Unleash Your Dog's Story with Dog DNA

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It's Take Your Dog to Work Week! When you brought your pooch to the office this week, were you be able to answer the #1 question – what breed? Don't be caught off guard again. With today's dog DNA tests, you can find out fido's breed and a whole lot more!

Fetch some helpful and healthful information

A dog DNA test can help you better understand and care for your dog. Not only can you discover Fido’s breed or breeds, which is pretty cool and settle some bets, but it can also provide valuable health information that could lengthen your dog's life.

How do these tests work?

Just like the DNA tests for us- science! Dogs have about 20,000 to 25,000 genes that are located along 78 chromosomes (compared to 46 in humans). In 2005, an international research team led by MIT's Broad Institute published a paper in the journal Nature, describing the sequencing of the canine genome.

Dog DNA testing companies create and maintain a database of breed-related genetic markers. After extracting your dog's DNA, they compare it to their database and see which markers show up. How well they match up relies on the size of the database. The larger the database, the more accurate the test.

What can a dog DNA test tell you about your dog?

Your dog's DNA test can reveal their breed(s), potential health issues, and ancestry. Embark can even locate fur-relatives (providing they've also taken an Embark DNA test.)

Breed

If you have a mixed breed dog like my Charlie, you probably are interested in knowing about their breed make-up. Dog's DNA test will give you a result in percentages as well as provide information about the breed.

Health Issues

More than 900 inherited disorders have been identified in the dog. Find out if your dog is a carrier for eye, muscular, gastrointestinal, or heart problems. Knowing your dog's health predispositions can help you and your veterinarian better care for your pet.

Generally, health results are broken into these three categories:

  • At risk - your dog may show or develop signs of the genetic disease

  • Carrier - your dog has inherited one copy of a disease-causing mutation when two copies are usually needed for disease signs to occur (helpful if you plan to breed your dog)

  • Clear – your dog did not inherit any of these disease causing genetic mutations

Think of how much it could help your vet to know that your dog was at risk of early cataracts or spinal cord problems? The information these tests provide are not just a novelty. It could actually add years to your dog's quality of life. And bonus, that means a better quality of life for you too!

Traits

Your dog's DNA influences their features and traits, such as coat color, length, texture, shedding, body size, and more. This is particularly helpful if you have a mixed breed puppy and haven't seen the parents. Do you really know what you are in for? Avoid surprises. A DNA test can help you know if you are going to need a bigger dog bed or more lint rollers.

Ancestry

Even pet's have pedigrees! Identify the breed make-up of your dog's ancestors back to their great-grandparents. This is done feeding your dog's DNA into the testing company's algorithm which analyzes your dogs DNA profile against their database of purebred samples.

Fur-Family

Help them find their furealatives and build their pack! Embark is the only testing company that will identify your dog's fur-family based on shared DNA.

My Top Two Dog DNA Tests

Embark

Top Pick! $169 (Regularly $199) Save $30 when you use WORK30 at checkout through 6/30.

FEATURES

  • Identification for 250+ breeds, including wolf, coyote and village dog

  • Screens for over 170 health conditions including glaucoma, degenerative myelopathy, and dilated cardiomyopathy — three of the most common adult-onset diseases in dogs

  • Connects fur-family, dogs with similar DNA including close and distant matches (think Ancestry DNA for dogs!)

PROS

  • Largest database of genetic markers

  • World's only canine relative finder

CONS

  • Cost. It's more expensive, but they offer specials.

Wisdom Panel Health

Best Value Choice - $149.99

FEATURES

  • Identification for 250+ breeds

  • Screens for 150+ genetic health conditions

  • Predicts weight profile

  • Genetic trait analysis

PROS

  • Less expensive than Embark

CONS

  • Doesn't identify fur-family

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What's your dog's story? I’m Kimberlie Guerrieri and this is my pup Charlie. He’s adopted and he just so happens to share the same name as my Great Grandfather - Charlie Guerrieri. I’m a Certified Genealogist with more than 15 years of experience helping people like you discover their family histories and solve some pretty cool mysteries. Contact me for a FREE call to discuss your goals and let’s get started on your story!