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What DNA Testing Can Tell Us About Mixed Breed Dogs

Posted by Dr. Roth on February 18, 2022

Lifestyle
Wellness Care
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Generally, a dog’s genetic background doesn’t affect how a pet parent feels about their canine. They love their dog fiercely, and they want nothing more for them than a long, happy, and healthy life. 

Genetics might not play a role in a pet parent’s affection, but they can still impact a dog’s life. However, not every pet parent knows their dog’s background. Dog DNA testing can provide that information and a whole lot more. 

What Is Dog DNA Testing?

A dog DNA test is a kit that pet parents can use to learn what breeds make up their canines. The process typically involves a cheek swab that a pet parent sends to a lab for analysis. It usually takes only a few weeks to get results. Breed identification may be able to provide important  information for pet parents and veterinarians. 

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What Can Dog Genetic Testing Reveal About Mixed Breed Dogs?

Often, pet parents use dog DNA testing because they’re unsure of their dogs’ backgrounds. As it turns out, learning more about a dog’s genetics provides a few other significant benefits: 

Risk of Developing Illnesses and Diseases

Some dog breeds have a greater risk of developing certain illnesses and diseases. For instance, large and giant breeds like Great Danes and Saint Bernards are more likely to develop dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds are more inclined to joint issues

Learning a dog’s breed history can help pet parents understand the risks their dog might face as they age. They can then take preventative health steps to avoid significant medical surprises later down the line. 

Genetic Disorders and Congenital Conditions 

While some genetic and congenital disorders are visible, others aren’t. A pet parent might not know something’s wrong until they’re at the emergency vet. Many dog genetic testing kits provide markers for various conditions. Pet parents can use this valuable information to watch for specific symptoms and get the necessary treatments their dogs need to live quality lives. 

General Dog Health Advice and Understanding a Dog's Needs

A dog’s breed makeup can give pet parents an idea of their dogs’ healthy weights. There might be nutrition guidelines that may benefit specific breeds - such as vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that promote optimal skin, joint, digestive, and overall health. With this information and a professional vet’s insights, pet parents can better tailor their dogs’ diets. 

Every dog is different and has their own personality and level of activity, however, there is a benefit to understanding a breed's general personality traits and exercise needs. Some breeds will have a natural instinct to herd, hunt, and perform tasks, while others are content with a few daily walks. Likewise, some breeds are characterized as being more territorial, vocal, or high energy than others. This information can help prepare pet parents with their approach to training and creating a stimulating environment for their dog. 

For Puppies: Potential Size and Coat Type

Many pet parents know that their adult dog could be vastly different from what he looks like as a puppy. Dog DNA testing can give a pet parent a better idea of how large their puppy might get. It can also offer insight into what type of coat their puppy might have, which can be helpful for grooming purposes. This can be particularly helpful for allergy sufferers. 

Dog DNA Testing: Get Vital Information for More Accurate Dog Advice

While uncovering the breeds that make up their dog can be a fun learning experience for a pet parent, that’s only the beginning of what dog DNA testing can do. With breed information, dog parents can learn more about what potential health risks their dog might face as they age and how they can help them live a happier, healthier life. For more information, the Fuzzy Veterinarian Team is here 24/7 to provide pet parents with expert advice specific to their pet’s needs.   

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