The Value Of Dog DNA Tests
It is very difficult to look at a dog and determine the various breeds that have contributed to the characteristics of the pet. In fact, according to the information provided by Wisdom Health, a provider of dog DNA kits, only about 25% of people can accurately guess one dog breed present in a mixed breed dog or puppy.
Identifying the breed of a dog from a shelter or even from a non-pedigree line is no longer a series of guesses. Today, pet owners can choose from different options in dog DNA kits to get a clear picture of their pet's heritage.
The Completing the Dog DNA Collection
In general, dog DNA kits are very accurate, with the three major kit options, Wisdom Panel Essential, DMA My Dog Test, and Embark Dog DNA Test kits offering 95-99% accuracy.
These tests are very low cost and are easy to complete at home. The pet owner simply keeps their dog away from other dogs, food, and water for 2 hours before the test. This is done to prevent any cross-contamination of the collected material.
The next step is to remove the swab from the sterile packaging and gently swab the inside of your dog's cheek for 20 seconds to up to a minute. Each test is slightly different, so be prepared to read and follow the instructions for the best results.
Tips for Collecting the Sample
If you routinely brush your dog's teeth, they will be comfortable with the procedure. For those pets unfamiliar with this, you can rub your finger on the inside of the cheek for a few days prior to collecting the sample to get the dog comfortable with the sensation. Giving a few treats after every practice is also a great way to make it a positive experience on practice days.
After collecting the DNA sample, place the swab in the tube, seal it, and send it in the provided packaging. The lab will process the sample and use the results to compare against their database of known dog breed DNA data.
What to Expect
The more samples in the database, the more information dog owners will receive. Wisdom offers the most genetic material in the database, with over 350 breeds represented. Embark has over 250 and DNA My Dog has the genetic information on over 100 breeds. These are the common breeds seen within the test population. Rare breeds typically do not show up on any of the dog DNA tests. This is most commonly seen if the breed is not common in the USA and there are a limited number of purebred dogs for DNA comparison.
The information provided helps pet owners with everything from personality and physical traits to potential health issues and genetic markers that may indicate the possibility of the dog developing the condition. Talking to your vet and knowing the early indications of these types of conditions can help proactively manage your dog's health.
At Gemonelink, we provide information on everything related to DNA testing and analysis. For more information on DNA and ancestry for people and pets, browse our recommendations.