DNA screening in animals could soon become just as popular as DNA testing for humans. And why not? Our four-legged or feathered pets are members of the family every bit as much as people-babies, and we have important questions about them for which DNA might hold answers. So what’s available out on the market today, especially for a dog DNA test, and how do these tests work? Here’s a quick QA.
Is DNA screening for animals only for dogs?
No! Although a dog DNA test is the most popular option, there are various DNA tests on the market, including:
- DNA Testing for Cats: Screening for inherited diseases
- DNA Testing for Birds: Sexing (since most birds’ gender cannot be determined by physical characteristics)
- DNA Testing for Horses: Parentage verification, profiling for identification
- DNA Testing for Alpacas: Parentage verification, profiling for identification
- And more!
How can I tell if my dog is a purebred, and can DNA help?
A dog breed identifier DNA test is a super-popular DNA screening in animals. This test identifies a dog’s parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, so you can easily and quickly find out if your dog is purebred or mixed. The dog breed DNA test is extremely accurate and it can finally put to rest that nagging question: “What breed is my dog?”
How much is this dog DNA test?
What kind of inherited diseases can a dog DNA test detect?
Many people who engage in breed improvement programs for dogs are interested in DNA screening in animals that can help detect carriers for inherited diseases. By identifying these carriers prior to breeding, the likelihood of passing on these genes to a new generation of dogs is mitigated or eliminated. Some of the diseases that can be detected through DNA testing include:
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Degenerative Myelopathy
- Nasal Parakeratosis (HNPK), Centronuclear Myopathy, and Cystinuria in Labrador Retrievers
- Exercise-Induced Collapse (EIC)
- von Willebrand’s Disease Type 1
- And many more
How much are these dog DNA tests?
If you order a single test, fees start at around $58 per dog, but a good DNA lab like DDC Veterinary’s often offers multi-test discounts.
Can a dog DNA test detect carriers for inherited traits?
Responsible dog breeders are not only interested in weeding out undesirable genes for inherited diseases, but also in promoting inherited traits that are beneficial to as well as desirable for a specific breed.
There is DNA screening for animals that can detect coat color genotypes, the likelihood of passing on a curly or fluffy coat, distinctive facial-hair patterns (furnishings), and even whether or not a dog is a Natural bobtail (genetically short-tailed) or has been docked.
How much are these dog DNA tests?
Fees start at about $58 per dog (depending on the test ordered), and again, multi-test options are often a cost-effective option.
Is DNA testing painful for my dog?
Absolutely not! DNA samples for dogs are collected using a non-invasive, non-painful cheek (buccal) swab. So no matter which test you choose to do for your dog, you can be sure he or she won’t be traumatized by the experience one little bit.
The Bottom Line
DNA screening in animals is just getting revved up, and the potential uses for this technology to help keep our furry companions as healthy as possible are exciting and practically limitless. So what’s next? We’ll see!