Best Dog DNA Tests Reviewed
If you are fond of the “Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court” TV show, then you know that that part of science is crucial in identifying, tracing or verifying ancestral genealogy. But as this science evolved over time, DNA testing is no longer just for humans but also for animals – just not the exact purpose humans use it for. At least it’s not as gruesome as solving a murder case or as complicated as a child support dispute. Thank goodness!
A lot of pet owners get their dogs’ DNA tested to help them get answers concerning the overall animal welfare by mainly finding out what the breed is – whether pure or mixed breed and what breed combinations are present in the bloodline.
Knowing the breed composition of your dog will let you pinpoint the breed-specific illnesses that you can discuss with your vet so that they could be avoided. Your vet can figure or map out a health plan for your pet to avoid some conditions or if they cannot be avoided, you can at least work around to minimize the suffering.
The most convenient way to get results is through the use of DNA test kits and here we list the top products in the market today.
5. Find My Pet DNA 2.0 Dog DNA Test Kit
If you’re only aiming to figure out the breed that your dog has, then this might be what you’ll want to get. Find My Pet’s DNA can give you a report of exactly just that.
What’s great is that it could identify 100% of AKC (American Kennel Club’s) certified dog breeds. As of now, AKC has 190 dog breeds listed on its website.
This could be a good starter kit if you don’t really want to spend much on DNA testing. Even if Find My Pet won’t give you any health-related report about your dog, you can always bring the results to your vet so that you can talk about your pet’s health risks. It could help you and your vet map out your dog’s diet and supplements to avoid illnesses and diseases that it is predisposed to have because of its genes.
Like most dog genetic testing kits on the market, all you really have to do is to collect a sample by swabbing in your dog’s cheeks using the swab that the package comes with. Once you’re done with that, you just have to mail the sample using the prepaid shipping packet that’s included. The results will be sent to you via e-mail after 2-4 weeks from sending the sample kit to the company lab.
Another feature that this product has is that it’ll send you a photo certificate of your dog’s DNA composition that you could print, keep, and show your vet. It could also be a fun thing to have since you can even submit your dog’s photo to be put on the certificate itself.
4. Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification Dog DNA Test Kit
This is one of the two Wisdom Panel DNA testing kits that made our list. This DNA test kit can detect more than 350 dog breeds, types, and varieties. Wisdom Panel has the biggest database when it comes to dog breeds among the dog DNA test kits available on the market.
This specific kit includes screening for potentially life-saving drug and also exercise-sensitivity. For the life-saving drug sensitivity (MDR1), this means that it screens for your dog’s drug sensitivity due to mutation. Knowing about this mutation could help you and your vet know what should be avoided if in case your dog undergoes surgery or simply needs any dental workup.
Exercise sensitivity is actually about exercise-induced collapse or EIC. This is an inherited disorder that basically means exercise intolerance. This is also caused by mutation and there are only certain breeds that are affected by it.
As of now, only this kit has the license from Washington State University to screen for MDR1 and EIC.
Using kits from Wisdom Panel is easy and could even be a fun experience. Once you open the package, you’ll have to get your dog’s sample through swabbing from its inner cheek. Make sure that you let it dry before you put it in the sample pouch. Once done, you’ll have to activate your kit online and then send the sample using the prepaid shipping container the kit comes with.
What’s great about the fact that Wisdom Panel lets you activate your kit online is that your pet will have its own profile that you could check once the results are available. In fact, you can access this profile even after years of getting the test results.
This is useful because Wisdom Panel always updates their dog profiles. So you can see if there’s anything new about the breed or breeds that your dog has.
The report includes the predicted weight profile of your dog based on its breed/s, detailed information about each breed, a family tree, and a pie chart of your dog’s breeds that will look easy on your eyes. Its website’s interface is easy and fun to use.
3. Mars Veterinary Breed Identification DNA Test Kit
Like most DNA test kits available on the market for your dog, Mars Veterinary will require you to get a DNA sample through an inner cheek swab. This test kit could test for over 250 dog breeds that are recognized b the American Kennel Club (AKC).
What’s great about this testing kit is that it also screens for MDR1 or multi-drug sensitivity. Like other Wisdom Panel DNA test kits, all you need to do is to activate your kit online, get a sample through a cheek swab, and mail the sample back to the lab using the prepaid mailing pouch included in the kit you purchased.
The results will also be e-mailed to you and it should only take 2 to 3 weeks. The report will include the predicted adult weight range of your dog based on the breeds found. Aside from that, the report also includes insights that could help you understand your dog’s appearance, behavior, and traits.
The breed insights included in the report will help you come up of a good training plan that will suit your dog well. You can also print this report out and take it to the vet. The insights that will be given based on your dog’s breed are also based on the data collected from dogs that went through the same test and are found to be similar to your dog’s breed.
2. Wisdom Panel Health Canine DNA Test
As the number 2 on our list of top DNA test for puppies, this Wisdom Panel test kit is more extensive. It also tests for over 350 dog breeds, types, and varieties just like the 3.0 test kit from the same company. What’s different about this kit is that it screens for over 150 genetic conditions as well.
Just like Wisdom Panel’s 3.0, all you have to do is to get a sample from the inside of your dog’s cheek. Wait for the swab to dry up before sealing it and then go online to activate your kit on Wisdom Panel’s website. This is pretty much like creating an online profile for your dog.
Once done, you can send the sample using the prepaid mail container included in the product package you purchased. The results will take 2 to 3 weeks and that will be available on the website.
The results include the identification of your dog’s breed/s. It’s also shown as a pie chart with clickables that would lead you to the individual breed profiles so that you can learn more about your dog’s lineage. It also includes your pet’s weight profile, genetic trait analysis, and your dog’s family tree.
Speaking of your dog’s family tree, Wisdom Panel can go back up to three generations. This means that you can learn about your dog’s parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents too!
As part of the screening for over 150 types of diseases that your dog can possibly have due its genes, Wisdom Panel covers diseases of the blood, eyes, heart, metabolism, nervous system, reproductive system, urinary, and a few more.
Wisdom Panel does disclose that if your dog has a foreign breed, it may not appear on the results since its database with over 350 breeds is based on The Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club’s registry. So, imported dogs with ancestries from Canada, Germany, Australia, Western and Northern Europe may not be included in the database.
1. Embark Dog DNA Test Kit
This test kit can screen for over 250 dog breeds and more than 160 dog diseases. Now, even if it could only screen that much breeds – which are less than what Wisdom Panel can do, Embark includes unique breeds like coyotes, wolves, and village dogs.
Just like most DNA test kits, you’ll have to activate this or create a profile for your dog on the Embark’s website. Once done, you can then get your dog’s DNA sample through an inner cheek swab. Make sure you get enough sample and let it dry first to avoid getting inconclusive results.
This product also comes with a prepaid mailing envelope that you can use to mail the samples back to the lab. The results will take 2 to 4 weeks and will be available online. Don’t worry as the results are also posted as a PDF file that you can easily print and take to your vet.
Embark can look at 200,000 genetic markers to figure out important things about your dog. This company is also a partner of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine so accurate and trusted results is something that the company guarantees. This university is well-trusted by most veterinary hospitals and so Embark takes pride in it.
The ancestry result included in the test Embark does can go back up to three generations, so you can also get to know your pet’s roots starting from its great-grandparents. Aside from that, Embark will also let you know of the breeds that are similar to what your dog has so that you’ll have different comparisons and basis of your dog’s traits and characteristics.
The results that pertain to your pet’s health include both comprehensive genetic testing for diseases and drug sensitivities due to mutation. Diseases that adult dogs are prone to have like glaucoma, degenerative myelopathy, and dilated cardiomyopathy can be detected as well.
One more thing that Embark offers that other test kits don’t is the Relative Finder feature that’s included on the test that it runs from the sample you’ve sent. This means that Embark can identify dogs that are related in its database. How cool is that?
The relative finder feature will include the name and location of your dog’s relatives. It will show the percentage of the same DNA they share. What’s fun about this feature is that Embark can let you chat with the owners of the relatives it finds so you get to talk about whether your dogs have any similarities.
Buyer’s Guide – Dog DNA Test Kits
There are people out there who decided to get a specific dog breed because of the traits or characteristics that a specific breed is known to have. However, there are those moments when these pet owners wonder if the dogs they have are of pure breed or not.
This could be because dogs may look like a different breed or because they are displaying different traits than what are expected. You can always check this with your vet, but it’s a possibility that even experts can’t tell what other breeds your dog may have.
Those on our list are the best dog DNA test kits you can easily get on the market. There are still a few other options that you can get to test for your dog’s breed or possible genetic diseases. If you’re interested in buying a kit that we did not review, we still would like to help! Here are a few things you should consider when getting any of these products.
- Budget – DNA testing, even for humans, can be very expensive and so if you’re planning on purchasing one for your dog, it’s best to think of it as an investment.
If you’re running tight on budget, then you can just look for a basic DNA test kit which usually only figures out your dog’s mix. After all, you can always take the results to your vet and have them discuss other things that you need to know based on the report you got. Always remember that you don’t always have to go for the most expensive.
- Features – Once you’ve figured out the amount you’re willing to spend of this kind of test for your dog, then it should be easy for you to know what features will work with what you want to know. Something that you should keep in mind is that you don’t always have to get the kits that have a lot of features. If you want to get your money’s worth, then cater to what you only need.
- Turnaround time of the results – most test kits usually promise to deliver the result after 3 to 4 weeks. If you are okay with the wait, then you shouldn’t be worried about this. However, if you’re eager to know the results as fast as possible because it could probably help with your pet’s health condition, then always check other buyers’ reviews about how long it took them to get the result. It could happen that when the kit is selling fast, it takes longer for the lab to deliver the results than the promised ETA.
- Results Delivery – Most of the test kits you can get for your dog use the e-mail address of the pet owners to deliver the results. While some can consider this as something very convenient, there still are others who prefer to get the results through mail. If you’re one of those pet owners, then always check whether the brand of the DNA test you’d like to get can do that for you.
- Accuracy – It’s very common that most if not all dog DNA test kit manufacturers guarantee satisfaction and accuracy of the results. While there’s nothing wrong with trusting what they advertise, the best way to learn about how accurate the brand is when it comes to delivering their results is to check what other pet owners have to say. You’ll be surprised that there are still pet owners that get disappointed even at well-raved products because the breed that their dog has wasn’t even in the results!