The Secrets Behind Doggy DNA

DrPaul -

The Secrets Behind Doggy DNA

Doggy DNA testing is on the rise with more and more owners choosing to delve deeper into their dog’s genetic blueprint to find out breed information, screen for genetic disease and even connect with long lost doggy relatives! 


Breed Makeup

DNA testing can tell you what breeds make up your dog and in what proportions. With dogs being dogs there are often surprises when the results envelope is opened.  Even if you think you have a Labrador you may be surprised to learn there may be a small percentage of chihuahua somewhere in there!


Health Screening

One of the biggest health benefits of DNA analysis is testing for genetic diseases. Some companies have panels which can test for very specific breed related disorders, other companies can test for a staggering 206 genetic disorders. 

The idea of your pet testing positive for a genetic disorder may seem quite daunting but being armed with the knowledge and knowing what to look for will improve the chances of catching problems early. It also helps people make more informed decisions about whether or not to use their dogs for breeding.  



You may wonder where your dog's curly ears come from, or why they have a particular pattern on their coat. DNA testing can tell you the genetics that make up your dog's physical traits and how to use this informant to best care for them. 



Most DNA companies will keep a database of all the dogs they have tested, and some services will offer a service which can also connect close or distant relatives which you can then opt to link up with. A great excuse for a doggy family reunion!


So how can you go about testing your dog? Most companies have a simple testing kit which you can order online. The test is quick, easy, and invasive and involves taking a swab of your dog's cheek cells and then posting back for testing. There are a number of different companies available so make sure you do your research to get the best out of your pets DNA.

Paul Manktelow

Veterinary Surgeon

Dr Paul Manktelow is a vet who's worked for almost 20 years on the front line in some of the UK's busiest veterinary hospitals. Paul also appears regularly in the media as a TV and radio presenter, writer, public speaker and podcast producer.