Should I Test My Dog’s DNA?
Testing your dog’s DNA is the process of gaining valuable health information about your dog through genetic testing.
This is done by collecting a DNA sample (such as saliva) and testing it using a certified laboratory. DNA testing makes it easy to learn the associated genetic risks, health, nutrition needs and habits of your dog for costs ranging from $80 to $150.
DNA testing for dogs is even court-admissible evidence and is often used in cases.
For example, DNAffirm used DNA testing to prove that a dog that was to be euthanized for being a pit bull, in fact, did not have any pit bull DNA.
For interested owners, walk through the process of DNA testing in dogs, its accuracy, the types of tests available and five key advantages of getting your dog tested.
How to Test Your Dog’s DNA?
Most of the DNA testing kits designed for dogs follow the exact same testing procedure as they do for humans.
The five steps below describe how to carry out a DNA test for your dog.
- Choose the right test, pay on the website, and receive the testing kit within one to two weeks.
- Procure a DNA sample of your dog using the cheek-swab method.
- Once you’re done, seal the swab inside the protective sleeve you received with the kit.
- Send it back to the lab.
- Review the results in a few days or weeks.
Are Dog DNA Tests Accurate?
Depending on the percentage of human error and the volume of breed information used by a company, the accuracy of the dog DNA test can vary from 95% to 99% (genetic testing in dogs is never 100% accurate).
To get accurate results when testing your dog, pick a service provider with a comprehensive list of medical tests and breed information.
What are the Types of Dog DNA Tests?
Every genetic testing website features different offerings for testing dogs’ DNA.
However, the important thing to keep in mind is the total number of breeds analyzed by the laboratory, preferably over 300 varieties.
Keep an eye out for the estimated turnover time for testing, including the delivery of the kit too.
You also need to find a test that fits all the specific health queries you have about your dog.
The following describes the three standard DNA tests for domestic dogs you can choose from.
Tests for Autosomal-Recessive Disorders
When your dog has an autosomal-recessive disorder, there are two mutated genes inherited, one from each parent.
This is the most common DNA test that checks for inherited diseases in domestic dogs.
Results of the autosomal-recessive disorder can be any of the following: Affected, Carrier or Clear.
Here, ‘affected’ means that the dog is carrying two mutated genes and ‘carrier’ describes dogs with one abnormal gene. ‘Clear’ means that there are no mutated genes of this type in your dog.
Tests for Autosomal-Dominant Disorders
One abnormal gene inherited from a parent is sufficient for the mutation to surface as autosomal dominance in the offspring.
There are many DNA tests for identifying dominant and co-dominant mutations in dogs.
Results of autosomal-dominant conditions are described in the following ways: Homozygous affected, Heterozygous affected or Clear.
Here, ‘homozygous affected’ means that the dog is carrying two mutated genes and ‘heterozygous affected’ refers to a dog being a carrier of one mutated gene.
‘Clear’ refers to the absence of abnormal genes in your dog.
Tests for DNA Linkage
DNA linkage tests determine the genetic status of a dog based on the other two tests. While DNA tests search for problem-causing genes in dogs, finding genes that are linked to the problematic genes helps too.