Get Your Hands on a Doggy DNA Test

Get Your Hands on a Doggy DNA Test

Pet owners love their pets. For most, their pets are treated better than the kids in the household, we jest. However, indeed, love runs deep between a pet owner and their pet. It is in our nature to want to know more about our past and heritage. Therefore it makes sense to want to learn the same about your test through DNA testing.

How to Test Your Pet’s DNA

DNA testing is simple for dog owners. Online sellers like Amazon and Chewy both provide canine DNA test kits. These kits include a simple cheek swabbing before sending it off in the mail. Once it is received by one of the few dog DNA test providers, it gets compared to hundreds of other DNA samples in a database.

The wait isn’t long, and in just a few weeks, you can receive an email with your pet’s results. Some testing kits even have an online portal where you can see the percentage of breed breakdown for your pet.

Some of the different companies that offer DNA testing are:

  • Wisdom Panel — tests for over 350 breeds. Wisdom Panel has proven through internal testing that their tests are 93% effective at identifying the different mixed breeds of your pet.
  • Orivet — Desiend specifically to identify genetic conditions, Orvit was designed for breeders and vets to help identify these conditions.
  • DNAmyDog — Representing the most common dog breeds in the United States, DNAmyDog is a cheaper test and tests against fewer samples. However, if your dog has a rare or unique breed mixed in DNAmyDog will not be able to identify it.
  • Embark DNA Test — Also testing for over 350 breeds. Their highly-rated test was created in partnership with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Even though there are still only a few tests out there on the market between these companies, there are several different price ranges and ranges from low to extensive testing providing just every option a pet owner could need.

Is Pet DNA Testing Regulated?

The short answer is no. Unlike human ancestral, heritage, and DNA testing, pet DNA testing is not regulated by the FDA. However, each of these companies has built its foundation on the pride of its high-quality testing control. Some are even USDA accredited.

A Mysterious Past that Can Explain Current Habits

The curiosity behind pet DNA testing comes from each of our pet’s unique habits, hobbies, and personality quirks. Our pets are unique, but some of their ways can be explained by their breeding. Believe it or not, different breeds can create different lifestyles for your pet.

As soon as we start testing our pet’s DNA, we can easily fall prey to the idea that this is their definition. Thoughts like the following start to come up:

  • Could your pet have a purebred in the linage that helps them run faster than other dogs on the block?
  • Does your dog look like a Golden Labrador but act like a Chow?
  • My pet’s DNA test shows some notoriously violent breeds in their genealogy. Will my pet grow up to be violent?

While these concerns can be valid, especially if you’ve noticed some behaviors before the testing.

What Does DNA Testing Solve?

Mainly DNA Testing solves our curiosity and our bragging rights. Who hasn’t wondered what breeds are hidden in your lovable rescue pet’s eyes? And though DNA testing has come a long way in recent years, it is still not a perfect science, and the databases aren’t complete. It would take a lot of testing to compile every specific, rare, and regional breed globally.

However, these databases are growing, and in the future, we can expect to see more refined and detailed results on the origins of our very cuddly little rascals. But DNA testing now isn’t just about finding out your specific pet’s breed.

By testing your pet, you are helping to improve the accuracy, science, and study of pet DNA. You are actively adding to the databases available and helping to illuminate hereditary conditions amongst breeds and combinations of breeds. So if you are still on the fence, go ahead and hop over to the other side and be a part of your pet’s and the pets of the future’s stories.

Illuminating Care

Where these tests excel is illuminating the potential for health risks or the need for more exercise, skincare, or the awareness that your pet might not be built for long, hot walks due to their snout or lung capacity.

Breed Is Not the End All Breed All

Sometimes we tend to think that breeding is what creates the dog. When in reality, just like humans, there is the nature versus nurture argument. Just because your DNA test comes back saying your pet has a higher percentage of a particular breed doesn’t mean that that breed is what will define your pet’s future.

These tests can back up that notion and cause us to fixate on our pets’ genetic past when their entire future is still a blank slate and left up to us. Creating a healthy environment with positive reinforcement, attention, and exercise will affect your pets’ habits, personalities, and behavior, no matter what their DNA test says.

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