The Omlet Blog

How Does Doggy DNA Testing Work?

Whilst the demand for buying puppies drastically shot up over the pandemic, there was also a significant rise in those rescuing dogs from abroad. So much so that according to the Human Animal Infection and Risk Surveillance Group, 2020 saw a 51% increase in importing dogs from Romania to the UK alone! But with so many of our pet pooches now being rescued from across the globe, it’s left many pet owners scratching their heads as to what their dogs are exactly! As a result, doggy DNA testing has also soared in popularity, providing pet owners with an easy and convenient method of finding out more about their dog’s genetic makeup. So how does doggy DNA testing work?

DNA swab sample being tested

Why Get a Doggy DNA Test?

Dog owners choose to get doggy DNA tests for several reasons, with the most obvious being curiosity! Whilst owners can have some sort of indication of what breed their dog is from either the rescue centre or by their physical appearance, it can be tricky to know for sure. Therefore, testing your dog’s DNA offers a much clearer, nearly entirely accurate, answer to this.

Furthermore, having an understanding of what breed a dog is, may provide owners with a better understanding of their dog’s behaviour. Similarly, this can also help dog parents gauge an idea of potential exercise requirements or what size their puppy will be when fully grown. It will be helpful to read our 5 Ways To Figure Out What Dog Breed Is for You and Best Dog Breeds for First Time Owners blogs, which will give you some further information on breed-specific behaviour.

Alternatively, a dog DNA test may be for breed confirmation for pedigree pups i.e. confirmation that a dog is purebred, as it was sold. Shopping responsibly from reputable breeders is fundamental when buying any dog, however, should a dog begin to demonstrate traits of, or appear as, a mixed breed dog, many owners inevitably would like some clarification. This being said, a doggy DNA test for this may not be completely accurate…

How Accurate Are Doggy DNA Tests?

Common questions regarding this subject are whether dog DNA tests work and how accurate they are. Doggy DNA tests have accuracy rates anywhere between 93% and 99%, but this depends on which specific test you purchase. Generally speaking, however, the more you pay for your test kit, the more accurate it will be.

Genetic markers (used to identify DNA sequences) are one challenge when it comes to how accurate dog DNA tests are. Some testing companies are not able to test for as many genetic markers as others. For example, testing may detect whether a dog is a carrier of a specific health issue or themselves has this issue. However, the fewer genetic markers a manufacturer can test, the less accurate the information they will be able to provide you with.

Furthermore, if using a DNA test to determine whether your dog is purebred, you may be left disappointed. A reason for this is that many purebred dogs have been cross-bred over time to help with health problems that are associated with specific dog breeds. So even if everything otherwise says that your dog is purebred, the result may not reflect this.

Black and brown puppy sat on Omlet Topology dog bed with Sheepskin Purple faux fur topper

How is a Dog DNA Test Done?

So, exactly how exactly does doggy DNA testing work? A dog DNA test, also known as a genetic test, is conducted similarly to how human DNA tests are. Put simply, a DNA test works by checking a DNA sample via a cheek swab, extracting DNA from saliva, which painlessly collects cells from inside of your dog’s cheek.

When you buy your dog’s DNA test it should come with simple instructions on what you need to do. However, the basic procedure is to first remove the swab from the tube you will receive in the doggy DNA test. Next, swab your dog’s cheek by gently rubbing around the inside of their mouth for usually up to a minute, before removing the swab and placing it back into the tube. After obtaining the sample, you’re ready to send off your test to the manufacturer to get the test results! Of course, with any testing, user error can occur. Therefore, reducing the accuracy of results, but it’s a generally very easy process.

How Quickly Can You Get Results?

How quickly you can get your dog’s DNA test results really does depend on what test you have bought. Some tests can provide DNA results in just two weeks, whereas others can take up to two months. When looking into dog DNA test kits, this is a factor to consider, so look into testing companies that can offer a fast turnaround time if you need results quickly.

Can You Get A DNA Test For Cats?

Pet DNA tests can also be done for other animals such as cats! But it’s not quite reached the popularity that dog DNA testing has just yet. This is mostly for the reason that it’s incredibly difficult, in fact nearly impossible, for a cat DNA test to provide you with an accurate breakdown of their breed. It also goes without saying that depending on your cat’s temperament, obtaining the saliva sample itself might be a little more tricky!

Where Can You Get a Doggy DNA Test?

Interested in doing a doggy DNA test? These can either be purchased online or carried out at the vet. There’s an abundance of kits on the internet, so be sure to look at verified reviews for the best accuracy and result time before making your decision!

Afghan Hound lying on grey Omlet Topology dog bed with quilted topper

This entry was posted in Dogs

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