The latest in DNA testing has finally arrived to someone very deserving: Man’s Best Friend. Canine testing, while relatively new in the marketplace, has found a variety of uses to dog owners, breeders, and veterinarians alike. Testing for dogs consists of many of the very same methodology and practices now commonplace for human genetic tests, with only the test subject being, well, not quite human these days.
Why a DNA test for a dog?
The reasons the DNA testing of dogs are actually routine and used for many purposes ranging from dog profiling for breed, dog identification, genetic disease tracing and much more. To get an idea as to why testing for Dogs is so popular these days, you should understand where the applications are based and what objectives can be achieved through the testing:
- DNA testing can identify dog breeds including both purebred lines and mixed breeds. This information can be used by dog breeders who are attempting to either trace or prove their dog breed line. (To learn more about dog breeds, visit this page The American Kennel Club Breed association has a very simple, interactive way of learning of all known dog breeds). Additionally knowing the mix of a dog can be informative to owners and also to their animal care givers who provide breed based diagnosis’ oftentimes for common breed disorders.
- Testing for dogs can be used to identify, just like the same technology now being performed on humans, predispositions for genetic disorders. Once again having this information in the hands of dog breeders can assist them in determining which dogs are suitable for breeding and which are possibly not due to inherent risk factors that are found in the dog’s genetic coding
- While not as commonplace as the above uses, many communities have now turned to dog DNA testing in order find the owners of dogs which may or may not be suspected to be the culprits of unwanted waste left behind by careless owners (dog poop DNA testing). This testing while probably not the most critically important use for testing purposes can alleviate problems associated with property management disputes and lead to overall reduced waste from animals being left behind.
How a dog DNA test works
Surprisingly enough Dog DNA testing is essentially the same exact process that human beings subject themselves when testing their own genetic material. DNA is found in all life forms, and therefore can be isolated and analyzed using the very same tools where normal human testing is performed. Test samples for Dog DNA tests are typically the same as home DNA testing, using only a sample of cellular material from the mouth of the animal. In this method, a cotton swab or Q-tip type object (typically supplied by the test provider) is inserted into the dog’s mouth and rubbed gently on the inner cheek, gums, and under the tongue. The recollection process is completely painless for the animal and is no problem for either owner or a veterinary care specialist to perform simply. Once sample collection is performed, the DNA samples are sent to a DNA laboratory, usually the very same ones who process human DNA, for analysis. Click here to view the step by step sample collection guide ; the same exact method used for our canine friends is also used for humans.
Where is the data?
Dog DNA testing experts say they have more than 10 million dog genetic codes sequenced and organized into an electronic database. This database is then used against tests being requested by owners, dog breeders, and veterinarians. For cases where one is looking to verify or match their dog to an existing breed (or breed mix), the samples from the dog being tested are sequenced and the genetic coders identified. The genetic codes, just like that of humans, can show similarities to other existing breeds in the database creating a match.