This content was reviewed by veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth Racine, DVM.
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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 a desire to determine and gain a deeper understanding of possible health outcomes.
- How Does Dog DNA Testing Work?
- What's The Best Dog DNA Test?
- Comparison Table
- Are There Other Dog DNA Kits To Consider?
- Alternative: Get A Dog DNA Test At Your Veterinarian's Office
- DNA Health Testing & Vet Care
- Are There Any Reasons Not To Test My Dog's DNA?
- Pet Insurance Can Help Cover Health Conditions
- How Can A DNA Test Benefit My Dog's Health?
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 and the type of test, you’ll see the percentage breakdown of your dog’s breeds and risks for developing some hereditary diseases (or being a carrier). Some companies also offer parentage testing and purebred and designer dog testing.
What’s The Best Dog DNA Test?
We’ve reviewed several dog DNA tests currently on the market and give 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.
Winner: Embark Review
Embark DNA is a comprehensive dog DNA test that screens for breed identification, 35+ physical traits, ancestry, geographic origin, and genetic disease risk (for 230 known canine genetic health problems). It also has a relative finder that lists dogs in their database related to yours. Your test results include a detailed vet report to help you and your veterinarian plan the best care for your dog. Embark stands out from the pack because it identifies twice as many genetic markers as most other companies and has a research-grade DNA genotyping platform.
Embark also offers tests for purebreds and breeders that provide breed-relevant disease screening, insights into health, traits (e.g., coat color, body size), and more. Every kit includes 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. The purebred test also gives you the same health results and relative finder you get with the mixed breed health + breed test.
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. eGift cards are available in $25 increments, from $50-200, allowing your loved ones to choose the Embark kit that best fits their needs and budget.
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
|Tests for 350 breeds, types, and varieties||Breed + Health test is relatively expensive|
|Identifies 200,000 genetic markers, twice as much genetic information as most other companies|
|Genetic mutation testing for 230 canine health conditions|
|Results back in 2-4 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|
Embark offers discounts if you purchase multiple kits (see coupon below) and also has free shipping.
- Breed Identification Kit – $129
- Breed + Health Kit – $199
- Purebred Kit – $199
- Breeders Dog DNA Test Kit – $159
Looking for the latest Embark promo code? Visit or dedicated Embark coupon article with the most up-to-date seasonal offers and discounts.
Runner-Up: Wisdom Panel DNA Test Review
Wisdom Panel has three main dog DNA tests: Wisdom Panel Breed Discovery, Wisdom Panel Essential, and Wisdom Panel Premium.
- Breed Discovery tests for 350+ breeds, drug and medication sensitivities (MDR1 test).
- Essential tests for everything in the Breed Discovery kit plus 35+ traits, 25+ medical complications, and more.
- Premium tests for everything the Essential tests for plus 210+ genetic conditions and a veterinarian consult for notable health findings.
You get a detailed report back within three weeks that you can share with your vet. All tests also trace your dog’s family tree back three generations and include a relative finder. Wisdom Panel has tested more than three million dogs, and they say over 99.9% of dogs in their database have a relative.
Wisdom Panel also offers a cat DNA test, which screens for 70+ breeds and populations, 45+ genetic health conditions, and 25+ traits. It detects more breeds than any other cat DNA test. They also have tests for breeders of dogs and cats. These include genetic health tests, traits, and genetic diversity.
Personal Experience With Wisdom Panel 3.0
We purchased this 3.0 DNA test to conduct this product test (not a free trial). This is an older kit that tested for 250 breeds.
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 its detail 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
|Tests cover 99% of 350 breeds, types, and varieties||Genetic marker testing is less detailed and in-depth vs. Embark (twice as much genetic information from Embark vs Wisdom Panel)|
|Genetic mutation testing for over 210 canine health conditions (Premium test)|
|Comes with two swabs, and they’ll replace for free if damaged|
|Includes a relative finder|
|Results back in 2-3 weeks|
|Also offers a cat DNA test|
|Charitable partnerships with animal rights groups|
|Veterinarian phone consultation available to discuss results from health tests|
|Phone, email customer service for any questions|
|Good website resources about canine DNA testing|
- Premium Test: $159.99
- Essential Test: $99.99
- Breed Discovery Test: $79.99
- Complete for Cats DNA Test: $129.99
Wisdom Panel is often offered at a discount from the MSRP price at Chewy. Visit our dedicated Wisdom Panel coupon page to see past deals.
Full Wisdom Panel Breed Detection Test Review
Third Place: Orivet Dog DNA Tests Review
View on Amazon | View on Chewy
Orivet offers the Geno Pet DNA test for mixed-breed identification and the Geno Pet+ test for genetic health screening, traits, and breed identification. Each test has a personalized life plan you can share with your vet.
While the Geno Pet+ test is a bit less expensive than Wisdom Panel’s breed+health test and much less than Embark’s similar test, Orivet’s test doesn’t include ancestry screening or a relative finder. And its genetic testing isn’t nearly as advanced as Embark’s test is. We also couldn’t find a list on their website of the genetic conditions they screen for in the Geno Pet+ test. Both Embark and Wisdom Panel have thorough information on their sites.
Orivet has also introduced Purebred Dog DNA tests for 10 different breeds. Orivet currently screens for over 250 health and trait tests, but these purebred kits only test for genetic conditions and traits that are specific to your dog’s breed. And breeders can use this test to provide proof of lineage.
You can see a list of the health conditions and traits in each purebred test on their website and the Amazon product page. Breeds include Australian Shepherds, Miniature Australian Shepherds, Beagles, Border Collies, French Bulldogs, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Goldendoodles, Labrador Retrievers, and Labradoodles.
|Breed Test: 350 recognized and developing breeds in their database||Results don’t contain as much information as our top 2 picks|
|Health Test: Genetic mutation testing for over 200 canine health conditions||Some customers said it took a long time to get results|
|Health risks classified based on likelihood and impact|
|Gives you adult weight prediction|
|Consumers report excellent customer support|
|Results are emailed within 2-3 weeks|
|100% satisfaction guarantee|
- Geno Pet+ (breed, health & trait screening): $169.95
- Geno Pet (breed ID): $71.99
- Purebred Dog Full Breed Profile (health): $129.95
- Dog DNA Health Screen and Life Plan (older version): Check Amazon for availability
Orivet is often sold for less than MSRP on Amazon.
|1st: Embark||2nd: Wisdom Panel||3rd: Orivet||DNA My Dog||Dognomics||EasyDNA Breed ID||Paw Print Genetics|
|Price||$129 to $199||$79.99 to $159.99||Check Amazon for availability to $169.95||$79.99 to $129.99||$147||$109||$19 to $80|
|# Of Breeds Tested||350||350||350||350||130||350||N/A|
|# Of Health Conditions Tested||215||210||200||N/A||237||N/A||200|
|Results Timeline||2-4 Weeks||2-3 Weeks||2-3 Weeks||2-3 Weeks||2 Weeks||3 Weeks||2 Weeks|
|Research-Grade DNA Genotyping Platform|
|Free Replacement Swab If Damaged Or Bad Sample||Unknown|
|Donates Portion Of Proceeds To Charity|
|Customer Service||Email, phone, live chat||Email, phone, live chat||Email, phone, live chat||Email, phone||Email, phone, live chat||Email, phone|
|Cat DNA Test Option|
Are There Other Dog DNA Kits To Consider?
Although the following tests didn’t make our top three this time around, you may want to consider other popular options and a promising newcomer, Dognomics.
DNA My Dog Review
DNA My Dog’s Essential Breed ID Test is an affordable option for an at-home canine DNA assessment. Although you get a report on your dog’s dominant breeds and any breed-related health concerns and personality traits, DNA My Dog is mediocre compared to the breed and trait information you get with our top picks.
DNA My Dog also offers a Premium Breed ID Test, which covers everything in its essential test plus a couple of interesting features. This test determines the biological age of your pup by measuring the length of your dog’s telomeres, the protective caps at the end of each chromosome that tend to shorten with age. This can provide insight into the predicted longevity and health of a dog. It also determines the extent of your dog’s wolf and coyote DNA.
|Affordably priced||Results aren’t as thorough as our top 2 picks|
|Tests for 350 breeds, types, and varieties||Several customer complaints about accuracy|
|Free replacement swab if damaged or lost|
|Discover your dog’s biological age (premium test)|
|Get results in 2-3 weeks|
|Charitable shelter program donates funds to U.S. and Canadian shelters|
Dognomics Dog DNA Test
Clinomics USA Inc., launched the Dognomics Dog DNA Test in June 2022, and based on the parent company’s strong scientific reputation, we anticipate that this at-home kit will become one of the leading dog DNA tests in the U.S. market. Looking at 200,000 genetic markers, this test screens for 237 health conditions, more than any other test, and 130 breeds.
We didn’t include Dognomics in our top three picks because it’s so new we can’t get a good enough gauge from customers about their turnaround times, customer service, etc. Also, the breed database isn’t nearly as large as our top picks. However, this could be an excellent option if you’re primarily looking for health-related results.
The Dognomics test was developed by the South Korean company Clinomics Inc., which developed and sells human DNA tests in Asia. All testing will be conducted in their laboratory in San Diego, CA.
|Genetic mutation testing for 237 canine health conditions||Only 130 breeds in their database|
|Identifies 200,000 genetic markers, twice as much genetic information as most other companies||Customer service only via email|
|Get results in 2 weeks||We couldn’t find customer feedback because the test is so new|
|Clinomics scientific team performed the world’s first whole genome sequencing on many mammals|
|Environmentally friendly packaging|
EasyDNA Dog Breed Identification Test
EasyDNA’s Dog Breed Identification Test checks for 1,800 genetic markers with access to a database of more than 350 breeds, types, and varieties of dogs. It also traces your pup’s canine ancestry back three generations. Results give you a percentage breakdown of each breed that makes up your pup.
You get a full analysis of the dominant and secondary breeds found in your furry friend, including each breed’s traits, behavior, and history. Also, your results include a predicted weight profile and proof of breed paper which may be useful for breeders.
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 purebred.
|Screens for 350 breeds, types, and varieties||More expensive than Wisdom Panel’s 350 breed test (but cheaper than Embark’s)|
|Traces canine ancestry back 3 generations|
|Get results in 3 weeks|
|Discounts for multiple tests|
|Company supports many charitable organizations|
- EasyDNA’s Breed Identification Test (350 breeds): $109
- EasyDNA’s DogCheck Canine Genetic Disease Test: $199-$289
- EasyDNA’s Dog Inherited Disease & Trait Test: $69 for a single condition they test for
- EasyDNA’s Canine Genetic Age Test (includes breed identification): $109
- EasyDNA’s Premium Dog Testing Package (includes three tests: Breed ID, Genetic Age, and Dog Allergy Test): $195
- EasyDNA’s Dog Parentage Test: $169
- EasyDNA’s Dog Parentage Test without Mother: $269
- EasyDNA’s CatCheck (Feline) Genetic Disease Test: $150
- EasyDNA’s Human Ancestry Tests: $169-$229
Looking for an EasyDNA promo code? Click here for the best deal we could find.
Full EasyDNA Dog Allergy Test Review
Paw Print Genetics Review
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 disease(s). 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.
|Analyzes each mutation with two independent methods to provide you the highest accuracy||Can get expensive if testing for multiple diseases (but they offer discounts)|
|Offers 255 genetic mutation tests for health conditions||No breed identification tests|
|Genetic counseling available, and excellent customer support||Very limited mixed breed tests|
|Includes Pedigree Report and Genetic Health Certificate||Can be confusing to figure out which test(s) to order for your dog|
|Partners with many dog clubs and associations|
|Results available in two weeks|
- 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
- DNA Profiling Test: $49
- Parentage Test (puppy, dam, or sire): $30
- Clear by Parentage Test: $19
- View all options
Full Paw Print Genetics Review
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 don’t have any information about whether this test is 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 and 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. Always consult with your vet on any DNA test results.
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 may still shows 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 develop 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.
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 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 being unable to buy or rent a home in the area or needing to relocate. Honest sharing of DNA details could even increase your homeowner’s insurance in some situations.
There’s also a slight 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
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 choosing between his life and your wallet (aka economic euthanasia). But you should sign up 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 develop 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.
Knowing what breeds are in his mix can inform you about each breed’s genetic health concerns. Then you’ll learn to look for early warning signs, and you can take preventive measures before it’s too late.Tagged With: Comparison, DNA, Reviewed By Dr. Racine, DVM