You might have looked at your dog and wondered exactly what its ancestry was. Especially if you have a mixed breed, you may be curious about the DNA of your pooch.
Dog DNA tests can just be for fun, although if you’re looking for more serious answers about your dog’s health, they’re the perfect way to get a few answers.
We can’t help you with your dog’s DNA, but here is more information about getting started, including which DNA test might work best and why you should pick one up in the first place.
Overview of The Top Dog DNA Tests
|Andy’s top choice||Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit|
|Dog DNA – Canine Breed Identification Test – Home Cheek Swab Kit|
|Embark | Dog DNA Test | Breed Identification | 160 Health Results | 200K Genetic Markers|
|Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit|
|Orivet Dog DNA Test Breed-ID + LifePlan Identify Your Dog’s Unique DNA Profile & Ancestry, Customized Life Plan With Lifestyle, Health & Nutritional Recommendations to Ensure A Full Life|
|DNA MY Dog – Canine Breed Identification Test Kit – At-Home Cheek Swab Kit – Personality Traits by DNA My Dog|
|Wisdom Panel 2.0|
Learn more about your dog with Wisdom Panel 3.0 – a DNA test kit that allows you to identify your dog’s breed. In a world full of unscrupulous breeders and rescue dogs, visual identification as well as physical characteristics and traits can only get you so far.
With Wisdom Panel 3.0, you will be able to quickly and easily get accurate and comprehensive results for a smoother transition from adoption center to home.
- It has a commercial license from the Washington State University to test for MDR1 sensitivity mutation
- Get accurate results in 2-3 weeks
- Comes with a personalized report that features a family tree, breed percentages and other information
- Easy-to-use with clear instructions
- Breeds from outside the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and Germany may not appear in the database
- Some customers have reported that the test results are inaccurate i.e. Great Dane DNA in a Chihuahua
Each and every dog is special in his or her own way. As a responsible owner, you want to provide your beloved companion with the best. With this Dog DNA – Canine Identification test kit, you will be able to delve deeper than ever before into your pooch’s history
- Simple cheek swab test to obtain DNA makes it comfortable for dogs and reduces discomfort for owners
- Detailed test results come together with a photo certificate of your dog’s breed composition
- The report on your dog’s dominant breeds, characteristics and potential health concerns allows you to take proactive action
- Test results are available within 2 weeks
- The results are valid in court
- Some customers have complained that their pet’s test results took a long time to be processed
- Complaints of poor customer service i.e. no response when submitting a complaint
- Some customers say that the results are inaccurate
The Embark Dog DNA test kit allows you to gain greater insight into the history of your pooch. You might have wondered at some point who the ancestors of your dog were and where they come from.
With Embark, you will be able to quickly and accurately determine your pooch’s breed composition with minimal fuss.
- Comprehensive database covers over 175 dog breeds from all over the world – even wolf and coyote ancestry
- Track your dog’s ancestry up to over 3 generations
- Conducts tests for over 160 types of illnesses, genetic defects and health concerns, which helps your furry friend age healthily
- Trusted by professional dog breeders and vets all over the world
- Developed in partnership with the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
- Can be quite expensive
- Customers complained that processing time for results was very slow
Delve into the past life of your pet and learn more about his or her ancestors, genetic disposition and also characters and traits with the Mars Breed Identification kit. With a simple swab test, you are able to better understand your furry friend.
- Simple cheek swab to gather DNA makes testing easy
- MDR1 testing is conducted to check for the presence of the MDR1 gene
- Adult weight prediction helps you better plan Fido’s diet and lifestyle
- The breakdown of your dog’s breed helps you provide a better training program while better understanding its behavior
- Limited database means that test results can be inconclusive
Orivet Dog DNA Test Breed-ID + LifePlan Identify Your Dog’s Unique DNA Profile & Ancestry, Customized Life Plan With Lifestyle, Health & Nutritional Recommendations to Ensure A Full Life
With the Orivet Dog DNA test, you can easily get the low down on your pet’s history and background. Adopted or rescued dogs come from diverse backgrounds and it helps to know more about your new friend. That said, the Orivet Dog DNA test kit allows you to do just that.
- Comprehensive database with hundreds of genetic markers tested
- Orivet provides customers with a customized life plan that gives information on common health problems, recommended ongoing care and also genetic disposition
- Results are processed and returned to customers in just a few weeks
- Simple, painless procedure that can be done with a cheek swab
- Slight delay in getting test results
DNA MY Dog – Canine Breed Identification Test Kit – At-Home Cheek Swab Kit – Personality Traits by DNA My Dog
Dogs have evolved together with man for centuries and it is no surprise why they are called man’s best friend. Give your dog the best possible care by learning more about his or her ancestry.
By getting your dog’s DNA through a swab test, all of your dog’s genetic history can be discovered
- Simple swab test that can be done from the comfort of your home
- Test results include a breed determination report along with a DNA analysis certificate
- Results are quickly processed and can be returned in 2 weeks
- Provides you with an outline of generic health concerns and personality traits
- Some customers claim that the results produced are inaccurate
- Long time to process results – contrary to claims made by the company
Years on interbreeding have resulted in dogs having an extremely diverse genetic makeup. You may be a true dog lover who doesn’t bother too much about your pooch’s ancestry, but unfortunately, some breeds of dog have hereditary health problem.
With that in mind, get the truth with the Wisdom Panel 2.0 DNA test kit.
- Easy to use
- Detailed test results provide you with a breakdown of your dog’s breed and ancestry
- Adult weight prediction to help you plan your dog’s diet and lifestyle to promote longevity
- 3 week waiting time, making it longer than others
- Can be quite pricey
What is Dog DNA Testing?
The best DNA test will serve multiple purposes, including discovering your dog’s breed and providing you an analysis of your dog’s health. Before the advent of these tests, there was no way for you to know what breeds make up your mixed-breed dog.
Unless you had a family tree for your pooch, you were out of luck. Now though, you’re able to get some answers not only on your dog’s breed, but on your dog’s health and hereditary conditions.
The answers you get depends on which package you choose, since there are a number of DNA tests on the market. Not all DNA tests are created equal though.
There are many differences between tests, which is why it’s important to read up on reviews to be sure you’ve found the right one. The most common differences include:
- How many breeds the test can discern
- The number of genetic markers the test uses – this can range from 1,800 to 200,000
- The health tests included
- Which traits the test is able to detect
Keep in mind that more expensive tests normally have better results, so it may not be best to get the cheapest test you are able to buy. DNA testing isn’t a new process though, with the creation of at-home tests being a lifesaver for many owners.
With a simple kit, you will be able to discover your dog’s ancestry, all the way up to its grandparents.
How Does It Work?
You’ve got your DNA test in your hand and are ready to find out the ancestry of your dog. In order to begin, you need to get a DNA sample from your dog. This can be something as simple as a swab on its cheek. That said, you do not need a blood sample of your dog.
From there, you send the sample into the lab, where it’s compared to the available database of breeds to determine your dog’s parents and grandparents. For health screening, they’ll look out for specific DNA mutations.
It’ll take a few weeks for you to get your answers by email. Then, you just have to download your results. The process itself is quick and simple, requiring almost no effort from you. It’s great too that, for the most part, this DNA testing is proven to be 99% accurate.
This can vary depending on the company you choose though, or on how well you follow the instructions on the kit. The closer you follow your instructions, the better your results will be.
When you open those results, usually you’ll see information like the breed breakdown percentages. This will let you know how likely your dog is to develop certain diseases.
You may also see a behavior and personality summary too, since temperament and personality can both be influenced by the breed. Using this information, you’ll be able to predict and prevent diseases while understanding physical and behavioral traits.
Reasons to Test Your Dog’s DNA
You are able to test your dog just for fun, to see which breeds make up its ancestry. However, there are legitimate reasons for doing a DNA test for your dog.
As mentioned, you will be able to understand more about your pup while discerning health conditions, possible behavioral traits and future issues with your dog’s breed.
If you’ve owned a purebred dog, you’ll know that there are some very breed-specific health conditions associated with certain breeds. Some common ones include hip dysplasia, heart problems, eye problems, spinal problems and so on.
This means that mixed breed dogs might inherent some of these conditions. Knowing how much of a mix your pup is, along with which breeds make up its parents, can be an important part of understanding any problems your dog may be predisposed to.
Doing this test will let you recognize and treat those problems with ease.
Many dog breeds are known for doing specific jobs or succeeding in certain roles. They have the instincts that make them perform well and that influences how much exercise they need, what their ideal diet is and how much stimulation they need to be happy.
If you know what the breed is, you’ll be able to better handle your dog’s needs.
If you’re breeding dogs, a simple DNA test may help you discover possible conditions that can be passed on to future litters. Beyond breeding though, you are able to use DNA tests to look for common genetic mutations and abnormalities.
Some kits look for more serious conditions, while many only look for general ones. However, it depends on what kit you purchase.
Training your Pooch
Certain dogs have a hard time with training and may not respond well to common teaching techniques.
Often, this has to do with the breed of your dog. If you know the breed of your dog, then you will be able to cater the training to its instincts to improve its response and reduce its stress.
Of course, you are able to understand your dog’s current health using a DNA test. However, you are also able to look for health predictions in your dog too. Use a DNA test to understand your dog’s size and weight in the future, so that you are able to plan ahead with your puppy.
That way, you’re able to purchase items for larger dogs over time, instead of getting surprised if your little puppy grows bigger than you expected.
You may not use a DNA test for this purpose specifically, but many shelters have been turning to these tests in order to find out the ancestry of their dogs. This is especially helpful with Pit Bulls, since there’s been a traditional struggle for their adoption.
Finding out how much of a breed a dog has may make it easier for it to get adopted.
What’s Included in the Test Kit?
Knowing what you’re paying for is a significant determinant of which brand you opt for. With so many choices around these days, the decision can be quite tricky. While most tests do vary slightly, here is what you are able to generally expect:
Although most of us loved playing the scientist part when we were younger, not enough would be able to accurately perform the test without guidelines. For these reasons and more, tests typically include step-by-step instructions that are straightforward and easy to follow.
When reading the instructions, you will observe that two cheek swabs need to be obtained. One is for the lab tests, while the other serves as a backup in case the initial examination offers inaccurate results or is contaminated.
An Insert for Drying the Swabs
As expected, you will first need to let the swabs dry before shipping them away. Due to this, most tests include a much-needed sterilized insert for those purposes.
Box and/or Envelope and a Shipping Label
Once all the steps mentioned above are done and dusted, you will use your pre-paid label for sending the samples to the laboratory for a complete analysis.
Factors to Consider
While your curiosity and determination are noble, there are at least a few factors to consider before purchasing a dog DNA test. Among the most important, you will find the following:
Comprehensiveness and Broadness
One of the primary aspects you need to be concerned about is how much information the DNA test genuinely covers. In other words, how comprehensive will it be at letting you know about your dog’s genetic marker?
For example, there are brands that are considered industry leaders when discussing overall comprehensiveness.
Not only can they accurately identify the breed of your pet, but they can also test for the dog’s genetic age, determine any inherited diseases, explain behavioral problems and physical attributes – all while predicting future weight gain or loss issues.
As mentioned before, the purpose of a DNA test is to determine genetic conditions, potential health concerns and other problems that may influence your dog’s health – either now or in the future.
This means that without reliability, you might as well look into a crystal ball and then throw your money down the drain.
In other words, choosing a DNA test that is unreliable will not only cause more confusion due to inaccurate results, but it will potentially miss crucial information that might help you change the lifestyle and dietary choices you are at the moment offering your pooch.
For a guaranteed peace of mind, opt for services that have extensive databases of breeds and can quickly identify thousands of genetic markers.
For example, there are companies that encompass over 250 plus breeds – testing more than 1,800 genetic markers. On the other hand, there are other companies that feature a smaller database of 150 strains but can analyze approximately 200,000 genetic markers.
Because these tests are an overall investment, you need to ensure that you are getting your money’s worth. While some consider that the more expensive it is, the more comprehensive it will be too, but reality can be far from different.
Of course, you should also make sure to avoid inexpensive DNA tests that don’t reveal nearly anything. Tests primarily focused on breed identification tend to cost less than a hundred dollars.
In comparison, investigations that are far more comprehensive and inclusive of general health screening can cost around a few hundred dollars.
Although your main goal is to determine any underlying conditions affecting your pooch, you might be left with a hundred different questions after receiving the test results.
Whether you need further clarification, are unsure about what something means, or simply need advice on how to approach a problem or the other, adequate customer support is essential.
While some companies are helpful and caring for your pet and its needs, others leave you in the dark or offer cookie cutter answers that you could otherwise get on a website. Because of this, customer service is definitely an important factor to take into consideration before buying a kit.
Are The DNA Tests Really Accurate?
Simply put, the answer is yes. However, it will depend on the specific test you choose, its reliability, comprehensiveness and overall information offered. It’s noteworthy that DNA tests are very rarely inaccurate or unable to match a DNA sample to specific dog breeds.
But, as previously mentioned, if you choose to buy a cheaper test, you shouldn’t expect the moon and stars. While we would never advise you to splurge your savings, a little more can sometimes go a long way.
It’s essential to choose companies that have been reviewed and approved by multiple customers. Overall, with half of the world’s breeds covered in high-end testing, genetic investigations are highly usable and reliable these days.
Complications sometimes occur when your dog, for example, is a third-generation mixed breed. This means that it could be genetically mixed and related to another five breeds.
In this instance, it will be hard to identify each one of them, but you could determine the most dominant characteristics and potential concerns.
Since dog DNA tests these days are widely available and relatively straightforward, they present a good chance for owners to discover any underlying inherited, behavioral, or dietary concerns and needs of their dogs.
On top of that, most of these tests are reasonably priced, meaning that they are accessible to people from all types of demographics. The overall process is straightforward as well, as you’ll merely need to swab your dog’s cheeks and offer the laboratory two swabs.
After they dry out, you’ll put them in the given container and they’ll be shipped for analysis. You’ll need to wait a few weeks for the results, but ultimately, the knowledge you gain from the test could help ensure that your dog stays happy and healthy for a long time.
We hope that with this review and buying guide, you are able to make a well-informed decision before deciding to buy a dog DNA test kit.