Do you wish that you could understand more about your four-legged friend? Have you ever wondered about their past or would like to work out exactly why they behave the way they do in the present? Well, a dog DNA test could provide you with the answers to these burning questions. There has been a lot of innovation in this area over the past few years. But this also means that there are plenty of different product options out there, so making your choice can prove to be a challenge. We are here to simplify things a bit for you with our guide of the best dog DNA tests. We have looked in detail at some of their key features and what you can expect from the product to make the task of choosing that little bit more straightforward. So, let’s look at the tests that allow you to know more about your pooch.
The Best Dog DNA Test
The number one product on our list is this one from Wisdom Panel. With over 250 breeds and varieties of dogs included in the test, it is highly likely that your mutt will be covered. And all you need to do is take a cheek swab from your dog, set up an online account, and send the sample off to the lab for analysis. And you shouldn’t have to wait too long for the results, which can come back as quickly as within two weeks.
Once you have the results back again, you can use them in all manner of ways to make positive lifestyle adjustments to your dog’s diet, exercise, healthcare etc. As well as receiving detailed information about your breed of dog, you will also get back a three-generation family tree which lets you know exactly where they have come from.
Simple cheek-swab system
Three-generation family tree included
- BrandWisdom Health
- Weight7.2 ounces
Uses large database of over 250 breeds
Plenty of information for you to act on
Some less clear results for ‘mixed breed’ dogs reported
A highly rated vet-developed product, this one from Embark works with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine to get results. While scanning the 250 breeds, over 170 genetic health conditions are checked for. In terms of detail, this test gives results all the way back to your dog’s great grandparents, so you will find out plenty.
Once you have swabbed your dog’s cheek and sent off the results to the lab, you can expect the results back in just two to four weeks, so there isn’t much waiting around. And with the backing of experts, you can understand why this is one of the most trusted brands on the market of pet DNA tests. While this is an expensive test compared to some of the others, many customers will think that it is worth paying more for quality.
Screens over 250 dog breeds
Checks for over 170 genetic diseases
Results are returned in 2 to 4 weeks
Partnered with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
- Weight5 ounces
Developed with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
Highly trusted amongst customers
Higher price point than other dog DNA tests
Another test from Wisdom Panel, this one tests over 350 different breeds, which gives you a wide range of scope to get an accurate picture of your hound. When you have the results back, you can find out more about what makes your dog unique and any adjustments to their care which could be necessary.
Whether you have a mixed breed, purebred or a designer dog, you should be able to get the information that you are looking for from this dog genetic testing. You will receive back a host of useful data including a predicted weight profile, so you can watch how much your furry friend is consuming on a day to day basis.
Three-step process for getting results
Gives predicted weight profile
Tests over 350 different breeds
Includes breed insights
- BrandWisdom Health
- Weight1.4 ounces
Searches wide database of over 350 dogs
Detailed breed insights
Some reports of inaccurate breed information
A cheek swab of your dog’s DNA is all it takes to get the information about your canine that you are looking for. One of the nice touches is that you will receive a custom photo detailing your dog’s breed composition. When you have this information, you may decide that the time has come to make some changes in how you are looking after your hound.
And you won’t have to wait around for results from this dog DNA kit – they should be back in just a couple of weeks, so you can discover the info that you wanted quickly. Of course, it is worth consulting with your vet before you make any major changes to your dog’s regular healthcare.
One-minute cheek swab
Custom photo and detailed report returned
Results returned in two weeks
Personality traits and health concerns listed
- Weight1.6 ounces
Speedy return time of just a couple of weeks
Information comes back clearly and well-presented
More limited database than some others
The promise of this DNA kit for dogs is that it will identify all American Kennel Club breeds, so this is a useful choice if you have a mutt that you don’t know where its origins come from. Easy to use, once you have sent off the cheek swab to the lab, you should receive the results back in around three or four weeks.
You will receive back a custom photo certificate that gives you all the results of this dog breed test in a clear and concise manner. It will go back as far as your dog’s great grandparents, so you really do get the type of comprehensive picture of your mutt that you need.
Searches AKC certified dog breeds
Report offers percentage breakdown of breeds
Custom photo certificate included
Easy-to-use cheek swab
- BrandFind My Pet DNA
- Weight3.52 ounces
Simple three-step system
Results detail genetic health concerns
Less accurate than other tests already discussed
More limited testing
The final product on our list of dog DNA tests is this one from DNA My Dog. Like the others that we have discussed so far, you will get the information back after giving your dog a cheek swab. And it is quick. Just two weeks are all that are needed for analysis.
Once you know more about the genetic health issues that could affect your dog, you can start to take action to prevent them. The more information that you have, the more proactive that you can be in looking after the health of your four-legged friend.
Breed determination results in percentages
Advice on personality traits, recommended exercise levels, and health concerns
Includes breed determination report
- BrandDna My Dog
- Weight0.8 ounces
Quick results in a couple of weeks
Easy to use
More basic than other test options
Results provided are less accurate
Best DNA Tests for Dogs Buying Guide & FAQ
The next part of our guide is all about the information that you may still be wondering about. First, we have some more details on what to consider when you are buying one of these test. For many people, it is the first time that they have ever encountered one before, so this is highly important. Next, we will look at the benefits of this type of test, so you know why you would want one in the first place. Finally, we have a comparison of two of the main types of test which are blood and swab. After this, we move onto our frequently asked questions section. Here, you may find the information that you have not yet discovered about dog DNA kits.
What to Consider When Buying DNA Tests for Dogs
There are a few different factors which can influence your decision-making in choosing a DNA test for your dog. Here are just some of the points which we consider to be the most important. You can choose from this selection to decide what you also think is important information.
- Number of Breeds Analyzed
Before you invest in a dog DNA test, it is worth looking at the number of breeds that are going to be analyzed. In theory, it should work out that more breeds checked means a higher likelihood that you are going to get an accurate result. However, you also need to look at the reliability of the test manufacturer as well. But if you have absolutely no idea where your dog has come from, it is worth casting a wide net to work out their ancestry. Most quality brands should be testing at least a couple of hundred different breeds, but this can increase to 350 or more.
- Accreditations and Validity
Take a look at who is conducting the test and the reputation of the company and/or lab. Look for official accreditations, backing by trusted labs, and vet approval. This will give you a better idea that you are going to receive back a test that will give you the type of accurate information that you so desire. Check out information about the brand as well. How long have they been around? What improvements are they making to their company? What do previous customers have to say about them? This is all useful information that can help you to make sure you choose the right rest.
- Ease of Conduction the Test
The great thing about a lot of these tests is that they are super easy to do yourself at home. Often, it is as simple as swabbing your dog’s cheek, packaging it up, and sending it off to the lab for analysis. If you are going to receive the results online, you may also have to set up an account as well. However, there are also the testS that require a blood test instead, and this obviously throws up an additional obstacle in your way.
- Presentation of Results
Check how you are going to get the results back again once the test has been completed. Some of them will send back your results online, while others may mail them to you. What sort of information will you receive in your report? Some of the tests offer a photo report to add some clarity. You may receive back health information, exercise suggestions, a healthy weight guide, and all manner of other things. It is worth knowing what you are going to receive before committing to one manufacturer over another. More detail is usually going to be better.
- Speed of Results
Most test results come back in a period of weeks, so there shouldn’t be all that much waiting around to do. The quickest will be returned in just two weeks, while others may take longer. If you are impatient, you may want a test with the quickest return speed. However, you should make sure that the company is trusted as well. There is no point in getting quick results if they are not accurate results as well. Speed may not be as important as some of the previous points that we have discussed as not many people require this type of test to be done urgently.
- Customer Reviews
One of the most useful tools that you have at your disposal these days is online customer reviews. So, for each test that you are considering buying, it is worth checking how satisfied others have been in the past. Obviously, you can’t check through them all, but the percentage breakdowns help out. Don’t solely focus on the highly positive or highly negative reviews but try to look at the general level of satisfaction with the product.
The price of the test may play a part in your decision-making, but don’t automatically choose the cheapest test out there as you may not get the accurate results that you need. Make sure that you factor in reputation along with price in making up your mind. This way, you won’t find yourself having to pay for a new test if the first one comes back with inaccurate results.
Benefits of DNA Testing for Dogs
If you are still unsure as to what are the exact benefits of conducting a DNA test on your dog, there are plenty that are worth taking into account. Here are just a few of the main ones.
- Understand Potential Health Risks
Every dog owner wants to keep their furry friend in the peak of health for as long as possible. And there are some genetic health conditions that can affect certain breeds predominantly. If you don’t know about your dog’s ancestry, it is harder to understand these and make possible changes to their healthcare regime. Ultimately, it just helps you to be a little more prepared. You can take the results back to your vet to discuss them in more detail and find out if anything needs to change about the way that you are looking after your furry friend.
- Make Changes to Your Dog’s Routine
Some of the information that you receive can end up impacting your dog’s lifestyle. For example, many tests come back with a healthy weight estimate, so you can compare how your dog is doing. If they are overweight or underweight, there are plenty of changes that you can make accordingly. Diet and exercise are two of the most obvious factors that you can seek to influence. Also, once you know about your dog’s susceptibility to certain health conditions, you can try to lessen the future impacts. For example, if you know that they are likely to get arthritis, you can start giving them joint supplements early in life to make things better as they get older. You may even find that the information that you get back influences other areas of their life such as grooming.
- Satisfy Your Curiosity
There has been a huge spike in popularity over the past few years to find out more information about human ancestry. As your dog is an important member of your family, why should the same not go for them as well? If you got your dog from a shelter, you may have absolutely no idea where they have come from, so the information you receive can be fascinating. You may start to notice physical characteristics and personality traits that suddenly make a lot more sense. Before, your dog was a question mark, but now you understand them better!
- Helps with Behavior Training
Some dogs are more difficult to train than others and need specific programs to get them to behave as you would like. If you have a particularly stubborn mutt, the information that you get can help to tell you why they are so difficult, so you can make adjustments accordingly. You may find that you need more time and patience than you initially thought, but this is worth knowing about sooner rather than later.
Blood vs Swab DNA Test
All of the tests that we have discussed in this post are from the swab test variety, but there are also those that require a blood test. The results that you receive back shouldn’t vary massively – it is just the collection method that does. Swab tests are the most popular as they are the easiest to administer and don’t cause any pain to your furry friend. Here is a little bit more information to help you make up your mind as to which one suits you the best.
The easiest one to do from the comfort of your own home, you will receive some swabs in the kit that you buy for use on the inside of your mutt’s cheek. This should be simple to get and won’t cause any discomfort to your furry friend. While all of the tests that we have discussed are of the cheek swab variety, some are more accurate than others, so don’t assume that they are all the same.
Unless you are qualified to work with animals, this kind of test will need to be done by a professional vet. It will involve finding a vein and drawing blood from your pet, which is obviously going to cause them some level of discomfort. Some people believe them to be more accurate as they come back with a larger amount of DNA, but this is for you to decide whether or not this is the collection method that you would prefer.
Best DNA Tests for Dogs FAQ:
Q: What is a dog DNA test?
A: Essentially, a dog DNA test is a genetic screening of a canine that aims to reveal more information about their ancestry. As well as finding out about their family history, you should also receive details including health risk, healthy weight recommendations, and even possible characteristics. Popularized in the past few years, many pet owners are using them to put together an improved health plan for their dog, as well as an altered training regime. While people may think that this kind of test only needs to be conducted on mixed breed mutts, useful information can still be gleaned for owners of purebred pups as access to their genetic makeup can give you an early chance to spot any abnormalities and act to protect your furry friend.
While some people use them for serious reasons, others are simply curious about where their dog has come from and what makes them look and behave in the way that they do. And you could end up with the information that helps your dog to live a healthier life – whether this is through changes to their diet or adjustments to their regular exercise routine.
Q: How does dog DNA testing work?
A: Dog DNA testing works the same way for canines as it does for humans. You start by collecting a sample of their DNA. The easiest way is by swabbing the inside of their cheek, but you can also get a blood sample too. Once you have this, you will need to send the test for a lab for analysis, so they can draw conclusions about the genetic makeup of your four-legged friend. They will compare the sample collected to the breeds and varieties in their database to get the most complete picture possible. Labs are steadily increasing their databases for increased accuracy. The results will come back in a percentage format. Just like with the human DNA tests, they can never be 100% accurate, but they should more be treated as guidelines. Along with this, you should also receive a detailed guide of the breeds that make up your dog’s genetic composition.
As time goes on, these tests are likely to get more accurate as the science improves, databases get bigger, and increased demand leads to further enhancements.
Q: Are dog DNA tests accurate?
A: As we mentioned above, you can never be guaranteed an entirely accurate picture of your dog’s genetic makeup. Different manufacturers have varying reputations for providing accurate results, so it is worth taking this into account when you are choosing a test. Also, there is always the possibility that you will get false information back again. Before you implement any changes to your dog’s diet or lifestyle, it is worth sharing the results with your vet to see what they think and if you can work together to make the changes that could benefit your dog.
When you look at some of these tests in more detail, you will see that some have more reports of false information than others. Buy from an accredited manufacturer and you are much more likely to find the type of accurate results that you are looking for.
Our Top Pick
Returning to our number one pick of DNA test kits for dogs, it is this one from Wisdom Panel. With over 250 breeds and varieties of dog in the database and a strong reputation, this is the kind of test that gives the kind of accurate reading that is so important in tests of this type. Once you have the results back, you can use them in a way to positively influence the life of your dog through dietary changes, exercise adjustments and other similar means. Essentially, it has a lot of positive qualities, which is why we have ranked it at the very top of our list.
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