At Home DNA Testing, Not Just For Humans Anymore

Home Pet DNA Tests: Not Just For Breed

Pets can join the fun too!

We’ve probably all seen a dog attired in some human-made creation; a golden retriever in a raincoat for its walk, a chihuahua in a sweater to protect against the cold, a pitbull in pajamas for bedtime, and of course, the occasional weiner dog dressed as a hot dog. One should wonder if the dogs were allowed much of an opinion on the matter (especially the raincoat, don’t dogs like to get wet?) It’s not far to make the leap from beaded collars and colorful booties to the desire of someone to know their dog’s lineage and inherited makeup. (“I know he looks like a dachshund, but according to his home pet DNA test, he really has the genes of a German Shepherd.”)

Oh, Who’s Your Designer?

PJs aside, testing your dog’s DNA has become popular and has some merit beyond any bragging rights. And though dogs are what we think of most when we envision animals in clothes, they are not the only pets who can benefit from a DNA test. (Also, people dress up chickens now, so there you go.)

From Hunger Dilemmas to Designer Pajamas

Dog DNA testing kits not only help determine the dog’s breed mix, many of them also screen for genetic health conditions and will even find relatives. How great would it be for a shelter dog to find a sibling? They could meet up, commiserate about their time on the streets, and how wonderful it is to finally have a home and even pjs to sleep in. Maybe you’re not convinced of the importance of knowing the breed (“I love this dog no matter what their genes are!”), but certain breed types do usually portray certain personality traits and have specific breed health risks. No one wants to see an injured person on crutches trying to walk a bloodhound through a park of roaming squirrels. 

This Will Only Hurt For a Moment

Cats can, in theory, have their DNA tested as well. For that, a cheek swab is required, and I would love to see the Instagram video of that exchange. Feathers are used to test the sex of birds. This is valuable because, let’s face it, it’s not like the birds can tell us what their sex is. People also love to know the lineage of their horses, so thankfully, there is a test for that! What it comes down to is that our pets can be have as much genetic diversity as some of us humans do.

Your Grandmother Did Love Those German Shepherds

Dogs randomly get 50% of their DNA from their parents, meaning they may receive more chihuahua genes than Doberman (If it was one of those big mama likes a smaller mate kind of deal). So even if you think you know both of your dog’s parent’s breeds, you may be in for a surprise by what genes actually made it through. Then, of course, there’s the possibility of more than one male dog impregnating a female at a time. The dad may be a supposed known, but paternity might be in question if the mama was a wanderer during heat. (I wonder what a doggie version of Maury Povich would be like?)

A Nice Mauve Could Work

Whether you’re trying to determine future health conditions, your dog’s ancestry (are they part terrier or schnauzer?), or deciding if you should paint your bird’s cage pink or blue (I recommend a gender-neutral color these days), there is a home pet DNA test that’s right for you. Check them out here: 

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