If your dog became a member of your family past the puppy stage, you might not know exactly how old they are. A canine DNA test can sometimes help to give you a pretty good idea of your dog’s age.
Dog genetic testing can do this by estimating your dog’s genetic age, also called their biological age. In a process just like what happens in aging humans, your dog’s telomeres—structures on the ends of their chromosomes—shorten with age, so it’s often possible to estimate your dog’s age by the length of their telomeres.
It’s important to note that some diseases or conditions can also cause a dog’s body to present as biologically older than it actually is in chronological years. Therefore, no dog DNA kit can give a completely accurate chronological age for your dog, but you can find out your dog’s biological age with a fair amount of accuracy. Get ready to choose a birthday.
If a pet DNA test can’t give completely accurate results on the chronological age of your dog, what’s the point of trying to learn your dog’s genetic age? Satisfying your curiosity about whether your newest family member is barely out of puppyhood or heading into their senior years is only the beginning. Because the age presented by your dog’s genetics might not match their chronological age, learning your dog’s biological age can help you give them the healthiest diet, medicine and lifestyle for their individual needs.