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Genetic insight into the life of your pet

Saša Zavratnik

The development of molecular genetics has also progressed in the analysis of animals. Previous breeding strategies, formed based on observed traits, can now be planned and predicted through genetic tests, avoiding undesirable characteristics (genetic diseases) in offspring.

Today’s tests also allow us, among other things, to discover the origin of our dog. I found out that our female dog Pepa is a mix of five confirmed breeds, and there may be several others hidden in her.

In Slovenia, genetic testing for animals is conducted by experts at the specialized laboratory EVG Molecular Diagnostics, which collaborates with numerous pet owners, breeders, and veterinary clinics in Slovenia, Europe, and around the world.

The EVG Laboratory is also a client of our company. We personally know the team of six experts in the fields of microbiology, genetics, veterinary science, economics, and languages, and we are truly impressed with their work. Therefore, we are delighted to support them by supplying the necessary materials and equipment.

The laboratory is equipped with high-performance modern molecular genetic equipment, enabling the provision of fast and high-quality analyses (e.g., qPCR device). Following specific procedures, the DNA molecule is isolated from the sample and analyzed using modern genetic methods to examine the DNA sequence. They offer interested parties more than 250 different genetic, allergic, and hormonal tests.

DNA tests provide insight into the genetic health and background of the development of specific physical traits in our animals (dogs, cats, birds, and cattle). Owners can use the results of genetic tests to tailor the lifestyle according to the individual needs of the animal, implement appropriate preventive measures in the event of the development of genetic diseases, and plan breeding to prevent the spread of genetic diseases.

With the help of DNA tests, we can also determine why the color and length of the fur are the way they appear in our four-legged friend, predict the potential colors of their offspring, and even establish parentage. Interesting, isn’t it?


Luck was on my side, so I won a free BreedID premium test in the autumn giveaway contest by the EVG Laboratory! The test includes an analysis of the breeds from which the dog originates and its ancestors from the last three generations, a description of key characteristics of the detected breeds, information about the predicted weight of your dog, and potential genetic diseases that may be present. In addition to the electronic results, I also received a folder with the findings and a certificate of the completed test with the family tree at home.

What about the sample collection process? It depends on the test. For the BreedID premium test, they needed a swab of the oral mucosa. In the package, you receive brushes that you insert into the cheek between the gum and cheek, and you rub against the mucosa for 30 seconds. It sounds simple, but only if your dog is accustomed to brushes and other downright unpleasant things in the mouth that are not toys, hands, or treats. Well done, Pepa! And good luck in the wrestling match to you too.

The results showed that despite her upbringing, Pepa is a sheriff at heart, guarding and barking. I used to get annoyed, but now I’ll attribute this behavior to the Sheltie and other shepherds in her, including the Rottweiler, which historically guarded herds. All five breeds also share a high level of energy – Pepa is always in a low start position for play and somersaults.

Despite individuals of these breeds not being tolerant of solitude, Pepa is exceptionally well-behaved and patiently waits without mischief until we return from work. Before that, we take her for a morning walk so that she doesn’t feel cramped down there. If we’re running late, our neighbors notice her by the window at the typical time of our return, observing the activity in front of the house. An incredibly accurate internal clock! She immediately deserves hugs and kisses, followed by 10 laps of freedom in the meadow.

Pepa, despite her restless tail that moves in all directions, is friendly to children – she truly is a »golden« one.