Why It’s Important to Know Your Dog’s Breed: An Interview with Embark Vet

Why Its Important to Know Your Dogs Breed
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We all have a type when it comes to dogs. When we find that perfect pooch, there’s no question about whether or not we’ll be taking them home. But what if you don’t know the dog’s breed? How can you truly know if this is the right fit for your family?

Luckily, there are ways to discover what breeds are in your dog’s DNA. With a Dog DNA Test from Embark Vet, we’ll be able to help you understand why knowing your dog’s breed matters so much and how it can positively impact their lives!

Knowing the Breed to Meet Your Dog’s Needs

The benefits of knowing your dog’s breed are incredibly important when it comes to their health. The majority of different breeds have some peculiarities, especially when it comes to their genetics and physiology. Some breeds are more prone to certain diseases, while others may be less likely to suffer from them.

For instance, large-breed dogs like Great Danes and German Shepherds tend to get hip dysplasia at a much younger age than other dogs do; this means that these big guys will need special care as they get older (like regular vet visits).

Embark Vet
Embark Vet Dog DNA Test

Certain Breeds Commonly Suffer from Predisposed Health Conditions

There are many health conditions that dogs can be predisposed to. Most require proper veterinary care and treatment, but some are genetic and can only be avoided by not breeding the dog at all. If you’re looking for a purebred puppy or adult dog, it’s important to know which breeds have common hereditary health problems so that you can make an informed decision about your purchase.

Some of the most common predispositions include:

  • Hip dysplasia: This condition causes joint pain and stiffness in one or both hind legs. It is usually diagnosed via X-ray, but there are several other tests to determine whether your pup has inherited this disease as well as how severe it might be if they do develop symptoms later on in life (or even now). Hip dysplasia is common among German Shepherds, Dachshunds, Cocker Spaniels, and Miniature Poodles—but there are many more breeds who suffer from this ailment!
  • Eye problems: A number of eye conditions have been linked with certain breeds including progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts, and corneal dystrophy among others; however these disorders don’t always manifest themselves immediately upon birth so it’s important for owners of affected pets take them for regular checkups at least once every six months ever since they reach adulthood (if not sooner).

Dog Breeds Prone to Cancer Development

If you’re a dog owner, you’ll want to take note of the breeds that are most prone to developing cancer. For example, the following are three breeds most prone to developing several forms of cancer.

Labrador Retriever

Genetic predisposition: 1 in 200 Labradors will develop cancer. Their most common cancers are bone tumors, lymphoma and skin tumors (including melanomas).

Embark Vet
Embark Vet Dog DNA Test

German Shepherd

Genetic predisposition: 1 in 400 German Shepherds will develop cancer. Their most common cancers include bone tumors, lymphoma and skin tumors (including melanomas).

Golden Retriever

Genetic predisposition: 1 in 500 Golden Retrievers will develop cancer. Their most common cancers include bone tumors, lymphoma and skin tumors (including melanomas).

Understanding your dog’s risk of cancer may help you take steps to help prevent or manage this condition.

Embark Vet Dog DNA Test not only lets you know your dog’s breed background, it also has the most accurate health results for dogs.

Embark Dog DNA Test not only lets you know your dog’s breed background, it also has the most accurate health results for dogs.

The test uses a panel of over 250 dog breeds and is one of the few tests that gives you both health and breed results. So if you’re curious about what kind of dog your pup is or if he/she might be predisposed to certain diseases, Embark can help answer those questions.

How is DNA Matched to Determine Dog Breed?

According to our interview with Embark Vet,

Our test will require you to swab your dog’s mouth for saliva or through a cheek swab, which contains DNA that can be analyzed in a lab.

Once you’ve collected a sample from your dog (30-60 seconds of swabbing) and we receive your sample here, we’ll process the swab and your results will be ready in up to 4 weeks.

We don’t look at single SNPs in isolation to test for breed. Rather, we look at stretches of the genome (which are at least hundreds of thousands of base pairs long) with 100% identity to known breed samples from the reference panel.

When you have completely identical long stretches of DNA in two different individuals, the only way to have that is to inherit them from the same, somewhat recent ancestor. So for sufficiently long stretches, you’ll find that the only individuals with exactly the same DNA there are all from the same breed, and the only viable explanation for that is that the stretch of DNA came from an ancestor who is also in that breed.

If you add up all the stretches of DNA that match perfectly to one and only one breed, you get a sense of how much DNA must have been inherited from that breed– then you do it for any other breed found in the dog. And then, from all that, you can understand what percentage of the dog’s ancestry came from each breed.

Embark Vet

Understanding Your Dog’s Breed

We hope this article has helped you understand the importance of knowing your dog’s breed. It’s an important piece of your dog’s identity and can help you and your vet better understand how to care for them.

Read more:

Five Reasons Why Knowing Your Dog’s Breed Is Important – Friends of the Dog

3 Reasons To (Really) Know Your Dog’s Breed – Rover-Time

Published by Amber L. Drake

Dr. Amber L. Drake is a celebrated author and a distinguished cancer specialist, renowned for her comprehensive research in canine cancer prevention and nutrition. She is widely recognized for her commitment to helping dogs lead long and joyful lives, as well as for her contributions to veterinary medicine education. As the CEO of Canine Companions Co., the Founder of the Drake Dog Cancer Foundation and Academy, and the Co-Founder of Preferable Pups, she has become a respected and influential figure in the canine community, earning the admiration and respect of dog enthusiasts around the globe.

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