Do you know how old your pet is?
Many adoptees have no idea how old their pet is, which is a major bummer! Age, and more importantly life stage (puppy/kitten, young adult, mature adult, senior, or geriatric) helps us better care for and understand our fur-babies. Just like humans, their dietary needs along with exercise and health concerns all change as they get older.
The traditional way to guess the age of a dog or cat has been for a veterinarian to look at the teeth. Based on the wear and tear and buildup of plaque, a skilled vet may be able to guess within a 5-year time frame the age of the pet. If it’s a much older pet, things like the cloudiness of the eyes, or the hind leg stance might offer clues that the pet has become a senior animal. Otherwise, from 1 year to 10 years, it can be tricky to get a good guess from physical features.
So, what’s a pet parent to do if they don’t know their pet’s age?!
Luckily, a new scientific solution exists for accurate age estimation using a DNA sample. The EpiPaws Pet Age Test can estimate your dog or cat’s age from a simple mouth swab of DNA from the comfort of your home. Simply order and get your swab in the mail, swab your pet and mail it back. Get your age estimate in 6-8 weeks.
How does it work?
We use epigenetic markers called DNA methylation that attach to the outside of the DNA sequence. By quantifying these marks at specific locations in the genome, we can very accurately estimate your pet’s age. Fun fact, this age estimation technique was first developed for crime scene forensics from human DNA! More information on the science behind this test can be found here.
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