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Wisdom Panel – What does your dog’s DNA say?

laughing woman by the water holding happy fluffy brown dog

DNA testing for dogs? Yes! Just like with humans, genetic testing can unlock great insights to help you with your dog’s training, healthcare and even nutrition. At Wisdom Panel, we’ve tested more than 1,000,000 dogs and in that time we’ve learned a thing or two about how important it can be. So why would you want to test your dog?

Did you bring home a new dog from the shelter? Chances are the shelter staff took a good guess at your dog’s breed, but it turns out visual identification is only accurate about 25% of the time—even by professionals! By testing your dog’s DNA and identifying the breeds in his ancestry, you can identify your dog’s behavioral tendencies and develop a training program that works with your pup helping both of you transition into a new life together.

“But my dog is purebred; I don’t need to know the breeds in her ancestry.” True, but what about her health? Genetic testing can also identify more than 150 disease-causing mutations found in pure and mixed-breed dogs, such as potentially life-threatening drug sensitivity mutation, MDR1. A simple at-home, swab test  can provide you and your veterinarian with an extensive report on your dog’s genetic health for proactive care.

Don’t forget about nutrition. Bringing a new puppy into your house comes with lots of new adventures and questions, a big one being…well…how big will he get? Genetic testing can provide you with a predicted weight profile based on the breeds found in your new puppy. You and your vet can use this information to make a plan for his nutritional needs or if you have a fully-grown dog, make necessary adjustments to get him onto the ideal nutritional plan.

So while it’s true that dogs may not be able to talk, their genetics can tell us quite a bit. Ancestry information, health screening, weight management and more, all with a simple swab of the cheek! To learn more and order a DNA test for your dog, visit www.Wisdom today!

  • When Should You Switch Your Senior Dog to Soft Food?

    smiling lab sitting in front of brick wall

    As your dog ages, you’ll likely notice changes in your best pal’s energy levels, routine and even muzzle. Older pets may require adjustments to help them get around, exercise and live their best life as a senior. One important aspect of caring for a dog entering their golden years is diet.

    When it comes to diet, every dog has unique, individual needs, regardless of age. So, there's no one easy answer to the question of soft food versus hard food. Both types of food can provide your dog with the nutrition they need — as long as you feed your dog a high-quality dog food that’s nutritionally balanced and complete.

    two dogs eating from two bowls

    Signs Your Senior Dog May Benefit from Wet Food

    If your dog has very specific health concerns, such as aging joints or weight issues, consult with your vet for more information about what type of food best addresses your dog's needs. That being said, there are a few reasons why you may consider switching your senior dog to soft food.

    fluffy brown dog yawning showing teeth

    Teeth Sensitivity

    As your dog gets older, their teeth may become more sensitive, which can make chewing kibble more difficult and even uncomfortable. Switching to a soft food can help to alleviate your pet’s oral discomfort when eating.

    However, if your dog is experiencing serious pain at mealtime from a condition like tooth decay or gingivitis, switching to soft food won't remedy the problem. Make sure you talk to your vet about oral care and dental treatment.

    Digestion Aid

    Digestion begins in the mouth with saliva, so if your dog has a tendency to scarf down meals, they may not be adequately chewing the food or adding enough saliva to it. Soft food can aid with digestion because it's more easily chewed.

    Hydration Help

    It’s no surprise that wet food has a higher moisture content when compared to dry kibble. If your senior pup is prone to urinary-tract issues or simply needs a little help staying hydrated, canned dog food may be a good choice.

    girl kissing older dog on the head

    Slower Metabolism

    Aging dogs tend to have a slower metabolic rate compared to their younger years, which puts them at a higher risk of becoming overweight or obese. Many nutritionally balanced wet dog foods offer high protein content with fewer carbs than dry food, which can benefit older dogs with slower metabolism. Always talk to your vet if you have concerns about your pup’s weight.

    Picky Eaters

    While wet food may be less than appetizing to humans, the opposite is true for dogs! If your aging best friend has started turning their snout up to dry food, wet food tends to be more appealing to picky eaters. Mixing wet food and kibble offers your pup a variety of flavors and textures; try adding wet food as a topper on dry food for a real treat!

    Whether you choose dry food, soft food  or a mix of both, ask your vet before making any transition. And when it's time to switch your dog's food, remember to do it slowly — even if it's the same brand and flavor — to help prevent stomach upset and allow your dog time to adjust.

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