Home DNA testing kits are getting more popular by the day, and it’s easy to understand why. Who doesn’t want to uncover the mystery about their unique heritage and learn more about their family tree? Human DNA testing service like 23&me effectively solves this curiosity for human, and you would be forgiven if you think that is all to DNA testing. As it turns out, there are plenty of other DNA testing services, and one, in particular, is geared at uncovering your canine inner secrets.
If you are a pet owner of a mixed breed dog, you would have probably wondered at some point what breed mix goes into your dog’s genetic makeup? There is only one way to find out – Dog DNA tests! As well as revealing crucial health details about your pup, it also shows plenty of pertinent information about your pet.
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What are Dog DNA Tests and How do They Work?
Dog DNA Tests are the process of determining the genetic makeup of your dog. It is a pretty straightforward process for pet owners. You order a test kit from Amazon, collect samples using the provided swab, and have it mailed back to the company for analysis. Your dog sample is compared against a comprehensive breed database that contains other DNA samples.
After 2 – 4 weeks, you will receive the result of the text via email. This can be as an attached pdf or online. Wisdom panel and Embark have customized online portals for pet owners to view their dog genetic makeup. This is a breakdown of dog breed heritage by percentage.
These tests are not regulated; the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not monitor the quality or promises of dog DNA tests, unlike the regulatory processes that apply to human DNA tests like 23andMe and Ancestry. However, dog DNA testing companies maintain a high level of internal control quality. In fact, Wisdom Panel states that its lab is USDA-accredited.
Why DNA Test Your Dog?
DNA testing will help you better understand your dog’s genetic makeup. This test reveals if your dog is susceptible to certain medical conditions or whether these genes responsible for this disease state can be transferred to their progenies.
If you plan on breeding your pup, knowing his genetics can help you reduce the risk of producing puppies affected by a genetic disease. A good understanding of a disease-causing gene will help you understand the conditions to be on the lookout for in a DNA-tested mate.
Average Cost of Dog DNA Tests
The cost for a high-quality DNA test for your dog ranges from $60 to $170. This is entirely dependent on the lab. You do not need to visit your vet for a DNA test since a cheek-swab DNA sampling is easy to carry out and can be done at home. Generally, testing companies offer discounts when you are testing for multiple dogs.
Free Dog DNA Tests
The dog key is an app that help pet owners determine the breed types that contribute to the genetic makeup of their pet. The results do not guarantee the exact dog’s behavior or heritage. It is an attempt by geneticists and evolutionary biologists to demystify the dog genome and develop a family tree model to better understand your dog’s ancestry.
- This service is available as an app and easy to use.
- Results are almost instant after selecting a number of criteria.
- It shows probable phylogenetic models for your dogs that can shed light on the personality of your canine best friend.
- The dog key uses an algorithm to determine which job your pet was bred for by analyzing the complex relationship between his physical traits.
- The dog DNA testing service is free to use.
- The results do not provide comprehensive explanations about scientific influences. They do not determinatively predict a dog’s temperament, personality, or behavior.
- The results are not as detailed as observed in Wisdom Panel and Embark.
The Bottom Line
A practical understanding of the realistic expectations of your dog’s natural behavior through a dog DNA test can make a significant difference in your relationship with your pup. The Dog Key is super-easy to use; results are instant and cost nothing to demystify some of your dog’s inner secrets. It is highly accurate and fun; plus, you finally know what characteristics your dog brings to the table.
Dog scanner is a mobile software that can identify the breed of a dog from a single photo. It is a fun way to learn new things about your pup. To use, simply identify the dog in question, take a shot and upload it into the app.
The dog scanner automatically scans this photo with its database, reveals what breed your dog is, and provides information on how to best cater to them.
There is a fun aspect to this app; it allows you to run a comparison photo of your friends with dogs. Dog Scanner will pair each human photo to a dog breed based on perceived morphological features. It is sure to bring smiles to your faces.
It is an easy and straightforward way to identify a dog breed without the hassle of swab collection and waiting for weeks to get the results of a DNA dog test.
- It is easy and straightforward to use.
- The process can be executed using a mobile phone.
- Results take only a couple of seconds.
- It is free to use 24 hours a day all year long.
- Pairing your friends’ photos with a dog database is sure to keep everyone laughing.
- Results are not difficult to interpret, as found in high-end dog DNA tests.
- The result is not as detailed as Embark or the Wisdom Panel.
- It has a limited number of dogs in its database to screen your pet.
- Results are not certain as it does not involve any genomic material.
- No after result support.
The Bottom Line
Dog scanner is an easy-to-use app that helps to demystify your dog breed. It is free to use and readily available for download on the Mac App Store. All it requires is a picture of your dog. You will get an almost instant result. The results from this app are not as comprehensive as that provided by Embark and Wisdom Panel, but it gives information on the likely breed of your dog.
How Accurate are Free Dog DNA Tests?
Free Dog DNA Tests provide a general idea of what breed your dog is. It will reveal the breed types that contribute to the genetic makeup of their pet and maybe serve as a fun tool like the Dog scanner. To really learn about your dog’s genetic DNA, its ancestral history, and probable medical conditions, it’s best to purchase a test kit that involves analyzing your pup’s genomic material.
At Home DNA Test Options
Embark is the most highly-rated dog DNA test kit on Amazon. It is a no-brainer if you are willing to pay more than the other testing kits on the market. It uses a research-grade genotyping platform developed in conjunction with Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
Embark compares your dog’s DNA with over 350 breeds, including dingo, coyote, wolf, and street dogs. It also tests for over 200 genetic diseases, including glaucoma, dilated cardiomyopathy, MDR1 drug sensitivity, and other common dog health problems.
Breed identification results are represented in percentages; you will also get a report on any genetic relatives of your pup within the Embark’s dog breed database. With some luck, the test might connect your dog with his siblings or extended family members.
The DNA results are returned within 2-4 weeks, a little longer than its competitors—a small price to pay for its more in-depth results and the analysis you will receive.
Embark is a little more expensive than the other DNA test company on the market today. The following is the price breakdown of the three test variants.
Breed Identification Kit – $129
Breed + Health Kit – $199
Test Kit for Breeders – $149
The next on the list is the Wisdom Panel Essential Dog DNA Test. Wisdom Panel touts itself as having the “largest breed database” of all the dog DNA tests available today. With its over 350 breeds/types/varieties database, which includes 99% of AKC-recognized breeds, the Wisdom Panel Dog DNA Test kit is a popular choice for many pet owners.
Wisdom panel health screening covers more than 200 potential genetic health conditions, including exercise-induced collapse and MDR1. This will help you identify what drugs and procedures that are safe for your dog. Wisdom Panel health screening is one of the best when it comes to demystifying your dog’s health.
In addition, it reveals your dog’s ancestral roots back to its great-grandparents. This shows what your mixed-breed dog’s genetic background looks like. Wisdom Panel can also help you obtain breed certification for purebreds. Test results come back in 2 to 3 weeks after sending the samples in.
Wisdom Panel dog DNA test kit is not as expensive as Embark and produces an impressive report. The price breakdown can be found below:
Wisdom Panel Premium Dog DNA Collection Kit – $159.99
Wisdom Panel Essential Dog DNA Collection Kit – $99.99
If you are interested in a DNA test that is not as expensive as the Embark or Wisdom Panel but produces solid results, DNA My Dog Breed ID Test Kit is what you seek. If your motivation is purely fueled by curiosity rather than science or a pressing medical need, this will work for you.
DNA My Dog Breed ID Test Kit has 95 different dog breeds in their database. You will get a report that breaks down your dog’s DNA result in percentages of a group of breeds. For instance, your pup could be 17% lab, and 24% German shepherd, etc. The report will also contain a list of personality traits and health concerns found in the breed mix that makes up your pup’s genetic background. The sample collection process is similar to that of Embark and Wisdom Panel by collecting samples via a buccal swab. Results come back in about two weeks.
The DNA My Dog Canine Breed Identification Test Kit is not as expensive as its illustrious competitors at $68.48.
The Orivet Dog DNA Test is a simple to administer kit that provides a comprehensive breed identification report for your dog. The result includes a LIFE PLAN that provides support to manage your dog’s health throughout its life. It also consists of a health risk analysis and weight predictions that could crop up in later years.
In addition, you will get suggested dietary habits, a schedule for routine vaccines, and a plan to follow up with your vet for vaccines. Orivet Dog DNA Test provides much more than your dog’s genetic background; your pup will get access to a complete wellness kit to help him live a happy, healthy life.
Our Final Thoughts
The above-reviewed are the best dog DNA tests on the market today. Note, running your dog DNA test via a blood test by a veterinarian will increase the cost. So, it makes sense to use the swabs provided by the above-listed DNA testing companies. Be wary of DNA tests whose price appears too low. Sometimes, this unrealistically reduced pricing might mean a reduction in the quality of other important aspects of testing.
Most Dog DNA tests are accurate. You can only at best predict a dog’s breed at a 25% accuracy. Embark and Wisdom Panel DNA tests can accurately predict a dog’s breed at 90-95%. Chose a DNA test that suits your pocket and needs and demystifies the mix that makes up your dog’s genetic background today!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are dog DNA tests accurate?
The three major DNA tests, Wisdom, Embark Dog DNA Test, and DNA My Dog, are about 95-99% accurate. The remaining percentage leaves room for human error and the limitations that may arise because of the size of the company breed database.
Can the vet do a dog DNA test?
The process is easy and can be done by a dog owner or a veterinarian at some additional cost. Your veterinarian might prefer to submit a blood sample to ensure enough genomic material to do the testing. The use of needles might upset your dog, but the entire process does not take long.
What does a dog DNA test result contain?
A dog DNA test result will reveal your dog’s breed mix by percentage processed from a database of anywhere between over 350 unique dog breeds. In each test, you will get information such as history, fun facts, temperament, appearance, potential medical condition, etc.