About: Wisdom Panel 2.5 is a dog DNA test kit from Mars Veterinary.
This DNA test determines whether a dog has the gene mutation associated with myostatin deficiency.
Another professional use of dog DNA testing comes courtesy of a company called PooPrints — also contracted by property owners — that tests residents’ dogs so that their fecal matter can be identified when dog waste is left in a common area. Poop-shaming is apparently very effective.
DNA tests have also become a tool for what some call “dog racism” — a charge leveled against the board of a luxury co-op in Manhattan this summer after residents received a notice saying dogs would be DNA-tested to determine their breed. Many apartment buildings have breed restrictions, which can be influenced by a property’s insurance company. Pennsylvania prohibits breed profiling by insurance companies, but building owners can do it. Take Lindy Property Management Co., which manages 30 apartment buildings in the Greater Philadelphia area. Their policy prohibits usual suspects like pit bulls, but also forbids the Karelian bear dog and the Russo-European Laika. Are people around here really that interesting? Who has a Finnish bear dog? (If you do, call me. I want to hug it.)
explains more about how dog DNA testing works and what to expect.
A brief history of dog DNA testing
Using the latest science, this test scans your dog’s DNA, both for ancestry information and specific genetic markers. Your veterinarian can use this information to create a custom health and wellness plan based on your dog’s genetic code.Years after dog DNA testing was first introduced, though, it's finally becoming mainstream. Since Mars Veterinary launched its dog DNA test in 2007, Wisdom Panel, the company—owned by Mars, Incorporated—claims to have sold some 400,000 tests—with the latest consumer version selling for $84.99 a pop. Its other major competitor is DNA My Dog—owned by a Canadian firm—which charges $59.99 per test. Both claim to unlock the mysteries of a dog's genes to reveal their breeds.A few weeks ago, a New York City co-op made headlines when it informed pet-owning residents that they had to produce documentation proving the breeds of their dogs. If the dog was a mix, the percentage of each breed had to be detailed in DNA testing—which prompted cries of "doggie racism," according to . The co-op bans 27 breeds.But Fortune had a big question: Do these tests actually work? Short of becoming a geneticist and analyzing the DNA yourself, if you have a mixed breed rescue, how can you know whether any of this is legit? I decided to try out the two brands currently available and see if they gave matching results for my dog, Addie.While co-ops and rentals may use the tests if specific breeds are banned, in large part, the sales of DNA tests have been fueled owner curiosity and by animal shelters, which to help place pets into homes. When adopting a pet, prospective owners want to know how big the dogs will get, whether they're good with kids and if the dogs might be suitable for, say, apartment living. Knowing the breed makeup can shed light on that. Wisdom Panel even makes a shelter test called DogTrax, which gives fast-tracked results since shelter dogs so often have a short amount of time to find a home. Knowing a dog's breed is also helpful in knowing what health issues for which the dog may be at risk.When we contacted both companies, DNA My Dog offered to do a second test with new swabs from Brutus. Those results revealed he is Italian Greyhound, Rat Terrier and Catahoula Leopard dog. A DNA My Dog representative said the Great Dane result was likely due to some sort of contamination of the sample we sent in.