Up until a few years ago, if you’d ever rescued a dog or been unsure of a dog’s breed, you really didn’t have many options to uncover the truth. Sure, the vet might have been able to make an educated guess based on the pup’s characteristics, but a guess is still a guess.
In recent years, however, genetic testing for humans has gotten so cheap that you can swab the inside of your mouth and send it away to be analyzed for as little as $99. And now you can do the same for your pooch! Dog DNA tests have officially become mainstream and are incredibly useful for identifying genetic traits, potential health problems, allergies and other information about your furry best friend. This information could help you in all sorts of ways when caring for your pet — from training methods to the dog toys you buy them to the food you give them on a daily basis.
We’ve picked out the four best dog DNA tests available to order online. Our picks vary in a handful of ways, like turnaround time for results, but it should be noted that all three are by no means 100% accurate as they are at-home kits (as opposed to say, seeing a vet or specialist).
With that being said, some are better than others when it comes to giving you a slightly more clear picture of your pet and his or her genetic background. But even the slightest bit of insight into the breed or breeds of your pet can be hugely helpful in caring for them.
1. Embark Dog DNA Test
Embark is the most highly-rated DNA test on Amazon and is a no-brainer if you’re willing to pay a slightly higher price tag than other options. Using a research-grade genotyping platform developed by Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, the test screens for over 350 different dog breeds, varieties and types. They test for over 200+ genetic diseases including the MDR1 drug sensitivity, dilated cardiomyopathy, glaucoma and other common health problems in doggos. You’ll get a percentage report of your dog as well as a any genetic relatives of your dog within Embark’s database. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to connect with your dog’s relatives and extended family members! Test results are returned within 2-4 weeks, a bit longer than other tests due to the more in-depth results you receive.
2. DNA My Dog
DNA My Dog is a solid dog DNA test if you’re interested in something affordable and not too granular, and if your motivation for this test is curiosity rather than a pressing need with your pup. They’ve got 84 different dog breeds in their database, and the report you receive breaks down your dog’s DNA by percentage of a group of breeds. So, for example, your dog could be 24% german shepherd and 17% lab, etc. Your report also includes a list of health concerns and personality traits found in the breeds that make up your dog’s DNA. The test is easy to administer and you get reports back in about two weeks.
3. Wisdom Panel Essential Dog DNA Test
The next step up would be the Wisdom Panel Essential Dog DNA Test from the Wisdom Health Store. This one touts itself as having the “largest breed database” of any available DNA test for dogs with more than 350 breeds/types/varieties and that includes 99% of AKC-recognized breeds. Wisdom Panel also screens for 25 different potential medical complications including MDR1 disease and exercise-induced collapse, so you’ll know exactly which procedures and drugs are safe for your pup. Not only that but you’ll know your dog’s ancestry back to its great-grandparents and down to 1%, which can help determine what your “mixed breed” pooch’s genetic background looks like. It could also help you obtain breed certification for purebreds, as well as certification that your designer dog is truly a 50/50 hybrid of two purebred dogs. Results will generally get back to you in 2 to 3 weeks.
4. Orivet Dog DNA Test
Orivet’s comprehensive dog DNA test comes with a super simple kit that’s easy to administer, and provides a full breed identification report for your pooch. The test results also include a LIFE PLAN for the management of your dog’s health throughout its life, including weight predictions and a health risk analysis of problems that could come on down the road. The results also include suggested dietary habits, a schedule for following up with your veterinarian and a schedule for routine vaccines. You’ll get much more information than just your pet’s genetic background, you’ll get a full wellness kit so your pup can live a happy, healthy life.