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Donating to Research and Discovery Means Good Will to Dogs


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This holiday season, give the gift of discovery with an Embark for Breeders DNA Kit for your breeder friends and new puppy owners. Each dog is tested across 230,000 genetic markers and helps contribute to expanding Embark’s fast-growing database. This amount of data will lead to more novel discoveries sooner to help dogs live healthier, longer lives. Beyond the DNA test, breeders and dog owners continue donating to research throughout the life of the dog with Embark’s annual health surveys or sharing their dog’s raw DNA data with breed clubs and researchers. The best way to give this holiday season includes two virtual options so you won’t have to stress about shipping delays. Delight breeder friends with Embark gift cards or discounted DNA kits through the Refer a Breeder program.  

Purebred dogs, and the genetic similarity by breed, are an ideal model to test for genetic conditions because each breed is a close population of like individuals. That’s why testing as many dogs of the same breed as possible can help find causes of disease sooner. Breeders can DNA test their dogs and litters and encourage new puppy owners to continue the research by filling out the ongoing Embark health surveys to collect even more information that can lead to breed-specific genetic health advances and discoveries for all dogs.  

Sharing raw DNA data 

Your dog’s DNA raw data can be shared with other researchers and breed clubs because Embark is the only testing lab that allows dog owners to download their dog’s raw data. With twice as many genetic markers as competitors, this option not only advances scientific discovery but aids in breed-relevant research, tracking a breed’s frequency of mutations, and identifying breeding trends and population structures.  

Health surveys 

Swabbing your dog is just the beginning of the ongoing research towards scientific discoveries which can lead to longer lives for dogs. The most comprehensive data dog owners can share is to complete the various Embark health surveys dog owners can take for each dog. Besides the annual health survey, there are several other surveys which contribute additional information with each DNA sample. Surveys include areas such as the environment, basics, general and problem behaviors, and some fun surveys about your dog. 

Ongoing research projects 

Other ways your dog’s DNA contributes to research is when Embark collaborates with university researchers, veterinarians, global health foundations, and breed clubs. Here are several projects Embark is currently contributing to or working on. By testing your dogs, you too can contribute to scientific advances to help all dogs. Embark has donated $10,000 annually since 2019 to the AKC Canine Health Foundation in honor of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Best in Show winner

Embark has teamed up with Hill’s Pet Nutrition on the largest research study to date investigating genetic risk factors that may lead to Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), a disease of the cardiac muscle that can lead to congestive heart failure. By working with breeders and breed clubs on vital breed population analyses, Embark also supports research into long-term breed health and diversity. Embark also provides genotyping to the Morris Animal Foundation for the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study

Every dog or litter you test contributes to Embark’s new scientific findings. When Embark makes a new discovery they publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals. 

Giving the gift of discovery and ongoing research means goodwill to dogs during the holidays. Consider an Embark for Breeders DNA Kit , Embark gift cards, or the Refer a Breeder program.  

Lisa Peterson Contributor

Award-winning writer, journalist, and podcast host Lisa Peterson is a canine subject matter expert and Content Strategy Lead at Embark Veterinary. She served as the American Kennel Club director of communications and club communications for 10 years before becoming a Westminster Kennel Club public relations consultant from 2016 to 2021. Lisa began owning, breeding, and handling Norwegian Elkhounds more than 35 years ago, and today is an AKC judge and AKC Breeder of Merit.

Read more about Lisa Peterson

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