We Tested DNA of a Cat and Dog


– This is my cat Avalanche. Today we are gonna perform some tests on her. Hey, Avalanche. Hey, come back, don’t you wanna chew on this, like, swab more? (light rock music) The consumer DNA testing market is exploding as people ship off gallons and gallons of spit to companies like 23 And Me. But human DNA testing isn’t the only trend catching fire. People are also starting to DNA test their pets. I have two different tests here to sequence your cat’s genetics. And you can find out information about their breed that way, and also some information about their health. I’ve got swabs. Vlanche? Lick it all up. This is really fun. We’re gonna collect some poop, and they sequence the bacteria that live in your cat’s gut via the poop. And then they tell you things about your cat’s health. Got here a little plastic baggie to catch it. Very nice. And they want me to take the cat poop and like scoop out a sunflower-sized bit of that poop. How big is a sunflower seed? Like that big? Lovely. (light music) Some owners use the DNA health results to figure out whether their dog is at risk for disorders like early blindness or bladder stones. So this is Bagel, and we met when she was two months old. They told me she was a Dalmatian mix, but she is Boxer and Staffordshire Terrier. No, other paw, okay, that’s a girl, good girl. It was 160 diseases that they tested for, and she’s clear out of 156 of those. I was worried about that she might go blind because she has one eye that’s really light. She’s a carrier for that, but she’s not gonna get sick from it, which is really good. – [Kristen] Health is one thing, but just like DNA testing for people, most pet owners just wanna know the ancestry of their pet. Julia Knight got her dog from a rescue pound. – His results came back 50% German Shepherd, 50% Husky. I think where it helps is in knowing some of the typical characteristics of each breed. For example, German Shepherds are very obedient. Huskies apparently really like to escape. So that made us realize we need to make sure all our gates are always closed. – For dogs, these tests are actually far more accurate than they are for humans. That’s because dog breeds are a human convention. What makes a Swede a Swede is up for debate. But what makes a German Shepherd was determined by people. Health though, is part of it, too. I subjected my cat to two DNA tests and a Micrbiome class. According to one test, Avalanche isn’t at risk for any known genetic diseases. Also, and somewhat confusingly, she is genetically black. At the end of the day, is it really worth it to DNA test your pet? To Avalanche, I would guess probably not. Um, wooh. (laughing) (light techno music)

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