Dog DNA testing takes off, and generates debate

NEW YORK (AP) — As people peer into DNA for clues to health and heritage, man’s best friend is under the microscope, too.

Genetic testing for dogs has surged in recent years, fueled by companies that echo popular at-home tests for humans. More than a million dogs have been tested in little over a decade.

The subject is getting a share of the spotlight at this week’s Westminster Kennel Club dog show. The club recently formed its first partnership with a DNA testing company, Embark.

DNA can illuminate the makeup of mixed-breed dogs, back up purebred parentage and flag potential health concerns. It has even been used to identify dogs whose owners don’t pick up their droppings.

But the testing boom has also stirred debate about the interpretation and limitations of the results.

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