Best Dog DNA Tests 2020: DNA My Dog vs Wisdom Panel vs Embark vs HomeDNA vs EasyDNA & More

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Have you been dying to know what breeds make up your one-of-a-kind pup? Are you concerned about certain hereditary diseases your dog might develop one day?

DNA dog tests are a fun and informative way to get to understand who your pooch is — and to help you develop a better health plan for their future. In fact, according to a survey by Wisdom Panel, the primary reason that pet owners decide to do a dog DNA test is out of curiosity (56%), followed by to gain a deeper understanding, and to determine possible health outcomes.

How Does Dog DNA Testing Work?

A dog DNA test is easier than you might think! All you have to do with at-home dog DNA tests is order the test online, take a simple cheek swab from your dog, place the swab in the provided container, and mail it back in a prepaid envelope.

In a few weeks, you’ll receive a report that includes your dog’s DNA results. Depending on the company, you’ll see the percentage breakdown of your dog’s breeds and risks for developing some hereditary diseases. Some companies also offer parentage testing and purebred and designer dog testing.

Article Overview

What’s The Best Dog DNA Test?

We’ve reviewed several dog DNA tests currently on the market and given you detailed information about what you can learn from each one. All of these are at-home cheek-swab tests, but the type and depth of results you’ll receive can vary.

Embark Review

Embark Dog DNA Test breed box#1

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Embark DNA is a comprehensive dog DNA test that screens for breed identification, 20+ physical traits, ancestry, and genetic disease risk (for 190+ known canine genetic health problems).

Your test results include a detailed vet report to help you and your veterinarian plan the best care for your dog. Embark partners with scientists from Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine to conduct ongoing research into dog genetic testing — and you have the option to include your dog’s DNA data in their research.

We also like that Embark contributes funding and genetic testing to animal shelters in the U.S. and Nepal. The downside? Embark’s dog DNA test cost is higher than competitors, but we feel that the results outweigh the higher price. It is also the official dog DNA test of the Westminster Kennel Club.

Embark also offers a DNA test kit for breeders that provides breed-relevant disease screening for your purebred dogs, insights on their health, and traits (including coat color, body size, and more). Included in every kit are the genetic inbreeding coefficient and results for nearly all genetic mutation tests recommended by national breed clubs. Providing this extra layer of certification may help to differentiate your breeding service versus competition.

Personal Experience

Kimberly, a writer for Canine Journal, tested Embark on her dog, Sally, and this is her experience.

I tested Embark in 2017, and it took more than six weeks to get Sally’s results. Her results said she was 47.5% Coonhound, 24.5% Mastiff, 14.2% Labrador Retriever, and 13.8% German Shepherd. I loved being able to read more about her breed makeup, including breed descriptions and behaviors. Embark goes above and beyond with the detail it provides in its reports, giving information about related breeds to the breeds that make up Sally.

Pros

Cons

  • Tests for 350 breeds, types, and varieties
  • Offers twice as much genetic information than other tests
  • Genetic mutation testing for 190+ canine health conditions
  • Results back in three to five weeks
  • Free replacement swab if yours gets damaged
  • Includes a relative finder, matching your dog’s DNA to possible family members
  • Charitable work with animal shelters
  • Live chat or email available if you need help interpreting test results
  • Positive customer feedback that Embark is the most accurate dog DNA test
  • Website has blog, FAQs and newsletter signup
  • Ability to get raw DNA data
  • Breed + Health test is relatively expensive

Prices

  • Breed Identification Kit – $129
  • Breed + Health Kit – $199
  • Test Kit For Breeders – $149
  • Free shipping

Coupon

Embark is having a Fall Sale: Get $30 off Breed + Health Kits with CODE: FALL30 through October 31, 2020 (Excludes Breeder and Breed ID kits). Use this link to take advantage of this offer. Have multiple pets? Bundle and save when you buy additional Embark Kits:
  • Save 10% when you buy 2 Breed + Health kits with Coupon Code: MULTIPACK2
  • Save 15% when you buy 3 Breed + Health kits with Coupon Code: MULTIPACK3
  • Save 20% when you buy 4+ Breed + Health kits with Coupon Code: MULTIPACK4
Use this link to take advantage of these offers and get the best possible pricing from Embark.

Read Our Embark DNA Review

Wisdom Panel Health DNA Test Review

Wisdom Panel Health DNA Test Box

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Wisdom Panel has two main DNA tests: Wisdom Panel Essential and Wisdom Panel Premium.

  • Essential tests for more than 25 genetic conditions, 350+ breeds, 35+ traits, and more.
  • Premium tests for everything the Essential tests for in addition to 200+ genetic conditions.

There are also a couple of other tests we’ve included in the pricing section below that are no longer offered directly through Wisdom Panel’s website, but you can purchase them through third-party vendors. These are older versions of the test that consider fewer dog breeds. (The first is the Wisdom Panel Health Canine Breed + Disease Detection, which is comparable to Wisdom Panel Premium. The other test is Wisdom Panel 3.0 Canine Breed Detection, which is similar to Wisdom Panel Essential.)

Personal Experience With Wisdom Panel 3.0

Kimberly, a writer for Canine Journal, tested Wisdom Panel on her dog, Sally, and this is her experience.

We purchased this 3.0 DNA test to conduct this product test (not a free trial).

It took only two weeks to get Sally’s results back from Wisdom Panel. I was thoroughly impressed with the quick turnaround.

Sally’s results said she was 37.5% Treeing Walker Coonhound, 25% Mastiff, 25% Beagle, and 12.5% German Shepherd. Wisdom Panel’s information was thorough in the detail it gave on her genetic makeup and displayed it in an easy-to-read format. The website is easy to navigate, and I enjoyed learning more about each of these breeds.

Pros

Cons

  • Tests covers 99% of 350 breeds, types, & varieties (250 for older tests)
  • Comes with two swabs, and they’ll replace for free if damaged
  • Charitable partnerships with animal rights groups
  • Genetic mutation testing for over 200 canine health conditions (Premium test)
  • Results back in two to three weeks
  • Phone, email customer service for any questions
  • Good website resources about canine DNA testing
  • No relative finder option available
  • Genetic marker testing is much less detailed and in-depth vs. Embark (twice as much genetic info from Embark vs. Wisdom Panel)

Prices

  • Wisdom Panel Premium DNA Test (350 breeds + disease & trait detection): $159.99
  • Wisdom Panel Essential DNA Test (350 Breeds): $99.99
  • Wisdom Panel Health Canine Breed + Disease Detection (250 Breeds & Disease Detection): $149.99
  • Wisdom Panel 3.0 Canine Breed Detection (250 Breeds): $79.99

Coupon

Wisdom Panel is often offered at a discount from the MSRP price at Chewy.

Read Our Wisdom Panel Breed Detection Test Review

HomeDNA Orivet Dog DNA Tests Review

HomeDNA Dog DNA Tests#3

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HomeDNA Orivet offers two dog DNA tests, one for mixed-breed identification and the other for health screening. Each test comes with a personalized life plan that you can share with your vet.

Because of the cost of each test, it makes the most sense to choose one of the two (otherwise we suggest Embark for the all-in-one test). If you only want health screening, however, HomeDNA’s Dog DNA Health Screen is a better value than Embark or Wisdom Panel.

If you’re only looking for breed information, you should consider HomeDNA’s Mixed-Breed Dog Identification DNA Test. Although pricier than DNA My Dog, it is far more accurate due to their large database of recognized and developing breeds.

Pros

Cons

  • Health screening test is a good value
  • Genetic mutation testing for over 150 canine health conditions
  • 220 recognized and developing breeds in their database
  • Health risks classified based on likelihood and impact
  • Consumers report excellent customer support
  • Results are emailed within three weeks
  • Expensive (for both tests)
  • You have to order two separate tests to get both breed and health results

Prices

  • $100.69  for Dog DNA Health Screen and Life Plan
  • $84.99  for Mixed-Breed Dog Identification DNA Test and Life Plan

Coupon

Home DNA is often sold for less than MSRP on Amazon.

Are There Other Dog DNA Kits To Consider?

Although the following tests didn’t make our top three this time around, they’re popular options you may want to consider as well.

DNA My Dog | EasyDNA | OncoGuarDx | Paw Print Genetics

DNA My Dog Review

DNA My Dog boxView on Chewy

The DNA My Dog breed identification test just doesn’t have the bark for your buck to make our top three. Although you get a report on your dog’s dominant breeds, personality traits, and health concerns (based on breed only), DNA My Dog is mediocre compared to the breed and trait information you get with our top picks.

DNA My Dog has far fewer breeds in its database, meaning you’re not going to get the level of accuracy you would with Embark, Wisdom Panel or HomeDNA’s Orivet tests. And many reviewers agree that their test lacks accuracy. But if you’re on a budget, DNA My Dog is the least expensive alternative.

Pros

Cons

  • Least expensive test we reviewed
  • Comes with two swabs and free replacement if they get damaged
  • Charitable shelter program donates funds to U.S. and Canada shelters
  • Phone and email customer service for any questions
  • Get results in two weeks
  • Only 97 breeds in their database
  • Health test only tests for 100 genetic conditions
  • Many customer complaints about their dog DNA testing accuracy
  • Several consumer complaints about delayed results
  • Minimal website resources about dog DNA testing

Prices

  • Breed Identification Test: $68.99
  • NEXTGEN Breed Identification and Genetic Age Test: $99.99
  • Breed Test PLUS Wolf: $88.99
  • Deceased Dog DNA Breed Testing: $167.00
  • Breed Identification Test PLUS Full Genetic Screening: $188.99
  • Full Genetic Health Screening (doesn’t identify breed info): $139.99

Coupon

DNA My Dog often has discounts off of MSRP at Chewy.

EasyDNA Review

Easy DNA logo

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EasyDNA offers a variety of DNA dog tests. Its simple breed identification test is actually the DNA My Dog test we review above, but EasyDNA also offers a Canine Genetic Age Test that identifies your dog’s breed mix and his biological age. This test measures the length of a dog’s telomeres, the protective caps at the end of each chromosome that tend to shorten with age, and can provide insight into the predicted longevity and health of a dog. 

EasyDNA also offers an inherited disease and trait test (priced per condition they test for) and a parentage test to determine if your dog is a purebred. With most of their tests, you’re not going to get the level of accuracy you will with our top picks because the breed database is smaller. But we think their unique genetic age test is worth considering if you’re curious how old your rescue dog is or how he’s aging based on his DNA.

Pros

Cons

  • Offers a variety of dog DNA tests
  • Makes charitable contributions to rescue organizations
  • Live chat (including with DNA consultant), phone and email customer service for any questions
  • Get results in two to three weeks
  • Only 97 breeds in the database
  • Inherited disease test is priced per disease they’re testing for (so it can get expensive if you want to test for multiple conditions)

Prices

  • DNA My Dog Breed Identification Test: $79
  • Dog Inherited Disease & Trait Test: $75 for the first single condition they test for and $39 for each additional condition you wish to test
  • Canine Genetic Age Test: $109 (includes breed identification)
  • Premium Dog Testing Package: $195 (includes three tests: Breed ID, Genetic Age and Dog Allergy Test)
  • Dog Parentage Test: $198
  • Dog Parentage Test w/out Mother: $306

Coupon

Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from Easy DNA.

OncoGuarDx Review

OncoGuarDx boxVisit Website

OncoGuarDx is an at-home dog cancer detection test that measures the thermodynamic stability of DNA. Simply swab your dog’s nose and transfer it to one of the specialty treated plates provided. In just three minutes, the app will give you the results:

  • Score < 50, Normal Stress Level STEADY HEALTH STATE
  • Score = 50–60, At-Risk Stress Level SUB-OPTIMAL HEALTH STATE
  • Score = 80-90, Cancer Stress Level EXACERBATED HEALTH STATE

You don’t have to send in the test or wait weeks for your dog’s results. If you get bad news, you can share the results quickly with your vet and discuss the best course of treatment.

Pros

Cons

  • No waiting period; get results at home in three minutes
  • Helps detect cancer
  • Relatively expensive
  • Only tests for cancer (no breed identification or other health-related information)

Prices

  • $199.99 for one kit (contains two tests)
  • Subscription: $299.95 for two kits (four tests) every six months

Paw Print Genetics Review

Paw Print Genetics logoVisit Website

Paw Print Genetics is an excellent choice for breeders or people with purebred dogs who want to test for breed-specific diseases. You can order a single test or a panel of tests to assess the risk of your dog developing or passing on the diseases. Their website allows you to search by breed, disease/trait or symptom.

They also offer parentage tests and a DNA profiling test you can use to ID your dog in the event he gets lost or stolen. Paw Print Genetics has a very limited number of mixed-breed tests, and they don’t do breed identification.

Pros

Cons

  • Analyzes each mutation with two independent methods to provide you the highest accuracy
  • Offers 155+ genetic mutation tests for health conditions
  • Genetic counseling available and excellent customer support
  • Includes Pedigree Report and Genetic Health Certificate
  • Partners with many dog clubs and associations
  • Results available in two weeks
  • Can get expensive if testing for multiple diseases (but they offer discounts)
  • No breed identification tests
  • Very limited mixed breed tests
  • Can be confusing to figure out which test(s) to order for your dog

Prices

  • Starts at $80 for one disease test with discounts for each additional test disease ordered
  • Starts at $80 for one coat color/trait test with discounts for each additional coat color/trait test ordered
  • $49 Paw Print DNA Profiling test
  • $30 Paw Print Parentage test (puppy, dam or sire)
  • $19 Paw Print Clear by Parentage test
  • View all options

DNA Health Testing & Vet Care

Caution: Do Not Make Healthcare Decisions Based On Dog DNA Test Results

We want to warn you that whatever health results you receive in your dog’s DNA test, you should take them with a grain of salt. Some pet parents are making life and death decisions based on what could be overstated or misleading health indicators.

For example, research may show that a specific gene mutation may be associated with cancer in Boxers, but that may not mean the same mutation will cause cancer in a Coonhound. However, the mutation would likely still show up on the Coonhound’s report, suggesting that your dog is at risk for cancer.

Any health issues that your DNA test raises and causes you concern should be discussed with the DNA company for clarification. The top companies all have geneticists and vets on staff who can help and likely set your mind at ease about the true risks for your pet.

Just because your dog has a genetic mutation doesn’t mean your dog will acquire a disease. You can also speak with your veterinarian about your dog’s DNA results but be careful making any major medical decisions based on the health indications from a pet health DNA test. The vet who has examined your dog in person knows more about your pet’s health than a DNA test taken by mail.

Are There Any Reasons Not To Test My Dog’s DNA?

Finding out your dog’s breed can lead to you learning about what diseases he’s predisposed to. This may cause some anxiety for you. You know what you’re capable of handling better than we do, but this is something you’ll want to consider.

In some areas, certain breeds may be restricted from being owned. If you conduct a DNA test on your dog and that breed is in your dog, you may be in a difficult situation. This could lead to you not being able to buy or rent a home in the area or you may need to relocate. It could even increase your homeowner’s insurance in some situations.

You could also get false information. Whether the DNA sample wasn’t the best or there was a mix up in the lab, it’s unlikely but possible to obtain inaccurate information which could lead you to adjust your dog’s lifestyle unnecessarily.

Pet Insurance Can Help Cover Health Conditions

If you find out your dog is predisposed to a health condition (or multiple), you may want to consider purchasing pet insurance now to help out financially in the event of your dog becoming ill.

So if your dog is diagnosed with an illness, pet insurance reduces the chance of having to choose between his life and your wallet (a.k.a. economic euthanasia). But you should sign your dog up now before he’s diagnosed because if you wait until diagnosis, the insurance company won’t cover it because it will be considered a pre-existing condition.

Read our pet insurance comparison to see which companies we recommend and find out what they cover.

How Can A DNA Test Benefit My Dog’s Health?

Knowing your dog’s breed mix can help you and your vet devise a better health plan for your dog. If you get genetic mutation testing, you’ll know your dog has a genetic predisposition for certain diseases he could develop in the future.

Even knowing what breeds are in his mix can inform you about genetic health concerns associated with each breed. Then you’ll know to look for early warning signs, and you can take precautionary measures before it’s too late.

If you’re interested in a DNA test for yourself, check out our reviews of the best human DNA ancestry tests on our sister site, Exploring Life’s Mysteries.

Discover any surprises from your dog’s DNA test?

About The Author:

Sally holds a BA in English from James Madison University and began her 25-year writing career as a grad student at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism & Mass Communications. She’s been a pet parent since college years (and spent her whole childhood with pets). Her work has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, People, Forbes, Huffington Post, and more.

Now as a parent of two teenagers, she’s made sure to raise her daughters to learn how to love and care for pets (and other animals) in the most responsible and loving ways. As a result, she and her daughters now have 5 rescued dogs and cats who essentially rule their home! Sally has also volunteered over the years to help raise funds for various animal nonprofit organizations.

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Disclaimer: The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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