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FAQs

General

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!

Shipping

Help! I put in the wrong shipping address.

We process orders within 24 hours. We ask that you let us know as soon as possible if you need to modify your shipping address by emailing care@checkpup.com. No changes can be made once an order has been shipped.

Where do you ship?

We ship anywhere in the contiguous US (48 states).

Which service do you use to ship?

We ship via the USPS or Fedex, depending on the address provided. We do not take specific shipping service requests.

When will my order ship?

We aim to get orders out as quickly as possible.  Orders usually ship within 2-4 days of being placed.  You will receive an email notification when your order has shipped. 

How long does shipping take?

Delivery may take between 3-5 business days depending on the destination. During national holidays or periods of inclement weather, shipments may be delayed.

How much is shipping?

We ship anywhere in the contiguous US (48 states). All orders include free shipping. 

Are delivery dates guaranteed?

We cannot control delivery time. An estimated delivery date will be provided in your shipping confirmation email.

My package never arrived!

On rare occasions, order tracking shows 'Delivered,' and your package isn't there. We ask that you please first wait it out. Sometimes our shipping partners provide delivery notifications before the item was received, or sometimes it’s delivered to your neighbor by mistake, and not the actual addressed recipient.

If it has been 3 days and is still a no-show, email us at care@checkpup.com and we’ll send out a replacement package.

Orders

Can I change or cancel my order?

We process all orders within 24 hours, so please let us know within as soon as possible if you need to modify or cancel your order. Once a label is printed, no changes or cancellations can be made.

Do you accept returns?

We don't accept returns of collection kits.  But if your collection kit becomes damaged and unusable, send us a note ASAP along with pictures of the damage to care@checkpup.com, and we’ll send you another collection kit.

Help! I have reached out and haven't heard back!

We’re real humans, so sometimes customer inquiries will take a little longer to receive a response. We aim to always respond within one business day, but are active on weekdays from 10AM to 6PM EST. The quickest way to reach us is through email via care@checkpup.com.

Do you offer bulk ordering or corporate gifting opportunities?

Email us at hello@checkpup.com and we can help with any large orders you want to place!

Process

Will this work with a short-haired dog?

Yes! As long as the appropriate amount of hair (the scale tips) is collected, there will be sufficient hair to run the test.

Do I have to wash my dog?

Washing your pup allows for a clean hair sample, removing any excess dirt or contaminants that could impact lab analysis.

If you don't want to give your dog a full bath, you can just bathe the sample collection area.

Try to keep your dog clean and wait at least 12 hours from washing to collect the hair sample. Collect the hair between 12-24 hours after washing.

Do I really need to wait 12 hours after giving my pup a bath?

The optimal time to collect your pup's hair is between 12-24 hours after a bath. If your circumstances prevent you from being able to wait that long, the sample may be collected as early as 5 hours after bathing your pup.

I don't own a hair trimmer, can I use something else?

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 since they tend to remove old growth hair (that has already fallen out). In order to get the most recent data, we need the most recent hair. We do not recommend using shedding tools.

Should I clean my cutting tools before use?

We recommend cleaning your cutting tool (scissors or trimmer) with rubbing alcohol. Do not use oils or other chemicals. Make sure your cutting tools are cleaned of any other hair or fur before use.

Do I have to cut hair from my dog's belly or chest?

We recommend collecting hair from their belly or chest for aesthetic reasons. You can choose where you'd like to collect the hair from.

All hair is equal. It is more important that you send in the appropriate weight of hair vs. where that hair is cut from.

How do I make the scale?

Fold both sides of the scale and let it rock on its edges.  Place hair on the left side until the scale tips over.

My scale isn't tipping over. Help!

Unless your scale is significantly damaged, it is engineered to tip over when you have placed the appropriate weight of hair on the left side. It may seem like your scale may never tip, but it will. Keep adding hair until it tips.

If your scale is significantly damaged, send us photos of the damaged scale to care@checkpup.com and we will send you a new one.

What do I do with the box when I'm done?

Once you have (1) used the code located on the inside cover of your box to activate your kit at Checkpup.com/activate and (2) sent in your hair sample using the prepaid mailer envelope, you may discard the box.

I don't know my dog's breed.

There are AKC and UKC lists of dog breeds...and some breeds are not recognized by both. Our lists are populated with both. If your dog's breed doesn't appear on our list, or you don't know what your dog's breed is, just select the breed closest to what you believe your dog is, or select 'Other'. It won't impact your results if you answer this question incorrectly.

Do I need to complete the intake survey?

Your intake survey is an important part of our ability to get your pup the most calibrated wellness reporting possible. As your pup's best friend, you know them best. We ask that you carefully and accurately answer each question.

If you are unsure of which to select, choose the option closest to the signs exhibited by your pup.

A selection is not required for each question. If your pup does not exhibit behavior or symptoms associated with that question, leave the input as none, and proceed to the next question.

How long will it take to receive my results?

We aim to return your results within 3 weeks of our lab receiving your dog's hair sample. You will receive an email notification when your Checkpup results are ready to view.

What sort of lab processes the sample?

Our lab is a CLIA Certified Laboratory. This certification means that our lab facility has met or exceeded the requirements of an inspection conducted by the Department of Health & Human Services.

Want to know anything else?

Questions? Email us at care@checkpup.com

Reporting

How is this different?

This testing system is a different way of viewing body function. Your pup’s hair sample gives us a map of where your pup has been metabolically, and what the future could be like if nothing changed.

Because the testing methodology and output is different, blood testing methods of interpretation are inapplicable and not analogous to the information you will receive from Checkpup.  We can detect minerals and toxic metals at levels up to 10,000 times smaller than what a blood test can find. 

Therefore, Checkpup can report what a blood test may not even see.

What's the science?

Our CLIA Certified Laboratory runs an assay on the hair sample provided. This assay analyzes the composition of the hair sample. These results are then analyzed by our proprietary veterinarian-developed algorithms to provide data that is used to generate your pup’s report.

I got unexpected results – what do I do now?

Don’t panic.  A body is constantly adapting, shifting, and accommodating to make it appear (on the outside) that everything is great. Because of this, you may be confronted with unexpected information.   

Read through your reporting from the Wellness Check, to the Systems Check, the Metabolism and Diet section, and lastly the Toxic Metals. Get the overall perspective of what your pup’s health represents and why there may be struggling with certain areas.  Knowledge will empower you to start your pup on the path to healing and
prevention of future disease.  With our guidance, you can make a difference.

How come my vet doesn’t understand these results?

Traditional medicine typically treats imbalance in the body only after it has become a problem, disease, or condition.  Checkpup takes a proactive, functional approach to pet health. 

Most vets only focus on blood testing, and have no experience interpreting mineral analysis or understanding the causal relationships between illness and mineral imbalances in the body.  While the interest and knowledge among traditional veterinarians is rising, many have yet to be trained in how these test results precisely reflect body function or how to best interpret.  Unless your veterinarian is well versed in this science and technology, they unfortunately might not be in a position to give you actionable guidance.