Over the past few years, Dog DNA testing has been all of the rage. Pup parents of mixed breed dogs, especially from rescue or shelters, are curious about their dog’s genetic makeup. That being said, it is not exactly cheap, with most tests costing about $100. This may lead to some pup parents wondering if the tests are worth the price.
According to a March 2019 USA Today article, quite a few veterinarians have expressed mixed feelings regarding at-home DNA tests. The publication interviewed Dr. Lisa Moses, a veterinarian who works as a research fellow at Harvard Medical School’s Center for Bioethics. She noted that pet parents should "take the results with a grain of salt,” especially regarding medical information.
USA Today reported that Dr. Moses co-authored a paper entitled "Pet genomics medicine runs wild" that was published in Nature.
Said papers warn that “Most of these tests are based on small, underpowered studies. Neither their accuracy nor their ability to predict health outcomes has been validated.”
While speaking to the AKC, Dr. Diane Brown, former Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer of the American Kennel Club’s Canine Health Foundation, advised pup parents to use other methods to determine their pup’s health, stating,
“You need to look at the overall health of the dog that you’re thinking about. What did the pedigree look like? What did the parents look like? What did the siblings look like? Do that sort of homework. What is required to be tested in that particular breed? I think that making decisions on the health and breeding of a particular dog needs to go far beyond just a single reference point and far beyond a single test. It needs to be looking at the dog as a whole.”
That being said, the American Veterinary Medical Association’s spokesperson, Michael San Filippo told USA Today testing is “fine to do if you're curious about your dog's ancestry and breed makeup."
Even if you are just wanting to know more about your pup’s breed, you still may feel overwhelmed with how at-home DNA tests are currently on the market. Thankfully, The Spruce Pets recently listed their top picks. The site recommends Embark Breed & Health Kit, DNA My Dog Breed Identification Test Kit, Wisdom Health Wisdom Panel 3.0 Canine DNA Test, and Orivet Mixed-Breed Identification Test Kit.
Have you used an at-home DNA kit for your canine companion? Let us know in the comments!