• 1

Taking DNA Samples

General guidelines for taking DNA samples

  • Do each test separately, disinfect hands and work surfaces, and use new material for each test.
  • Package the sample for each dog separately in a clean, dry paper envelope for hair samples, saliva or blood swabs. Do not use plastic bags.
  • Label each sample with the dog’s information before continuing with the next one. This must contain: The full name and registration number of the dog.

Saliva swabs:

Blood swabs:

  1. Hold the dog firm but in a comfortable position to reach the ear.
  2. Use a sterile needle and prick the ear.  Blood will appear after a few seconds. Use a new needle for each dog.
  3. Use a blood collection card, blotting tissue or toilet paper for blotting as soon as you have a reasonable drop of blood.
  4. Allow the blood to air dry at room temperature out of direct sunlight.
  5. Wait until the blood on the paper has dried completely before putting it in a paper envelope.

Hair follicle samples:

  1. Ensure that the dog is clean and dry before taking the sample.
  2. Use a tweezer and pull out hair at the base of the tail towards the head of the dog.
  3. Take care as the hair follicle must be attached to each hair, or will be worthless. 30-40 hair samples with follicles are required.
  4. Place the samples in a clean, dry, paper envelope.


Visit Sampling and Dispatch of Specimens at Unistel Medical Laboratories for further particulars.