Animal DNA testing involves the testing of the DNA of animals often to establish parentage (in much the same way as a paternity DNA test for example) and genetic predispositions. Cat DNA testing, horse DNA testing and dog DNA testing are the most common types although the tests even extend themselves to birds with tests such as bird sexing. Bird sexing is indeed very useful for bird breeders who can now know with accuracy the sexes of the birds.
Samples for animal DNA tests can be collected with buccal swabs which are simply rubbed within the mouth of the animal. Sometimes blood samples may be required and int he case of birds, it may be a feather sample. It all depends on the type of test you are doing and the preference of the DNA testing laboratory. If you find out one of your pets for breeding is genetically predisposed to a diseases than you can exclude it from the mating and thus have healthier offspring.
Important to note that the term animal testing sometimes creates confusion as people associate it with experimentation on animals by cosmetic companies and pharmaceutical companies. Whilst this is a controversial yet important aspect of animal testing, it has nothing to do with the animal DNA tests discussed briefly in this glossary entry. Breed verification tests, genetic health tests and parentage testing are tests used by breeders and animal lovers – its help provide important information, perhaps helping produce genetic pedigrees and also undergo selective mating and chosing only the healthiest animals for mating.