Have you ever seen a commercial or an online ad for one of the many dog DNA tests out there? Maybe you know someone who tried this for their own dog, or maybe you’ve been recommended it by a friend or family member. If any of this is true of you, then you may find yourself wondering just how beneficial this type of testing can really be.
Below, you’ll find a quick breakdown of information to help you better understand dog DNA tests. You’ll learn what they test, how useful they really are, and what, if anything, they can tell you about your pet. Read our Holmdel, NJ animal hospital‘s article to learn more!
How Do They work?
DNA testing your dog is a very simple and straightforward process on your end of things. All you need to do is get the kit, use the included swab to take a DNA swab sample from the inside of your dog’s cheek, and then box it up before returning it to the company.
It takes a little while for the sample to get back to the company and be fully tested, but when it is, you will get an email with the results. These results will break down the information for you in an easy-to-follow way, so you don’t have to worry about being a scientist to understand it.
You don’t have to do anything more than get a sample of your dog’s saliva to complete the testing, so the process is easy and not at all invasive.
What Do They Test For?
DNA testing mostly tests for the genetic makeup of your dog. This means the testing should show what breeds are included in your dog’s bloodline, making it easier for you to understand the types of breeds found within your pet. And if you have a mixed breed dog, this is an exceptionally useful bit of information to have on hand.
DNA tests also check dogs for potential health problems and genetic predispositions to a variety of conditions. Although a DNA test cannot tell you whether or not your dog will definitely come down with one of these problems, they can make it easier for you to prepare for the possibility.
Are They Worth It If You Have a Purebred Dog?
Sometimes! If you are checking your dog’s DNA to determine the lineage and you already have plenty of paper documentation to back up your breeder’s claim, then a purebred dog may not really benefit much from a DNA test. However, if you want to be sure your breeder was being completely honest with you about where your dog came from, a DNA test might be able to make that happen.
Additionally, even if both parents from a breeder are health tested, it can be useful to check your purebred dog’s DNA for any indicators of genetic predispositions. So, even if you have a purebred, you can get something useful out of a DNA test.
How Does Knowing Your Dog’s Breeds Help You Keep Them Healthier?
By understanding the breeds that make up your dog, you can recognize potential problems and health requirements for your pet before an issue arises. You can make changes to their exercise level, training methods, diet, and much more based on the breeds that comprise their bloodline.
Additionally, knowing the breeds that make up your dog can make it easier for you to teach them skills and commands in a way that works well for them. You may also discover new and exciting hobbies for her based on their breed history, too!
Do the Tests for Health Problems Really Make a Difference?
Yes and no. While it can be very useful to understand potential problems your dog could face based on her breed makeup, DNA testing cannot tell you specifically that your dog will deal with these issues within her lifetime. You may end up worrying a lot for nothing, or your dog could end up suffering from a completely different problem not addressed by her DNA test at all.
In the end, you should always trust your vet’s recommendations and information over any other source of information about your pet’s health and wellness. However, a DNA test can give you a good place to start asking questions of your vet, too.
Dog DNA Tests Have Value, and Your Holmdel, NJ, Veterinarian Can Answer Any Specific Breed Questions for You
As you can see, dog DNA tests do have some value. They can satisfy your curiosity if you’ve got a mixed breed dog, make sure you weren’t taken advantage of if you bought a purebred puppy, and find out whether or not your dog has any genetic predispositions to certain diseases.
However, in the end, it is entirely up to you to choose whether you want to take the plunge on a dog DNA test kit or not. Although there are a lot of benefits, your choice will ultimately depend on your specific situation.
If you have additional questions about your dog’s breed that you discovered through a dog DNA test, let our Holmdel, NJ, veterinarians know during your next visit. To schedule your dog’s next exam, give us a call at (732) 671-3110.