So, if you were or are fortunate enough to have had a mixed breed dog at home, have you ever wondered what exactly they’re mixed with? Maybe they act one way or another and you Google it and think, “well that sounds like this breed here.”
When I had Scarlett I knew what she was: Labrador/German Shepherd Dog/Chow. There was no doubt. But Pilot was different. The shelter said he was a chihuahua mix. That could plainly be seen. But with what? I was curious to know, but how to find out?
Enter the Wisdom Panel DNA test kit from Mars Veterinary. I had heard of dog DNA testing before and was curious to see whether or not having one done could possibly help me answer my question. I used Google to help me find a website from where I might be able to order one and landed on chewy.com, a website I had heard much about but never visited. The website was very easy to navigate and they had a wide variety of pet products to choose from. I was able to find what I was looking for and make my purchase fairly quickly. If you are interested in checking them out and seeing what all they have to offer, follow this link.
Here’s how the Wisdom Panel DNA test works:
Step 1.) Once you receive your kit (it took about a week or so for me to receive mine), you will find that there are two cheek swabs on the inside (both of them are for one dog). You take one swab at a time and gently scrub the inside of your dog’s mouth up against the cheek and gums. Always be careful when you are handling an animal anywhere near their mouth. Pilot always gets a bit irritated if he thinks you’re handling his mouth or snout for too long and he get a bit snappy sometimes. Remember: anything that has a mouth can bite! Once you’ve done that, place them in the little holes to the side on the inside the packaging to dry for about five minutes. Then, place the swabs back in the original packaging but do not seal them.
Step 2.) Go to http://www.wisdompanel.com to set up your account and activate your test kit. You will receive an activation code to write on your sample ID sticker,
Step 3.) Place your test kit into the prepaid envelope that has been provided for you and mail it to the Wisdom Panel lab for testing.
Once the sample has been received at the lab the time it takes for each sample to be completed is about 2-3 weeks on average. It is important to remember that each DNA sample is unique and it may take less time to complete some than it might others, even if they were sent in at the exact same time. Pilot’s sample took just over 2 weeks to complete which was actually a lot faster than I thought it was going to be. Once you have had your test kit activated you will receive status reports along the way to let you know at which step of the analyzing process your dog’s sample is. However, please be patient as the status of your dog’s sample may stay same for a period of time, particularly at the processing stage (this stage seems to take up the majority of the time, so please do not be concerned if it stays for a bit). Once your dog’s sample has been completely analyzed you will get a detailed report on the breed(s) that were detected by Wisdom Panel’s DNA testing process. They will even show you an image of your dog’s Unique DNA signature.
They use a special computer algorithim that performs about 18 million different calculations using 11 different models (from a single breed to complex combinations of different breeds) in order to best predict which breeds are more likely to show up in your dog according to their different DNA markings which are traced back 3 generations. They also provide more information about the different breeds that they managed to detect. When they were done analyzing Pilot’s DNA they were able to provide me with a fairly detailed family tree which I will use as an example:
For Pilot, DNA test says that he is part Miniature Pincher, part Chihuaha, and an unknown breed mix that they were unable to identify that went beyond the 3 generations that Wisdom Panel tests for. According to Pilot’s report they were unable to identify any strong individual breed signal so they listed the different breeds that they predicted had the strongest likelihood which, for Pilot, meant whatever the unknown breed mix was, it most likely came out of the terrier group. They then give you a list of all of the breeds that were analyzed against your dog’s DNA broken down into the different genetic groups, marking where they found specific evidence. Once you have read over everything you get a nifty little certificate that you get to print which states your dog’s name as well as shows a picture of your dog’s ancestry, and the breeds that were detected in your dog’s DNA.Wisdom Panel can even give you some possible health and weight predictions for your dog depending on what breeds were detected or whether or not they may have multidrug sensitivity as certain breeds have been known to possess genetic mutations that may not allow proper drug absorption. This is something that has been found to be most common in many herding breeds, hound breeds, and some breed mixes.
All in all, I have to say that I was indeed very happy with the product. The results were extremely detailed an eye opening, allowing me to see and compare the different traits from the different breeds to the ones that I had observed in Pilot. Turns out, a lot of them were very similar! I would definitely recommend this product to others who are looking into find out more about the biological history of their furry best friend. If you would like more information about Wisdom Panel, you can check out their FAQs on their website.
**Please note that this test does not allow for you to register your dog with the AKC. For more information how to register your dog with the AKC, please go here to this link.
***This is not a sponsored post and I am not being endorsed by Wisdom Panel in anyway. This post was just my honest opinion on this product.
Always keep your tail waggin’!