We all love our dogs whether their purebred, mix breeds, rescues, have three legs or their blind.
Our canine companions enrich our lives beyond measure with their positive outlook on life and energetic personalities.
As an owner of multiple dogs, my family, friends and strangers regularly ask what breed are my pups.
It’s a question most dog owners will have been asked at some point. Although we try our best to answer, unless you’ve adopted your pooch from a breeder, you can’t be 100 per cent sure.
There are a number of companies offering a Dog DNA Kit to give pet owners a conclusive answer about what breed or mix their dog is.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at the three Best Dog DNA Kits to give pet parents a useful guide on which company to use if you want to learn your pup’s genetic background.
We’ll break this article into the following sections to give pet parents a clear idea of what a Dog DNA Kit is, who are the leading companies offering this service and what we look for from these tests.
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Current Top Rated Dog DNA Kits 2023
|Embark||• 250+ breeds • Family Tree • Health Conditions||Buy Now|
|DNA My Dog||• Quick Results • Certificate • Personality Summary||Buy Now|
|Wisdom Panel||• 350+ Breeds • MDR1 Screening • Share With Vet||Buy Now|
What Is Dog Dna Kit?
You’ll almost certainly have an idea about DNA Testing on humans but you may be unaware that you can actually get Dog DNA Kits to test your pup’s genetic background.
If you own a mixed or rescue dog, such a test can provide invaluable insight into your beloved companion’s genetic background as well as their risk of disease in the future.
Pet parents will receive a box with thorough instructions on how to collect a cheek swab sample from your dog. Usually, you’ll need be required to swab your dog’s inner cheek for around 20 to 30 seconds.
You’ll have to consider certain factors such as limiting your dog’s ability to drink or eat for a couple of hours beforehand, while enlisting help from a friend if you’ve got a wiggle worm.
Once you’ve managed to get a sample from your dog, you place it in a test tube and send it off the to company’s lab and eagerly awaiting the results.
When the Dog DNA Testing company have completed their tests and determined your dog’s breed as well as potential health conditions, you’ll receive your dog’s report in the post.
Where To Buy: www.embarkvet.com
Who Are Embark?
Embark consider themselves the best in class for canine genetics: They want to help pet parents get to know their dogs like never before thanks to their array of dna testing.
Embark’s founders Ryan and Adam Boyko created the company due to their deep love for dogs and their passion to understand everything about them.
They explain online that they’ve got a scientific vision which owners and their pets can immediately benefit from. Embark use the newest and more advanced science to share insights into dogs and collect more data about canines.
Embark’s website explains that they don’t consider themselves to be a product or a company – they want to share your journey with your pooch.
They write that by ordering a DNA test, dog owners are inviting Embark into their homes. In return, they’ll give pet parents the chance to understand and care for their dog like never before.
By becoming part of their community, you can help Embark make new discoveries in dog health, wellness, care, and understanding via their research questions, continual results updates, blog posts, social media, and events.
Embark list four key features about their service.
Dog owners can discover the story behind their pup thanks to their breed ancestry.
Regardless of your dog’s mix, Embark can tell the breed of your dog’s parents, grandparents and great grandparents.
Their website explains that they test for over 250 unique dog breeds, allowing pet parents to discover the closest genetic relatives to your dog.
Another aspect of their service is health. Embark want pet parents to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to canine health.
Embark tests for 170+ health conditions, which they claim on their website is more than any other dog DNA test on the market.
They’ll give you an insight into your dog’s physical traits. Embark promise to help you understand the science behind what makes you dog unique.
Embark’s testing can help pet parents to get an idea about how big their pup will be, whether they’ll shed a lot, their coat length and more.
Finally, you’ll be able to find your dog’s relatives thanks to Embark, whether it’s a close family tie or a distant connection.
Embark offer three different packages: Breed Identification, Breed and Health and Genome Sequencing.
How It Works
Embark provide clear instructions on their website about how it works, putting your mind at ease before you order or receive your pack.
Once you’ve removed the collection tube, you’ll need to swab and gently rub your dog’s cheek pouch and under their tongue for 30-60 seconds.
You simply unscrew the cap, place in a tube and seal your sample. Once secured, dog owners need to invert the tube and shake for 10 seconds.
Pet parents will need to activate the kit before mailing it to Embark.
Time For Results
Once you’ve completed the above steps, you’ll be eagerly anticipating the results to finally put the mystery of your dog’s breed to bed.
Embark usually provide your dog’s results within two to four weeks.
What Are Customers Saying?
Embark have an average rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 based upon nearly 1,000 reviews on online retailer Amazon.
One owner of a pug mix was impressed with the service and value for money:
I was very impressed when the breed tests came back!! They were very complete and detailed. My husband could not believe we got that much information for our money. (one test we had looked at was a $200 blood test that would only give us her breed) Not only did we have the breakdown of her breed, we also got a family tree, as well as the level of inbreeding on her genes.
Another Embark customer emphasised just why DNA testing is so important:
Embark DNA test was worth every penny. Our previous dog (pitbull-boxer) suffered from degenerative myelopathy (basically doggy ALS). It was devastating for us. It would have been so helpful to have known of this disorder ahead of time…. We decided with our new pup that we would do a genetic test for him. Luckily the Embark DNA test showed that he is negative for all the tested disorders. We knew he was mostly Pitbull when we adopted him from the shelter. We were certain he had something else in there, but we found out that our not so little pound puppy is 100% Staffie/Pitbull.
Embark offer three different tests for dog owners.
You can get breed identification, which costs $129. This includes over 250 breeds, the family tree and relatives.
Alternatively, you can get breed and health test, which is priced at $199. This package includes all of the above plus testing for over 170 health conditions and 20 plus physical traits.
Finally, if you really want the complete genetic identification experience, you can get the Genome Sequencing for $349. This includes all of the above plus full genome sequence data.
In Conclusion – Our Verdict
Embark provide a fantastic service to dog owners.
Whether you just want to know what mix your canine is to tackle all those questions at the dog park or you’re looking to find some pup relatives, Embark have you covered.
If you’ve had a dog that has passed away due to an inherited illness, you may want to get Embark to test for health conditions as well as physical traits to give you some peace of mind.
Ultimately, by signing up to their service, you’re not only getting a clear insight into your dog’s genetic make up but you’re helping canines everywhere by adding more data to Embark’s database.
They also provide a number of different packages to fit every dog owner’s budget.
2) DNA My Dog
Where To Buy: www.amazon.com
Who Are DNA My Dog?
DNA My Dog point out on their website that your dog’s DNA is unique.
Their simple cheek swab DNA test will give pet parents the chance to learn even more about their pooches.
Indeed, they are confident that DNA My Dog can give dog owners a unique genetic background of your canine.
This includes the history of their breed, personality traits, exercise levels and much more.
They stress on their website that their test is easy, painless and takes under a minute.
DNA My Dog have an extensive list of certified dog breeds so you’ll get a full picture of your canine’s heritage.
DNA My Dog will provide pet parents the exact breed identification of your dog, which will be extremely interesting if your beloved pet is a mixed breed or rescue dog.
The breeds that they detect are the most common breeds you see, such as Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd Dog, Yorkshire Terrier or Chihuahua. These common breeds are the ones most likely to be present in a mixed breed dog or in the increasingly common designer dogs.
DNA My Dog add online that they can give you an insight into the amount of food and exercise that your canine needs.
Furthermore, they claim that their tests can provide you with an insight into your dog’s personality traits.
If you’ve rescued a puppy, you may want to get an idea about how big your young dog will get and what it’ll look like when it matures.
How It Works
DNA My Dog is straightforward to use, so dog owners can do the collection process at home.
They stress that the collection process is painless, so you don’t need to worry about hurting your pet.
Providing dog owners with peace of mind, the sterile, gentle polyester tipped swab minimizes any chance for infection or irritation.
Time For Results
DNA My Dog claim on their website that the results will usually be available within two weeks or less from the receipt of the sample.
They’ll email the report to you as soon as they’ve got the results.
What Are Customers Saying?
DNA My Dog gets 3 stars out of a possible 5 stars on online retailer Amazon.com.
One customer called Elaine was impressed with DNA My Dog’s results.
Everything needed with complete instructions on how to do the DNA sample and mail it to the lab was in the kit. It was super easy to complete. Test results were available via website about two weeks after mailing sample. The written report was received just under four weeks after mailing sample. Very impressed with the certificate and the information about the breeds including typical personality traits and potential medical issues for the breeds. Great information to have. Great product.
Another DNA My Dog customer was impressed with the testing:
I purchased after a friend had received her results. I couldn’t believe how accurate. So fun! I recently rescued a pup from the pound. I had no idea his breed. In just a few short weeks, I received the results. I didn’t submit a picture because I thought that may be too much of a clue. My results came back 75% Poodle/25% Golden Retriever. I think it’s very accurate. And easy, just two swabs of my pups mouth.
DNA My Dog is priced at $68.97 on Amazon.
DNA My Dog will provide pet parents with information about their dog’s composition.
This means dog parents will get the chance to learn unique personality traits about their pups.
Other things that DNA My Dog can shed light on his genetic health concerns, predisposition to disease and plus much more.
3) Wisdom Panel
Where To Buy: www.Amazon.com
Who Are Wisdom Panel?
Wisdom Panel claim online that they have the world’s largest breed database.
In fact, they’re able to identify over 350 breeds, types and varieties of dog.
They go on to add that you’ll also learn the percentage breakdown of breeds and breed groups found in your dog.
Pet parents will get a detailed family tree going back three generations.
Their website explains that they’ll use what they describe as a potentially life-saving drug sensitivity screening for MDRI.
Wisdom Panel say that you can share their results with your veterinarian so they’re in the loop about your dog.
Wisdom Panel’s primary function is to provide breed detection which requires three things: a large breed database, a sophisticated algorithm and a significant number of markers strategically placed across the genome.
Their website writes that they use a process called genotyping.
They’ve got a database of more than 250 breeds so they’re able to build out your dogs three-generation family tree through identifying the pure breeds present in your dog going back to great grandparent level.
In addition to building out the family tree, they’ll also provide you with a pie chart detailing how much of each pure breed, or breed groups was found in your dog’s ancestry.
Their website reveals that Wisdom Panel canine DNA tests have the only official commercial license from Washington State University to screen for the life-saving MDR1, or drug sensitivity mutation.
They go on to explain that this mutation affects how dogs process many common drugs and can help you and your veterinarian plan for future surgeries, dental cleanings, and more.
So you can avail of ancestry features, breed features and health information.
How It Works
Wisdom Panel use DNA swabs provided to collect skin cells from the inside of your dog’s cheek.
Once you get your kit and you’ve taken your sample, you activate your kit online and get instant access to their Learning Lab to start exploring.
They provide a prepaid shipping container to send your dog’s sample back to our lab.
Time For Results
Wisdom Panel give a rough timeline of two weeks from the time your sample reaches the lab.
They’ll provide you with a customised, online report with our genetic analysis of your dog’s ancestry, predicted weight and health conditions.
What Are Customers Saying?
Wisdom Panel has an average of 4.1 out of 5 stars from over 3,700 customers.
One customer described Wisdom Panel as “easy” and “reliable”:
I bought this and used on 2 of my dogs. One came back that we had a 100% purebred Labrador Retriever and the other was for our shelter dog, a little white fluff mutt who turned out to be a “designer mix” that people breed. He is a 50% Lhasa Apso and 50% Bichon Frise. Interesting to find out. Easy to do the test and fill out the information online. Results were back in less than 2 weeks. I would buy again.
Another initially skeptical customer was impressed with the results:
I was skeptical of these tests, but a good friend who works with DNA herself ran it on her dog and confirmed that the test was reliable. So I tried it on my dog, and my beloved derpy German Shepherd mix turned out to be a German Shepherd – Golden Retriever – Shar Pei – Chow mix. I had a trainer once tell me that he was likely part shar pei, and she was right. Collecting the cheek swab was easy. I’m glad I know what his silly ears are made of now!
Wisdom Panel is available on online retailer Amazon.com at $69.90.
Wisdom Panel like to consider themselves the best in show.
They believe they’ve got world’s leading DNA test for dogs.
Through Wisdom Panel, you can discover everything you need to know about your pup’s heritage.
Not only that, but you can screen for over 150 genetic health conditions, covering your dog “from nose to tail”.
How We Picked Best Dog DNA Kits
If you’re investing in a Dog DNA Kit for your dog, you want to be sure that you’re actually going to learn about what breeds make up your dog.
We appreciate the ability to learn the genetic makeup of your canine.
What They Test For
While learning the breeds in your dog may be your main reason for doing the test, it’s great if a Dog DNA Kit goes a couple of steps further.
For example, does it include health screening? Can they still you about conditions or health problems that might come further down the line?
Time To Deliver Results
Naturally, you’ll be impatient to learn your dog’s genetic make up once you’ve completed the above steps.
You don’t want to be left waiting for months and months. So a swift turnaround is important.
Value For Money
There are already so many costs involved in owning a dog. You’ve got to consider dog food, pet insurance and dog walkers.
Dog DNA Kits are a premium service but you want to get sufficient information for your investment.
Anything Else To Consider?
Some companies will have an online portal that will allow dog owners to connect with their fellow pet parents who may have pooches that are related.
Of course, once you’ve got an idea about your dog, it could help you to adjust training regimes or your daily exercise routines based upon their breeds.
Dog DNA Kits are a premium service so pet parents should expect to pay a premium price.
Wrapping Up – Our Final Thoughts
So we’ve reached the end of our article on the Best Dog DNA Kits available on the market right now.
We’ve touched upon some of the key things to look out for when deciding which Dog DNA Kit is the right one for you.
As we’ve seen from the customer reviews, learning more about your dogs, their breed makeup, their personalities and needs.