The basis of life is a chromosome. Every cell in a dog has 39 pairs of chromosomes. Each of these chromosomes is made up of various gene pairs, with each chromosome having a potential of 50,000 to 100,000 gene pairs. Every cell in a specific dog is exactly the same. However, cells of a different dog will have different genes. This variation between cells of different dogs is the reason for the variation between breeds and even between individual dogs. This variety is also the reason parentage can be determined.
Dog DNA testing is very much like human DNA testing. The companies that sell these dog DNA tests maintain a database of breed-related genetic markers that they use when performing genetic testing. After receiving your dog’s DNA sample, they run it against these profiles. By determining which breed-specific markers are present in your dog’s DNA profile, they can give you an idea about the different breeds in your dog’s ancestry.
If you’ve got a mixed breed dog, a dog DNA test can give you a history of your dog’s heritage. The dog DNA test will give you an accurate look at your dog’s family history, as well as giving you insight into their health and behavior. And since all cells in a particular dog are the same, you usually only need cells from inside the mouth to perform a DNA profile.
What’s the Best Dog DNA Test to Use?
The best dog DNA test will include a majority of the 197 American Kennel Club recognized breeds. To learn more, go to DNA and the American Kennel Club.
If you’re looking for the best dog DNA test, here is an overview of a few at-home dog DNA tests.
Embark Dog DNA Test is considered by dog lovers to be the best dog DNA test on the market – but it’s also one of the priciest at about $149. The company partners with the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine. This comprehensive dog DNA test is the most accurate screening for breed identification, traits, ancestry, and genetic disease risk for 210 known canine genetic health conditions.
Your results will be available in 2 to 4 weeks, which is to be expected since they have so many genetic markers and genetic diseases to cover, in addition to the breed identification testing. Customers also appreciate the company’s customer service. You can get help interpreting your results by live chat or email.
Mars, Incorporated’s Wisdom Panel™ Premium Dog DNA Test is another highly rated choice in your search for the best dog DNA test. Priced at about $99 to $159, it is in the same price range as the Embark Dog DNA Test. This dog DNA test covers more than 350 breeds, types, and varieties. The test also offers high accuracy and conducts 210 health tests, providing insight into issues related to weight, mobility, and vision.
DNA My Dog gives you less for your money than Wisdom Health or Embark. Priced at about $69, it is less expensive than other tests. However, there are fewer breeds in their database, which means you won’t get the same level of accuracy as you would with the higher-priced brands.
How Do Dog DNA Tests Work?
After you purchase your dog DNA kit, read the instructions carefully. Most dog DNA test kits will require you to wait a while after your dog’s last meal before testing.
Swab the inside of your dog’s cheek using the swab in the package. Then, package the swab in the container provided in your kit and use the postage paid envelope to mail your sample back to the company’s lab as soon as possible.
When they receive your dog’s DNA sample, the company will process the DNA and compare it to its existing database of dog breeds. In a few weeks, you’ll receive the results of that testing by mail or email.
Remember that all dog DNA tests are not created equal. Some dog DNA tests will only identify your dog’s breed, while other tests give you more information, including a complete health risk profile.
To learn more, go to How Do Dog DNA Tests Work?
You may also like this article – Mixed Breed or Purebred Dogs: Which Is Right for You?
What Does Dog Genetic Testing Tell Us?
Dog genetic testing actually gives us the power to better care for our dogs. By having your dog’s DNA tested, you will have a better idea of the various diseases your dog may be genetically predisposed to. Armed with this information, you will be better prepared to deal with it if and when the situation arises. To learn more about genetic diseases, go to Top 100 Diseases and Conditions of Dogs.
Dog genetic testing tells us what breeds our dogs are, and if you take the results to your veterinarian, you can find out about potential health risks for those breeds. By being aware of these potential risk factors, your veterinarian can more closely monitor your dog for these conditions and possibly save their life. For instance, if your dog’s DNA shows that they are genetically predisposed to developing arthritis or hip dysplasia, you can help your dog fight these symptoms and give them a better quality of life by giving them joint health supplements. To learn more about hip dysplasia, go to Hip Dysplasia in Dogs.
The results of your dog DNA testing can also help you to provide a better diet for your dog. Understanding your dog’s genetic makeup can help you select a well-balanced diet that is appropriate for their genetic makeup.
The information from your dog’s DNA test can also give you a better idea of how big your young dog will grow to be and what personality traits they may have. By understanding your dog’s breed characteristics, you can better develop a more effective training program to deal with potential behavioral problems.
To learn more, go to What Does Dog Genetic Testing Tell Us?