5 Things a DNA Test Can Tell You About Your Dog

DNA testing can be an interesting way to learn more about the breed of your dog, and their ancestry as well as an indicator of their physical traits as they grow up – particularly with rescued dogs. However, DNA testing has many more uses than just satisfying your curiosity. It can also help you identify potential health risks, advise you on the care of your pet, and better understand your dog’s behavior. 

Not only that, but by taking part in dog DNA testing, you are helping veterinary genetic research to be expanded upon to better understand and care for our dogs and improve DNA testing for the future!

Below are five things DNA testing can tell you about your dog so that you can better understand how it can impact the care and understanding of your pet.

Breed Percentages and Trait Information


The most popular and common information that can be provided by a DNA test is the breed information for your dog. DNA testing can break down your dog’s breed mix by percentage, telling you, for example, exactly what percentage Labrador and Poodle your Labradoodle is! Additional information about the general traits of your dog can be provided based on breed percentages, such as the likely temperament of your dog, their physical traits as well as other historical facts about their breed. 

The genetic age of your dog can be determined through DNA testing, as well as other traits like their genetic diversity. Some DNA kits can also give you some information concerning your dog’s ancestry, such as the probable breeds of their ancestors.

Health Concerns and Genetic Risks


DNA testing kits can include a health screening. These kits can screen your dog for over 150 diseases they may be prone to developing or are carriers for. Your dog may be prone to diseases for various reasons, whether they have genetically inherited disease or condition from their parents or there are more at risk of diseases due to their breed and genetics. Some diseases are breed specific, such as muscular dystrophy, which is found in golden retrievers, so becoming more familiar with your dog’s breed and screening them for health risks can be highly beneficial for their well-being.

It is also possible to find out whether your dog has the MDR1 gene (multi-drug resistance gene) which can cause your dog to suffer reactions to common drugs.

Weight and Nutritional Recommendation


DNA testing can provide information concerning the weight and nutritional needs of your dog. Some DNA tests can help to predict the adult weight of your dog, as well as the ideal weight range for your dog to be happy and healthy. Based on the breed and size of your dog some nutritional guidance and recommendations can be made to supplement your dog’s diet. Nutrients and minerals may be recommended to help with digestion, and joint issues and even to keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy.

Identifying Relatives Through Shared DNA


Certain DNA testing kits also come with the added feature of being able to connect with other dogs that may be related to your own. Related dogs are identified through a certain percentage of shared DNA and are a continuous process as more dogs are DNA tested with kits that include this feature.

Identifying Causes of Allergic Reactions


Testing for allergies is another option that some test kits offer, allowing pet owners to identify the allergens that may cause an allergic reaction in their dog. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include runny eyes, itching, or vomiting, and should your pet show any of these symptoms, it is wise to consult your vet even if you decide to run a DNA test.

For more on DNA testing visit Village Veterinary Clinic at our office in Grayslake, Illinois. You can call 847-223-5593 to schedule an appointment today.

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