Any dog owner has a sentimental attachment to their dog. It is common to meet a stranger who will ask you what breed your dog belongs to. Surprisingly, not everyone knows the DNA of their dog.
Luckily, you can get that sorted out and get a DNA test done. Depending on how detailed the DNA test you want, the cost will vary across different laboratories. An accredited laboratory is likely to charge between $60 and $170.
Why test your dog’s DNA?
A DNA test will not reveal why your dog stares at you at all times, but it will help you understand why they behave the way they do. Some of the most common reasons for testing your dog’s DNA include:
For humans, we are identified through our fingerprints and blood groups. It is why crime suspects whose fingerprints are available in the police database can be easily identified. However, the same technology can provide DNA results when it comes to dogs, but the main aim is to confirm whether it belongs to a given genetic family. In America, the Kennel Club creates and maintains records related to the genetic identification of dogs. So, if you are a dog breeder and have questions about the parentage of your dog, you might find answers from this club. Since an offspring will receive a copy of genes from each parent, it will be easy to detect parentage by conducting a DNA test.
Detect Genetic Diseases
Like humans, dogs can also suffer from genetic disorders, which can be fatal if not detected and managed early. Since humans take annual tests to detect and diagnose health risks early, dogs should also be accorded the same courtesy. Genetic testing gives you a heads up if there is a potential risk of a disease lurking in your dog’s DNA. Veterinarians usually have a database and knowledge of genotypic statuses and can detect any signs through the DNA.
With the various advances in medicine and technology, hundreds of tests can pinpoint these diseases prevalent in dog breeds. Research studies are still underway, and in a few years, They will add more tests to the database for more detailed and comprehensive examinations. More than 900 genetic disorders have been identified in dogs and stored in databases, making it easier to detect once rare diseases now. Veterinarians can search in the database by condition or breed when conducting the DNA test.
As a dog owner, it is essential to be aware of the mutations prevalent in your dog that can cause diseases to take better care of your dog. In addition, when tested early, you can gauge whether your dog can pass on the genes associated with these conditions to its puppies and take the necessary action.
Enforce Pet Waste Laws
This may sound like one of those strange and unknown facts, but you can test a dog’s waste for DNA to determine its owner, so they can be brought to justice if found guilty of breaking pet waste laws. Therefore, dog breeders ought to be careful and ensure they dispose of their dog’s waste properly.
You can avoid being on the wrong side of the law by training your dog to do essential functions correctly.
Reveal Hidden Traits
Have you ever wondered why your dog behaves the way they do? Well, a DNA test can explain why. A dog may possess certain personality traits common to a specific breed, but the genetic breed may differ once a DNA test is done. Knowing the hidden characteristics of your dog can help you determine its suitability for particular lines of work and whether training will be sustainable in the long run.
Reassure Yourself You Bought The Actual Breed Sold
You may be wondering or want to confirm that the dog you bought is the specific breed you paid for. That’s where dog DNA tests come in. In addition, the law has banned the sale of certain breeds because they are dangerous. Think about the sad stories in the news about a dog attack or pets being seized from their owners. It is, therefore, illegal to buy, breed, or gift any of these types. Taking a DNA test helps you avoid any problems with the law.
How Accurate are Dog DNA tests?
DNA tests are never 100% accurate, but they come close. Dog DNA tests are usually 95-99% accurate, depending on your choice of difficulty. The percentage goes higher when the test is more detailed and the database contains a wide range of comparable information.
Top Dog DNA tests
You can purchase dog DNA tests online or from pet supply providers. Some of the top DNA tests available include:
- Wisdom Panel Premium
If you are looking to unlock your dog’s past and future, this test will come in handy. You will discover potential health risks and genetic predisposition. It tests for over 350 breeds and more than 200 genetic conditions. With this test, they will furnish you with information about the ancestry, weight range required to stay healthy, and other fascinating things about your dog.
The test will cover comprehensive screening, including medical sensitivity and potential reactions when exposed to commonly used medications.
Testing is carried out by swabbing the insides of your dog’s cheeks, and you will get results in about three weeks.
- Embark Dog DNA Test
This is one of the high-rated DNA tests. It is comprehensive and helps identify the following aspects:
- Breed- this test screens over 350 dog breeds and is considered the best in breed identification.
- Health – the test accounts for more than 200 genetic disorders and common adult-onset diseases detected in dogs.
- Ancestry – You can also discover dogs sharing similar DNA.
- Fast results – you can get results as fast as two weeks from the date of the test.
- DNA My Dog.
This type of test comes with a kit that you can do at home. The instructions are simple, where you have to swab the cheeks to collect DNA samples. You will then send the samples to be processed and run through the database.
The test reveals your dog’s genetic profile, a comprehensive analysis of breeds similar to those present in the database, and the genetic health concerns of your dog.
The results are delivered quite fast, and you will receive them in just two weeks.
Are Dog DNA tests worth the cost?
A dog is considered a man’s best friend. Therefore, it is only fair that whatever benefits a man, the same should be accorded to his best friend. A man goes through an annual medical check-up to ensure he is physically and mentally fit. The purpose is to test and address any conditions in their initial stage before they advance. A dog’s DNA test serves the same purpose. By checking gene-specific disorders, the dog owner can seek prompt medical intervention before they become a problem.