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If you’ve ever owned a mixed breed dog, you’ve probably wondered what type of dog you really have. In the past, there was no way to know for sure. Today, more and more dog owners are turning to dog DNA tests to tell them more about their dog’s heritage and their health.
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 his life. For instance, if your dog’s DNA shows that he is genetically predisposed to developing arthritis or hip dysplasia, you can help your dog fight these symptoms and give him a better quality of life by giving him 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 to select a well-balanced diet that is appropriate for his 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, or what breed characteristics it may have. And by understanding your dog’s breed characteristics, you can better develop a more effective training program to deal with your dog’s behavioral problems.
If you have a mixed breed dog, a dog DNA test can identify the breeds in your dog’s heritage, tracing them back to the great grandparents. It can tell you by percentage how much of each breed is present in your dog’s genetic makeup. But if your mixed breed dog has a lot of different breeds in its background, the test may not be able to accurately determine your dog’s actual heritage.
If you have a purebred, a dog DNA test can attest to its purebred status. Before DNA testing, determining the actual parents of a specific puppy was not an accurate science. People had to rely on the breeder’s records and honesty. Since dogs are in heat for several days and multiple matings are possible, puppies within the same litter can have different fathers. This has led to some disputes and even lawsuits regarding parentage. Today, with the help of DNA testing, these disputes can be readily and accurately solved.
Since 1998, the American Kennel Club (AKC) has used DNA testing to monitor dog breeding programs. To learn more, go to DNA and the American Kennel Club.
To learn more about dog DNA tests, go to What Is a Dog DNA Test?
Find out what this dog lover learned about her dog through DNA testing. Go to What Breed Am I, Asks Hazel? Check Out Her DNA Results.