Best Dog DNA Tests 2021: DNA My Dog vs Wisdom Panel vs Embark vs Orivet 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 understand who your pooch is and help you develop a better health plan for their future. According to a survey by Wisdom Panel, the primary reason pet owners decide to do a dog DNA test is out of curiosity (56%), followed by to gain a deeper understanding, and 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 200+ 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.

One of their most recent studies found that “roaning” dogs such as German Shorthair Pointers, Australian Cattle Dogs, and other such breeds are strongly associated with a genomic region on chromosome 38 and likely regulated by the usherin gene (USH2A). Roaning contributes to uniquely spotted coats that do not gray with age. This chromosome variant also contributes to Dalmatian spots. Testing for this genetic trait is only available through Embark’s dog DNA tests.

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 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 from the competition.

Personal Experience

I tested my rescue dog, Sally, with an Embark DNA test. 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. – Kimberly A., Canine Journal

Pros

Cons

  • Tests for 350 breeds, types, and varieties
  • Identifies 200,000 genetic markers, twice as many as other companies
  • Genetic mutation testing for 200+ 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 sale. Through June 30, 2021 get $50 off breed + health kit with the code SPRING50. Use this link to take advantage of this offer.

Have multiple pets? Bundle and save when you buy additional Embark Kits (not combinable with other offers):
  • Save 10% when you buy 2 Breed + Health kits with Coupon Code: MULTIPACK
  • 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. You can also visit our dedicated Embark promotions page to discuss current discounts.

Read Our Embark DNA Review

Wisdom Panel Health DNA Test Review

Wisdom Panel Health DNA Test Box

#2

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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

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. – Kimberly A., Canine Journal

Pros

Cons

  • Tests cover 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

Orivet Dog DNA Tests Review

Orivet Dog DNA Test#3

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

If you’re primarily seeking breed information, you should consider Orivet’s Mixed-Breed Dog Identification DNA Test. Although pricier than DNA My Dog, it is far more accurate due to its extensive database of recognized and developing breeds.

Pros

Cons

  • Breed Test: 220 recognized and developing breeds in their database
  • Health Test: Genetic mutation testing for over 150 canine health conditions
  • 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

Coupon

Orivet is often sold for less than MSRP on Amazon.

Comparison Table

 1st: Embark2nd: Wisdom Panel3rd: OrivetDNA My DogPaw Print Genetics
Price$129 to $199$79.99 to $159.99 $69.62 to $109.00 ($109.00 / Count) $79$19 to $80
Free ShippingCheckmarkCheckmark
# Of Breeds Tested35035022095n/a
# Of Health Conditions Tested190+200150100150
Results Timeline3-5 Weeks2-3 Weeks3 Weeks2-3 Weeks2 Weeks
Genetic Markers 200,000UnknownUnknownUnknownUnknown
Research-Grade DNA Genotyping PlatformCheckmark
Relative FinderCheckmark
Family TreeCheckmarkCheckmark
Free Replacement Swab If Damaged Or Bad SampleCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Donates Portion Of Proceeds To CharityCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Customer ServiceEmail, phone, live chatEmail, phone, live chatEmail, phone, live chatEmail, phone, live chatEmail, phone
Cat DNA Test OptionCheckmarkcoming soon
Smartphone AppCheckmark

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 DogPaw Print Genetics | Royal Canin

DNA My Dog Review (sold by EasyDNA)

DNA My Dog boxView on EasyDNA

DNA My Dog’s DNA test is an affordable option for an at-home canine DNA assessment (sold via EasyDNA). Although you get a report on your dog’s dominant breeds, personality traits, and any breed-related health concerns, DNA My Dog is mediocre compared to the breed and trait information you get with our top picks. But at a lower price, this tradeoff might be acceptable to you.

DNA My Dog has far fewer breeds in its database, meaning you’re not going to get the level of accuracy and detail you would with Embark, Wisdom Panel, or Orivet’s 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.

Further, if you are seeking more detail, you may be interested in the Canine Genetic Age Test by EasyDNA that you can buy on this site as a companion product to identify your dog’s breed mix and biological age. This test also 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.

Pros

Cons

  • Least expensive test we reviewed
  • Comes with two swabs and free replacement if damaged
  • Charitable shelter program donates funds to U.S. and Canada shelters
  • Live chat (including with DNA consultant), phone and email customer service for any questions
  • Get results in 2-3 weeks
  • Only 95 breeds in their database
  • Health test only tests for 100 genetic conditions based on breed (not your specific dog)
  • Many customer complaints about accuracy
  • Several consumer complaints about delayed results
  • Minimal website resources about dog DNA testing

Prices

  • DNA My Dog Breed Identification Test: $79
  • EasyDNA’s Dog Inherited Disease & Trait Test: $75 for the first single condition they test for and $39 for each additional condition you wish to test
  • EasyDNA’s Canine Genetic Age Test: $109 (includes breed identification)
  • EasyDNA’s Premium Dog Testing Package: $195 (includes three tests: Breed ID, Genetic Age, and Dog Allergy Test)
  • EasyDNA’s Dog Parentage Test: $198
  • EasyDNA’s Dog Parentage Test without Mother: $306
  • EasyDNA’s Human Ancestry Tests: $169-229

Coupon

Looking for a DNA My Dog promo code? Click here for the best deal we could find.

Read Our EasyDNA Dog Allergy Test Review

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 your dog’s risk of 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 if he gets lost or stolen. Paw Print Genetics has a very limited number of mixed-breed tests, and they don’t provide 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

Alternative: Get A Dog DNA Test At Your Veterinarian’s Office

If you’d rather have your veterinarian conduct your DNA test, you can check with your vet’s office to see if they offer the Royal Canin DNA test. With this test, your vet draws a small amount of blood and mails the sample to the lab, where they analyze your dog’s DNA. They determine your dog’s breed (out of 250 breeds) and do a health screening for more than 130 genetic mutations. Once your vet receives the results in two to three weeks, you can meet to discuss a health and wellness plan for your pup.

We do not have any information about whether this test is truly any better than what you can do at home. We’ve read several comparisons that suggest that you will get a higher level of detail from our top at-home DNA pick than you will from the Royal Canin DNA test. Plus, it will likely require you to pay for a vet office visit in addition to whatever the cost is for the test.

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 make 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.

We encourage you to discuss any health concerns raised by test results 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 actual 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 a pet health DNA test’s indications. 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 any disease predispositions, potentially causing some anxiety. You know what you’re capable of handling better than we do, but this is something you’ll want to consider.

Dog with sunglasses (Caption: Dog Liability Insurance)In some areas or housing situations, you may have restrictions on certain breed ownership. If you conduct a DNA test on your dog and that breed is discovered in your dog, you may be in a difficult situation if you opt to share your dog’s breed mix with a landlord. This could lead to you not being able to buy or rent a home in the area, or you may need to relocate. Honest sharing of DNA details could even increase your homeowner’s insurance in some situations.

There’s also a small chance of 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 that could lead you to adjust your dog’s lifestyle unnecessarily.

Pet Insurance Can Help Cover Health Conditions

Dog at the vet getting checked out (caption: Pet Insurance Comparison)If you find out your dog is predisposed to a health condition (or multiple) but not yet diagnosed, you may want to consider purchasing pet insurance now to help out financially in the event your dog becomes 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 (aka economic euthanasia). But you should sign up now before an issue is detected because if you wait until your dog is diagnosed, the insurance company won’t cover it. Once diagnosed, it is 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 each breed’s genetic health concerns. 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?


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