What is Checkpup?
Checkpup® is a veterinarian-developed, at-home health analysis test for your pup.
Rather than saliva swabs, urinalysis, or blood work, we use a sample of your pup's hair to deliver comprehensive wellness reports, so that you have the information you need to give your pup the quality care they deserve.
What do you test for?
Testing your pup’s hair reveals what is happening with their functional and nutritional health. We analyze insights into 20 essential areas of their health, including a Wellness Check, Toxic Metals Check, Metabolism & Diet Check, and Systems Check.
Through our Wellness Check, you'll gain valuable insights into your pup's Blood Sugar Handling, Thyroid Performance, Energy Levels, Autonomic Balance, Inflammation, and Adrenal Stress. These tests help us include information about how their thyroid, adrenal, and pituitary glands are functioning, as well as how your pup deals with carbohydrates, sugars, available protein, and overall digestion.
We also identify the presence of toxic metals in your pup's body, which can affect liver and kidney function, personality, behavior, energy levels, immune system strength, and stress response.
Checkpup also tests your dog's metabolic function or oxidation rate. This refers to how quickly the body converts food into energy. We will give you guidance on Diet based on your pup's test results.
Our Systems Check evaluates major body systems to determine which systems show the highest likelihood of concern, and give guidance about what you should focus on to optimize your pup's health.
Using all of this information, we can help explain why certain conditions have occurred, determine your pup's current health status, predict what could happen if nothing is corrected, and provide dietary and supplement recommendations.
Does this diagnose diseases in my dog?
Disease can arise due to a number of nutritional factors, including but not limited to lack of or excess minerals, vitamins, amino acids, fatty acids, and enzymes. All of these can impact your dog's health. We believe that if your pup’s body has everything it needs, then your pup can better defend themselves against any potential disease.
Checkpup finds areas of imbalance or distress, so that you can adjust your dog's care before any red flags develop — and before these conditions can cause lasting damage!
This information can be used to better understand your pup's health and the factors that may put their wellness at risk. Though Checkpup is vet-developed, we do not provide a medical diagnosis. You should talk to your veterinarian if you are concerned about a specific medical condition in your dog.
What will I learn?
Ever wonder how your dog is doing? Now you know. Expand your understanding of your pup's health, and learn about the processes through which illnesses and disorders develop. Checkpup analyzes 20 essential areas of your pup's functional and nutritional health.
Some of these 20 essential areas include metabolism, energy levels, sugar and carbohydrate tolerance, stage of stress, immune system functioning, glandular activity, and toxic metal exposure.
Using valuable information and insights, you can optimize your pup's health and stop harmful trends in their tracks.
How much hair will I need?
The volume of hair needed will vary from dog to dog, depending on the density of your dog's hair. The density of your dog's hair may even differ depending on where on your pup's body you choose to collect the hair.
Included in the collection kit is a paper scale. To assemble, fold down both sides of the scale and let it rock on its edges. Place hair on the left side until the scale tips over. The scale is cut with an offset on one side, so it will tip when you get to the correct weight. When the scale tips, you have enough hair!
We recommend collecting hair from their belly or chest for aesthetic reasons. You can choose where you'd like to collect the hair from.
Importantly, this hair cut is less invasive than drawing blood from your pup with a needle, and the hair will always grow back.
How do I collect the hair sample?
We recommend collecting hair from your dog's belly or chest for aesthetic reasons. You can choose where you'd like to collect the hair from.
The “newest” hair contains the most recent data. So, the closer the sample is to the skin, the better the data. For this reason, we recommend safely using a trimmer to get close to the skin. If you can do so safely, you can also use scissors.
What about shedding tools?
Shedding tools are less accurate for collection, but based on the shedding tool you own, if (1) the tool captures hair closest to the body and (2) you can distinguish the part of the hair that was closest to the body (to discard the excess beyond 1.5” in length), then a shedding tool can be used for collection.
When is a follow up recommended?
Checkpup results deliver a recent, 3 month snapshot of your pup's functional and nutritional health. A follow up test is recommended every 3 -4 months. This will help you track your pup's progress as you help them become healthier and happier!
How old does my dog need to be?
It's never too early to learn about your pup's health. Checkpup reports data relating to approximately the past 3 months of your pup's life. If your pup was born within the past 3-4 months, testing a newborn will share data about possible in utero conditions, such as toxic metal exposure and stressors experienced by their mother during pregnancy.
How is this different from other hair analysis products?
Because your pup's body relies on a complex balance of nutrients and functions to perform optimally, singling out individual mineral levels doesn't tell the whole story of what is going on in your pup's body. In fact, reading lab results in that manner may be inaccurate or cause harm to your pup. For this reason, your pup's Checkpup report won't include individual mineral levels. Instead, our system evaluates the lab results as a whole and generates in-depth analysis and actionable insights across 20 essential areas of your dog's health.
Does this replace a Vet?
Checkpup was co-founded by a leading vet that wanted to help more dogs than she could directly see in her office. Checkpup was created to completely revolutionize how petcare works, starting with your dog. By taking a proactive, functional approach to pet health (which is a different approach than what is found in most veterinary practices), we look to identify precursors or etiologies to clinical symptoms or illnesses. Checkpup's powerful, proprietary algorithm is built on over 17 years of veterinary experience that reads your pup's intake survey and lab results, and gives you actionable insights into what is going on with your dog's health, and what to do about it.
The good news is that training in how to read these labs among traditional veterinarians is rising. Unless your veterinarian is well-versed in this science and technology, they might not be in a position to give you informed guidance on Checkpup reporting. Unfortunately, some vets may also resist the data since these labs aren't an area they are familiar with, or have any formal training with. We designed Checkpup's reporting so that is easy enough for anyone to understand. So, for example, if your pup's results suggest high levels of adrenal stress or inflammation, we recommend following the guidance and recommendations provided in your pup's customized Health Action Plan.
While revolutionary, convenient, and affordable, Checkpup does not replace the importance of a veterinarian in your pup's life. At Checkpup, we believe that better data equals a better dog by creating a more robust, overall picture of your dog's health. So, for example, if your pup's results suggest high levels of adrenal stress or inflammation, your vet might use these findings to treat clinical signs that they are seeing in your dog. Sharing your report with your vet is made easy by selecting “Share Report” on your Health Summary dashboard.