It seems like everyone is testing their DNA nowadays. While sending in that saliva swab and finding out what surprises lurk in your ancestry, how accurate are they really? And do the results have any implications on your medical future?
While we can’t speak to these questions for people, Paws, Purrs & Exotics Animal Hospital can help you decipher those mysterious dog DNA testing results. We also know that what lies in the results can have real implications for your pet!
The Accuracy of Dog DNA Testing
While it is super fun to try to make some guesses about what breeds your mutt might have in their ancestry, how accurate is the DNA testing we have available?
Unfortunately, canine DNA tests are commercially offered and results can vary widely from company to company. A lot depends on the available database a company may have for comparison, and there isn’t always a great way to know which company’s database might provide the best results.
There is also increasing variability as you add more breeds to the mix. You are much more likely to get accurate results if your dog is a mix of two specific breeds than if he is a 3rd generation mutt.
The pet DNA testing that we offer here at Paws, Purrs & Exotics is thought to be one of the more accurate options on the market, and we are proud to be able to offer it to our clients.
Implications for Your Pet
Knowing more about your dog’s ancestry can help you (and us) to better care for them.
We know that certain health problems in dogs carry breed predispositions. Knowing that your dog may be at higher risk for certain health issues can help us be more proactive when it comes to prevention and detection. For instance, DNA results may lead us to:
- Feed a puppy with larger breeds in its ancestry a large breed puppy food to prevent orthopedic issues
- Screen a dog with Doberman bloodlines for clotting abnormalities
- Perform more frequent wellness examinations in breeds with higher cancer risks, such as Boxers or Golden Retrievers
- Screen for heart issues in breeds with high risk, such a Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Boxers
- Be aggressive with joint care for pets who have large breeds in their heritage
- Be on the lookout for genetic mutations common to certain breeds, such as the MRD1 receptor gene mutation often found in Collies and other herding breeds
- Choose a different diet targeted for pets predisposed to dental issues, skin trouble, or joint disease
Having an idea about your dog’s genetic makeup can actually help us better care for them. Let us know if you would like to get started with genetic testing for your dog, or if you would like more information about dog DNA testing.