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Published On: Tue, Apr 10th, 2018

What dog genetic testing can tell you

Back in 2015, an NYC co-op informed pet-owning residents that they would have to produce documentation regarding the breed of their dogs. If their furry buddy was a mix, the co-op asked for the percentage of each breed. In other words, the dogs had to be DNA-tested and proof according to which they did, in actuality, belong to their official breed was asked.

It’s been several years since DNA testing was introduced, and it took a bit of time for it to become mainstream. Most tests are priced at under one hundred dollars nowadays, and there are some options that can even be bought for fifty. To put it simply, many consumers now have the opportunity to test the genetic makeup of their canine companions cheaply, easily, and conveniently. Here’s an interesting comparison, if you’re curious to know more about them.

But what is genetic testing for dogs and what can it tell you? Why should you do it if you’re a dog owner? Let’s look at some important things about the practice and maybe then you’ll make up your mind about whether it’s the right thing to do for you and your furry friend.

Size information

If you are not a breeder, you might be less interested in how pure your dog is in relation to the breed that he or she is said to belong to. However, a DNA test can offer you essential information on potential health problems, as well as the size that the pup is going to be when he or she grows up.

If you adopt, you might not know whether the pup you’re thinking of getting is half Newfoundland because most medium-sized puppies are pretty much the same when they’re very young.

That’s why it’s very difficult to tell whether the pup will grow into a large dog or a smaller one. This factor might mean a lot if you live in a particularly crowded space and wouldn’t have enough room to keep a large dog.

Health

Several specific breeds are more prone to developing certain conditions than others. For example, did you know that hip dysplasia is a common occurrence in German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers and that many veterinarians actually recommend getting dogs tested and X-rayed as soon as they reach the age of 6 months?

Being aware of these aspects can help you prepare better for whatever might be ahead. Genetic testing can tell you the percentage of chances that your pup might have in developing such a disease.

That’s why many vets recommend adoption instead of buying a puppy — because breeders can be ruthless when it comes to matching pure-breds. Even if the mother or the father of a puppy might have hip dysplasia, for instance, those people might have no second thoughts mating them just because they look perfect and their features are in accordance with the breed they are a member of.

Author: Vlad George

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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