Now you can get a peek inside the genetic makeup of your dog. The method gives a rough estimate (it’s not a perfect science), but it offers some intriguing insight for people who may have no idea what breed their best friend comes from.
Best Dog DNA Test Near San Diego for 2018
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.
The goal is to give pet owners a better understanding of their dog’s health for preventive care, and provide insights to breeders. For example, tests can detect which dogs might be carriers for specific diseases, so breeders can avoid mating them with another carrier. It can also provide details about a dog’s family tree, which may be especially revealing for rescue dogs.
Embark Veterinary said it’s able to track over 200,000 genetic markers and recognize 175 breeds with its test. It also delivers a breakdown of chromosomes to see which traits come from certain breed types. Results take three to four weeks before they are delivered online.
Each test costs $199. A human genome test from 23andMe is the same price in the U.S.
How Canine DNA Tests Work in San Diego County 92101
A basic dog DNA kit includes everything you’ll need to prepare a sample for testing. The process is pretty simple: In most cases, you will swab the inside of your dog’s cheek with the provided brush for up to a minute to collect cheek cells in saliva containing DNA. Some kits ask for blood samples, which will need to be drawn at your veterinarian’s office. While blood samples yield larger amounts of DNA, both blood and saliva provide accurate results. For genotyping — the process of determining an individual’s unique genetic makeup — DNA from saliva is sufficient. “Assuming a sample has enough DNA, there’s no difference to us analyzing genotyping data from a saliva and blood sample,” says Adam Boyko, Ph.D., an assistant professor in biomedical sciences at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and founder and chief science officer of Embark Veterinary, a canine genetic-testing company.
Once you have collected your samples, you’ll mail them back (in the provided packaging) for analysis at a laboratory.
There are several different offerings for dog breed DNA tests that you can order online.
We will be objectively be reviewing the advantages and disadvantages of each dog DNA test kit on the market, with customer reviews used to help determine which dog DNA test kit is best suited for your needs.
Why Test Your Dog’s DNA?
Once predominant breeds are established, owners can take their results to their veterinarian to discuss potential health issues associated with specific breeds. “Boxers are prone to getting cancer, and Dobermans sometimes have bleeding disorders similar to hemophiliacs,” says Bernadine Cruz, DVM, associate veterinarian at California’s Laguna Hills Animal Hospital. Knowing these potential risks ahead of time, and asking your veterinarian to keep an eye out for them, can save lives.
Cheap Dog DNA Test Around San Diego California
MetaMorphix Inc. (MMI) Genomics administers the Canine HeritageTM Breed Test, commonly referred to as “the swab test,” and Mars Veterinary provides “the blood test,” the Wisdom PanelTM MX Mixed Breed Analysis. These two companies have been considered the main players in this market, but new contenders are flocking to the scene. The most recent challengers are DNA Print Genomics, which offers the Doggie DNA Print, and BioPet Vet Lab, which recently unveiled the Dog DNA Breed Identification Test. Both use cheek swab samples.
The swab sample has the advantage of a collection procedure that is simple enough to be done by the owner at home. It does have some drawbacks, however, including a risk of contamination and too few cells being obtained for successful testing. To avoid the latter, BioPet Vet Lab includes a card that changes color to indicate that a sufficient sample is present. Blood samples are collected by a veterinarian and the chances of contamination and inadequate sample size are greatly reduced.
Tests also differ in the number of breeds available for comparison. Mars Veterinary interrogates the genetic signatures of more than 130 of the 159 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).* MMI Genomics recently announced the XL version of their test, which has a database of more than 100 breeds. The breed list available for BioPet Vet Lab contains 58 breeds. DNA Print Genomics does not report specific breed matches; rather, “15 elements of dog ancestry” are revealed, and the customer performs a search of the company’s online database to identify matches to particular breeds. Since each test interrogates a different set of breeds, sending your dog’s sample to more than one company may not return identical results.
DNA My Dog in San Diego
- You’ll learn about the breeds that make up your dog. Let’s say the shelter told you that your mutt is a Labrador/Pit Bull mix. He may have some of the physical features of those two breeds, but canine DNA testing may actually show that he is made up of 5 or 6 different breeds (going really far on his family tree).
- You’ll know the exact percentage of the breed. Not all DNA tests for dogs can do this, but a few of the best dog DNA tests can tell you exactly what percent of each breed your dog is made of, going as low as into single digits. This is very useful to know for dog’s health reasons, which we discuss below.
- You’ll get your dog’s behavior explained. Understanding exactly which breeds make up your dog will tell you a lot about what you can expect about your dog’s behavior and his needs. If you know that your dog is 40% Boxer, 30% Labrador, 20% German Shepherd and 10% Newfoundland, you’ll be able to assume certain characteristics about what he may look like and his personality.
- You’ll understand how to care for and prevent illnesses in the dog. Finally, and most importantly, some of the best dog DNA tests can reveal potential health problems in your dog. Knowing the genetic makeup of your canine will give you vital information on what to expect in terms of your dog’s health and lifespan, which can help you to prevent certain canine diseases or know how to deal with them more effectively.
Embark Dog DNA San Diego CA
The Embark Dog DNA Test takes our top spot as the best DNA test for dogs. This test is one of a kind and backed by sound science. Embark DNA is a comprehensive dog DNA test that screens for breed identification, traits, ancestry and genetic disease risk (for 160 known canine genetic health problems). Your test results even include a detailed vet report to help you and your veterinarian plan the best care for your dog. Embark partners with scientists from Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine to conduct ongoing research into dog genetic testing — and you have the option to include your dog’s DNA data in their research. What’s more, Embark contributes funding and genetic testing to animal shelters in the U.S. and Nepal! The downside? Embark’s dog DNA test cost is significantly higher than breed-only DNA tests.
More importantly, however is the information generated by Embark’s testing for more than 160 genetic conditions. The company website says the test is highly accurate for detecting degenerative myelopathy, exercise-induced collapse, PRA blindness, dilated cardiomyopathy, and even multi-drug resistance gene sensitivity. While it is quite difficult to evaluate the veracity of these claims, the company’s partnership with the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine should be a welcome relief. And that is not all. If these test results are accepted and deemed valid by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, who are we to argue? Moreover, various dog DNA test reviews confirm its accuracy and effectiveness.
The only downside to the Embark system is that it takes an unusually long time to get the results. This should already be expected as they have a lot of genetic markers and genetic diseases to cover in addition to the breed identification testing. The long wait should really pay for itself once you get the full results and no other test can give you that.