February 2014 – Learn your dog’s exact breed mix with a simple blood test

Many of us own dogs that are identified only as “mixed breed.” This means the dog is a “cross” between two or more different breeds. We might simply guess what breed mix they are based on their body structure, facial features and temperament they display.

It is also common to find that most rescue groups and animal shelters will guess a dog’s breed mix based on the animal’s physical appearance because visitors to the shelter ask the breed type when they meet the dog or view it online. The shelter provides this information to help the prospective owner decide on what type of dog is best for their home and also make the animal more adoptable. However, the shelter or rescue’s best guess can be totally incorrect or only partially correct based on what they think seems so obvious.

Therefore, if you really want to know exactly what your dog’s ancestry consists of, there is a blood test called the Wisdom Panel for dogs that provides accurate information. This information can also be vital for your veterinarian.

Why would it benefit me and my vet to know my dog’s ancestry?

A dog will display certain characteristics based on its particular breed. This goes far beyond just physical traits (shape of head, size, or type of coat). A dog’s behavior and temperament is influenced by its ancestry. For example, some dogs have a herding instinct while others may be more docile.

If you know exactly the type of breed mix you are working with, you will better be able to understand your dog’s instinctive actions and provide your pet with the types of activity, training and interaction he needs to remain healthy and a loving member of your family.

Helping your dog to remain healthy is a key issue here. Certain breeds of dogs are more prone to certain genetic diseases. This information is good to know ahead of time. For example, certain breeds such as Collies can have a MDR1 genetic mutation that does not enable them to metabolize fairly common medicines and anti-parasite medications. If the dog tests positive for that particular gene, then your veterinarian will know to avoid those medications and use alternative treatments. This knowledge can save a dog’s life.

How does this test work?

The Wisdom Panel is a simple blood test that can be performed at your veterinarian’s office. It provides a complete DNA analysis using a state-of-the-art breed detection process which compares the dog’s breed makeup to over 235 different breeds collected in a database.

What will I learn?

You will be provided with a complete report detailing your dog’s breed mix detected, a breed-based behavioral profile and insight into your dog’s breed-driven physical attributes. This information will also be helpful for your veterinarian to offer the best care and treatment plan for your dog in the future.

It’s never too late to discover your dog’s true ancestry.

You can learn more by watching this informative video produced by the Wisdom Panel team. Please feel free to call our office to schedule an appointment for a Wisdom Panel blood test now, or you can discuss this opportunity to learn more about your dog’s ancestry during your next wellness visit. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

The Belle Mead Animal Hospital, Your Other Family Doctors