#1 DNA Test For Dogs
Test for over 250 breeds and 170 genetic health conditions with an Embark Breed + Health Kit.
Discover Your Dogʼs DNA Story
Dogs aren’t good at science, but we are
If you could know, would you like to find out?
The most probable answer to this question is a resounding yes. In the case of adopted or mixed breed dogs, most dog owners have no idea what their dog’s exact breed is. Most of the time, they get the information from the shelter, or from their own knowledge about dog breeds.
In recent years, one simple test has become more and more popular for pet owners who wish to find information about their canine best friends. And this test is called a dog DNA test.
Yes, dog DNA tests are becoming popular because they reveal information that is impossible to acquire with any other method. They provide information about your dog regarding the percentage of his exact breed types, as well as his traits, and even his predisposition to certain illnesses.
And if you’re curious but worried about the cost, at-home dog DNA test kits today can be purchased at price points below $100.
What are Dog DNA Tests?
Dog DNA Tests that are available in the market are tests that can be done at home. They are a simple and informative way to find out who your pooch is, and how to better take care of him.
DNA stands for “deoxyribonucleic acid,” which is unique to each and every person and dog. Therefore, your dog’s DNA is unique to him and only him.
It is said that 99% of the DNA of dogs is the same as other dogs but that there are small groups or sections across their genome that differ from each other. These variations are what make your dog unique, and it’s also this information that DNA tests provide dog owners.
One Simple Cheek Swab – Three Easy Steps
Why Get a DNA Test for Your Dog?
You might be asking yourself, why would I get my dog a DNA test in the first place? It’s not cheap and it takes quite some time to get the results. So why would I spend money and wait for weeks for all this information? Sure, you want to know, any pet owner would, but is it a necessity?
Well, if you want to take better care of your dog and want him to live longer, then yes, a DNA test is a necessity.
So what are the reasons behind getting your dog a DNA test? Here are 3 reasons why:
1. To Device a Better Health Plan
The DNA test will also reveal over 100 diseases that your dog may be at risk for, allowing you to make better health care plans with your veterinarian. For example, your dog may have a predisposition to diabetes. As soon as you find out, you can eliminate or lower your dog’s intake of sugar. If your dog has a predisposition to heart disease, it may be a good idea that you exercise your dog on a daily basis to keep his heart healthy.
2. To Have More Reason to Get Pet Insurance
If and when you know your dog is predisposed to a multitude of illnesses, the more reason you will have to get your dog pet insurance. He may not be diagnosed today but knowing that he’s at risk will give you a more urgent reason to get your dog insurance.
This could make the difference between choosing your dog’s life or your bank account in the future. And you shouldn’t have to choose between the two.
3. To Understand Your Dog’s Behavior Better
Maybe you think your dog has an attention deficit disorder because he can’t sit still. Or maybe you’re thinking you’re not doing anything right because your dog is unaffectionate. But maybe they’re just that way because of their genetic makeup.
The more you know about your dog’s breed and ancestry, the better you’ll understand his behavior, and the better you will be at communicating and taking care of him.
How Does it Work?
One Simple Cheek Swab – Three Easy Steps
Once the test companies receive the DNA, they will send it to their laboratory, where your dog’s DNA information will be acquired.
After this, you will receive the results of your dog’s DNA information through your personal account on the company’s online platform.
The information could include:
- percentage of your dog’s breed types
- your dog’s ancestry
- health report containing his predisposition to certain diseases, if any
- traits report
With this information, you can devise a better health plan, improve communication with your dog, and take better care of his health and well-being.
The Disadvantages of Dog DNA Tests
Before we start talking about the best dog DNA tests in the market, there are a few things that you need to know.
Because dog DNA tests are relatively new in the market and only a few companies actually sell them, there is no current regulating body that governs the manufacture and use of such genetic testing. Therefore, there are currently no standards for the manufacture, sales, and distribution of dog DNA tests in the market.
Aside from having no certification or regulation, there are also some disadvantages to the information you receive from this test.
Here are the other disadvantages:
1. Can Cause You to Worry
Knowing that your dog has a high risk for certain genetic diseases can make you worry and bring anxiety to you and your family. You must be prepared to handle the information you are about to get with your dog’s DNA test results.
2. May Cause You to Relocate
Some breeds are prohibited in some communities. If and when you find out that your dog has a large percentage of the prohibited breed, it may cause you to relocate. Some breeds can also increase your homeowner’s insurance.
3. False Information Can Happen
The accuracy of dog DNA tests lies somewhere between 95% to 99%. The remaining 1% may be attributed to human error, or dependent on the company’s size of breed and illness database.
And because there is currently no governing body that regulates standardization, there is always a risk for a mix up at the lab, or the DNA sample being contaminated upon collection or as it is transported.
With these disadvantages taken into account, the benefits still outweigh the disadvantages. After all, the best medicine is prevention, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
The Top 2 Dog DNA Tests in the Market
Embark Vet and Wisdom Panel
We’ve searched the market for the bestselling, most accurate, and highest-rated dog DNA test providers. From our research, we garnered two of the best names in the industry, which are: Embark Vet and Wisdom Panel.
Let’s take a look at each of these companies and why they’re our choice for the best dog DNA tests in the market:
1. Embark Vet
Embark Vet is considered to be the world’s leader in dog DNA tests. Their accuracy rate is 99%, providing you with the most precise and authentic information you can get about your dog.
They are the only canine genetics company that utilizes research-grade DNA genotyping platform. This platform was designed by the company’s industry-leading scientists, which they spent years developing in partnership with the United States’ leading veterinarian school – Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
With their very own in-house geneticists, scientists, and veterinarians, you are assured that the science backing their products and the methods by which they acquire the information given to you are accurate, concise, and based on many years of research.
The company’s goal, ultimately, is to end preventable diseases in dogs. Aside from providing test results to owners, they are also known for contacting pet owners about dogs who have worrisome results.
Through this policy, they can collect thousands of information regarding genetic information that allows them to continue their research in preventing dog diseases.
These kits have the ability to provide the following information from your dog’s DNA swab:
- Breed – Considered to be the most accurate breed identification in the market at 95% to 99% accuracy. They can test your dog’s breed from their database of over 250 breed types.
- Ancestry – Information includes your dog’s family tree up to his great grandparents.
- Relatives – Embark dog DNA test is the one and only dog DNA test provider with its very own canine relative finder.
- Health – Can check your dog’s predisposition to over 170 genetic conditions.
- Traits – You can learn why your dog is unique.
- Once the company receives your dog’s DNA sample, you will receive results between 2 to 4 weeks.
2. Wisdom Panel
Embark Breed Identification Kit
- provides breed and disease detection
- trait analysis
- screens for 150+ genetic conditions
- breed database of over 350 breeds, types, and varieties
The second on our list is Wisdom Panel, the pioneer dog DNA test provider in the market. The company behind Wisdom Panel was the very first to provide at-home dog DNA tests but they first started producing kits that were to be used by veterinarians. Their first kit required blood samples to acquire the DNA of dogs, which provides the reason why it could only be accessed through a veterinarian.
Eventually, improvements in DNA testing allowed them to make their products easier to use, by only requiring a saliva sample of dogs, leading the way to at-home dog DNA tests.
Today, they’ve become one of the leading dog DNA test providers in the industry, featuring the world’s largest breed database of more than 350 breed types, as well as having the ability to screen over 350 genetic health conditions of dogs.
1. Embark Vet
2. Wisdom Panel
Let’s compare both brands based on different factors:
1. Breed Database
Wisdom Panel wins in this category with over 350 breed types in their database, compared to 250+ for Embark Vet. Their database includes breed types that are found outside the United States.
2. Genetic Condition Screening
Embark wins in this category with the capacity to screen for over 170 genetic conditions, compared to 150+ for Wisdom Panel.
3. Trait Analysis
It’s a tie as both provide trait analysis.
4. Ancestry Information
Embark wins in this category, being the only dog DNA test provider having the capacity to provide a relative finder, while Wisdom Panel only provides ancestry information.
5. Other Features
Embark provides more information by looking at over 100 times more genetic information than any other dog DNA test provider. Aside from their 2 products, they also offer a Whole Genome Sequencing Kit, which provides science fans with even more information
The Winner: Embark Vet
With a partnership with Cornell University, a veterinarian and researcher as founder, and having more capacity to provide information, Embark Vet emerges as the top dog DNA test provider in the market today.
The Bottom Line
While a dog DNA test may seem like a splurge at first glance, its benefits for your dog and your peace of mind is invaluable.
It is our responsibility as pet owners to provide proper care for our canine friends, and though the information provided is based on risks and genetic history, your newfound capacity to prevent the onset of diseases in your pet is priceless.