Dog DNA Test Accuracy

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Dog DNA Test Accuracy: How Accurate are at Home DNA Tests?

Veterinarians.org Team

By

Medically reviewed by

Ivana Crnec, DVM

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dog dna test accuracy

DNA testing for dogs helps pet owners to learn more about their beloved canine’s heritage and all the potential diseases it may be prone to. Easy-to-use test kits are very common. Simply swab the interior of your dog’s mouth with a cotton swab, mail the report, and wait a few weeks for the results.

However, some veterinarians are wary of the current fad’s lack of standards and precision. They caution that the kits could include incorrect medical advice to uninformed owners, which could have serious consequences.

Dog DNA test kits have sparked a controversy in the veterinary community, with some claiming that the accusation ignores the benefits of DNA testing for dogs, especially since dog owners have spent approximately $150 or more voluntarily over at-home test kits.

The kits work similarly to human commercial DNA experiments. They don’t “scan” the whole genome; instead, they examine a collection of markers. Some markers have simple yes/no answers, such as the existence of a mutant variant of a gene that triggers a particular disease.

In other cases, such as a gene that causes hair length, one allele may be associated with long hair, and the other is related to short hair. Breed research is more difficult when organizations equate the dog’s genetic material to that of other dogs in their databases. It’s possible that it’ll be a bit less precise. Algorithms play a role.

Why Get Your Dog’s DNA Tested?

accuracy of dog dna test

The DNA test will reveal information about the breed, family tree, and even relatives of your dog. It’s easier to estimate how big dog bed your puppy will need if you know what breed he or she is. Genetic health threats can be identified by the same test as well. You can take preventative measures by learning about the diseases that your dog might face in his or her life.

A DNA examination may also disclose information about characteristics and dog’s health. A shedding test, for example, may pique your interest if you don’t want your home to be overrun with fur.

Overall, taking a DNA test may put many of your worries to rest.

What do DNA Kits Test for?

accuracy of dna test for dog

Ancestry and Parents

Almost 350 distinct dog breeds, sizes, and variations have been identified worldwide in the 15,000 years of companionship between man and dog. However, appearances can be deceiving since certain species are genetically almost similar. Using DNA testing, you can trace the origins of your dog, from breed breakdown to a multi-generational family tree.

Dog Breed Or Mixes

Every dog breed club has a breed standard that outlines how they believe the best image of their breed should appear. Most breed criteria include illustrations depicting specific characteristics as well as a concise overview of personality traits and dog’s health.

Unfortunately, this isn’t an exceptionally reliable method of determining whether or not this is true.

Certain fully purebred dogs do not resemble the breed standard in appearance. And, by sheer genetic chance, certain crossbred dogs end up pairing up exceptionally well.

DNA tests for dogs are done to get a clearer idea of the makeup of the canine’s breed, whether it is purebred or mixed.

Vulnerability to Medical Conditions

DNA tests can let one know all about the health risks that their dog may be prone to. This helps in taking precautions regarding their diet and physical activities.

Potential Allergies and Sensitivities to Food

Rather than IgE (Immunoglobulin E) allergies triggered by the body’s immune system, the test kits screen for susceptibility or intolerance to food and environmental stimuli that grow through time.

IgE allergic reactions happen within minutes of absorption or exposure and are detected by vets using a blood test or a skin prick test. However, a visit to the doctor is still suggested as these kits don’t act as a substitute consultation.

Hidden Traits

It’s incredible how much you can discover about your dog genetic markers by using DNA samples. When dogs become part of the household, their well-being becomes a major concern, and learning about any of their personal characteristics can be both helpful and enjoyable! These assessments allow you to have a greater understanding of their genetic history and take appropriate steps, resulting in a better and healthier life for them.

How Accurate are Dog DNA Tests?

The brand of health testing kit you choose or whether you go to a vet has a significant impact on the accuracy of caniDNA tests. The scale of their database plays an important role as well. When an unusual dog breed that isn’t in a company’s database is included in the dog’s DNA, your findings won’t reveal it.

Types of Dog DNA Tests and Their Accuracy

dog dna testing accuracy

Free 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 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.

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.

At-Home DNA Tests

Embark Dog DNA Test

Embark Dog DNA Test Breed Identification Kit

Get it on Amazon

Embark dog DNA test screens your dog’s DNA comprehensively, looking for breed identification, 20+ physical traits, ethnicity, and the possibility of genetic disease (for more than 200 identified canine genetic health issues).

In addition to your test results, Embark DNA testing provides you with a concise vet report to help you and your doctor prepare the proper care for your puppy. You can opt to get the dog’s DNA data used in the analysis since Embark collaborates with Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine on current studies into dog genetic testing.

Embark can also provide breeders with a DNA evaluation kit that includes disease diagnosis, health records, and traits for their purebred dogs (including coat color, body size, and more). Each kit provides you with a genetic inbreeding coefficient and the results of nearly all national breed club-recommended genetic mutation studies.

Wisdom Panel Dog DNA Test

Wisdom Panel Essential Dog DNA Test

Get it on Amazon

Wisdom panel dog DNA test is one of the best DNA kits available today. You can trace your puppy‘s ancestry back to his great-grandparents with this study package.

You would be able to estimate how much the dog will weigh before he or she is fully grown. This will assist in determining the right food choices for improving health and activity levels.

EIC, a genetic disorder in which a dog struggles to react to physical exercise, may also be ruled out through this test.

Two swabs are included in the DNA testing pack, which can be substituted for free if they break. The reports of the DNA tests are sent to you within a span of two to three weeks.

The company also provides you with customer service if you have any complaints or questions. The Wisdom Panel also has a lot of detail on canine DNA analysis on their webpage. They’ve also established charitable partnerships with animal rights organizations.

DNA My Dog Breed ID Test Kit

DNA My Dog Canine Breed Identification Test Kit

Get it on Amazon

The DNA My Dog Breed Identification Test is a simple dog DNA package that uses a collection of 95 dog breeds to determine your dog’s genetic makeup. While this may seem to be a large number of species to compare against, some assessments, such as the Editors’ Choice Wisdom Panel, will classify up to 250 breeds.

The findings are provided in the form of a friendly talking piece than an exact reflection of your dog’s DNA, despite being on the cheaper side of the kits we checked.

Orivet Dog DNA Test

ORIVET Dog DNA Test

Get it on Amazon

Orivet is mainly intended for use by breeders and veterinarians. For science-minded people or dog owners looking for particularly informative health assessments, this test kit offers a wide variety of genetic disease research.https://www.veterinarians.org/best-online-vets/

Orivet DNA testing kit has a catalog of 220 recognized and emerging breeds for breed studies, and they provide genetic variation tests for over 150 canine health conditions for health testing. Risks to a dog’s well-being are classified according to their likelihood and seriousness.

Each assessment provides a personalized life plan that you and your veterinarian will address.

Our Final Thoughts

Thousands of mixed breed owners have benefited from the advancement of dog DNA testing, and as research advances, we expect further tests to be made. These assessments are readily accessible and reasonably priced. As a result, we can only guess what else we will be able to learn from our dog’s DNA in the future!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most accurate dog DNA test?

Due to its accuracy and precise knowledge, the industry considers Embark to be one of the best DNA testing kits. As it provides more information than what the most dedicated dog owners will require, the medical checks alone make the kit worthwhile.

Can a DNA test prove a dog is purebred?

No. No DNA test can tell you whether your dog is purebred with accuracy. The most that you will find out is your pet’s ancestry.

Can my vet do a DNA test on my dog?

Yes. Moreover, it is advisable to get your dog tested by the vet instead of at home since at-home DNA test kits cannot replace a vet’s diagnosis.

How much does a dog DNA test cost at a vet?

Depending on which veterinary hospital you choose to go to, the prices of the DNA test may vary. However, it is a little on the expensive side and starts at approximately $150.

What kind of DNA tests are performed after I send in the samples?

If the sample has been obtained and sent to the lab, various analyses, either independently or as part of a profile, may be performed. The DNA mixed-breed ancestry profile will reveal which purebreds are most likely to have added to a pet’s blend. On purebreds, hybrids, and mixed-breed pets, full genetic attribute profiles can be created. This is the most helpful material since it assesses thousands of medical disorders and certain personality characteristics. Specific breed profiles may be developed, assessing only the conditions that are typical in that breed. When there is only one medical condition to be concerned with, individual genetic testing may be performed.