You’ve heard of DNA testing in humans, but did you know dog DNA tests are also available? The process is a simple one that could prove beneficial depending on your reasons for having the test done and how accurate the results are.
Why Pet Owners Test Their Dog’s DNA
Someone interested in genealogy might have a DNA test performed on themselves to learn more about their heritage. A man might have his DNA tested to determine if he is the biological father of a child. But why would a dog owner test their pet’s DNA? There are a few possible reasons:
- Curiosity: If you own a mixed-breed pet, you may simply be curious about your pup’s background, and a dog DNA test can confirm or contradict your suspicions about your dog’s heritage.
- Medical benefits: You can use the results of a dog DNA test to shift your focus when you take your pet to a vet appointment. With new knowledge about your dog’s mixed background, you can discuss potential health issues associated with his breed. For instance, boxers have a predisposition for developing cancer, and retrievers are prone to arthritis. By understanding the risks, you know what to watch for, which may help prolong your pet’s life.
- Size and temperament determination: Testing a puppy’s DNA can tell a new dog owner how big their pet will grow. It can also help determine how energetic, playful, or teachable a dog will be based on what his primary breed is.
- To confirm purebred status: Some dog DNA tests reveal whether the animal is purebred, which is critical for breeders and owners of show dogs to know.
How to Test Your Dog’s DNA
At-home test kits are available starting at about $60, which you can order online and send back with a cheek swab sample. More advanced testing requires a blood test at a local vet’s office, which is also more expensive.
How Accurate is Dog DNA Testing?
Not all dog DNA test results are the same. While most tests can identify the primary and secondary breeds in a canine, all dog DNA tests come with a disclaimer stating that the results are for informational purposes only. The factors that affect test result accuracy include:
- Number of breeds in the company’s database: Several companies offer dog DNA testing, and the results vary depending on how many breeds they can compare to your dog’s DNA. The more breeds in the database, the more accurate the results.
- Number of breeds in your dog’s background: DNA testing is likely to be more accurate if your dog has a purebred parent or grandparent than if his background includes dozens of breeds.
Visit Germantown Vet to Learn More About Your Pet’s Background
If you recently adopted a new pet, it’s important to take the animal to the vet within the first few weeks for a checkup. If you don’t know the animal’s breed, ask our knowledgeable staff for help, and we’ll give you our best educated guess for mixed breeds. With knowledge about your dog’s background, you can provide him the best possible care.
Visit Germantown Vet in Montgomery County or contact us at 240-252-7467 to set an appointment for your dog today.