If you’ve ever wondered what your mixed breed dog’s genetic background is, DNA tests could provide you with that answer. These dog DNA tests can let you know which breeds your dog is made up of, so you can satisfy your curiosity or gain some insight into your dog’s health and behavior. Learn more about these DNA tests for dogs to help you determine if you might want to consider getting one done.
Reasons to Get a Dog DNA Test
There are a few different reasons that you might look into doing a dog DNA test. If you have a mixed breed, you might want to know which breeds your dog is and the percentages of these breeds. This information can provide you with information on diseases your dog might be at risk for based on genetic risk factors for certain breeds. If your dog has any increased disease risks, you can talk to your vet about how to lower them. For example, certain breeds have a higher risk of hip dysplasia as they get older. Knowing about this risk means you can take steps to protect your dog’s joints.
DNA information might also help you understand your dog’s behavior better. Different dog breeds have different temperaments or behaviors that might show up in your dog, depending on his genetic background. This information can help if you’re experiencing any behavioral problems or training problems. For example, your dog’s digging problem might make more sense if the test shows that he’s part terrier.
How Dog DNA Tests Work
Dog DNA tests examine markers rather than reading a whole genome. These markers can provide information on your dog’s risk of disease or your dog’s physical characteristics, such as hair length. Breed tests involve comparing your dog’s genes with genetic information from other dogs stored in a company’s database. Some DNA tests provide limited information, such as a dog’s genetic age, which is useful for people who rescue dogs. Other tests provide a wide range of genetic information, including breeds, disease risks and physical characteristics.
When you get a dog DNA test, you’ll gather a DNA sample to send in for analysis. Some tests usually just have you swab the inside of your dog’s cheek, while others ask for a blood sample, which your vet should handle.
What to Look for in a Dog DNA Test
Dog DNA tests vary in terms of how much information they provide, how much they cost and what kind of sample they need. Depending on what you’re looking for, you can either get one that offers more limited information or one that gives you as much information as possible. Keep in mind that more detailed tests typically cost more. Dog DNA tests are generally considered accurate for physical characteristics and disease risks. Breed information can be a bit less accurate, depending on the test you get. Some dog DNA tests that are available include Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification, Embark Breed and Ancestry Identification, Trait and Health Detection and DNA My Dog Breed Identification.