s blood sample and review by independent third party specialists, geneticists and leading authorities on canine genetics. In each stage of DNA testing, the ROYAL CANIN® Genetic Health Analysis™ is run at Geneseek, a USDA-accredited laboratory, to ensure proper quality control.
Q: I retested my dog and the results are different, why is that?
A: We are constantly making upgrades and updates to our algorithm as well as our reference database of purebred dogs. If a family line was not previously well represented, the algorithm would not be able to detect it. Also, improvements in sample quality can cause results to vary.
Q: Can these results be used to register a dog with the AKC?
A: No, the results of this test are meant for your general knowledge and to aid a consultation with your veterinarian, results cannot be used to register a dog with the AKC.
Q: What happens if I test a dog from a breed not in your database?
A: With over 250 breeds, types and varieties in our database, we would expect the algorithm would be looking at related breeds within that database and that the final tree would include closely related breeds.
Q: Does the GHA test work on breeds from outside the United States?
A: The Genetic Health Analysis™ test was developed using pure breeds primarily from those found on the American Kennel club and The Kennel Club (UK) registry lists. If your dog was imported from a country other than Canada, the UK, Australia, Germany, or mainland U.S., or you suspect that your dog’s ancestors are from outside these countries, his breed ancestry may not be well represented in our database.
Q: The results claim that my dog’s family tree may include a breed that is banned by certain residential communities, should I be worried?
A: Genetic Health Analysis is not intended to be used by regulatory or animal control officials to determine whether a particular breed is legislated or banned in a particular community. Nor is Genetic Health Analysis intended to be used in any judicial proceedings.
Q: I don't understand the the results, who can I contact?
A: For inquiries regarding your results, please contact our Technical Services team at 1(800) 592-6687, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Central Time, Monday – Friday.