Has someone ever asked you what breed of dog you have? For purebred pooches, this can be a very easy question to answer, but many of us shrug our shoulders or come up with some mixture of breeds based upon traits that we see. Have you ever considered a dog DNA test? A Poingle, Shipoo, Labradoodle and Cockapoo... what do all these have in common? They are all mixed breeds that can be identified by dog DNA tests!
There are really only two solutions: you can get your dog DNA tested or if you are creative, you can make up your own imaginary breeds like @KarenKilgariff does. 🤣
The Purpose of a Dog DNA Test
Dog DNA tests help pet parents understand what breeds make up their own dog. To some people this may be just a curiosity, but in reality, there is more to it than meets the eye. Dog DNA tests can give a better insight to your pup, what he requires to be happy, potential health concerns, training insight and what you can do to be a better pet parent.
Many responsible dog owners end up adopting their pups from local shelters and rescue organizations. At Barx Parx, we are huge advocates of adopting and not shopping. Shelters and rescue organizations do their best effort to identify breeds, but visually identifying physical traits and correctly determining breed mixtures can be nearly impossible sometimes.
Read below to understand what dog DNA tests are and why they can be beneficial both to you AND your dog!
Dog DNA Testing 101
Dog DNA tests are simple tests that are carried out to understand the genetic makeup of your canine best friend. These tests are NON INTRUSIVE and your pup won't feel any discomfort aside from a gentle gum-swab while you get the sample. The majority of dog DNA tests only require that you wipe their gums with a special swab that the company will mail you. You just swab the gum, send it back and wait for the results.
How Dog DNA Tests Can Help
There are many advantages of carrying out such a test on your pooch. Knowing your dog's makeup can be beneficial for many reasons.
Learn what exercise your dog needs!
Different breeds will have different requirements in terms of exercise. In our previous blog post, we have already discussed the importance of dog socialization. Knowing the great exercise needs of your dog, you would be more apt to enroll your pup in dog daycare to help burn off his extra energy. In other words, a dog DNA test may help prevent the destruction of your couch.
Expose breed specific diseases
Certain breeds are more prone to specific hereditary diseases such as the crippling HIP & ELBOW DYSPLASIA IN GERMAN SHEPHERDS. Would you want to know if your dog has German Shepherd traits which may include hip and elbow dysplasia? We assume that would be a "yes". You can only know if your dog has German Shepherd in him (or other breeds prone to dysplasia) by means of a dog DNA test.
Of course you can take the unreliable approach of speculating your dog's makeup by merely looking at him. However, even breed experts are incorrect up to 40% of the time. Animal shelters can be even worse since they will sometimes select breeds that are in high demand to get their dogs adopted quickly. The most accurate way to get insight into the breed of your dog is via a DNA test.
Uncover certain feeding requirements
Different breeds will require different feeding regimes and some breeds are more prone to putting on weight more than others. Some dogs needs a more carbohydrate rich diet while others need a lot more protein. Knowing your dog through a reputable dog DNA test can help in you determine the best possible diet and care. Some dogs may need a prescription diet that vets may be reluctant to prescribe until dogs develop a health problem. Genetic information can aid in that type of decision.
Dog DNA tests are affordable
When people hear the phrase Dog DNA test, they immediately associate it to a very high expense. This may have been true in the past, but as years go by and technology advances, things get cheaper and better. Nowadays a dog DNA test will cost you less than dining out! Barx Parx has worked out a special offer with one of the most affordable canine DNA testing labs so you can finally know what puzzle pieces went into making Fido.
Affordable dog DNA tests are a relatively new option for pet parents. With the advancement in technology, such tests are much more routine and the labs offer options that fit everyone's budget. The mouth-swab is very easy to do and takes only a minute or two. Apart from satisfying your curiosity as to what genetic makeup your pooch is, these tests can shed light on your dog's specific needs.
Bring your results along with you to your next appointment with your veterinarian. Most vets will add the DNA result into your dog's file. This will ensure that your vet tests for breed specific diseases during your next visit.
Many pet parents are opting to test their dogs to learn more how they can be better owners and satisfy their dog's unique needs. These tests are non-intrusive and your dog will not feel a thing except from a gentle swab of the gum!
This proactive approach can give you some early insight into health concerns that your dog may have. Next time someone asks you what kind of dog you have, you will be able to pull a 15 page DNA summary report out of your purse. At the end of the day, the breed of a dog doesn't really matter. Regardless of breed, dogs are amazing creatures - if you love your dog, he or she will love you back.
Which DNA Test Should I get?
We recently tried the Wisdom Panel 4.0 test on Puddles, one of our own dogs (photo to the right). We will be following up with a full summary of her genetic makeup once we receive her results. Puddles was adopted from the one of our local Las Vegas shelters with no breed information.
Barx Parx is also able to offer a special discount with Wisdom Health if you are interested in learning more about your own canine best friend. Click here for more information.