Should you get a DNA test for your dog?

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Should you get a DNA test for your dog?, Sleeping puppy

Did you know you can have your DNA tested and trace your ancestors? Did you know you can have your dog’s DNA tested too?? Welcome to the world of tomorrow, where you can bond with your fur babies over genealogy … to a certain degree.


Meet boomer

I’ve come to the conclusion that my family cannot do anything “normally,” or at least we have to be spontaneous in some manner. We stopped at a gas station and I asked my husband to run in for a couple of drinks. After a short while, he walks out with two drinks and a puppy. Yep. You read it correctly. The gas station employee had her grandchildren giving away a litter of puppies. My husband took the last one and bestowed upon him with the name, Boomer, which had been decided on long before we met this little puppy.


Wisdom panel 3.0 canine DNA test

The people giving away the puppies claimed they were lab mix. As he grew, we began doubting this to be true. A friend suggested a Wisdom Panel 3.0 Canine DNA Test to determine Boomer’s breed(s). The kit contains two soft brushes, instructions, and a box with a prepaid shipping label so you can send your pup’s DNA back. You use the soft brushes to gently massage the inside of your dog’s cheek for 15 seconds. Our puppy isn’t accustomed to this, so it took two of us to collect his DNA. It doesn’t hurt them, but it might be an unusual sensation for them. After you’ve collected the DNA on both brushes, allow them to completely dry before placing them back in the original pouch. After everything is in the box, seal it up and ship it out! Shipping will vary because of COVID-19. Boomer’s DNA took 10 days to reach the lab. It took another 10 days for their lab to process his DNA and send us the results via email.


Canine DNA is more complicated than we think

For over 15 years, they have been developing dog DNA tests, collaborating with institutes like Banfield Pet Hospital and Washington State University. According to their website, they use their Illumina Infinium XT genotyping chip that scans 100,000 locations to determine even the smallest differences between breeds. Fun fact, a Chihuahua’s DNA and a Great Dane’s DNA are 99% identical! Their fancy science can scan for that tiny little detail for more accurate results. Although, I’m sure it’s relatively easy to spot the difference between a Chihuahua and a Great Dane.


Why would you want DNA results?

You might be wondering why people would drop money on a DNA test for their dog, but I think the most crucial reason is health-related. Certain breeds suffer from specific health problems. For example, Great Danes are prone to cardiomyopathy, which is a disease of the muscle. It results in an enlarged heart. Knowing your furry friend’s breed(s) allows you to better understand them and their health needs. Aside from possible health concerns, you may want to know your dog’s breed just to know!


Boomer’s results

I took a Facebook poll to see what my friends and family thought Boomer is mixed with before revealing the DNA results. The votes were almost evenly split between Beagle and Saint Bernard. Personally, I LOVE big dogs, so I was hoping he was at least from a large breed group. Obviously, Boomer is not a purebred, so we already knew he’d be a combination of breeds. Maury wasn’t available to announce Boomer’s DNA results so I took it upon myself to let the cat dog out of the bag. As it turns out, he’s only 25% Beagle! He’s also 25% Russel Terrier and 50% combination of five breed groups: herding, terrier, hound, companion, and Asian. Wisdom Panel’s website explains how they go back three generations to search for specific pure breeds. Beyond the third generation, they can only identify breed groups.


While I am a little disappointed that Boomer isn’t part Saint Bernard, I will say this; he is a smart dog! He’s barely a month old, and he’s already house trained and understand a few simple commands. I have high hopes for him and look forward to the years to come with our little pup!

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