Today, over 400 domestic dog breeds exist, from the 15-pound Chihuahua to the 200+ pound Mastiff and anything in-between, bred to serve just as many purposes! Unfortunately, today’s domesticated dogs also tend to suffer from countless ailments, just like their human companions. What would you do if you could prepare yourself for these medical issues before they ever even happened?
What is a Dog DNA Test?
A dog DNA test analyzes a dog’s genetics and genetic history to learn about its pet family’s history and/or possible medical or hereditary health problems. Owners might even decide to consult their veterinarian or continue with their own research into any possible health findings.
Simply said, DNA testing is exactly that. Depending on the provider chosen, DNA tests can become quite extensive, detailing everything a pet owner would want to know about their furry loved ones, and then some!
Why is a Dog DNA Test Important for Me and My Dog?
Hereditary Diseases & Disorders
Until the concept of DNA testing came about, we simply had a general idea what ailments certain breeds are prone to, like Hip Dysplasia for example. Sure, we could take steps to minimize that potential risk, but that is about it. With DNA testing, we can take a much more thorough look at disorders our dogs are likely to develop and take steps to prevent or better prepare.
With dog DNA testing, owners can be as prepared as possible to keep their loved ones as safe and healthy as possible! That alone would be worth the cost to most pet owners.
Know Your Breeds
Countless mixed breeds exist across the country and world, ranging from any number of shapes and sizes. As such, it is often nearly impossible to identify their exact breed parentage.
With dog DNA testing, owners will not only learn the exact breed composition of their mixed breed dogs, but often gain a look into further generations that went into developing their pup. Many of the companies below offer a detailed description of a dog’s lineage, and some offer explanations to boot!
Help Understand Dog Behavior
When man first began selectively breeding dogs, they were bred to assist in fulfilling a purpose. Because of this, a dog’s personality traits often reflect their breeding. Understanding many of the breed associated traits and genealogy behind your pup listed and described among the services here will offer better insights into why your dog behaves the way he does!
What is the Procedure?
Dog DNA testing has become incredibly simple for owners, almost always involving a little more than a cheek swab! The providers listed here simply require an online order to begin, along with an average of 2-3 weeks to analyze and submit results once samples are received.
Companies that perform dog DNA testing maintain a list of genetic markers to compare and isolate, some, a very extensive list. By comparing these markers to those of your dog, they are able to predict future medical concerns.
Charts & Graphs
A Note on Pricing
The graph above depicts each provider’s pricing for Dog DNA tests. Many of these providers offer multiple forms of dog DNA tests, so the most applicable tests are accounted for.
Keep in mind- the price of a service will often reflect how comprehensive it is, but not 100% of the time.
Top 10 Rankings
The graph above ranks each service on a 1-10 scale, 10 being the optimal rank. Web presence, customer reviews and quality of information provided are considered.
Price is not considered as a factor.
Note: The Importance of a Solid Web Presence
Every single one of the providers listed below operates and markets online, meaning most of their clients will find them via the internet/ internet searches. That being said, maintaining some type of internet presence is mandatory.
The graph above ranks the quality of each in that area on a 1-5 scale (5 being top quality), accounting for things like:
- Website appeal
- Easy of navigation
- Quality of information/ explanations provided
- Blog (high marketing impact)
- Example reports provided
If a provider is lacking in any area, an organized blog, simplicity of website navigation or sample reports for example, they will drop in ranking. If no devoted web presence is easily found at all, they would have earned a rating of 1.
A Sample Test Explained
A good, comprehensive report should cover:
A dog’s breed makeup, as well as that of previous generations
For many pet owners, this is one of the main objectives behind a dog DNA test- to unveil what lies behind their pet’s genealogy. Is he really a purebred, and just how much so? What breeds make up my mixed breed dog, and what are their traits? Remember, most domesticated dogs today were originally bred to fulfill a purpose; their personality traits often reflecting that purpose. Knowing a dog’s family history will give insights into its own behavior.
Potential future health concerns, as well as descriptions informing the viewer
When ordering a DNA test for their dogs, owners want to know about medical problems they may face in the future, and how to cope with those problems. A test lacking this information holds little value to many buyers.
Breed trait and historical explanations
If the DNA testing is going to offer insights and explanations into the breed it is testing, it should explain the traits and breed history behind the tested dog so a buyer is best able to understand his/her dog, the hereditary disorders the dog is prone to endure and the dog’s behavior.
Example above provided here.
Example Test Comparisons
The top-rated services listed here provide sample tests for potential buyers to review before making a purchase. To make things easy, we’ve included links to each, as well as our own ratings, so you can find out for yourself without wasting time searching! Some of these are very similar, so we’ve rated them on a 1-3 scale for simplicity, 3 being best. Our rating scale considers:
- Viewing simplicity
- Information included
- Level of organization
For example, if one is formatted in a very simple and easy to comprehend manner for the viewer, yet lacks in information, it is still ranked below another that provides more information for the dog owner.