pet breeds.

Gene technology has come such a long way. It is pretty exciting to be able to just spit in a tube and learn all about your ancestry and background. We have made some pretty incredible advances in the animal world, too. Now you can have pet heritage testing completed as well. While Animal Medical Hospital & Urgent Care thinks that this is pretty interesting stuff, we also wanted to be sure that our readers understand that genetic testing for pets is not just all about breeds—there can be some pretty valuable medical implications of pet DNA testing as well.

The Fun Side of Pet DNA Testing

The more that we learn about true genetic breed identification for pets, the more we are humbled in realizing that looks can be deceiving. Very rarely are our guesses correct, and with the popularity of crosses like doodles, it can be hard to know exactly what breeds your pet might be.

Canine DNA testing (as well as feline DNA testing) can help us to accomplish a few goals:

  • Understand what breed(s) you pet is
  • Find your pet’s relatives (depending on the platform utilized) 
  • Contribute to the continuing improvement of our knowledge of pet genetics

Understanding your pet’s ancestry and breed tendencies can help to improve your relationship with them. It can also help you to make some proactive health choices by understanding any breed-related conditions that they might be predisposed to. And if you meet a long-lost relative in the process, that makes things even more fun!

Genetic Testing for Pets and Optimal Health

Like many of the human DNA screening companies, there are several veterinary DNA companies who offer the ability to test for many genetic conditions in pets. Knowing that your pet might be affected by a condition like this can make an impact on your dog or cat’s overall well being. 

DNA screening for genetic conditions allows us to understand if your pet is at high risk of experiencing the disease or passing it along to any offspring that they may have. Modern genetic technology allows us to screen for things like:

  • Genetic bleeding disorders
  • Urinary stone formation
  • Predisposition to certain spinal/back problems
  • Alterations in metabolism of medications/drugs
  • Certain skin conditions
  • Genetic ocular issues
  • Conditions affecting the nervous system

Knowing a pet might be predisposed by these types of conditions can allow us to take proactive measures to prevent problems or change our day to day practices to minimize issues. They can also help you to select a pet insurance plan that is more likely to cover these issues should they occur. 

Pet DNA testing is fast becoming a valuable tool in the optimal care of our four-legged friends. Let us know if you have questions about screening your pet. We are happy to help weigh in!