Mars unit selling DNA tests for purebred dogs

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Mars Veterinary, a subsidiary of McLean-based Mars Inc., has introduced two DNA tests aimed at determining if a canine really is a purebred or designer dog.

The company’s Wisdom Panel Purebred and Wisdom Panel Designer Dog certification tests evaluate a dog’s genetic patterns in comparison to a database of purebreds.

The tests involve cheek swabs that owners to use on their dogs and then mail in the samples in a pre-paid package. Within three weeks of receipt of the swab sample, dog owners will be e-mailed an official Ancestry Report.  The Purebred results will confirm if the dog’s ancestry consists of a single breed over four generations. The Designer Dog test will confirm whether the dog is a first generation hybrid etween two purebred dogs from different breeds.

“Knowledge of the true breed makeup of a dog can help owners work with their vets to be on the lookout for certain diseases they never would have suspected and increase the chances their dog lives a healthy and happy life,” Dr. Angela Hughes, Veterinary Genetics Research Manager at Mars Veterinary, said in a statement.

The tests, which are available online, sell for $69.99 each.

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