A Christmas Gift for You and Your Dog

October 29, 2007 · Print This Article · Email This Post

Mixed Breed Dog DNA TestingHave you ever wondered about your dog’s genetic history and which dog breeds are in your canine’s genetic makeup? Now you can get the answer, relatively inexpensively, in a painless procedure which would be a thoughtful holiday gift.

The declining cost – as low as $65.00 – of canine DNA tests and the increasing availability of such services has allowed people to unlock the genetics of their mixed-breed dogs. This dog owner, Kathie Svoboda of Lincoln, Nebraska, had always wondered about her dog’s genetic background. After a quick swab of one of “Rascal’s” cheeks, she mailed the DNA sample to MetaMorphix of Beltsville, Maryland, and learned in just a few weeks that “Rascal” was a mixture of Collie, Cocker Spaniel and Shetland Sheepdog. The Canine Heritage test has been on the market since early 2007. The company covered 38 breeds at the time “Rascal” was tested and hopes to be able to test for 115 breeds by year’s end.

More complex (and more expensive) canine genotyping based on DNA from blood samples can be had from Mars Veterinary of Virginia. Veterinarians draw the blood; results return in four to six weeks. The final cost, determined by the veterinarian you choose, ranges from $100 to $200. Currently, Mars tests for 134 of 157 dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). According to Paul Jones, an English scientist who’s been a leader in developing the blood test, Mars plans to have data on all AKC-recognized breeds by 2008.

Some of the possible benefits to canine DNA testing are thought to include a higher recovery rate for stolen pets; increased understanding of a dog’s potential health risks based on the breeds involved; and a better understanding of a dog’s personality and behavior, based on the breed’s DNA markers.

Read another Christmas story.

Photo credit: Nati Harnik / AP

Copyright ©2007 pajamadeen.com


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