DNA Testing: Why It Matters And How To Do It

November 16, 2016 | We Care, We Learn | Tips from Mark Rollins

If you are like me, then you own a mutt, which is a non-PC term for a mixed breed of dog. Many mixed breed dog owners honestly don’t know what breeds make up their dog. I have a dog that I am told is part Border Collie and part Pit Bull, but it looks more like a Beagle mixed with a Husky, maybe?

How is an owner supposed to know exactly what breeds make up their mutt? The same method that tabloid TV talk shows use to answer the question of “Are you the father?” I am talking about DNA, and there are several ways mixed breed dog owners can figure out their dog’s parentage.

The desire to know exactly what breeds make up your dog isn’t just for owner curiosity, but necessity. There are some co-ops and rentals that insist on knowing an owner’s breed, as certain dog breeds are banned from certain living spaces. What you may need is proof for your landlord showing that your dog is not a breed known for agitation, such as a Pit Bull or Doberman, for example.

How Do Dog DNA Tests Work?

Most Dog DNA tests are available online and at many pet retail stores. In most of the cases, you just get a cotton swab test, but some of them require blood, which can be obtained at your local veterinarian. Then, you will have to send in the samples, and wait for the results, which will be about two to four weeks.

There are several different ways that an owner can determine their dog’s DNA, from different companies. The more breeds that the company tests for, the more accurate the test will be.

  • DNA My Dog: The website doesn’t state how many dog breeds that it tests for. Cost: $59.99
  • DDC Veterinary: This tests the dog’s DNA against 62 different breeds. Cost: $68.00
  • Wisdom Panel: This tests the dog’s DNA against 170 different breeds. Cost: $79.99.
  • Canine Heritage Breed Test: This tests the dog’s DNA against 105 breeds. Cost: $99.95.

“The more breeds that the company tests for, the more accurate the test will be.”

Why Does My Dog’s DNA Matter?

Many reasons! One of them is only an advantage when the dog is a puppy, as a DNA test will let you, the owner, know how big your dog will get. You don’t want to find out that your puppy is part Great Dane and could potentially take up a lot of space you may not have when he or she is full grown.

Also, Mars Veterinary, the makers of the aforementioned Wisdom Panel dog DNA test, says that certain food can benefit certain breeds. Not only that, certain dogs are prone to certain diseases, and it would be good for the owner to know ahead of time.

In short, there are several good reasons for knowing what breed your dog is. If you are willing to spend a little money, you can actually find out and use that information to determine help the health of your dog.

Photo credit TheGiantVermin via Foter.com

If you enjoyed this post, you should read “Dachshunds And Back Problems” here.

Have you tested your dog’s DNA? What were the results? Share below!

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