dog dna paternity test

Dog DNA Paternity Test: Learn About Your Dog’s Lineage

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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Can You do a Paternity Test for Dogs?

Yes, there is a dog DNA paternity test. Dog DNA testing is a simple blood test that can tell you the father of your dog’s puppies.

The dog DNA paternity test compares the dog’s DNA with the DNA of other dogs in the litter. This type of test is called a “microsatellite” test.

This test can determine if your dog is a purebred or mixed breed, as well as whether or not he has been bred with other dogs in his family tree.

Not all dog DNA tests offer parentage testing.

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.

Is There a Way to See if Two Dogs are Related?

Yes, the dog DNA paternity test can tell if two dogs are related.

Dogs have 23 pairs of chromosomes that contain both the genes they inherit from their parents and other genetic material that makes up their unique genome.

Each chromosome has hundreds of thousands of genes that determine your dog’s appearance and behavior. A few genes determine whether he will be male or female, and some genes even dictate the color of his coat and eye color.

When you breed two dogs with different sets of chromosomes, you get puppies with varying combinations of chromosomes in each cell in their bodies — each puppy has a unique genome!

This means that even if two dogs have been raised together since birth, there’s still no guarantee that they share any common ancestors — because they may not have any common ancestors! As a result, there is no way to physically determine paternity except via a DNA test.

How do I Know Who the Father of My Puppy is?

The dog DNA paternity test can give you a definitive answer.

Unlike humans, dogs do not have a family tree to trace back their lineage. No records are kept on their parents or grandparents, so it can be difficult to know exactly who the father of your puppy could be.

This is why the canine parentage test on your dog is ideal when determining which dog fathered your puppy.

Why Establish Dog Paternity with a DNA Test?

The dog DNA paternity test can be used to determine a dog’s father. This can be important for many reasons, including:

  • Establishing the identity of your dog’s father can help you find out if he has any genetic issues that are common in his family tree and will be passed down to future generations.
  • If you have two or more male dogs and don’t know who fathered which puppies, you can use paternity testing as proof of breeding rights or as evidence for legal disputes about ownership or breeding rights.
  • Determine whether a mother was truly pregnant before she was given away or sold because some breeders may claim they were pregnant when they weren’t to sell puppies at a higher price point.

What is the Best Dog DNA Paternity Test?

Our Top Pick Dog DNA Paternity Test: Embark Dog DNA Test Kit

Embark Dog DNA Test Kit

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Summary: The Embark Dog DNA Test Kit is a simple cheek swab test that can determine a dog’s lineage, including paternity status.

The dog DNA paternity test contains everything you need to collect a cheek swab from your pup and send it off to Embark. The genetic testing results are ready within two weeks, allowing you to learn more about your dog’s lineage.

Embark results help to understand better how your pup got his looks and personality traits — from size and fur to exercise habits and personality type. It contains all the breeds registered on the American Kennel Club database.

Embark uses the same technology as human paternity tests — short tandem repeats (STRs) — to analyze DNA profiles. When you swab your dog’s mouth and send it back to Embark’s lab, they will compare your dog’s profile against other dogs in their database to see if he matches with any other members of their database who share a parent or grandparent in common.

Pros

  • Good for mixed-breed dogs as well as purebreds
  • DNA test Results are ready in two to four weeks
  • No blood draw is required for the DNA sample
  • Comes with ancestry and genetic health check
  • Easy-to-use kit with good instructions
  • Painless and non-invasive to conduct

Cons

  • Turn around time can be shorter

Reviews: This dog DNA paternity test kit is one of the most popular DNA tests for dogs today, with more than 13,000 reviews and an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Users say they like the accurate results from this test because they help them get answers about their dog’s ancestry and breed traits. They also appreciate that it’s easy to use and reliable.

Best Dog DNA Paternity Test for Purebreds: Embark Dog DNA Test for Purebred Pets

Embark Dog DNA Test for Purebred Pets

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Summary: The Embark Dog DNA Test for Purebred Pets is a genetic test that allows dog owners to determine their pets’ paternity and breed makeup.

The collection kit was developed in partnership with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and Embark, a company that uses DNA testing to help people make informed decisions about their pets’ health. Veterinary hospitals around the world trust this test kit.

In addition, Embark’s test can also reveal ancestry and potential genetic diseases. This can help veterinarians determine if your pet is a good fit for specific breed-specific training, breeding program, or diet plan. It’s also useful if you’re planning on breeding your dog.

This dog DNA paternity test uses a cheek swab sample collected from your dog’s mouth. Results are available about two weeks after collection.

Pros

  • The DNA test is painless, non-invasive, and safe
  • It is scientifically proven to be 99% accurate
  • Easy to use – perform and interpret
  • Doesn’t require registering before ordering the test kit
  • Tests for over 250 breeds of dogs

Cons

  • To test two or more dogs, you need to buy additional kits.

Reviews: Rated 4.6 stars out of 5 on Amazon, pet parents love this dog DNA paternity test kit. They say it’s simple to use, and the results are accurate. Some reviewers said that they learned something new about their dog’s breed and that it’s easy to use and provides easy-to-understand results.

Most Affordable Dog DNA Paternity Test: Wisdom Panel Essential Dog DNA Test

Wisdom Panel Essential Dog DNA Test

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Summary: The Wisdom Panel Essential Dog DNA Test is one of the most comprehensive and accurate dog DNA tests available. This test detects over 100 genetic markers for breed identification, including all breeds in the Wisdom Panel Blueprint™. Because this test has more DNA markers than many other breed identification tests, it provides more detailed information about your dog’s ancestry.

The dog parentage test is also helpful in determining which breeds are in your mix and how much they contribute to your dog’s overall ancestry. The Wisdom Panel Essential Dog DNA Test can be used to identify a mixed breed or purebred dog and to determine parentage. In addition, it can help detect traits associated with certain breeds, such as deafness in Dalmatians or bladder stones in Bulldogs.

Pros

  • The results are easy to interpret
  • It’s simple to use
  • Sample collection is painless
  • Cheaper compared to Embark DNA test
  • Reveals a predisposition to 25+ medical complications
  • Comes with a pre-paid return shipping label

Cons

  • Wait time of 2 to 4 weeks

Review: With a rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 and over 10000 reviews, pet parents love this dog DNA paternity test. They say it’s accurate, easy to use, and provides peace of mind regarding their dog’s breed makeup.

How Does a Dog DNA Paternity Test Work?

The dog DNA paternity test is similar to the testing that can be performed on humans. It involves taking a sample from the possible sire and mother and comparing those samples with the DNA found in their puppies.

DNA parentage test starts with collecting a sample of the alleged biological father’s DNA. This is done by swabbing the inside of his cheek or obtaining saliva from him. The same process is used to collect the mother’s sample and her litter of puppies.

Once all the samples are collected, they’re sent off to a lab for parentage verification. The DNA in each sample will be processed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology to compare allele sizes to see if there’s a match between the puppies’ DNA and their potential sire.

They’re unrelated if there’s no match between the puppies’ and either parent’s DNA. If there is a match between one or more puppies’ DNA and one or more parents’ DNA, then it means they have a common ancestor who could be either parent or another relative such as an uncle or auntie (but not necessarily). You will get a parentage report of the test and interpretation after two weeks or more.

How Accurate are the Results of DNA Paternity Tests?

The results of the dog DNA paternity test are very accurate. The laboratory procedures used to perform the paternity test are more than 99.99% accurate, thus providing the necessary scientific foundation for establishing legal paternity.

How Much Does a Dog DNA Paternity Test Cost?

The dog DNA paternity test costs range from $70 to $300. Sometimes, you need to pay more than one fee if multiple animals are being tested or if additional tests are required.