Taking A DNA Test For Your Dog: What You Need To Know
As a dog owner, you want to provide your furry friend with the best care possible. A part of that care is knowing more about their breed, genetic makeup, and potential health issues. Thanks to modern science, you can now learn more about your dog’s genes through DNA testing. In this article, we will discuss what DNA testing for dogs is, how it works, and what you can learn about your pet through a DNA test.
What is a DNA Test for Dogs?
A DNA test for dogs is a scientific method used to identify the different breeds that comprise your dog’s DNA. Traditionally, only purebred dogs with known bloodlines could get this kind of information. However, today, every dog can have a breed mixture determined in a lab using a cheek swab. Whether you have a dog from a shelter or don’t know its breed, you can now confirm their breed through these tests.
Most DNA tests for dogs are available online, which allows you to collect the saliva sample at home and send it to the lab. However, some veterinarians can do the test for you, completing it more quickly.
What Can Owners Learn From A DNA Test for Dogs?
A DNA test kit can tell you a lot about your pet’s background. First and foremost, it can reveal your pet’s breed and potential size when fully grown. By knowing your dog’s breed, you can better understand its temperament, personality, and potential health issues. Some dog breeds are more vulnerable to certain diseases than others, and understanding these potential diseases can help you maintain your pet’s health.
Additionally, the test can help you identify future health concerns. For example, knowing whether a dog is prone to hip dysplasia can help you adjust its lifestyle to maintain healthy hips. It’s essential to note, however, that experts advise against drawing fast conclusions about potential health risks from DNA test results. Testing positive for a particular gene or risk factor does not guarantee that a dog will fall ill.
How Does a DNA Test for Dogs Work?
Most DNA tests for dogs follow a similar procedure. Here’s a step-by-step overview of what to expect:
1. Purchase a DNA test kit online- Ensure that the kit you receive contains a swab, a bag to keep the swab, instructions, and a paid return envelope.
2. Collect saliva from your dog’s cheek using a cotton swab- Wait for the swab to dry before placing it in the envelope provided.
3. Send the sample to the lab – After collecting the sample, mail the test swab to the laboratory.
4. Receive results- The results will be posted to your online account, and the company may also send you a report feedback email.
Once you receive the results, you can use them to understand your dog’s breed mixture, potential health issues, and traits.
Is DNA Testing for Dogs Useful?
While DNA tests for dogs can provide a wealth of information, it is essential to note that some industry rules are continually being developed, and the results may not be 100% accurate. Some tests claim that they can identify a dog breed based on their DNA, even if it only makes up 5% of their total DNA. However, as new entries are added to breed registries, the results will gradually become more extensive.
In A Nutshell
DNA testing for dogs is a simple, affordable, and non-invasive way to better understand your furry friend’s breed, potential health issues, and traits. While the results may not be 100% accurate, DNA testing can still provide valuable insights into your pet’s genetic makeup. By knowing your pet’s breed, you can better understand its temperament, personality, and potential health issues, allowing you to provide the best possible care. The more you understand about your dog’s genes, the better you can plan for its future.