Getting a Healthy Puppy: Why OFA Certification is Important

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When it comes to choosing a new dog, there’s a lot to consider. Between breed, personality, and potential health issues, it can be overwhelming to determine the right puppy for you and your family. However, one key item to include on your checklist when searching for a puppy is OFA certification. Here’s why it’s a good idea and what it can tell you about the health of your potential pet.

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What is OFA Certification?

The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) is a non-profit organization that was established in 1966 to help improve the health of companion animals. One of the ways they do this is by certifying the results of various health tests on dogs, including hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and thyroid function. The OFA provides a database of test results that is accessible to breeders, pet owners, and veterinary professionals.

What Does OFA Certification Tell You About a Puppy?

When a breeder has a puppy tested and certified by the OFA, it means that the puppy has been evaluated for certain genetic health issues and found to be clear of them. This can give you peace of mind knowing that your new pup is starting off on the right paw when it comes to their health. It can also help you avoid potential health problems down the road, as well as the added expenses that can come with treating these issues.


What Tests are Included in OFA Certification?

The OFA offers a variety of tests for dogs, including:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Thyroid Function
  • Cardiac (Heart) Evaluation
  • Eye Certification
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD)
  • Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
  • Exercise-Induced Collapse (EIC)

Here is a list of all DNA tests available by the OFA – sorted by dog breed.

Why is OFA Certification Important in Getting a Healthy Puppy?

Not all puppies are created equal when it comes to their health. While some breeds may be predisposed to certain health issues, others may be more genetically sound. OFA certification gives you an idea of a puppy’s genetic makeup and can help you make an informed decision about which puppy to bring home. It can also provide you with information about potential health issues to keep an eye on, so that you can take proactive steps to keep your puppy healthy.

What Should You Look for When Choosing a Puppy with OFA Certification?

When looking for a puppy with OFA certification, one of the most important things to do is work with a reputable breeder who can provide you with the necessary information and documentation. You should also be aware of what specific tests the breeder has had the puppy undergo and what the results of those tests were. A good breeder will always be looking out for the health of their chosen breed. Keep in mind that while OFA certification is a good indicator of a puppy’s health, it’s not a guarantee. Some health issues may not show up until later in a puppy’s life, but having OFA certification gives you a head start on identifying and addressing any potential health problems.

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Will getting a puppy with OFA certification guarantee their good health ?

While OFA certification is an important factor to consider when getting a puppy, it does not guarantee a healthy dog. There are various other factors that can contribute to a puppy’s overall health, such as genetics, environment, a healthy diet and proper care.

Getting a Healthy Puppy – Final Thoughts

Choosing a new puppy is a big decision and one that should be taken seriously. While there are many factors to consider, including breed, personality, and lifestyle, OFA certification should be high on the list. This certification can give you valuable information about a puppy’s health and can help you make an informed decision about which furry friend to bring into your home. So, when searching for a new puppy, keep a close eye out for OFA certification.

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