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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? Thanks to recent developments in canine science, you can get answers to these questions and even learn about your dog’s traits and ancestry. 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 his future.
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 just 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 purebred and designer dog testing.
Best Dog DNA Test
We’ve chosen several of the best DNA dog tests on the market and given you detailed information about what you can learn from each one. All of our DNA dog test reviews are at-home cheek-swab tests, but each test differs in the type of results you’ll receive.
The Embark Dog DNA Test takes our top spot as the best DNA test for dogs. This test is one of a kind and backed by sound science. Embark DNA is a comprehensive dog DNA test that screens for breed identification, traits, ancestry and genetic disease risk (for 160 known canine genetic health problems). Your test results even 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. What’s more, Embark contributes funding and genetic testing to animal shelters in the U.S. and Nepal! The downside? Embark’s dog DNA test cost is significantly higher than breed-only DNA tests.
Embark DNA has their Holiday Sale active, get $30 off off all test kits until December 31st with coupon code HOLIDAY30, just use this link to get started!
Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel wins our number two spot as the best DNA dog test. Both the Wisdom Panel 3.0 and Wisdom Panel 4.0 tests cover more than 250 breeds, types and varieties, including 99% of AKC-recognized breeds. And you can choose whether you want them to run your dog’s DNA test for mixed-breed, designer or purebred dogs. Wisdom Panel’s at-home DNA dog tests only screen for MDR1 disease and Exercise-Induced Collapse, but their tests are licensed by Washington State University and their team of scientists. Wisdom Panel 4.0 is only available through the company’s website.
- Wisdom Panel 4.0: MSRP $84.99 (only available on company’s website at this time)
- Wisdom Panel 3.0: $76.49
- Wisdom Panel 2.0: $89.24
What’s the difference between Wisdom Panel 2.0 vs. 3.0? Wisdom Panel 2.0 only covers 321 genetic markers, whereas Wisdom Panel 3.0 and 4.0 cover 1,800 genetic markers. Translation: Wisdom Panel’s newer products are much more accurate.
Wisdom Panel is often offered at a discount from the MSRP price on Amazon.
DNA My Dog comes in third place because their test just doesn’t have the bark for your buck. 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 Wisdom Panel, even though the two products are in roughly the same price range. 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 or Wisdom. And many Amazon reviewers agree that their test lacks accuracy. But if you’re on a budget, DNA My Dog is the least expensive alternative.
There are no DNA My Dog coupons at this time.
Other Dog DNA Tests Reviewed
Although PetConfirm didn’t make our top three list, it’s a popular dog DNA test. Here’s our review for your consideration.
PetConfirm is one of many health-related testing kits produced by Confirm BioSciences (most are for humans). The PetConfirm dog DNA test is nearly identical to the DNA My Dog test regarding the company’s breed database and the results you’ll receive. Like DNA My Dog, PetConfirm gives you a breed percentage report, a custom breed analysis certificate and an outline of the generic health concerns and personality traits for every breed found in your dog’s genetic profile.
What Breed Is My Rescue Dog?
Unless you’ve gone through AKC’s Rescue Network, where you can find purebred rescue pups, you likely don’t know what your rescue dog is. That’s where a dog DNA test comes in handy! Check out the following video where some rescue dog parents learn about their pup’s breeds.
Dog DNA Test Infographic
Learn more about how Dog DNA Tests work in this infographic:
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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. But 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 are interested in a DNA test for yourself, checkout our best DNA ancestry test article on our sister site, Exploring Life’s Mysteries.
What surprises did you find after having your pup do a dog DNA test?