Are you curious about the exact DNA composition of your pooch? Buying a dog DNA test kit is a lot like getting your own human ancestry finder from an online source. In both cases, you’re looking to learn more about the ancestors of your respective species. But you need to be sure that you are buying the right kit.
Buying a dog DNA test can be a tricky affair. There are plenty of very good reasons why you need such a test. There is, of course, the simple question of wanting to know the exact ancestry of your four-legged friend. But there are other and deeper reasons, such as wanting to predict any future health issues.
Did you know that many of a dog’s personality traits such as trainability and aggression are actually linked to their genetic breed1? This is reason enough for you to want to know more about their exact ancestry. In this article, we’ll give you the lowdown on the best dog DNA test kits now available on the market. This will truly be news that you can use.
The Best Dog DNA Test Kit of 2020
There are obviously a great deal of companies that are out to score a quick buck on this modern trend. It’s therefore important to note that all of the kits on this list were subjected to a wide battery of tests. Each was chosen very carefully after a great many hours of thorough screening for quality.
For our money, the best dog DNA test kit is the new Embark Breed Identification & Canine Genetic Health Screening combo. We’ll go into further detail below as to how and why we were able to reach this conclusion. Be aware that all of the kits on this list represent the true state of the art for modern dog DNA test kits.
Top Recommendation: Embark Breed Identification & Canine Genetic Health Screening Combo
Our choice for top dog in the DNA testing kit world is the new Embark Breed Identification & Canine Genetic Health Screening Combo. This handy kit contains all that you need to quickly identify the ancestry of your favorite four-legged friend. It’s comprehensive and reasonably priced for the quality that you will receive.
You should note that this kit is currently (at the time of writing) the highest-rated dog DNA testing kit on Amazon. Considering that this giant warehouse supplies dozens of dog DNA testing models, this is quite a high honor. And this is an honor that is well earned. This is truly the kit that will give you all that you need to know about your dog’s heritage.
The kit is designed to thoroughly analyze the ancestry of up to 250 dog breeds. It makes use of a research-grade genotyping platform. This special platform has been developed in conjunction with research experts from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. As a result, the kit is well developed and very highly rated.
The Embark kit will test for over 170 genetic diseases. These will include MDR1 drug sensitivity, glaucoma, degenerative myelopathy, and dilated cardiomyopathy. As these are among the most common diseases that occur in adult dogs, the kit is particularly useful. Knowing what to anticipate will help you give your dog a happier, longer life.
Finally, the results that you discover will be shared among the full Embark network. You will thus soon be aware of how many other dogs your pet shares DNA with. Results will be delivered within 2 to 4 weeks. This is one of the fastest response times in this particular industry. For these reasons and more, this is our top-rated DNA kit.
- Results are achieved very quickly
- Kit was developed in connection with the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
- Tests for over 170 genetic diseases
- May give you more info than you are prepared to quickly deal with. Reading the enclosed manual is a must
- May be a bit pricy for some budgets
Wisdom Panel Dog DNA Test Kit for Breed, Ancestry, and Genetic Health Information
The Wisdom Panel Dog DNA Test Kit for Breed, Ancestry, and Genetic Health Information combo is new on the market. This is an excellent all-around testing kit that will give you the info you need to keep your dog healthy. It’s priced very reasonably and is full of top-rated elements that will give you an accurate overview that you need.
The kit comes loaded with a wide range of features. These include a very extensive genetic health screening apparatus that can pinpoint over 150 possible present and future health conditions. It also offers a breed detection program that can create an instant family tree that ranges back for three generations.
Other inbuilt features will include a manual that gives extensive info on the breed breakdown of your pet. It also includes a very accurate weight prediction profile as well as a full genetic trait analysis. These are features that mark this kit out as one of the strongest, most reliable, and most valuable kits on the modern market.
There are three simple steps that need to be taken once you receive your kit. First, collect your dog’s DNA with a cheek swab. You then activate your kit on the world wide web. Finally, send your kit to the lab. You’ll save money due to the included prepaid shipping.
After you do so, you can expect to receive a full genetic analysis of your dog’s ancestry as well as breed identification in the space of 2 weeks. This quick and handy convenience makes the kit one of the top models on our list. The kit is very well organized and comes with included instructions that are easy to read and follow.
- tests for over 150 possible present and future health conditions
- Offers a family tree stretching back over three generations
- Includes accurate weight prediction profile
- Includes full genetic trait analysis
- Not as fully comprehensive as some of the other models on our list
- May still be a bit pricy for some budgets
Embark Breed Identification Kit
This handy new dog DNA testing kit is equipped to screen the full genetic profile of just over 250 dog breeds. It makes use of a special research-grade genotyping platform that has been developed in partnership with experts from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. It has thus been vetted for full quality and accuracy.
You should note that the new Embark kit has proven to be one of the minute and fully accurate dog DNA testing kits now available on the market. The kit can predict breed contributions within 5 percent of the total genetic makeup of your mixed breed dog. As a result, the kit is more than twice as precise as other tests on the market.
As a comparison, please be aware that most available kits will only be able to detect breed contributions of 12 percent or more. This leaves out a great deal of detail concerning your dog’s ancestry that may prove to be vitally important. For this reason, the new Embark is very worthy of a mention as well as inclusion on this list.
You can also use the kit to quickly discover and locate other dogs that your pet shares DNA with. This will give you a more complete picture of your dog’s ancestry as well as what to watch out for, health-wise. As a whole, this is one of the handiest and most informative kits, especially considering the very low price you pay for it.
The testing process is as quick as it is efficient. A simple cheek swab will give you all the details you need. Register the kit on the world wide web and then send it to the Embark lab via prepaid postage. Results will be available in the space of 2 weeks. The whole affair is well worth the time if you want to keep your dog hale and healthy.
- The new Embark kit screens for over 250 dog breeds
- This kit can precisely detect breed contributions down to 5 percent of the total breed composition
- Kit enables you to locate and connect with other dogs that share DNA with yours
- Not as fully comprehensive as some of the other dog DNA testing kits on this list
- Testing is easy but ascertaining the results may involve quite a lot of perusal of the handy included instructional manual
Wisdom Panel 3.0 Dog DNA Test Kit for Breed and Ancestry Information Kit
If you’re looking for a quick and handy kit that can give you your dog’s DNA profile at a glance, this may be the one for you. It’s not quite as comprehensive and minute in its details as some of the other kits on this list. But it’s a cost-effective short cut that still gives you the basic info that you need to keep your dog healthy.
The Wisdom Panel 3.0 Dog DNA Test Kit for Breed and Ancestry Information Kit has been specially developed for the needs of dog owners who are on a budget. The kit comes complete with a specially formulated Wisdom Panel test that has been designed to analyze for more than 350 breeds, types, and varieties of domestic mixed dogs.
Pinpoint analysis of the genetic makeup of your dog brings many benefits in its wake. This technique can help you identify any specific health issues that may affect the health and general well being of your pet. The kit will help you identify several generations of your dog’s ancestry in order to get the jump on any upcoming issues.
Making use of the results of this kit will also allow you to work with your vet in order to develop a number of healthy pet protocols. These may include dog training, nutrition, and long term health care and wellness plans. The more info you are armed with in advance, the better the long term outlook for your four-legged friend will be.
Finally, it should be noted that the Wisdom Panel 3.0 Dog DNA Test Kit has been specially priced. This is in order to make the kit as affordable as possible to the average dog owner. If you find yourself on a somewhat restricted budget, this kit will give you enough info to get you started on planning a healthy life for your dog.
- Priced for dog owners on a budget
- Analyzes for more than 350 different breeds
- Identifies several generations of your dog’s ancestry
- Results are not quite as thorough as some of the other kits on this list
DNA My Dog Canine Breed Identification Kit
If you’re looking for a handy one-stop dog DNA test, this new kit may be the perfect model for your needs. It’s a very simple DNA cheek swab test that you can unpack and give to your dog at home. The packaging includes a report on all of the breeds found in the DNA of your dog, broken down to the most minute levels of percentage.
It’s very attractively priced and compact. All that you need to give your dog a complete DNA test has been included. The results will not be quite as thorough and far-reaching as some of the other kits on this list. However, for quick and actionable results at a more than fair price, this is an excellent starter kit for beginners.
Not only will the test kit allow you to ascertain the exact genetic makeup of your dog, but it will also allow you to determine its ancestry for several generations. This will give you a better idea of how and why your dog behaves as it does. It may also allow you to gain a better understanding of the health and personality of your pet.
A complete outline of your dog’s genetic makeup can be obtained by using this kit. Doing so will also allow you to pinpoint any possible genetic traits that may carry warning signs for future adverse physical conditions. Once you have gotten the results back, you can begin to plan with your vet on how to keep your dog happy and healthy.
The kit is very easy to use. Handy instructions have been included to streamline testing. All you have to do is swab your dog’s cheek, mail in the kit, and register it on the web. The results determined by the kit will be available within two weeks. This kit is perfect for dog owners but is also ideal for vet officers and animal shelters.
- Excellent all in one starter kit for beginners
- Cheek swab is very easy to use
- Results obtained within 2 weeks of sending in your kit
- Good for a quick overview but insufficient if you want a more minute and detail specific breakdown of your dog’s genetic makeup
Orivet Dog DNA Test
This is a handy home dog DNA test that also contains an especially valuable extra ingredient. This kit is equipped with a dog DNA test that has been designed to break down all of the various breeds that make up the ancestry of your dog. It will provide you with the relevant breed percentages as well as a 3 generation ancestry report.
However, the benefits of buying this specific test won’t end there. The Dog Breed Identification Test will also provide you with a specially formulated life plan. This life plan will allow you to plot the management of your pet’s health throughout each of their successive life stages. This lets you plan from the puppy to senior cycle.
All that you need to complete your own home dog DNA testing has been included in the kit. Simply swab the cheek of your dog, pack it into the self-addressed and stamped envelope that has been included, and mail it back to the lab. You may also wish to register your DNA test on the web. Instructions for doing so have been included.
Once you have the results back, which usually takes about 2 weeks, you will be much better informed about the genetic makeup of your dog. You will also have a good idea of what to look out for as far as potential health issues in the future. You will also know much more about the ancestry of your dog and why they behave the way they do.
The kit has been specially priced in order to be easily available to buyers at every budget level. It must be noted that the contents of this kit are not quite as totally comprehensive as other kits on this list. However, especially for beginners, the handy included life plan will come as an extra bonus. All in all, this is a worthy DNA kit.
- Very attractively priced
- Results available in a fast 2 weeks
- Kit is able to be registered on the web for even more info
- Kit is very basic and is meant for beginners more than expert level dog owners or animal health professionals
How Does Dog DNA Testing Work?
The basic process for a dog DNA test is a simple one. You will usually just take a quick swab from the inside of your dog’s cheek. The DNA test will then use the cheek cells from the mouth of your dog in order to complete the test. It will look for a number of specific DNA markers. These markers will identify their breed and ancestry.
You simply swab your dog, place the sample in an envelope, and then mail it to the lab. Once there, the test will be analyzed in order to obtain the results that have been listed above. A computer does all the work. The results are then mailed back to you. The lag between sending the test in and getting results may be from 2 to 4 weeks. Here’s a tutorial video from Embark showing you how to collect a swab sample from your dog:
Swabs vs. Blood Samples
The average cheek swab dog DNA testing kit comes in the form of a home kit. You do the test yourself and then send the results to a lab to have them analyzed. With a blood sample, it isn’t quite so convenient. This is the kind of test that is best done by a vet in professional conditions. A blood test may cost you quite a bit more.
The actual results that will be obtained by either method will be similar in some ways and different in others. Both tests can be ways to accurately obtain the DNA evidence of your dog’s ancestry. However, a home swab test can be accidentally contaminated if you are not very careful about how you use it to obtain your results. Blood tests done by a vet are a bit safer2.
In the end, it comes down to how serious you are about learning the ancestry of your dog. If you are careful when you do the cheek swab test and the kit you use offers a well-controlled test, the results will be safely obtained and completely reliable. If you prefer to have an expert do the testing, a blood test by a vet may be the better course. It comes down to budget and preference.
What Can A DNA Test Do For Your Dog’s Health?
A DNA test can be an excellent way to trace the ancestry of your dog. This will give you a great many valuable clues as to the state of their health, both now and in the days to come. Since dogs have shorter life cycles than humans, the info you gain from the test can be analyzed more quickly and reliably.
A DNA test, whether obtained from a home check swab kit or a blood sample done by a vet, can help you plan the treatment of your dog. The test will show that they are prone to developing certain conditions as they age. You can take the appropriate measures in order to prevent these conditions from developing.
Are Dog DNA Tests Really Accurate?
The short answer is that they can be. While blood tests performed by a vet have been proven to be accurate, it’s important to keep in mind that there is a current lack of standards in the home, swab-based test kits3. It’s important to pay careful attention to the home product you buy to make sure that you understand what it’s offering.
Dog DNA tests are usually reliable when it comes to identifying the secondary breed of your dog. They become a bit fuzzy when it gets to the tertiary breed. They are usually quite accurate in this case as well. But at this level, certain mistakes can be made. It’s best to take any results beyond this level with a grain of salt.
Other Benefits of Dog DNA Tests
There are many other benefits that can be had from doing a DNA test on your dog. Many vets and animal shelters use these tests to support faster and more accurate dog adoptions. Knowing the genetic history of a dog can make the process of adoption a faster one. This is because many adopters are looking for dogs with certain qualities.
For example, if a person wanting to adopt a dog wants one that is mostly Boston Terrier, a quick DNA test will match them with the right dog. It usually isn’t just because a person wants a dog with a certain look. It’s also because a person wants a dog that will exhibit certain qualities. This is where a DNA test will come in handy.
If you are a breeder or shelter owner, you can use dog DNA testing to identify the dominant trends of a mixed dog. This will help you match the dog with the ideal owner in a much quicker and longer-lasting manner. The more accurate your test results are, the better chance your dog will have of finding a lasting and loving forever home.
Knowing the exact DNA composition of a dog will also help you determine if they are a fit for your own lifestyle. For example, if you want a dog with watch dog tendencies, a DNA test will confirm if the dog you are interested in is right for your needs. This is a test that will thus save you a great deal of time, effort, and money.
Dog DNA Test Buying Guide
The primary reason for buying a dog DNA test have already been discussed. What you need to know now is that dog DNA tests are completely safe to use. Most home testing kits come in the form of a handy cheek swab. This swab must be applied quickly and in the correct manner to avoid contamination. As long as you do this, the test is safe.
It’s a good idea to get a kit that has the best chance of identifying the ancestry of your dog for as far back as possible. While many kits may be a bit fuzzy on the third generation, you still want to get one that can do this. Knowing as much as possible about your dog’s lineage will help identify potential health problems in the future.
Get One That Tests for Potential Genetic Abnormalities
When buying a dog DNA test, one of the best things you can do is to check if the potential is there to spot potential genetic abnormalities. This is especially true for the latest round of home dog DNA test kits. Many of these brand new kits have been updated to include this testing feature. They are highly recommended as a result.