dog dna and age test

Dog DNA and Age Test: What is Your Pet’s Genetic Age?

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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What is a Canine Genetic Age Test?

A canine dog DNA and age test is a non-invasive DNA test that uses your pet’s DNA to determine their “genetic age.” The dog DNA and age test analyzes hundreds of markers in your pet’s genome and compares them to thousands of other dogs of the same breed.

A dog DNA and age test shows how old your dog is on a biological level. A blood sample can tell you if your dog is aging faster or slower than expected for their breed and size. This information can influence decisions about their diet, exercise regimen, and health care needs.

Can Dog DNA Test Tell Age?

Yes, a dog DNA and age test can tell your dog’s age with a high level of accuracy. The dog DNA and age test is very accurate and easy to obtain. They are also cheap compared to other methods used to estimate your dog’s age.

It gives you an idea of the age range of your dog, like a bone density test or radiograph test. The canine DNA test uses microsatellite markers to determine when your pet was born.

These markers are small regions of the DNA that mutate at a predictable rate over time. The more markers tested, the greater the accuracy of the test results.

Embark DNA Test
  • HUNDREDS OF ACTIONABLE HEALTH INSIGHTS: 75% of dogs are either at risk or a carrier for a genetic health condition. Embark's panel tests 210+ health risks and provides hundreds of actionable insights to help you give your pup the best care possible. After receiving their test results, 37% of dog owners changed how they care for their dog.
  • BREED ID THAT'S TWICE AS PRECISE: Embark tests over 230,000 genetic markers, twice as many as the next competitor. We also screen for 350+ dog breeds, more than any other dog DNA test. This means Embark's test is the most accurate and scientifically advanced on the market.
  • HIGHEST RATED & MOST TRUSTED: Embark is the highest rated dog DNA brand on Amazon.com with over 16,000 5-star reviews. Only Embark uses research-grade data and is partnered with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. In a blind study, dog owners rated Embark as the most trusted dog DNA test.

Why Test for a Dog’s Age With a Canine Genetic Age Test?

A dog DNA and age test can give you a general idea of what stage your dog is at in life and how it affects its health.

The dog DNA and age test can also help you identify any issues that can lead to issues with aging, such as heart disease or cancer. And, if your dog has already passed, this test will let you know when they were at their healthiest and happiest.

For example, one of our dogs is 12 years old. He’s still healthy and happy, but he has arthritis in his hips and knees and doesn’t get around like he used to.

We don’t think we would have known about these issues without making a dog DNA and age test because he looks so young!

What is the Best Dog DNA and Age Test?

Best Canine Genetic Age Test: Embark Dog DNA Test Kit

Embark Dog DNA Test Kit

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Summary: The Embark Dog DNA Age Test Kit is the best dog DNA test on the market today. It is a simple, non-invasive way to measure your dog’s age in human years. This test kit uses cheek swabs and saliva samples to determine your dog’s genetic age and health condition. It was developed by the company that created the popular Embark Dog DNA Tests in partnership with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

The test works by analyzing genetic markers within a dog’s DNA. The DNA sample results are compared against a database of other over 100,000 dogs in their database. The database includes purebred and mixed breeds and dogs from around the world. This allows Embark to identify which markers are associated with aging and mutations that may affect your dog’s health as they get older.

Pros

  • It’s easy to use (just swab the inside of your dog’s mouth)
  • Results are available in about two weeks
  • It’s very accurate, with an error rate of less than 1%
  • The test can tell you if your dog is at risk for certain diseases
  • The instructions are easy to follow

Cons

  • To test more than one dog, you must order additional kits

Review: With over 10000 reviews on Amazon, this dog DNA and age test kit has an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5. Reviewers say their dogs enjoyed the experience and didn’t mind getting their cheeks swabbed. Pet owners love this test because it’s easy to use, provides a lot of information, and is affordable!

Best Value Canine Genetic Age Test: Wisdom Panel Premium Dog DNA Test

Wisdom Panel Premium Dog DNA Test

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Summary: Wisdom Panel tests your dog’s DNA to determine its age, breed, and family tree. The Wisdom Panel test uses a dog’s cheek swab to collect samples that Wisdom Panel’s scientists then analyze. The results are sent back in a few days.

Wisdom Panel tests for over 350 different genetic markers inherited from both parents. Veterinarians use these markers to determine the dog’s breed and the probability of it being purebred or mutt. Other markers are used to estimate the dog’s age, sex, and health concerns.

The Wisdom Panel DNA age test can also be used with other DNA health tests (such as those for disease predisposition) for more detailed information about your pet’s health.

Pros

  • Health screening results are accurate and reliable
  • Easy to use
  • Results are available in one to two weeks
  • Non-invasive test
  • Gives the dog’s chronological age in human years

Cons

  • It can’t be used on multiple dogs at once

Review: With a global rating of 4.7 stars on Amazon, pet parents have tried and tested this dog DNA and age test. The Wisdom Panel Premium Dog DNA Age Test is one of the most popular options available today. It’s also one of the most affordable breed identification tests to determine your dog’s breed composition.

Most Affordable Canine Genetic Age Test: ORIVET Dog DNA Test

ORIVET Dog DNA Test

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Summary: ORIVET Dog DNA Age Test is an easy-to-use test that can help you learn more about your dog’s age, parentage, breed, and health. The test uses a cheek swab to collect DNA from inside the mouth. It requires no blood draw or pain for the animal, making it an ideal option for owners looking to learn more about the genetic makeup of their four-legged friend.

The test results provide information on your dog’s breed mix, personality traits, breed identification, ancestry, and genetic health risks. In addition to knowing whether your pet is predisposed to certain genetic diseases like degenerative myelopathy. Breeders can also find out if he has relatives with similar characteristics or personalities.

Pros

  • Results are easy to understand
  • It can be used on any dog breed
  • Gives the biological age of your dog
  • Simple to use
  • The test is non-invasive

Cons

  • Results might take too long to return

Review: Dog owners love this dog DNA and age test. They say it’s the best way to learn how old their dog is and their health issues; they’re right! The Orisvet DNA Age Test is a simple cheek swab test that accurately estimates your dog’s age. You simply collect saliva inside your dog’s mouth with a Q-tip or cotton ball, then send the sample back to Orisvet for analysis. It’s not just about knowing your dog’s age — it is also a health kit that can help you detect disease risks.

How do Dog DNA Tests Estimate Age?

The answer is by looking at the length of your dog’s telomeres. Telomeres are a protective “cap” at the end of your chromosomes that protect them from damage.

As you age and your body experiences more stress, your telomeres shorten down to a point where they can no longer protect your chromosomes. This is when you start to experience health issues such as heart disease, cancer, and dementia.

Telomere length is also how labs estimate dog age through DNA testing. By looking at the length of your dog’s telomeres, they can tell how old they are relative to other dogs at the same genetic level in the database. This is called the “Dog Aging Score.”

How Accurate are the Results of Canine Genetic Age Tests?

The accuracy of the dog DNA and age test varies depending on the test you use and your dog’s breed. Getting a puppy’s exact age is difficult because many variables can affect its growth. However, many genetic age tests will give you an estimate within two years of your puppy’s age.

The tests are most accurate when used on adult dogs who have reached maturity, between 2 and 4 years old. The more times you take the test (and send in multiple samples), the more accurate it will be.

One thing that makes these tests less reliable is if there has been any recent breeding activity in your line or if there was a large gap between generations where there wasn’t much documentation about when certain members were born or died.

How Much Does a Canine Genetic Age Test Cost?

The average cost for the dog DNA and age test is between $50 and $200. However, some tests can be more expensive if they check for more than one disease or medical condition.

Generally, the cost of a dog DNA and age test will depend on the lab that performs the test and how much of your dog’s genetic makeup you want to know.