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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!

  • The Serious Benefits of Play

    dog carrying a frisbee in its mouth

    Playing and having fun helps to eliminate stress from your life—and the same holds true for your dog. In fact, incorporating various forms of play into your dog's daily routine is vital to helping him develop a healthy, loving personality.

    The benefits of play

    Here are some of the ways that playing and having fun is important:

    • Physical health. Active play helps keep your dog's heart healthy, keeps the joints lubricated, and improves his overall balance and coordination.
    • Mental health. Games with rules force your dog to use his brain, not just his body. This can help keep his mind sharp and focused.
    • Social skills. When your dog plays with other dogs and other people, it helps improve his overall social skills. He learns basic rules and how to play by them.
    • Bonding. Even if it's only for a few minutes a day, playing with your dog helps strengthen the bond between you.
    • Your health. What better way to alleviate the stress of a busy workday and get a bit of exercise than to come home and play with your dog? It's a win-win for both of you.

    How to play with your dog

    There are right ways—and wrong ways—to play. The most important thing to remember is that you're the boss. You decide what games should be played and you set the rules. This helps establish your credibility as the pack leader. It also helps keep your dog from getting overly excited and out of control while you play. If your dog does become difficult to manage, simply put a stop to the game until he calms down again.

    When you're teaching your dog a new game, reward him when he does well. Remember, rewards don't have to be just treats. You can also reward him with his favorite toys or lots of hugs and praise.

    When you start out teaching your dog a new game, keep it simple and go through the game slowly, until your dog fully grasps the rules. Also, wait until he fully understands one game before you teach him a new one, otherwise it will end up confusing him.

    Playtime tips

    • Avoid games like keep away, wrestling, or tug-of-war. Those games encourage biting or dominant, aggressive behavior.
    • Stay in control of the game at all times. Show your dog that you're the pack leader, not just another member of the pack. Retrieval games are good at teaching control.
    • Don't include your body or clothing as part of any game.
    • Incorporate the SIT or DOWN and STAY commands in every game.
    • You decide when it's time to end the game, not your dog. The best time to stop the game is when your dog is still eager to play.
    • If, for some reason, your dog doesn't seem to understand the game at some point, go back to the beginning, or simply leave it and try again a few days later. Don't get angry if you're dog isn't "getting it" right away. Remember it's supposed to be a fun experience for both of you!

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