Ask a Vet: Is Dog-Breed DNA Testing Worthwhile? - Dogster

By testing your dog's DNA, we accurately identify breed, traits, and risk for over 160 genetic ..
Photo provided by Flickr
Why? Because dog owners, breeders and pet stores have realized the benefits of DNA test kits for dogs, and with constant updates and improvement of DNA tests, there's potential for more than simply learning about the dog.
DNA testing for breed heritage may be interesting, but it's not yet medically relevant for dogs -- it's entertainment, basically.
Photo provided by Flickr
What is the difference between a blood-based breed identification test and over-the-counter swab DNA tests for dogs?
As opposed to over-the-counter DNA tests for dogs, ROYAL CANIN® Genetic Health Analysis™ is sold exclusively through veterinary clinics. While both types of tests give information about breed mix and optimal weight predictions, the blood test gives additional information about health conditions that the dog may be pre-disposed to as well as nutritional guidelines based on the dog’s breed mix. Hi Becky—The author lists Wisdom Panel, Canine Heritage Breed Test, and DDC Veterinary as three options to consider for testing your dog’s DNA.
Photo provided by FlickrCan DNA testing determine the breed of a dog?No. AKC DNA testing does not determine the breed of a dog.
Photo provided by FlickrMay 5, 2015 - DNA tests for dogs are helping owners find out the exact breeds of their K-9 friends.
Photo provided by Flickr
A few weeks ago, a New York City co-op made headlines when it informed pet-owning residents that they had to produce documentation proving the breeds of their dogs. If the dog was a mix, the percentage of each breed had to be detailed in DNA testing—which prompted cries of "doggie racism," according to . The co-op bans 27 breeds.While co-ops and rentals may use the tests if specific breeds are banned, in large part, the sales of DNA tests have been fueled owner curiosity and by animal shelters, which to help place pets into homes. When adopting a pet, prospective owners want to know how big the dogs will get, whether they're good with kids and if the dogs might be suitable for, say, apartment living. Knowing the breed makeup can shed light on that. Wisdom Panel even makes a shelter test called DogTrax, which gives fast-tracked results since shelter dogs so often have a short amount of time to find a home. Knowing a dog's breed is also helpful in knowing what health issues for which the dog may be at risk.Years after dog DNA testing was first introduced, though, it's finally becoming mainstream. Since Mars Veterinary launched its dog DNA test in 2007, Wisdom Panel, the company—owned by Mars, Incorporated—claims to have sold some 400,000 tests—with the latest consumer version selling for $84.99 a pop. Its other major competitor is DNA My Dog—owned by a Canadian firm—which charges $59.99 per test. Both claim to unlock the mysteries of a dog's genes to reveal their breeds.From canine clothing to pet resorts for Rover, many dog owners shell out big bucks for puppy perks, treating their four-legged friends like family. The latest trend is DNA testing for dogs. The tests claim to reveal your dog's breed or breeds if you have a mutt. It's information that they say can be useful because some breeds are predisposed to certain medical conditions. Channel 2 wanted to see just how accurate the DNA tests are.DNA My Dog is the other consumer test for mixed breed dogs. Located in Toronto, DNA My Dog has sold “lots,” since their 2007 launch according to DNA My Dog’s president Mindy Tenenbaum. DNA My Dog tests for 85 of the most common breeds that Tenenbaum says make up approximately 97% of the common North American mixed breed population. Both tests required taking two samples of cells from the dog’s inner cheek on swabs, which are then air-dried, sealed, and mailed off to the lab.DNA My Dog:
"As it states on our order form any contamination will affect results. In all but a very few cases we are able to catch it. The test is only as good as the sample and any home based DNA test is subject to the same potential for bacteria and contamination. Especially when it comes to dogs who have high levels of oral bacteria.
In our experience, even when it comes to the average consumer. as you call it, people aren't so average when it comes to their dogs! If we provide results that don't make sense to one of our clients they will absolutely be in touch
In most cases it is just a matter of explaining the results to them but if something looks "off" we will examine the lab report to see if we can spot anything, we will retest as necessary. I would say in the majority of cases the retests come back the same. Of course for you, since it is a news story, it didn't! But we do retest for anyone who looks like they need a new test
We test for 88 breeds representing the most common breeds in the mixed breed population. We limit the breeds to keep the price down, ensure a high level of accuracy and a quick turnaround. We add breeds based on demand and popularity of certain breeds."