If you’re the owner of a lovable mutt, then you’ve probably wondered on more than one occasion exactly what kind of dog you have. While some might argue that this information doesn’t matter, the truth is that it does. Knowing your dog’s breed can actually provide a lot of valuable information about your dog’s health that you should know.
While previously it would’ve been near impossible to know your dogs ancestry, now it’s easy. Genetic testing for dogs has become very affordable, and you no longer have to wonder or guess your dog’s breed. Now you can know for sure.
Here’s why you should invest in a DNA testing kit so you can know what breed(s) your dog is.
The health benefits of DNA testing your dog
While some may find it strange to invest in a DNA test for a dog, it can actually be financially beneficial to you to do so. Veterinary bills are on the rise, and knowing what to expect from your dog could potentially save you a ton of money.
Some ailments are simply more prevalent in certain breeds. Knowing if your dog is descended from these breeds could help you to catch potential health threats early.
Find out if your dog is sensitive to certain medications
Did you know that some dogs actually have a mutation which severely limits the types of over the counter and prescription medications they can take? The number of drugs on this list is long, and the impact on your dog can be devastating if they have this genetic mutation.
For dogs with this disorder certain medications could be life threatening, and without testing you might not know until it’s too late. Potential trigger medications could include antibiotics, parasite control treatments, pain medications and chemotherapy drugs.
This mutation allows for these drugs to build up in the brain, causing severe neurological conditions. Affected dogs could experience tremors, disorientation and blindness. Sometimes reactions are even lethal.
Learn about your dog’s hereditary conditions
DNA testing your dog can also tip you off if they might be predisposed to certain hereditary medical conditions based on their breed. This is particularly important if you believe you dog is descended from a high risk breed like a Golden Retriever or a German Shepherd.
While nearly every pure breed dog has some kind of health risk, Golden Retrievers are particularly at risk of developing cancer. German Shepherds are at risk of hip dysplasia, and many other breeds have similar problems you should look out for.
This ailments are not only devastating for your dog, but they are also very expensive to treat. Hip dysplasia could end up costing you somewhere around $8,000 if your dog needs a double hip replacement.
By investing in a DNA testing kit for your dog you can prepare yourself for these possibilities. This could mean adopting a preventative care routine, like giving your dog a supplement to help lessen or prevent their hip and join issues or taking out a pet insurance policy to help cover unexpected health costs.
Know whether your dog is a restricted breed
Did you know that you can be refused an apartment or have your insurance premiums go up if your dog is of a restricted dog breed? A DNA test can help you prove that this is not the case and perhaps sway things in your favor.
Who makes the best dog breed test?
If a dog breed testing kit sounds like something that you’d be interested in, then we recommend Wisdom Panel. They offer one of the most comprehensive, easy to use and accurate doggy DNA testing kits on the market.
Their test can help to identify your dog’s genetic markers and tell you their breed, health conditions and more information that you should know. You’ll be able to see if your dog has the Multi-drug sensitivity mutation, if they might have any genetic disorders from their breed or if they are predisposed to any health conditions.
Wisdom Panel does have a few different tests available. If you only want dog breed information, then you can get Wisdom Panel 4 which is the cheapest. However, their Health test as seen below offers information on health conditions that is very useful. We’ve done a Wisdom Panel comparison here.
By the way, while you’re picking one up for yourself you might want to think about getting one for a friend! A doggy DNA test is a super unique gift that almost any dog lover would appreciate, and you can bet that nobody else is getting them one.
Wisdom Panel DNA Test Features
- Tests for 350+ breeds
- Tests for 150+ health conditions
- Easy to use at home kit
- 3 Generations of data
- Tests for multi-drug sensitivity
- Tests for EIC syndrome
- Results in 2-3 weeks
- Share results with your vet
How does dog DNA testing work?
Testing your dog’s DNA is actually really easy and affordable. The kit provider will give you everything you need to get started, and then you’ll simply mail the DNA sample back to them to get your results.
Each kit comes with a cheek swap. All you need to do is use the provided tool to gather a bit of genetic material from the inside of your dog’s mouth. Just rub it against the inside of their cheek and you’ll have what you need.
Next, pack everything up as instructed and mail it back to the lab. Within 2-3 weeks you’ll be able to retrieve your results!
Are these DNA tests accurate?
Wisdom Panel provides one of the most accurate canine DNA testing options available for the everyday consumer. Their commitment to thorough results and the ease of use they provide is why they’re our top pick for DNA testing your dog.
They use 1,800 different genetic markers which they’ve collected by testing thousands of dogs. All of this information is stored in their database, and then they compare your dog’s DNA to the samples they have.
The more available samples, the more accurate the results are as the computer has more to use to find accurate matches. Your best match is calculated by repeatedly testing these results so that the conclusion is repeatable. They are also audited by third party genetic professionals to insure quality.
The Wisdom Panel site has several resources available to you which will allow you to see for yourself if you’d like to pick up one of their tests. You can read reviews from other pet parents, see their products features and even view a sample report which is pretty cool!