Dog DNA testing has become so much more accessible with today’s new technology. Cheek swabs for DNA collection are easier and less invasive than taking blood samples, and just as accurate. And the choices keep growing!
Dog DNA Testing Choices
- Tests such as the Wisdom Panel determine what breeds a dog has in its background. This gives valuable information in predicting the adult size of a mixed-breed puppy, and possible genetic health conditions related to certain breeds. And besides, isn’t it fun to play Sherlock: What Breed is My Dog?
- Breeders of purebred dogs often test for inherited diseases to avoid producing affected offspring. Puppy buyers can then have proof for the disease screening of their new pet
- Breeders also test for inherited traits such as coat color and length, mustaches, beards, and eyebrows, and natural bobtails (as opposed to dogs who have their tails docked at 3-5 days of age)
But the ease of obtaining results doesn’t mean the results can be taken lightly. For example, if a dog’s test results show they are affected by the Degenerative Myelopathy mutation (DM), it will most likely develop that disease, which is a gradual degeneration of the spinal cord. Those results, and what they represent, are scary. What now? Run sobbing into the street? No one wants that.
Results of Dog DNA Testing are Not a Diagnosis
It is really important to consider this as a test result and not a diagnosis. The next step is consulting your veterinarian, if you haven’t already.
- Involve your vet from the beginning by including them in the decision to test, and by forwarding the results of the test directly to them
- Schedule a visit with your vet for an exam on the pet, and discuss the results with them
- Ask questions about the possible implications on your pet’s future health. What should you expect, now that you have this knowledge?
Forewarned is forearmed, and knowledge is power. Your vet has the training needed to understand what the results mean for you and your dog. They have gone through an average eight years of school, maintain a veterinary medical license, and continue to keep up with new medical developments in the industry throughout their career: all because they care about your pet. Their job is to guide both animals and people through life together, with all the preventive care and medicine necessary.
The Tip of the Tail
So a partnership of DNA testing by DDC and veterinary medicine can only be a win for our pets. And you are the glue that brings it all together. By using resources such as DDC, and consulting the medical experts in your local veterinary office, you are taking an active part in a healthy life for your dog.