So many pet parents have adopted or rescued dogs. Congratulations on giving your pup a forever home. But often in these circumstance, the shelter agencies know very little about the history of your dog - including its exact genetic mix.
If you’ve ever wondered about your dog’s breed - whether just out of curiosity or for medical reasons - you can find out by using one of the many online or pet store DNA kits.
DNA kits are easy to use, usually cost between $60 to $90 and only require you to swab in your dog’s mouth and mail the sample in for testing.
Here’s what you need to know about doggie DNA testing:
Genetic health risks - Identifying a dog’s breed make-up with a DNA test may point to an increased likelihood of particular conditions (like hip dysplasia) developing in the future.
Reactions to meds - The tests can be important diagnostic tools for veterinarians. Many ailments and conditions stem from genetics passed down in the bloodlines of breeds and some sets of DNA complicate a dog’s reaction to medications.
Behavioral issues - Often specific behavioral traits are inherent in certain dog breeds. Knowing the genetic makeup of your dog may help in training or just recognizing behavioral issues (like herding or hyper activity) for everyday interactions with your dog.
Forensics - Some cities and towns (and even condo boards) are pushing to maintain a DNA library of dogs whose walkers don’t clean up after them and increase fines on repeat offenders.