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DNA Testing for Pets-Popular for Purebred, Crossbred, Adopted & Rescued Dogs

The Economist March 12, 2022 pp22 |United States|Genetic tests for pets| “Son of a bitch” “Testing dogs’ DNA is increasingly popular, and full of surprises”

Read The Economist for all the details

Summary by 2244

Genealogists have been good at keeping elite dogs “purebred” but now DNA technology is available to assist. Surprisingly now even “common mutts'' are having their pedigrees traced. Two firms are cited as providing these services; Wisdom Panel and Embark Veterinary having examined 3M and 1M pets/mostly-dogs.

“Animal DNA tests work much like human ones. They compare genetic markers with a database of pets with verified pedigrees, revealing canine lineage and potential health problems.”

In some cases, owners discover by testing that their pricey pets are not purebred or not the crossbreed they expected. Conversely “owners of adopted and rescued dogs,”...”make up 67% of Wisdom’s panels,” are interested in learning that for example a pet that looks like a Jack Russell actually was “a mix of 23 breeds.” Interestingly, some owners of adopted dogs “like searching for long-lost kin.” “About 12% of dogs in Embark’s database discover a sibling, parent or offspring.”

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