Each time that DNA is replicated, errors can be made. One base may be switched for another base, for example an A switched with a C. In more severe situations, an entire section of the genetic code can be deleted or moved to a different location. Depending on where in the DNA this mutation occurs, the effects of these mutations may vary from nonexistent to severe.
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a long molecule that contains an animal’s entire genetic code. DNA is primarily located within the nucleus of each cell. In the nucleus, enzymes transcribe the DNA bases into a substance called RNA (ribonucleic acid), which serves as a messenger, taking the DNA message out into the cytoplasm of the cell where the RNA is translated into proteins. These proteins are responsible for a number of functions in the cell and throughout the body, primarily by acting as enzymes that regulate various cell reactions. DNA tests allow us to examine an animal’s DNA in order to see whether they carry certain genetic diseases. DNA testing can also be used to determine the ancestry of an animal.
Pesky allergies can interfere with the fun of owning a dog. There are varying opinions on the matter, but it is generally thought that even though there is no canine breed that is 100% hypoallergenic, there are breeds that are less likely to stimulate allergies in people.
Ownerless cats may look the same, but there is a difference between stray and feral cats. A feral cat is born and lives in the wild with little or no human contact. A stray cat is a domestic cat that has been abandoned or has strayed from home and become lost. A stray cat may be presently homeless but was once a pet that lived with humans.
Dogs, like people, need mental and physical exercise. They crave playful interaction with their peers. Going to the dog park will allow them to see, hear, and smell new things as they exercise with other dogs. Active dogs, like active, people, are healthier. So, Gather 'round! Take a trip to the park.
When choosing a dog, potential pet owners often consider acquiring a pup with a pedigree vs. a mixed breed. In order to make a more educated choice, it is good to know a little about what makes a pure breed so 'pure' as well as what 'mutts' have to offer. Dogs of pedigree can be wonderful pets or service dogs, so avoiding inherited medical problems is important.