The Best Dog DNA Tests in 2021
- Our Top 5 List
- 1. Embark DNA Test – Breed & Health Kit
- 2. Wisdom Panel Test for Breed, Ancestry & Health
- 3. Wisdom Panel 3.0 Canine Test for Breed & Ancestry
- 4. DNA My Dog – Canine Breed Identification Kit
- 5. Orivet Health Screen and LifePlan for Dogs
- Verdict & Review
- Embark Dog DNA Test Kit
- Buying Guide
If you’re like us, you want to unravel the mysteries of your furry family member and peer deeply into its past.
Perhaps you’ve been wondering which breeds your dog is a mix of, or maybe you want to learn about his genes and find out possible health risks. DNA test kits for dogs are designed to help you do all of that and more!
But if you’ve tried searching for DNA kits, you’re likely aware that most are not all that great. Fear not! We have tested 21 dogs among our group, using many different tests. The best ones are assembled right below!
Our Top 5 List
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1. Embark DNA Test – Breed & Health Kit
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Our favorite by far, the Embark Test Kit is designed to provide a lot of useful information to help dog owners learn about their dogs and make important decisions. This kit can identify over 170 different genetic diseases, allowing owners to be proactive and create a treatment plan with their dog’s veterinarian. A few of the genetic diseases that this kit can identify include glaucoma, dilated cardiomyopathy, MDR1 drug sensitivity, and degenerative myelopathy.
The Embark Test Kit can also be used to provide a breed breakdown for your dog. It screens for over 250 different dog breeds through use of a genotyping platform which was developed through a partnership with the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. The results generated identify the different mix of breeds found in each dog’s DNA.
This product can also be used to determine a dog’s genetic ancestry. The results include information about a dog’s family tree and their maternal and paternal groups.
Unlike other DNA kits, this option can also identify a dog’s relatives. The reports generated include other dogs who had their DNA tested with Embark and share DNA with your dog. The percentage of DNA which is shared is included to help identify how close of a relative each other dog is.
If you choose this option, it typically takes between two and four weeks for results to be compiled and sent out. The only sample needed to uncover a dog’s genetic history is a swab of their DNA from the inside of their cheek.
- This option tests for over 170 different genetic diseases.
- It can identify the different breeds that make up each dog.
- This option can reveal some of your dog’s unknown relatives.
- All that is needed for results is a cheek swab from your dog.
- A bit pricey but this test stands out way beyond the rest of the field. Nearly all dog DNA test kits out there are surprisingly bad.
2. Wisdom Panel Test for Breed, Ancestry & Health
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The Wisdom Panel DNA Test was designed to help dog owners uncover important information about their beloved furry friends. Using this option is quick and easy. All you need to do is take a cheek swab to gather your dog’s DNA, follow the directions to activate your kit online, and use the pre-paid shipping labels to send your kit to the Wisdom Panel lab.
Results are sent back in as little as two weeks. One of the important pieces of information included in the results is information about the genetic health screening that was conducted. More than 150 different genetic conditions are screened for in order to provide dog owners with the information needed to act in the best interests of their dog’s health.
The results also include information about the different breeds that make up each dog. This option screens for more than 350 different dog breeds to give owners a complete picture of their dog’s genetic make-up. Information about the past three generations of a dog’s family tree and their predicted weight profile are also included in the results.
- Results are returned quickly.
- The kit screens for more than 350 different dog breeds.
- The information from the genetic conditions screening can be used to help dog owners be proactive and work with a veterinarian to determine the best options for care.
- A portion of the breed breakdown may just indicate “other” instead of a specific breed.
3. Wisdom Panel 3.0 Canine Test for Breed & Ancestry
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If you’re most curious to determine the different breeds found in your dog, consider the Wisdom Panel 3.0. This option does not screen for genetic health diseases, which makes it a less expensive option. However, it analyzes a dog’s DNA to screen for more than 350 different dog breeds, so it can provide you with a pretty good idea of which breeds are included in your dog’s genetic make-up.
Since different breeds are more prone to specific health concerns, identifying the different breeds that make up your pup can be very helpful. You can share the test results with your veterinarian to help them be on the lookout for specific issues that are more common in certain dog breeds.
Using this test kit is designed to be very simple. First, you just need to swab your dog’s cheek to collect their DNA. Then, follow the directions to activate your kit online and send the DNA swab to the lab using the prepaid envelope.
After the DNA swab is mailed, you can expect to see results in as little as two weeks.
- The process for collecting DNA and sending it to be analyzed is quick and easy.
- This kit scans for over 350 different dog breeds.
- You can use the information about which breeds make up your dogs to make a health plan with your veterinarian.
- This option does not screen for genetic health conditions.
4. DNA My Dog – Canine Breed Identification Kit
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The DNA My Dog is another good option for you to consider. This test kit is designed to help you uncover the different breeds that make up your dog. To use this option, you only need to swab your dog’s cheek and send the sample off to be tested.
After the lab runs your dog’s DNA, a report is generated. It only takes about two weeks for the results to be compiled and sent back to you, so you won’t need to wait very long to learn more about your pooch.
The report includes a breakdown of the percentage of the different breeds that were found in your dog. A custom certificate is also included with the test results.
DNA My Dog also provides information about generic personality traits and health concerns for each of the different breeds identified in your dog’s DNA report. This information can be used to provide a veterinarian with the information they’ll need to begin screening for some of the more prevalent health concerns for different breeds before the issues surface on their own.
- An at-home check swab is all that needs to be sent in to receive results.
- Reports are typically received in as little as two weeks.
- The report includes information about the percentage of each breed found in a dog.
- The health information included with the results is just generic information related to each breed; no specific information for your dog’s health is included.
5. Orivet Health Screen and LifePlan for Dogs
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As a final option, consider the Orivet DNA Health Screen. This test kit delivers important information about a pet’s health, genetic make-up, and ancestry.
When the cheek swab is received by the lab, one of the things screed for is different diseases which could pose a risk for our dog. Dozens of different diseases that are prevalent in dogs are screened for to help with early identification if your dog has markers for these diseases.
A key feature of this kit is the personalized life plan that is also included with the results. The life plan is created for each dog based on their age, breed, lifestyle, weight, and a variety of other factors. The life plan is designed to help you communicate with your veterinarian and determine the best care plan for your pup.
- This kit screens for dozens of common canine diseases.
- The health risks provided by the test are classified to help you view those that are most relevant to your dog.
- A personalized health plan is generated to help owners work with the veterinarian to provide the best care possible for their dog.
- You already need to know the different breeds that make up your dog. This option does not identify dog breeds.
While any of the test kits we reviewed could tell you a lot of useful information about your dog, the one by Embark is our top pick by far. This kit tells you a lot about your dog’s health and ancestry.
After the cheek swab is sent it, it only takes between two and four weeks for results to be generated and delivered. One of the important pieces of information contained in the results includes information about over 170 different genetic diseases. If your dog has markers for any of these diseases, it can help you be more proactive by seeking the treatment or advice of your veterinarian.
This option also provides information about a dog’s ancestors, family tree, and relatives. Additionally, it can help you learn which breeds your dog is a mix of. This information is both important and interested to know as different breeds are more prone to different health issues.
A Dog DNA test kit can provide you with a lot of important information about your furry best friends. Different options can help you identify your dog’s risk of developing different diseases, help you identify the breeds that make-up your dog, share information about your dog’s ancestors, or even help you identify other pups that are related to your dog.
Since different kits screen for different things, you want to closely compare your options before making a purchase. Read through our buying guide below to help you determine what features you want to see in the kit you purchase.
One key feature included in some kits is the ability to screen for different health disorders or diseases. This information can be very useful in helping catch these issues before they become bigger problems for your pup. You can share the results of the screening with your veterinarian to make sure any necessary tests or treatments are provided for your dog.
Test kits that screen for health disorders are not all the same though. Pay attention to how many different disorders are identified during the screening process. Some kits only scan for a few dozen, while others scan for over 100.
Another key aspect of many DNA screenings includes information about the different breeds that make up a dog. This information can be both interesting and important. You’ll be able to learn about which breeds in your dog’s genetic make-up contributed to some of their more prominent features.
Additionally, this information can help you make important health-related decisions for your dog. Some breeds are more prone to different diseases or health issues, so knowing the breeds that make up your dog can be useful for your veterinarian when providing recommendations and treatments.
Results Time Frame
Finally, consider how long it may take for the results to be compiled and returned to you. Many options are delivered within two weeks, but some take a little longer than that.
How to Choose the Right Test Kit
There are a few different things you’ll want to consider before deciding which test kit/company to try. First, it is very important to go with a well-known and reputable company. This can help ensure that the results you receive are accurate.
If you got with a less reputable company, you may not have confidence in the validity of the results you receive. If the results may or may not be valid, then the information provided from the test will not be useful in ensuring your dog receives the best care possible.
Another consideration to make before selecting a test kit is what type of results are included in your report. If possible, choose one of the more comprehensive options that provides you with information related to your dog’s health, breed make-up, and ancestry. This option is the most useful, and can save you from having to purchase a second test kit because you receive incomplete results from the first test.
How to Collect a DNA Sample from Your Dog
Most DNA kits require you to send in a sample of your dog’s DNA obtained through a cheek swab. This is a pretty easy task to accomplish, but there are a few key things you should keep in mind before taking the sample.
- Wait at least two hours after your dog has eaten to collect their DNA. This helps ensure that no food residue is left in their mouth when you swab their check.
- Always read the specific instructions that come with the test kit you select. Avoid touch the bristles on the swab so you do not contaminate the DNA sample.
- When collecting the sample from your dog’s cheek, try to rub the swab on the inside of their cheek for 15 to 30 seconds. This helps ensure enough cells are collected for the sample to be processed.
- Let the sample you collected dry for about five minutes before packaging it up to send to the lab.
We are the Pet Dog Pals, a group of avid pet owners, bloggers, product testers, and writers for all your canine needs! We own a collective 16 dogs and 21 cats to help us test and review pet products. Our top lists and tips come from experience to help you be the best dog owner you can be!