DNA Testing Has Gone to the Dogs
There are many characteristics and quirks that make our dogs special. These qualities are part of why we love them. As pet owners, most of us would love extra insight into our dog’s background. Did you know that there are DNA (a.k.a.Genetic Analysis) tests for dogs? But, why would you want to have a DNA test for your dog? Just as with humans, DNA tests have become a popular and accurate way to find out about genetic background, ancestry and genetic conditions. DNA testing allows us to get a more detailed picture of what makes your dog unique. Here at Becker Animal Hospital we use the Royal Canin Genetic Health Analysis.
There are two types of DNA tests; one is a blood test, the other is a cheek swab. The swab can easily be contaminated before it’s placed into the sterile container. Therefore, at Becker Animal Hospital, we use the blood test. A sample is obtained by our experienced veterinary technicians, making the process quick and easy. Your dog’s blood sample is then sent to the lab for analysis. It is compared with more than 250 types of breeds and over 3000 genetic markers. After a few weeks you receive a thorough (and very cool) report. Here is a sample DNA report for a dog named Lucy.
Some of the things you’ll find in the report:
- Three generations of your dog’s ancestry, indicating what breeds contribute to your dog’s genetic make-up.
- Thorough descriptions of breeds – including behavior and physical traits.
- Weight & size prediction, based on the breeds that make up your dog, as well as nutritional guidelines.
The test also looks for known DNA markers for genetic conditions, and if any show up, the information is sent to your veterinarian.
To DNA Test or Not to DNA Test?
- DNA testing could be beneficial if you rescued/adopted your dog.
- If you’re not 100% sure of what breeds made up your dog’s parents or grandparents.
- You’re just curious, and want to know more about that amazing retriever/shepherd/poodle mix you have.
One of our Veterinary Technicians, Stacey, adopted a “Labrador Mix,” named Hogan. Stacey was curious if Hogan was truly a lab mix, or if there are other breeds in his background. His results were really surprising. For starters, there is no Labrador Retriever in Hogan’s ancestry. His parents were a combination of Weimaraner, Bulldog Mix, and American Bulldog Mix. None of the information gained could change the way we adore Hogan, but it was interesting to find out more about the quirky, lovable “lab mix”.
Of course, having a DNA test won’t change how much you care for your incredible, four legged family member, but it does give you a little extra information about your pet.
During July and August we’re offering the Royal Canin Genetic Health Analysis at a reduced cost. If you’re interested in getting a DNA test for your dog, or if you have any questions, please call or visit our website.