Thursday, July 24, 2014

What's in that dog?

You might have heard about DNA tests for dogs. If your furry friend has a pedigree it's not an issue, but it might be a fun thing to do for anyone who has adopted a dog without papers. Breed doesn't matter when you love your pooch, but he or she might be so great it makes you curious what's in there. Enter, the doggie DNA test.

How does it work?

If you're the curious kind and want to test, a canine DNA test starts with ordering a kit that helps you take a cheek-swab from your dog. The sample goes to a research company where it is analyzed. Genetic differences between breeds are pretty well mapped and your dog's DNA can be compared to a database with samples from different breeds. The answer generally comes back in a couple of weeks.

How accurate is it?

The accuracy of the test depends on the mix of breeds in your dog - if there's at least one purebred parent or grandparent, the analysis will be fairly accurate. That said, some purebreds are difficult to analyze too. Some young breeds are closely related with little difference in DNA, and some breeds are derived from another, making them nearly impossible to distinguish.

Many DNA reports give an analysis of the dog along with the breed report. This can be explaining unique behaviors, and an in-depth look at wellness needs.

~ Maria Sadowski ~

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