There are many different things to consider if you have (or are considering getting) a dog. Deciding whether or not you want a purebred dog, choosing the right breed, and understanding the conditions that can affect the animals we love are all important to dog owners. Some genetic features are easier to recognize than others. Overall, however, canine genetics is still a mystery to many dog owners. Thankfully, genetic testing can help us know what our pets may have in store as they age, allowing us to be prepared to handle anything that comes.
Why Do Dog Owners Need to Know About Canine Genetics?
There are a number of reasons why understanding your dog’s genetics can make a difference. Aside from aesthetic considerations, like fur and eye color, health is the greatest reason. Canine genetic testing can give you a view into what to expect in your dog’s future.
More than 350 inherited diseases have been described in domestic dogs. Some, like achromatopsia, are relatively benign. Still, many others require special planning and attention to manage. You may be able to guess whether or not your pet may be affected by certain conditions based on their parents. Still, many important traits are recessive, making it very difficult to know for sure without proper genetic testing.
Human vs. Canine Genetics
While all living organisms are built from some sort of DNA. Nevertheless, how that DNA is coded and presented can be radically different. Still, you might be surprised at how similar your genetic coding is to that of your four-legged friend. In fact, humans and dogs share about 82% of our genetic structure.
Even in the areas where we differ, canine genetics can still impact how we relate to our pets. A 2022 study published in the respected scientific journal “Nature” examined how canine genetics influenced their potential for being domesticated and developing the ability to communicate with humans.
What Canine Genetics Can Tell You About Your Pet
No matter what kind of dog you have, knowing about their genetics can greatly increase the length and quality of your life together. Not only can proper DNA testing help you see the issues your canine may face as they age, but it can also help you start preparations in the hopes of avoiding them entirely.
Even some canine genetic conditions without known cures can be mitigated with the right foreknowledge. For example, if you know that your pet is likely to develop Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), you can start teaching them verbal commands. This can help them cope as the condition develops, allowing them (and you) to maintain a high quality of life.
Orivet Genetic Pet Care
A leader in genetic testing for dogs and cats, Orivet offers a range of genetic services to owners, breeders, and veterinarians, including screening of genetic diseases, coat colors, traits, parentage confirmation, and much more. As one of the most established dog DNA testing companies in the world, Orivet offers a comprehensive range of specially developed canine and feline tests.
Whether you’re a first-time pet owner or a seasoned breeder, Orivet’s at-home testing kits provide a surefire way to better understand your dog’s breeding and lifestyle needs. With actionable insights and a 360-degree understanding of each pet, you can predict health issues, give them a more rewarding lifestyle, and raise dogs that are happier overall.
To learn more and see the full range of available testing kits, head to orivet.com.