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Understanding the individual needs of your pet

May 04, 2015 05:09AM ● Published by Family Features

For the millions of dog owners in the U.S., understanding the health issues associated with their dog’s breed(s) can be critical for the nutrition, training and overall healthcare of furry family members.

Ancestry and health in mixed breeds
For mixed-breed dog owners, having access to reliable ancestry information can be crucial. Understanding the breeds that make up their dog enables much more targeted care and in some cases, provides life-saving information. Mars Veterinary, the industry leader in canine genetic testing, is offering the next evolution of the canine DNA test, the Wisdom Panel® 3.0. With expanded breed screening coverage of more than 250 breeds, types and varieties, the test also includes potentially life-saving medical information with a new MDR1 Genetic Mutation screening.

MDR1 or Multi-Drug Resistance 1 is a genetic mutation found in some herding and sighthound breeds, as well as many mixed-breed dogs. The gene is responsible for production of a protein called P-glycoprotein, a drug transport pump that plays an important role in limiting drug absorption and distribution (particularly to the brain) and enhancing the excretion or elimination of many drugs used in dogs. Dogs with the MDR1-mutation may have severe adverse reactions to some common drugs, so it is important to test mixed-breed (and purebreds with the high-propensity breeds) dogs and for owners to share results with their veterinarian so they can provide the dog with the best possible care.

Keeping canines healthy                                                                                    
From the tiny Chihuahua to the giant Great Dane, the number of recognized dog breeds is vast. But just as varied are the ailments and health issues commonly associated to each breed. Regardless of the type, pet owners who want to provide the best possible care for their best friend should follow these general tips for optimal health:

  • Visit the vet. Only your professional veterinarian will be able to assess the health of your dog. Prevention is essential for finding hidden diseases and illnesses in animals. Also, ask your vet for a body condition evaluation to check if your dog is at a healthy weight for its age and breed.
  • Get some exercise. Be sure to get your pet outside and active to keep muscles and joints healthy. Gauge the amount of exercise based on pet size and age to ensure it’s getting the right amount of activity.
  • Know your pet’s food. Based on age, size and breed, your dog will have different dietary needs. Speak with your vet about a proper nutrition plan to support your dog’s overall health and keep its weight in check.

By understanding more about the breeds in your furry friend, you can make a focused plan for their best nutrition, health and overall wellbeing. For more information about the Wisdom Panel® 3.0 test, visit www.WisdomPanel.com.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Sponsored by Mars Veterinary

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