Everybody thinks their dog is the best dog in the world — and they’re right. All doggos are the best doggos in the world. 11/10. 100% good boy/girl.
You already know that your dog is unique, but you’re probably wondering what about your pet’s genetic makeup makes them so special. Why are his eyes two different colors? Why does she have spotted fur? Why does he insist on barking any time something walks past the window?
You could put a picture of your dog on Twitter and have people vote on what he or she is — but Mashable did a What’s your mutt? quiz in 2017 that proved that all of us suck at guessing.
Enter dog DNA tests. Yes, they’re a thing, and they can tell you an awful lot about your dog’s family history, their genetic makeup, and their risk of disease in the future. For rescue parents, these are pretty much a must-do to finally solve your fur baby’s identity issues. (Plus, it’ll be nice to be able to give people a real answer when strangers at the dog park ask about their breed.)
Similar to the way human DNA tests show a pie chart of percentages from ethnic regions around the world, a dog DNA test shows you what your “mutt” is really made of — and maybe you’ll finally find out that his grandma was a Great Dane, and that’s why his ears are so pointy when you’ve been thinking he was all Mastiff this whole time.
Wondering how TF the science works? Well, the whole thing is actually pretty similar to human DNA kits: Dogs have two copies of every gene, one inherited from the mother and one from the father. DNA genetics labs can hone in on each and trace your dog’s maternal and paternal line all the way back to great grandparents. It’s also important to note that puppies will randomly inherit 50% of each of their parents’ breeds, making it very possible for puppies in the same litter to have different breed compositions. So even if you know (or think you know) what your dog’s parents or siblings are, a DNA test is still super worthwhile.
What we were surprised to see is that almost all dog DNA tests offer health screenings. It might seem extravagant, but it’s way better to spend the money to take precautions now rather than wait until a problem actually arises and end up having to break your bank on medical bills. And let’s be real, finding out if there’s a problem early and possibly being able to add years to your dog’s life is worth all of the money in the world.
Also, we’ll warn you now that most dog DNA kits are just as expensive (or more expensive) than DNA tests for humans. But then again, most of us care about our dogs as if they were our human children, so hell yeah, we’ll fork over that money.
Here are the best DNA testing kits for dogs: