Human DNA testing kits have been big business for a few years now - and where there’s a human market, there’s usually a canine equivalent somewhere out there.
Step forward, the doggy DNA kit. There’s a couple of different reasons why you might be keen to get your hands on one of these tests. Perhaps your dog is a mix of breeds, and you’re not entirely sure which. That can often be the case when you’ve rescued dogs, and knowing more about the specific breeds your dog is comprised of can help with certain characteristics and traits.
Even if you’ve got a pure-breed dog which you got from a breeder, DNA tests can still be helpful. Although you might know exactly what kind of dog you have, it’s less likely that you’ll already be aware of any genetic mutations or gene-specific disorders that your pooch could be predisposed to.
While the doggy DNA test is arguably just a bit of fun to help you find out more about your a mutt’s background, they can also provide invaluable information that could save you heartache down the line.
Dog testing kits generally follow the same simple set up. You get a pack with information plus a cotton swab for you to get some of your dog’s DNA on to. You’ll then send off the swab to be evaluated and sit back and wait for the results to come in.
Wisdom Panel boasts what it claims is the biggest database in the industry for dog breeds. It should therefore be the most accurate when it comes to establishing what kind of dog you have - if you’ve rescued a dog and are uncertain of its background, then it’s good for finding that out.
The process takes just three easy steps. First you’ll need to collect your dog’s DNA via a cotton swab that is placed inside your dog’s cheek. After you’ve done that, you can activate your kit online. You’ll then mail off the prepaid shipping envelope back to the lab.
Once it’s been received and processed, you’ll get a comprehensive report which tells you more about your dog’s breed (or breeds, by percentage), a predicted weight profile for nutrition guidance and detailed breed information for each breed or group found.
Users report that it takes around two-three weeks for the results to come back, and although the vast majority of customers are happy with the results, some have reported percentages which show “unspecified” breeds which can be a little frustrating.
The Embark DNA test uses a database of more than 350 breeds, so it promises accurate breed identification - again that makes it great if you’ve got a rescue pup that you’re not sure of the heritage of.
More than 160 diseases are tested for with the Embark test too, which will give you the information you need to keep on eye on certain conditions and problems that might occur in your dog. Diseases that are tested for include glaucoma, degenerative myelopathy and dilated cardiomyopathy, three of of the most common adult-onset diseases in dogs.
If you’ve just got a new puppy, the kit can help tell you information like how big they are likely to get, expected shedding and so on.
The kit is partnered with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, and you can expect results back between 2-4 weeks.
Perhaps you already know everything you want to know about your dog’s breed and history, but you’ve noticed that something’s not quite right with them.
With this test, you can find out if they have any dietary intolerances, such as gluten, wheat, milk, egs, cheese, beef, chicken, liver, oats, rice, rye and more.
You won’t need a blood or urine sample, but rather a hair/fur sample, which you send back to HealthyStuff’s lab and receive your results back within 7-10 days. After that, you’ll get a report which shows you any intolerances your dog has, helping you to more easily cut out anything which could be problematic.
This DNA test is quite a niche product, but it’s important none-the-less. It tests for Canine Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), which is a devastating degenerative disease of the spinal cord that can eventually cause paraplegia.
The test can be carried out on all breeds, and can be used to determine whether your dog is clear of the genetic markers for DM, a carrier or at risk of developing it. It’s ideal to know this if you plan to breed your dog, or if you think it could be at risk of developing this disease at some point.
The DNA sample collection kit contains 4x sterile mouth swabs, sample collection instructions and the registration envelope. You can expect the results back in just seven days.
Pet Tech Week on T3
Pet Tech Week is brought to you in association with our new sister site PetsRadar.com. PetsRadar.com is a new pathway to healthy, happy pets that offers a unique combination of trusted advice and the best deals on top pet products – check it out today at www.petsradar.com.