Scientists around the world are exploring how a better understanding of our genetic makeup can improve our lives – and those of our beloved pets. In the age of “wearables”, trackable health technology and DNA testing for ancestry and health, more and more healthcare is heading toward a future of personalised, proactive and preventative care. Did you know that recent genetic research is helping to improve the lives of our pets?

Researchers looking into the DNA profile and biomarkers of pets are unpacking the secrets behind what makes them tick. By understanding a pet’s genetic history it can give us more insight into their behaviour (e.g. why certain cats might be more talkative or affectionate – or why particular dogs might “den”, dig or “herd”). It’s also providing some insight into our pets’ health (e.g. which breeds are likely to develop certain diseases and which breeds require a specific diet). This information can allow pet owners and vets to make better decisions about their animal’s nutrition and exercise needs, and enable preventative solutions and improve their pet’s overall health.

In this episode, I’m speaking with Dr. Angela Hughes, the veterinary genetics research manager for Mars Veterinary (a division of Mars Petcare). Dr. Hughes is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and has a PhD focused in Canine Genetics. She will be discussing some of the research that is being done on pet genetics currently and what impact that research will have on the future.

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