Briefly, here are the main benefits of using DNA test kits for dogs:
This DNA test determines whether a dog has the gene mutation associated with myostatin deficiency.
MetaMorphix Inc. (MMI) Genomics administers the Canine HeritageTM Breed Test, commonly referred to as “the swab test,” and Mars Veterinary provides “the blood test,” the Wisdom PanelTM MX Mixed Breed Analysis. These two companies have been considered the main players in this market, but new contenders are flocking to the scene. The most recent challengers are DNA Print Genomics, which offers the Doggie DNA Print, and BioPet Vet Lab, which recently unveiled the Dog DNA Breed Identification Test. Both use cheek swab samples.
Katie Lytle, a veterinarian with Wisdom Panel, went over their results for Addie with me, pointing out how her traits were a good visual mix of the four breeds they found. In terms of the discrepancy between brands, she said that all of Addie’s Wisdom Panel results were also breeds that DNA My Dog tests for, but ventured that since Addie has two breeds in her that were raised to hunt waterfowl (Lab and English springer spaniel) "if you think about ancestral groups, English setters were in that class as well, so it’s likely that they [DNA My Dog] were identifying the evidence of the group.”
About: Wisdom Panel 2.5 is a dog DNA test kit from Mars Veterinary.
A brief history of dog DNA testing
Using the latest science, this test scans your dog’s DNA, both for ancestry information and specific genetic markers. Your veterinarian can use this information to create a custom health and wellness plan based on your dog’s genetic code.Years after dog DNA testing was first introduced, though, it's finally becoming mainstream. Since Mars Veterinary launched its dog DNA test in 2007, Wisdom Panel, the company—owned by Mars, Incorporated—claims to have sold some 400,000 tests—with the latest consumer version selling for $84.99 a pop. Its other major competitor is DNA My Dog—owned by a Canadian firm—which charges $59.99 per test. Both claim to unlock the mysteries of a dog's genes to reveal their breeds.A few weeks ago, a New York City co-op made headlines when it informed pet-owning residents that they had to produce documentation proving the breeds of their dogs. If the dog was a mix, the percentage of each breed had to be detailed in DNA testing—which prompted cries of "doggie racism," according to . The co-op bans 27 breeds.But Fortune had a big question: Do these tests actually work? Short of becoming a geneticist and analyzing the DNA yourself, if you have a mixed breed rescue, how can you know whether any of this is legit? I decided to try out the two brands currently available and see if they gave matching results for my dog, Addie.