When Matt and I rescued McKenzie Rae in November 2015, we thought she had to be part coyote or deer. I mean, she looks like a baby wild animal (and she acts like one…)! I guessed that she had some Whippet or Italian Greyhound in her genetic makeup. After performing a DNA test, we found out that McKenzie Rae is a Chihuahua, Labrador Retriever and Samoyed mix. Weird, eh? She’s not exactly white and fluffy, but she also has about 2-3 unknown breeds in her. Perhaps she is part coyote and we’ll never know 😉 Technology has come such a long way, and not only are DNA tests on the market but Royal Canin® now offers a Genetic Health Analysis (GHA). GHA is more than a DNA test so let’s dive a little deeper.
Did you know that 53% of the US canine population is made up of mixed breed dogs?! I admit I have a slight bias for mixed breeds, being that I’ve been involved in animal rescue for nine years. With over half of all dogs being mutts, it’s important that we get to know their genetic makeup so we can fully understand their ideal weight, exercise requirements and nutritional needs. In order to do so, Royal Canin developed a cutting edge option to learn more about our mixed breed dogs.
The ROYAL CANIN® Genetic Health Analysis™ leverages cutting edge science to examine the unique genetic sequence of a dog. The analysis uses the dog’s DNA to help identify potential future health needs. Based on the results, veterinarians can work with their clients to develop a customized health and wellness plan for the dog.
How is this different than a store bought DNA test?
- You’ll be working with your veterinarian throughout the entire process.
- Help create a proactive plan for your dog’s health care with more than 130 genetic mutation tests including MDR1 for drug sensitivity.
- Predict your dog’s likely adult weight and size, providing a benchmark you can use to ensure your dog stays at a healthy weight.
- Learn about nutritional guidelines and feeding recommendations based on your dog’s breed make-up.
How It Works:
- The science is complex, but the process is simple:
- Your veterinarian draws a small, painless blood sample. The veterinarian then activates online and mails the sample to the lab.
- The sample arrives at the lab where it is processed and analyzed.
- After 2-3 weeks, a report is sent to your veterinarian.
- You’ll meet with your veterinarian and decide together on custom health and wellness plan based on the report’s findings.
Excited to start?! Find a veterinarian near you that will assist with your dog’s GHA journey. Learn more about the process and what to expect on the Royal Canin GHA website 🙂 Be sure to share the results with me when you find out your dog’s genetic makeup!
Happy National Mutt Day!