What are the Best Dog DNA Tests?
- Best Dog DNA Test Overall: Embark Dog DNA Test Kit
This is our top pick when it comes to DNA tests for dogs, as it provides a complete profile of your canine friend.
- Most Popular Dog DNA Test: Embark Breed Identification Kit
This is among the most popular dog DNA tests available online as it offers a chance for your pet buddy to meet their family.
- Dog DNA Test with Most Features: Wisdom Panel Premium Dog DNA Test
Through this feature-rich DNA kit, find out about your dog’s breed composition, hereditary, and ancestry.
- Best Dog DNA Test for Speed: Wisdom Panel Essential Dog DNA Test
If you are looking for a quick turnaround time and want fast results, this is the dog DNA test kit you need to opt for.
- Most Innovative Dog DNA Test: Orivet Genopet Dog DNA Test
Thanks to innovative technologies that back this test, you can expect accurate results about the mix and make of your pooch.
- Best Dog DNA Test for Affordability: DNA My Dog Canine Breed Identification Test
If you are looking for an affordable option, this DNA kit for dogs is the perfect addition to your pet’s arsenal.
What are Dog DNA Tests?
Dog DNA tests are tests performed to pinpoint the breeds that reside within your mutt’s genetics. Unlike human testing, which is done to find out about your ancestry and family heritage, dog DNA tests have other purposes.
Many dog owners have questions regarding the origins of their dogs and their family tree. For instance, a mixed-breed dog is less prone to genetic problems because of the lack of inbreeding.
Additionally, DNA tests are also used to check for a variety of gene-specific diseases or disorders – in other words, genetic mutations. A single dog’s cheek swab test can point out if your dog could be the carrier of these diseases or be at risk of developing a full-blown disorder. Therefore, these tests can expose a disease before it becomes a problem.
Genetic testing/canine DNA tests can help bring to light your dog’s health issues, genetic makeup, and genetic markers and thus prove to be more informative than common health tests, especially for breeders.
There are many DNA test kits available on online platforms such as Amazon and Chewy. Additionally, other online platforms, such as the American Kennel Club (AKC), have a breed database that provides information on the breed composition and breed makeup of dogs.
The Best Dog DNA Tests Reviewed
With so many pet DNA brands, it can be hard to find the right one. Here, we have reviewed the best dog DNA test products.
Summary: Embark is our top pick when it comes to DNA test kits for dogs. It tests over 230,000 genetic markers, which are twice as many as its competitors. They also screen for 350+ dog breeds which is more than any other DNA test. Additionally, they claim to be the most accurate and scientifically advanced on the market. Embark uses research-grade data and is partnered with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, which adds more to its name.
What’s in the Box:
- Return envelope
- Highest-rated dog DNA brand
- Connect with your pup's family
- Delivers results in 2-4 weeks
- Most accurate and scientifically advanced
- Uses research-grade data
- Might be too expensive for some pet owners
- The accuracy can be questioned
Review: The brand offers results in around a couple of weeks. They also keep you in the loop about every step offering satisfactory customer service. Overall, this is the best dog DNA test.
Summary: This is among the highest-rated DNA kit for dogs on platforms such as Amazon, with more than 16,000 5-star reviews. This brand is associated with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and uses research-grade data in its studies. Additionally, dog owners have rated Embark as the most trusted dog DNA test available in the market today. It offers results in two weeks and keeps you updated with every step. You can also consult vets after getting your results.
What’s in the Box:
- Return envelope
- Genetic markers
- Most trusted dog DNA test
- Great customer service
- Offers fast results
- Find close relatives of your dog
- Offers consultation with a vet
- Offers lesser features as compared to some other tests
- The service could have been faster
Review: This kit offers your dog’s genetic health report with hundreds of actionable insights on over 210 genetic health risks. It is fairly accurate, according to several pet parents.
Summary: This particular brand of dog DNA test kit offers the most comprehensive overview of your dog’s traits, health, and ancestry. It is able to screen for more than 200 genetic conditions, which is more than any other dog test. You will get explanations about the various features that distinguish your pup from others. These include their coat type, eye color, the shape of their body, weight range for ideal health, and many more.
What’s in the Box:
- Two swabs
- Return Envelope
- 210 health tests
- Veterinarian consultation for any notable health findings.
- Screens for 350+ breeds
- Multi-generational family tree
- 35+ trait tests
- Screens for over 200 genetic conditions
- Screens for over 350 breeds
- Provides a comprehensive overview of your dog's ancestry
- Provides an explanation of your pup's physical characteristics
- Easy-to-read test results
- The swab could be of better quality
- Results take a long time to get delivered
Review: The test is easy to read and understand. But they take a long time to deliver the results, which should be improved.
Summary: This test has been developed by leading geneticists and veterinarians and uncovers ancestry, traits, and key health insights to deliver unmatched value for pet parents. It is able to screen for 350+ breeds and also helps your dog find their long-lost relatives. It also offers 25+ tests for medical complications, including the MDR1 gene. Additionally, it offers 35+ trait tests and is able to provide a multi-generational family tree.
What’s in the Box:
- Two swabs
- Return envelope
- Medical Traits
- Among the world's leading dog DNA service
- Offers the world’s largest dog DNA database
- Screening for 25+ medical complications
- Uncover ancestry, traits, and key health insights
- The kit is easy to use overall
- Needs two swabs for accurate results
- The features offered are not very diverse
Review: This genetic test provides results in three weeks and offers free shipping throughout the USA. It also donates money to cat shelters for every kit purchased.
Summary: This particular kit offers breed identification services through a DNA test. It screens from over 350 different breeds, types, and varieties of canines. When you receive your results, it will show you the percentage of each breed that your dog is made up of. The brand offers results in your online account within 2-3 weeks. However, some results can take more time due to the complexity of the breed or lack of genetic material.
What’s in the Box:
- Genetic testing
- Heritable health risks
- Life plan
- Percentage levels of each breed
- Adult weight prediction
- Insights into your dog’s personality and behavior
- Discover heritable health risks and what to do about them
- Nutritional suggestions for your dog
- Some results can prove to be inconclusive
- Many pet parents were not satisfied with the service
Review: This is a great DNA test kit. However, it does not have the best reviews on online platforms such as Amazon.
Summary: This brand claims 99.997% accuracy when it comes to the DNA test. Discover what makes your unique pup tick by identifying his individual ancestry and heritage. Additionally, gain insight into your dog’s unique genetic background, including the history of its breed(s), traits, and exercise levels that they need to follow in order to maintain a healthy body. The process of sample collection is simple and painless.
What’s in the Box:
- Shipping envelope
- Health risks
- Helps you find your dog’s breed composition
- Discover the unique personality traits of your dog
- Provides genetic health concerns
- Information on predisposition to disease
- Offers results within two weeks
- Does not offer many features
- Pet parents complained about the service
Review: This test will provide you with the complete background of your pup. However, the customer service is not very good.
Is Wisdom Panel or Embark Better?
Our top pick for the best dog DNA test is Embark Breed + Health Kit, as it offers a breed breakdown and information about your dog’s ancestors going back to the great-grandparents. It also offers tests for various genetic diseases. However, if you are looking for a cheaper option, DNA My Dog Breed Identification Test Kit is also a solid option that provides reliable and fast results.
How do I Choose a Dog DNA Test?
There are three factors that you need to consider before you choose a dog DNA test kit. Here are the factors for finding the best dog DNA test:
- Depth of Information. You need to ask yourself the depth of the information you need about your dog. If you are just wondering about your dog’s lineage, there are some basic tests that can answer that. However, there are others that offer more insights into things like how their DNA contributes to their personality traits. Other tests might point out if your dog is at risk of developing some health conditions.
- Speed of Results. The next question you have to ask yourself is how fast you want your dog’s DNA results. If speed is important for you, some tests can take just a couple of weeks to deliver results. However, many testing companies take months before handing you the results. Therefore, the reason for your testing and your patience will decide which test you have to choose.
- Accuracy. Finally, it is important that your test needs to be accurate, especially if you are looking for insight into their health. The best dog DNA test products claim 100% accuracy.
What do Dog DNA Tests Show?
The best dog DNA test is a valuable tool that shows lots of information. Here is a closer look into the info you can get from a DNA test.
- Breed & Traits Information. Many dog owners are keen to find out what breeds are comprised in their newly adopted dogs. DNA test results often include the dog’s breed mix based on a library of 250-300 breeds of dogs. You can get more information about each dog breed, their temperament, appearance, history, and other related information. Furthermore, you can also find out about your dog’s ancestry and family tree. Even for purebred dogs, this test can shed light on how far their lineage goes.
- Health & Genetic Risks. If you are looking to find out information about your dog’s genetic health risks, you might opt for a kit that offers health screening too. These kits are able to detect around 150 genetic diseases that might show up in your dog’s body. Additionally, it can also detect diseases such as Glaucoma, Von Willebrand Disease, and breed-specific conditions such as Muscular Dystrophy found in Golden Retrievers. You can also find out if your dog has the MDR1 gene, which might lead your dog to have severe reactions to some common drugs.
- Weight & Nutritional Recommendations. DNA tests can also provide important information about your dog’s weight and nutritional requirements. If you are testing a puppy, you can predict how much it might weigh as an adult. You can also get a range that will provide the ideal weight for your dog to be healthy. Also, there are some tests that provide nutritional considerations depending on your dog’s breed and size. This can give an insight to your vet about the right diet for your dog.
- Find Your Dog’s Relatives. Some tests can also help you find your dog’s long-lost sibling. For instance, with the Doggy DNA Relative Finder, you can connect with other dogs that might be related to your pup. This is completely based on the DNA percentage that these dogs share. For now, this feature is limited to Embark.
- Research Contributions. Finally, you can contribute to ongoing research related to dog genetics. While this is not something that you will be getting, you can play a key role in understanding veterinary genetics by becoming a part of the research studies. This will help vets understand canine obesity, diseases, behavioral issues, aging, and preventive care.
Can a DNA Test Tell How Old My Dog is?
Yes, DNA tests can determine the age of your dog.
The biological age of a canine is determined by the length of its telomeres. This length is matched with thousands of other similar dogs that help determine the biological age of your canine.
Can a DNA Test Prove a Dog is Purebred?
No, even the best dog DNA test cannot determine if your dog is purebred.
DNA tests are done to verify the parentage of your dog and how close their genetic signature is to a particular breed. It can also point out possible health issues that it might encounter throughout its life.
Are DNA Dog Tests Accurate?
Many dog DNA test kit manufacturers claim that the tests they provide are 90% accurate. However, many vets and geneticists do not agree with this number. This is because there is a lack of peer-reviewed research regarding the processes used by these kits.
Despite this, there is anecdotal evidence that many dog owners believe in the accuracy of these DNA kits. This is because the kits were positively able to identify the dog’s hair color and in some instances – their breeds. However, there is no third-party information available that can corroborate this information.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that DNA test kits for your dog are a waste of money or that they’re likely to provide wrong information, but dog owners should take results with a grain of salt and be aware that even in the best-case scenario, these tests do have the potential to be wrong.
While these tests claim to point out genetic health conditions, potential health risks, and medical complications with a DNA sample, they can still be wrong to an extent. Many pet owners and pet parents claim that their test was able to point out breed results, physical traits, personality traits, and health results for breeds such as German Shepherds and Pit Bulls.
How Accurate are Different Types of Dog DNA Tests?
Free Dog DNA Tests. While it is not the most precise method of determining a dog’s type, it is often possible to decide what breed a dog is by comparing him or her to photos of other dog breeds. There are various websites and apps available online that scan the picture of your dog for free. However, these free tests give you basic information regarding the breed of your dog and are often not very accurate.
Home Dog DNA Test Kits. This is the most popular choice out of all the options because of its efficient and straightforward process. You can purchase an at-home DNA test kit from testing companies or order one online. Nearly all the kits have identical contents—two swabs for collecting DNA samples, a postal box for mailing the samples, and an instructions pamphlet.
After registering the kit online, take a few swabs from the inside of your dog’s mouth. Make sure that you collect the samples two to three hours after your dog has been fed. Dry the swab and then mail it to the company.
The results will be sent to your email address within a few weeks. The information you receive will vary depending on the brand of the test kit. However, these tests are more or less accurate.
Dog DNA Blood Test. A blood test helps you gather information about your dog’s welfare that can only be obtained by taking a blood sample and analyzing it.
A canine complete blood count (CBC) detects and counts red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in blood samples. This involves determining the fitness and functioning of cells by examining their structure and state. This test is highly accurate as it tells you about your dog’s immune system and oxygen-carrying capability, cholesterol levels, endocrine levels, and digestive enzymes.