Perhaps you’re a mixed breed doggy owner who’s scratching their head at their pet’s behavior or looks. Or a specific breed canine owner who’d like to know more about your pet’s predisposed health conditions. Whatever the case may be, we’re pretty sure most dog enthusiasts have been tempted to try out a canine DNA test.
If you’re still a bit iffy about the particulars of dog DNA tests or would like to know more about commercially available dog DNA kits – congratulations, you’ve just hit the jackpot. Our Best Dog DNA Tests Review is here to settle all your queries and remove all your doubts. So, let’s get to it!
What are Dog DNA Tests?
On the whole, at-home DNA tests for humans are motivated by a desire to discover one’s ancestry and lineage. It’s all about tying up your present with your past. On the other hand, Dog DNA testing kits have more to do with discovering a furball’s breed breakdown and pedigree.
However, it may surprise you to learn that a DNA test for canines is designed to provide more than just breed identification specifics. Doggy DNA tests also help dog owners understand health risks associated with a breed and can also help when it comes to setting a proper care routine.
Our Top Pick
Before we really start to get into the thick of things, we’d like to introduce you to our top pick for the Canine DNA Tests category: The Breed and Health Kit by Embark. This test is perfect for folks who’re looking for comprehensive breed identification and health screening analysis. What’s more, this test has excellent ratings on major retail sites like Amazon and a truckload full of glowing reviews from canine owners.
What to Look for in a Dog DNA Test
Like buying any pet product, purchasing a DNA test for canines can get a little challenging if you don’t know what to look for. But that’s what we’re here for. Here are some factors worth keeping in mind when you go browsing for a dog DNA kit.
When we say depth, we mean how detail-oriented do you want your dog’s DNA test to be. With plenty of test kits on the market, you have the option of choosing a kit that’ll give you basic information about your pet’s breed health and identification. Conversely, if you’re looking for an extensive report that mentions even the slightest breeds that make up your furry pal’s DNA breed mix or includes a high number of health tests, along with stuff like physical traits, optimal height, weight, etc. – you may want to opt for a test that has the biggest breed database.
Speed of Results
Here’s the thing. Companies that offer dog DNA testing may vary in the turnaround time for results. For instance, one company may require up to 2 weeks to present you with your pet’s breed results, while others may require up to 4 weeks. It’s up to you to pick the speed you like best.
As per Nathan Sutter (Assistant Professor at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine), the accuracy of a DNA test largely depends on how extensive a company’s database is. A large database has a better chance of picking up breeds, even those figuring 1% in your canine’s breed mix, as opposed to a limited one.
What’s more, if you’re certain your pet’s a purebred canine, chances are its test results will come out accurate no matter the brand you choose. On the other hand, mixed-breed dog owners need to be a little pickier about the test they choose for the best results.
Ah, yes. Price is always subject to consideration – no matter the product. And things are no different when it comes to dog DNA tests. The good news is that canine parents will find quite a bit of range as dog DNA kits are concerned. The pricier kits are ones with bigger databases. They are more suitable for owners or breeders looking for all-out information on their dog’s breed mix and related health concerns like inherited diseases and congenital problems.
Some dog DNA testing kits provide basic information about genetic health, while others provide a more detailed analysis of genetic markers and screens for canine diseases. You can pick the test you like best based on your requirements in relation to your dog’s health.
As stated right in the beginning, the Embark Breed Health Kit is our top pick for the best canine DNA testings kits classification. This test kit is perfect for mixed dog breeds and has been created in partnership with Cornell University.
With this test kit, you can look forward to learning about your pet’s cross-generational family tree (your pupper’s great grandparents, no less) and an all-encompassing breakdown of identification – thanks to Embarks 350 breed database. Although, what we like best is that Embark gives you the chance to connect with canines who share your doggo’s DNA. They also carry out genetic testing for diseases like degenerative myelopathy – so you can stay ahead of the curve as far as your pupper’s health is concerned.
- The Embark Breed Health Kit can identify 200,000 genetic markers – which is twice as much as other DNA and health testing companies
- A database of 350 breeds
- Easy to navigate report with helpful charts and analysis
- Free swab replacement in case of damage
- Results take up to three to five weeks
- High priced compared to other dog DNA tests
The Bottom Line
The Embark Breed and Health Kit remains one of the most highly praised dog DNA kits, despite its slower turnaround time and upscale price because of its detail and accuracy. Touted as the best breed identification tests around by pet owners and vets alike – there’s not much to complain about with the product.
The Wisdom Panel Premium Dog DNA Collection kit comes in second on our list (and the Embark and Wisdom Panel Showdown). This testing company boasts a database of over 350 breeds plus varieties and types – making it a highly suitable dog breed identification test for a mixed breed doggo.
Much like Embark and most other contemporary DNA kits for canines, Wisdom Panel’s test requires buyers to collect cheek swab samples, air dry and secure them to mail them back to the company. Apart from an accurate breed breakdown down to 1%, the results also offer a multi-generational family tree, 200+ health tests, along with 35+trait tests. Oh, and buyers can check out the breeds Wisdom library on their website to learn more about the company’s databank.
- Result turnaround time up to 2 to 3 weeks
- Is able to discover breeds making up even 1% of breed mix
- Offers vet consultation for discussion of results
- 200+ tests for breed health tests
- Wisdom health results don’t provide any relative finding option to connect with other dogs sharing DNA
- Pricier compared to other DNA Test Kits
The Bottom Line
The dog DNA test kit from Wisdom Panel is a viable option for dog owners with mixed breed canines who’re looking to get definitive answers about their pet’s genetic makeup and predisposed health conditions. The company’s customer service is also rather renowned among pet parents who’ve taken the Wisdom Panel Tests.
The DNA My Dog Breed Identification Test Kit is one of the most budget-friendly DNA kits out there. Then there’s the fact that this at-home DNA assessment test by EasyDNA takes only about a week to provide buyers with test results.
The DNA results include details about the dominant breeds in your pet’s DNA mix, breed-related genetic diseases, health concerns, and personality traits. Nonetheless, you should note that the company’s breed database isn’t as extensive as Wisdom Panel and Embark – which means the level of accuracy may be affected.
EasyDNA also provides dog owners with a Canine Genetic Age Test, allowing you to learn about your pet’s biological age and aging trends via telomere.
- Most reasonably priced DNA kit on the market
- Quick result turnaround time
- Only company to offer an age test in terms of genetic health
- DNA test provides breed and health results
- The testing company has a limited database compared to others
- The test results aren’t as detailed as others, such as Embark tests or Wisdom Panel
The Bottom Line
If you’re a pet parent who’s looking to inform themselves about their dog’s genetic makeup and health – the DNA My Dog test kit is a good option. This non-invasive test requires dog owners to collect DNA samples from their dog’s mouth via a cheek swab and mail them to the company – much like all the other tests mentioned on this list. Although, if your doggo happens to belong to a mix-breed, like the American Staffordshire Terrier – you may want to consider another kit.
The Orivet Dog DNA Tests comprise of one test for breed identification and one for health screening. But the best part is that no matter the test, you’ll receive a customized life plan for your furball (including pointers and tips for routine care and diet) that you can implement or consult or vet about.
While Orivet’s database is larger than EasyDNA at 220 breeds, it’s still not as large as those offered by Embark and Wisdom Panel. However, Orivet’s health screen DNA kit provides screening for over 150 genetic diseases, along with a risk analysis that considers your dog’s age, weight, ancestry, etc., for a comprehensive report.
- All Orivet DNA test Kits (for breed identification and health screening) include a personalized life plan option
- The testing company offers a database of 220 breeds
- Health analysis takes multiple impacting factors for defined results
- Turnaround time for results is three weeks
- The company doesn’t offer an all-inclusive test that offers breed identification and health screening like the Embark DNA Kit
- Two separate tests may be too costly for some
The Bottom Line
The Orivet Dog Breed Test Kit may appeal to canine owners looking to pinpoint their dog’s breed mix and heritage – thanks to the company 220 breed database. On the other hand, some folks may be put off by the fact that Orivet doesn’t offer a DNA test kit that combines genetic health screening and breed identification.
DNAffirm Dog Breed DNA Test
DNAffirm’s Dog Breed DNA Test provides pet parents of dogs with a super inexpensive way to get some relevant info about their dog’s DNA. But, despite that, the product isn’t too popular – most likely because the testing company’s database consists only of 72 validated breeds.
The test’s results highlight information regarding genetic heritage, behavioral traits, and health conditions. However, the results aren’t as detailed as DNA kits like Embark or Wisdom Panel. Additionally, DNAffirm’s DNA Test mentions breed composition based on levels instead of percentages.
- Extremely reasonably priced
- Results mention breed compositions, health screening, behavioral traits.
- Comprises of two genetic tests, such as MDR1 and EIC
- Results are available in 7 to 14 days.
- Results may vary compared to other DNA tests
- Low-cost packaging
The Bottom Line
Overall, we’d recommend this test only to owners who’re looking to have some fun and have a frameable result certificate to show off their pet’s heritage.
Find My Pet DNA Dog DNA Test
The thing that stood out most for us with the Find My Pet DNA Dog Test is that it claims to be able to identify 100% of the American Kennel Club (AKC) dog breeds – which numbers around 197. Pet parents can utilize the results to learn more about their dog’s well-being, optimal diet, exercise routine, and clue in about any inherited diseases.
- Cost-effective pricing
- Ergonomical and easy to use
- An adequately sized breed databank
- Printable PDF report via email
- The report doesn’t provide percentages for breed breakdown, only ranges
- General health analysis without specifics
The Bottom Line
The Find My Pet DNA Test Kit may be quite reasonable when it comes to pricing, but it doesn’t have much to offer in terms of health screening or exact breed breakdown. What’s more, the test hasn’t garnered too much positive attention from customers on sites like Amazon.
At-home DNA test kits for canines can help dog owners understand their pets better – be it behavior or health-wise. Your dog’s results can unlock information about its breed mix, health concerns, biological age, and even physical traits. Despite that, it’s best to do your research in terms of the kind of knowledge you’re looking for. Commercially available DNA test kits based function on their breed database, and that’s why, if you’re on the lookout for accurate results – it’s best to stick to testing companies with extensive databases.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which dog DNA test is most accurate?
Based on customer reviews, the Embark DNA test kit is a customer favorite, thanks to its accuracy in results. However, the Wisdom Panel Tests (Essential and Premium) come in as a close second.
Is dog DNA testing accurate?
A DNA test for canines will only be as accurate as the strength of the testing company’s breed database. While all at-home DNA test kits perform reasonably well for specific breeds, mixed breed doggos require a broader database to produce specific results about breed mix.
What is the best dog DNA?
The Embark Dog DNA Test with breed identification and canine genetic health screening is a fan-favorite on major retail outlets like Amazon and Chewy.
Is Embark or Wisdom Panel better?
Both Embark and Wisdom Panel are respectable options for dog owners searching for in=depth knowledge about their pet’s breed mix and related health problems. While Wisdom Panel offers a slightly larger breed database, the Embark Dog DNA Test remains numero uno due to its accuracy, pricing, and detailed analytical test results.