DNA Testing Rage Is Not Just For Humans

Of late, us humans have become overly obsessed with our genealogy. With Ancestry.com and 23andMe, we’ve used subscription-based sites, which may cost as much as $400 per year. For those with limited budgets, there are free sites, such as ‘The U.S. GenWeb Project’ and ‘FamilySearch.org, which may not be as extensive, but can provide data almost as good.

Genetic Testing for Dogs

The work accomplished by these companies became so popular in helping us learn about our genetic makeup, that tech investors are now looking to invest in spin-offs from this trend . . . namely, genetic testing of our dogs.

One of first, the Embark Veterinary app allows pet owners, vets and breeders to learn about the ancestry and disease risk of dogs. Similar to human genetics tests, it's conducted through a cheek swab of saliva.

The company announced in July, it raised an additional $4.5 million from investors, which include Anne Wojcicki, founder of a genetics testing startup for humans called 23andMe. In its first round, it successfully raised $2 million.

Each test costs $199. Similarly, the human genome test from 23andMe is around the same price in the U.S.

While there are other dog genetic tests -- like Wisdom Panel, which determines a dog's ancestry -- Embark Veterinary cofounder Adam Boyko said his company delivers a more comprehensive picture of a dog's overall health.

Advantages to knowing a Dog’s DNA

There are a good number of advantages in understanding your dog’s family tree and DNA. Some of major benefits include:

  • Review Mutt’s Genealogy. Dog genealogy tests can trace your dog’s origins several generations back to his or her ancestors. While dogs don’t care much about where they came from, discovering your pup’s family tree can be tons of fun for his or her human family.
  • Health Threats. As noted above with Embark Veterinary, learning about your dog’s genealogy can assist in being proactive with their potential health risks common to specific breeds. Once you know your dog may be prone to certain diseases or illnesses, you can get a jump on preventing deterioration.
  • Weight Predictions. Dog genealogy DNA testing kits can predict the adult size and weight of your puppy. This can help you prepare for your dog’s growth and insure your pup maintains a healthy weight appropriate for his or her breed.
  • Prevent Inbreeding. Dog genealogy is also vital to understanding your dog’s genealogy before you consider breeding them, especially for pedigrees. Canine breed DNA identifier tests can assist owners in breed certification and reveal a dog’s genetic diversity, helping you prevent inbreeding.

If interested in learning more about your dog’s DNA, you can consider purchasing a dog DNA test like Wisdom Panel's latest iteration 2.5 to kick-start the process. The current cost on Amazon is $95.

Primary Source: Doggie DNA Testing