Does dog DNA testing really work?

Local News

Curious about your dog’s family history, genes and medical risks? You’re not alone.

DNA testing for dogs has soared in popularity over the past few years. Now there are even tests for your cats. Just swab the inside of your dog’s mouth, mail the sample and wait a couple of weeks to get the results.

“DNA testing is a genetic test that we run on your pet, usually dogs, but cats can be tested too, that can tell your dogs ancestry, parents, grandparents, as well as some pre-disposition for genetic diseases,” Westside Animal veterinary Dr. Abigail Trapp said. 

DNA testing has become popular in recent years. Westside Animal Hospital has been offering DNA testing for more than a year.

“For some people it’s purely curiosity. They just want to know what is their dog and they can answer the question what is my dog,” Dr. Trapp said. “For that reason I think it’s kind of fun and from the health aspect you can learn a lot of things about what you need to be worried about for them as well as behavior traits.” 

Oliver is 3-years-old and owners Aaron and Abby are hoping a DNA test will tell them what breed(s) Oliver is.

Deb Levy took her 12-year-old dog Charlie in for the test and was happy with the results. 

“One of the reasons we did the testing was because we wanted to know that he was actually Yorkie and Bichon,” Deb Levy said. “He does have epilepsy and that didn’t really make that much difference (when deciding to take the test) but there were other things he was checked for and he was negative on all of those too. It was good and a peace of mind.” 

So does the test actually work? WANE 15’s Digital Executive Producer Aaron Organ and his wife, Abby, and their 3-year-old dog Oliver wanted to see for themselves, so they took a home DNA kit.

“Every time that we go out with him, people are like, ‘He’s beautiful, what kind of dog is he?’ and I just say, ‘He’s a good boy but I don’t know what kind of dog he is,'” Abby Organ said. “Everybody always makes guesses so we are hoping to have an answer.”

Here’s how the DNA home test kit works.

  1. Open the packet and remove the cotton swabs.
  2. Swab the inside of your dogs cheek for 15 seconds.
  3. Wait 5 minutes for the swab to dry.
  4. Repackage the swab and place back into box.
  5. Put in mailbox and wait for the results.

Check back in with WANE 15 to see the release of Oliver’s results in a week or two.

For more information about testing your dog at Westside Animal Hospital click here.

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