WHAT IS CAN-ID? Can-ID is the canine samples genetic identification system by Vetgenomics aimed at reducing the problems of:

  • Canine excrement in public places.
  • The impossibility of identifying stolen or abandoned dogs, when their chips have been removed.
  • Unlike the physical chip, which can be removed from the animal, genetic identification is permanent and unalterable. Moreover the animal can be identified on the basis of any biological sample (excrement, urine, hairs, blood, etc.).


  • Can-ID guarantees that the biological sample comes from a single animal, and has not been contaminated with exogenous DNA (e.g. from the urine of another dog) by means of the mitochondrial control markers included in the genotyped chip.

  • Obtain phenotypic information (colour and type of fur, size, head shape…) that will allow for a “composite picture” of the dog to be formed, in those cases where the genetic profile found in the excrement is not included in the data base.

  • Can-ID is based on a chip with 128 highly informative independent markers of the single nucleotides polymorphism type, known as SNPs. The combination of these 128 markers allows for a unique and exclusive genetic profile to be obtained for each individual animal.

  • The first step is for the local council, by way of municipal laws, to establish an obligation to genetically census the municipality’s dogs. This census is then carried out by vets, on the basis of blood or saliva samples. The genetically censused dogs are then provided with an identification tag, as proof of the civic awareness of the dog’s owner.
  • These genetic profiles will then be kept on a database, in a Vetgenomics server, which will guarantee their safety, making daily copies. Access to the database is restricted (by means of a password) to authorised personnel.
  • The samples of excrement will have to be collected by personnel authorised by the local council, certifying that the sample has been collected in a public space.
  • Both the blood samples (provided by vets) and the excrement samples (provided by local council personnel) will have to be sent in a sealed container, and only those samples that arrive at Vetgenomics with the seal intact will be tested.
  • There must be confirmation, for all excrement samples, that they contain the DNA of a unique individual animal and have not been contaminated by the urine of any another individual, given that if this is the case no comparison will be made with the database, so as to avoid generating false positives.
  • The genotype of the excrement samples is taken in accordance with the established recommendations for work with non-invasive samples.
  • The genetic profile obtained from the excrement sample is then compared with the database of the genetic profiles obtained in phase 1.
  • In the case of any coincidence being found in the genetic profiles, Vetgenomics will provide the local council with a report containing the data of the dog to which the biological sample belongs, which will then allow the local council to take the preventive and/or punitive measures that they consider to be expedient.
  • In those cases where the genetic profile cannot be obtained from the database, Vetgenomics will draw up a report indicating the phenotypic characteristics of the dog. This information (colour, size, head-shape, sex…) will allow for a “composite picture” of the dog to be obtained.The DNA samples will then be kept for at least 5 years. If you want to know what pet owners can do with this DNA, click here.
  • Part of the biological samples will be kept for a period of two years, in case you wish to have a counter-analysis run.


In the town of Parets del Vallès, for example, Can-ID has already been introduced.


What is Can-ID? | Can_ID