What if you found out your dog wasn’t the breed they seemed to be?
Would this change how well you could care for them? Of course, knowing their genetic predisposition would help immensely. This is why more and more pet parents are DNA testing their dogs in order to better understand what illnesses may arise later on or even future offspring of theirs that might not have been planned!
We’ll explain the 3 reasons that genetics tests for pets are taking off:
- Pinpoint your dog’s breed and ancestry
- Find any genetic diseases or health risks
- Understand your dog’s innate likes, dislikes, and instincts
Pinpoint your dog’s breed and ancestry
An animal’s breed and ancestry can be a big part of their identity. Most animals are mixed breed and you want to know what their breed mix, where they came from, which breeds have contributed the most to their make-up. This information can be really helpful when it comes to understanding how your dog thinks and behaves.
This is especially valuable when you’ve adopted a dog and don’t have a record of your buddy’s birth parents.
Your DNA test shows you all the breeds of your dog, and how they compare with each other. The results also show genetic traits, such as whether your dog is likely to shed hair or has a high prey drive. Linus’s pie chart included in this blog post shows his Chihuahua and Pekingese lineage, as well as contributions from other smaller breeds.
Find any genetic diseases or health risks
An important part of DNA testing your dog is to find out if they have any genetic diseases or health risks. One in two dogs has at least one health condition, with many breeds being predisposed to certain conditions like liver disease and hip dysplasia. Knowing that a dog may be predisposed to an illness can help you plan appropriate preventative measures. You’ll be able to eliminate a number of potential health surprises leading to better outcomes and avoiding emergencies.
If your dog has a condition, it’s possible that you could avoid the health risks by carefully planning breedings instead of just taking any dog. You’ll also be able to know when an illness may come up so you can plan for them in advance and possibly save yourself some money on vet bills down the road with early diagnosis.
Understand your dog’s innate likes, dislikes, and instincts
Some dog breeds are more suited to certain types of activities, so a DNA test can help you find out what your dog’s perfect activity is. For example, some breeds are more likely to engage in water sports while others prefer to work out their agility training and running on hard surfaces. Knowing they come from a long line of hunting hounds tells you they’d probably love to go out to a field chase balls as long as they have the energy.
With a DNA test, you can also learn what your dog’s food preferences are. Some dogs love certain types of foods and the flavorings in them, while others will turn up their noses at anything but dry kibble or canned meat. More importantly, knowing if your pet’s breed is hereditary weight or dietary issues is vital to ensuring they have a long and happy life. Read more about proper feeding on our Food & Nutrition resource page!
How do I get a DNA test?
It’s easier than ever to perform a genetic test for pets, and it can be done yourself without having to a vet using a dog-focused DNA test kit available online. We’ve reviewed a number of offerings and by far the easiest and most impressive is Embark. It really couldn’t be easier for you or your dog.
After receiving your kit in the mail you’ll quickly rub their gums with a provided cotton swab and seal it in a provided pre-paid, pre-addressed envelope. Within days you’ll begin receiving updates on the process and within a few weeks, the results will be in!
- Swab their gums
- Seal it in the pre-paid envelope
- Drop it in the mail
Within days you’ll begin receiving updates on the process and within a few weeks, the results will be in!
You’ll receive an email with instructions on accessing the entire breakdown of the results. The amount of data and information Embark pulls out of your pet’s genetic markers is nothing short of amazing. You can easily spend the next few weeks going down rabbit holes in your best friend’s genetic past.
Get started now!
If you want to join the growing group of pet parents maximizing their dog’s potential you can get started here with an Embark Breed Identification and Health Kit. Embark has made it easier than ever to maximize your dog’s health potential by opening up the world of genetic tests to everyone.
For a limited time, you can get $50 off this pack if you use the code SPRING50 at checkout!
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