3 Best Dog DNA Test Kits Reviews and Ultimate Guide 2019
If you love your dog, you will want to know everything about his body. This may sound weird to people who don’t own a dog, but it is natural to be curious about your dog genetic and breed makeup. This is easy when it comes to purebred dogs, but when it comes to crossbreeds, it is hard to answer questions about their genetic background. In fact, in the past, questions about genetic and breed makeup remained unanswered. Fortunately, today you can find commercially available dog DNA test kits.
Dog DNA tests may seem sophisticated to use and luxurious to buy, but they can be helpful. Well, there are two main reasons dog owners decide to carry DNA tests on their canine friends. The first is to know the genetic history of a dog to predict which genetic diseases may strike your dog at certain points in their lives. The second is to understand your dog better. In the past, dog owners used to guess their pooch’s DNA heritage based on their personality and appearance.
However, today, many companies are offering DNA testing services. They encourage dog owners to test their dog’s DNA to know about their pooch ancestry.
But how do you identify the best dog DNA test kit? Why should you trust that the products we have reviewed here are accurate? We understand that the DNA test kit for a dog is not a common item in our daily lives, which is why you have to rely on trusted reviews when choosing it.
While coming up with this buyer’s guide and reviews of the best dog DNA kits, we ensured that the information we provided here is reliable and factual.
We sourced information from vets, breeders, dog owners, and dog experts to bring you reliably-sourced information. These people helped us understand how this whole process works. They specified the best brands and the top products on the market. This helped us finalize our top 3 best dog DNA tests.
We have put together a comprehensive buyer’s guide to ensure that you understand more about dog DNA test kits.
If you are in a hurry, check out our recommendation list below.
Reason to Test Your Dog’s DNA
To know the exact breed of your mutt
One of the reasons many people test their pet’s DNA is to find out their pooch’s exact breed. While this might be sparked by curiosity, these tests are becoming more and more popular because they are helping dog owners in other ways.
As aforementioned, dog parents used to guess the DNA of a dog based on his looks, but nowadays, you might get surprised to find your guess is wrong. Many breeds share similar physical characteristics and can lead to some owners to think their dogs belong to a particular breed.
With a simple test, whereby you send swab samples to the maker of the kit you used, you can get results in a couple of weeks. These tests will reveal your dog’s ancestry dating back to its earlier ancestors.
To know dog’s breed composition
Out of curiosity, you can carry a DNA test on your mixed breed dog to know his breed composition in more precise percentages. For instance, you may get surprised to find out that your dog, which you term as a crossbreed of Rottweiler and German shepherd, is 15% Akita, 15% Beagle, 30% German shepherd, and 30% Rottweiler.
Getting these results will help you understand some physical traits specific to a certain breed. This will give you something to show off to your friends or at a corporate party.
To make an informed decision when adopting a dog
If you want to adopt a quality dog breed from a rescue organization, animal shelter, or even from your neighbor, you will need to test their DNAs to know which one is the best breed for you. Finding more about the genetic makeup of a dog will help you judge whether or not the animal is suitable for your needs, family, and home.
You might be in need of a small dog breed because you are living in a small apartment. In this case, you will want to know if the pup you are about to adopt will grow up to be a small breed or a gigantic, highly-energetic dog that will damage most things in your house.
You need to go for a breed that meets your needs, for instance, a guard dog doesn’t belong to the same breed as a dog breed that is friendly towards kids.
DNA tests help you to know the dietary needs of your dog
Knowing your dog’s genetic makeup will give you a good idea of what weight and size you can expect your dog to achieve. This will help you feed your dog with the right food as well as vitamins and supplements to help him achieve his optimal size. Besides, you can administer dog probiotics and supplements to help prevent digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and blotting. You will also know what to feed your dog if it is of the breed that tends to become overweight easily.
Learn more about your dog temperament
This is important if you are adopting a puppy. Conducting a DNA test can help you understand important information regarding the behavior of your pet when it grows up. Different dog breeds have varying temperaments. With a DNA test, you will be able to choose a dog with a temperament that matches your needs. Plus, you can know the best training routine to subject it to in order to tame him.
Accurate genetic results help your choose better training methods. Some breeds respond better to some forms of training than others. DNA test will also help you know if your dog will develop some unwanted behavioral traits, which you can correct easily at an early age.
Find out genetic disorders your dog is susceptible to
One of the practical reason you should carry out a DNA test for your dog is usually to study its genetic makeup and the diseases it is prone to. Scientists dig deep into the DNA results of your dog to know some gene mutations that have occurred that may be responsible for some vulnerabilities or illnesses. They do this by comparing your dog genetic makeup with some genetic markers from their detailed databases.
Knowing that your dog has some gene mutation can help you start administering preventive treatment to ensure they live long and healthy. DNA tests might also reveal certain impending illnesses and how to treat them properly. You can discuss the results with your vet now that you have precise, comprehensive information with you.
You now understand why it is important to know the genetic makeup of your dog, let’s discuss how DNA tests work.
How Do Dog DNA Tests Work
This being a relatively new thing, we saw it wise to explain the process of how DNA test work. This is because most people think that the process is complicated. However, you will be happy to know that it is very easy to use a dog DNA test kit, and the results are relatively accurate.
Here are the 3 steps you need to follow to test your dog’s DNA.
Step 1- Collecting dog DNA
The main step is to collect your dog’s DNA, and fortunately, it is simpler than you first thought. Simply insert a cotton swab into your dog’s mouth and run it on the inside of its cheek.
Step 2- Sending the soiled cotton swab back to the manufacturer of the kit
Most kits will have an address where you need to send the sample wrapped in the provided packaging. You need to follow all the instructions given by the manufacturer and label the samples as indicated.
Step 3- Receive the results
The DNA report is sent back after 2-8 weeks. This report will include information about the ancestry of your dog- breed history of your dog.
And that is it!
Now you may ask, what is the difference between blood and swab DNA test? Well, here is the comparison.
Blood vs. Swab DNA Test
Parents who want to reduce the risk of error or contamination in their dog’s DNA report opt for a blood test. However, it is more expensive as you have to take your dog to the vet for a blood sample. After the blood sample has been taken, they are packed in the provided containers and sent to the manufacturer of the kit. The company analyze the blood sample and send the results to the owner.
On the other hand, a swab test is done by the dog owner after purchasing a DNA test kit. You have to follow all the instructions issued by the manufacturer of the kit. Mostly, you will be needed to perform the test after a few hours after your dog has eaten for more accurate results. You insert the swab into your dog’s cheek for it to soil up.
Once this is done, carefully pack the swab into the provided packaging and mail it to the company you purchased the DNA test kit from. You will find the email indicated in the packaging. The company will then process the results and later send you the DNA results of your dog via an email.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Dog’s DNA Test Kit
It’s important to explore your dog’s DNA; it will benefit both you and your dog. Whether you want to know the breed of your dog or want to know its genetic makeup, a DNA test is the best way to understand your canine friend. The market offers a wide array of DNA test kits with every kit promising the best results. As such, you may find it overwhelming to pick the best dog DNA test kit among the numerous choices available. Here are the factors to look for in the best DNA test kit to buy:
Simply put, accuracy is how close a given value is to the “real” value. For instance, if a test kit is made to test specific genetic mutation in canines, the results should reflect this measure. Unluckily, the only way we can ascertain the accuracy of dog DNA test kits is by looking for published clinical investigations showing how the identified kits work against control.
As a result, it is recommended that you look for credible studies that point to the accuracy of a particular test.
When someone talks about integrity with DNA test kits, it’s the integrity of the procedure itself; whether or not the results are a reflection of the measure of the parameter being put to the test. You may get the results you expect, but the process of arriving at the result has to be authoritative enough. After testing the procedure and getting the results, what are the chances that the results are questionable?
If you believe that the results are the outcome of a credible process, then it’s valid. Sadly, it’s an extremely hard way to establish whether the test kit is valid or not. It’s advised that you look at the credibility and trustworthiness of the manufacturer of the kit. A credible company has better processes that are indeed valid.
A high quality DNA test kit comes at a high price. As such, there’s need to look for one with a comprehensive report about your dog’s genetic make-up. Some kits are only made to offer breed identification while others provide a complete profile of your pet’s health and even your dog’s size weight prediction.
One thing to keep in mind is that the more information you get, the more understanding you get regarding your pet. Consider buying kits that can offer detailed reports regarding your pet.
The Speed of Delivering Results
Another important factor to consider is the time a provider takes to deliver the results. Some providers will send the results within three weeks while others may take longer. It’s good to understand that the results may take longer for some companies as they may need to run hundreds of tests to gather a comprehensive report.
If you get a company can deliver a more detailed report within a reasonable duration, it’s much better than a company that delivers a shallow report in the short time. It’s worth noting that it is the quality of information that you obtain from the test kit.
Type of DNA Testing Kit
There are many types of DNA test kits for dogs; some work better than others. The DNA test kit you choose depends on the results you want to get and the depth of your pocket.
There are test kits for detecting dog breed, number of genetic markers, while others perform health test performances. Others will uncover the traits of your canine friend depending on the detected breeds and genes.
The best dog DNA test kit will perform all these tests, but you will need to dig deeper into your pocket.
Now that you are more enlightened to make an informed purchase decision, here are the top 3 best DNA test kits in the market. Compare the 3 to know which one suits your needs and wallet.
Features That Make Embark Dog DNA Test Kit Stand Out
- Often referred to as 23andMe for dogs, Embark dog DNA test offers the most detailed genetic health screening for dogs
- Embark DNA is one of the most popular dog DNA test providers that prides itself on testing various genetic health conditions accurately
- This DNA test kit offers more data and actionable understanding into your canine companion’s health and ancestry. This can be confirmed from reviews of those who tried the kit
- This fantastic kit provides detailed reports that you can share with your vet This will help initiate conversations between you and your vet regarding diet needs and behavioral training suitable for your dog
- DNA sample collection is simple. You only need to swab your dog’s cheek and follow the clear instructions provided. You can also get helpful articles and videos online or on the Embark’s official website
- Embarks reminds you to activate the kit online before repackaging and sending it back to the company for testing
- In case the swabs get damaged, you don’t have to worry as the company sends it back at zero cost
- Results might take between 3 – 7 weeks which is a reasonably short period for the results you obtain. The DNA report is detailed and accurate
- Embark runs 160 genetic tests on your canine where they give you an alert to a myriad of potential diseases such as coagulopathy, glaucoma and more
- With this kit from Embark, you’re guaranteed of getting the most accurate results as the company uses over 200,000 genetic markers to test your canine’s breed heritage
- Moreover, the kit tests 256 quadrillion possible genetic ancestry groupings for your canine friend
- The company also offers a prediction of your dog’s size and weight, and for adult dog owners, they get to know if their dog is overweight or not
- What will amaze you is the unique style of reporting that includes an interactive guide that can be viewed on desktop and mobile devices with the option to share with friends and family
- Want to know your dog’s genetic age? Embark is actually able to detect your dog’s calendar age from DNA – this gives you a reflection of where your dog is in his/her health span and the food to eat
- The results are trusted as they have to be validated by reputable companies such as Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine and Orthopedic Foundation for animals. This confirms the accuracy and effectiveness of this kit.
- Shared insights about your Dog’s ancestry or DNA helps improve scientific understanding to increase canine science for everyone
- Embark ensures detailed verification steps to ensure accuracy and quality with any questionable findings undergoing checks by experienced DNA scientists
- So far, this kit is exceptional as it offers 3 pronged approaches including extensive genetic marker determination, accurate breed identification, and excellent disease evaluation making it one of the best DNA Kits you can get on the market
Proc of Embark Dog DNA Test Kit
- Offers more dog DNA data and provides you with a complex history of your dog’s ancestry
- Embarks DNA test kit is highly accurate. The results are reliable
- Results are manageable on PC, tablet and smartphone devices
Conc of Embark Dog DNA Test Kit
- Results may take up to 2 months to be available
- Maybe costly than other DNA tests
Why We Recommend It
Though it costs more than most other DNA test kits, the extra bucks are worth it. You get a more detailed report that screens more diseases and offers an extensive genetic prediction, a feature you don’t find in most other kits. Well, you may have to wait for a relatively long period, but you get better and accurate results than you’d do with most kits out there.
Features That Make Wisdom Panel DNA Test Kit Stand Out
- If you ever wondered what breed your dog is, Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed identification kit makes your work fast and easy
- This simple kit lets you swab your dog’s cheek effortlessly, send it in a postage paid box, and you get the results in a short period
- The kit detects over 250 breeds including those listed by American Kennel Club
- All the tests carried out by this kit include a predicted weight profile and will test for the Multi-Drug Resistance 1 (MDR1) which may be the cause of severe reactions to commonly prescribed drugs
- You also get a chart that compares your dog with other dogs of the same breed
- You don’t need to consult your vet to know your dog’s ancestry as this kit helps with that by giving you a better understanding of your dog’s training needs, health needs, and unique appearance
- You also get a customizable report that offers a family tree so that you can know the great-grandparents and detect whether your dog is a pure or mixed breed. Some customers who supposedly bought pure breeds have been surprised after using the kit
- After you have sent your dog’s DNA test sample, you wait for less than 3 weeks to get your report back
- For easy reference, the company sends a printable certificate with a detailed count of your dog’s genetic background
- Regarding any issue, Wisdom Panel offers an excellent customer service with quick response time when you reach them via phone or email
Proc of Wisdom Panel DNA Test Kit
- Covers over 250 breeds including those recognized by AKC
- Comes with two swabs which can be replaced free of charge if damaged
- Results back in 2-3 weeks
Conc of Wisdom Panel DNA Test Kit
- Has limited genetic markers compared to some kits like Embark
Why We Recommend It
Overall, the Wisdom Panel 3.0 is an excellent choice that promises exceptionally accurate DNA testing for your dog at an affordable price. The kit uses over 1800 canine genetic markers and checks for the presence of MDR1, a multidrug resistance gene. The best part is the easy 3 DNA test application, and the short time it takes to get the results. If you need an inexpensive yet detailed DNA testing for your dog, the Wisdom Panel 3.0 is truly the best deal you can strike.
Features That Make Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel 2.5 Stand Out
- Are you on a budget? if so, check out the Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel for accurate breed identification
- This kit is particularly helpful with breed identification which helps in knowing the kind of training to use for your dog among other things
- This is yet another useful kit that requires a cheek swab before packaging it and sending it to the lab
- It is among the 3 best DNA test kits used to determine numerous statistics such as adult dog weight prediction – this helps when making diet choices
- The simple kit comes with two swabs where you can collect samples. This helps to improve the overall accuracy of the test
- Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel sends results within three weeks, but some may get results even quicker
- The kit will also test for potential gene mutations that may cause disorders such as Multi-Drug Resistance Gene which makes the dog react to certain drugs. This will help your vet know which medications to prescribe and those to avoid
- The test offers paternal and maternal ancestry of your dog so that you can understand your dog’s unique appearance
- Besides testing your dog’s ancestry, this is one of the best DNA kits to predict your canines genetic age which helps in dietary choices
- The kit covers 159 of 161 breeds that have been recognized by AKC with 11 additional breeds. This enables you to understand the various traits you may see in your mixed breed dog
- You also get access to the Mars Veterinary customer support for report questions and trait analysis and an ancestry certificate for framing
Proc of Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel 2.5
- Fast turnaround for results
- Easy to use with one simple cheek swab required
- Offers MDR1 testing
Conc of Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel 2.5
- The report may not be detailed enough compared to other test kits
Why We Recommend It
With the Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel 2.5, you get an affordable and accurate way to uncover your dog’s genetic composition. You also obtain a comprehensive ancestry report telling you which breeds your dog originates from and the exact proportions for each breed. For Pups, you get an accurate weight prediction to help you plan for the diet. This test kit also offers MRD1 gene testing so that your vet can know which drugs suit your breed. The breed database from the company is reliable with the price being affordable for most.
Frequently Asked Questions about Dog DNA Tests
Are dog DNA test results accurate?
Many people worry about the accuracy of Dog DNA test kits, especially those that use saliva, but the fact is that these kits provide accurate results. However, the accuracy of the results is dependent on the following factors;
How you collect a dog’s DNA sample could affect the accuracy of a dog’s DNA in several ways. If you fail to collect the needed samples accurately, then there is no way the DNA test results will be perfect. The accuracy of results largely depends on the way the owner follows the instruction in the DNA kit.
If the DNA database of the lab where DNA tests are being done is detailed, then you can expect accurate results. The more the number of breeds they have tested in their labs, the more accurate the test results will be.
These are the places of variation within the genetic structure of your dog. When scientists are studying the differences and similarities between these genetic markers, they get to know your dog’s distinct characteristics. Kits with more genetic markers help scientists identify a dog’s unique characteristics easily than kits with lesser genetic markers.
If all these factors are optimal and fulfilled, then your dog’s DNA test results will be very accurate.
How long does DNA test results take before they are sent back to the dog’s owner?
The answer to this question relies on the company your kit came from; the company carrying your dog’s DNA test. Normally, you can expect to get the result in 2-3 weeks, but this can take longer depending on how exhaustive the testing process is and how many breeds they are comparing your dog’s tests result against.
From our guide, you can see that identifying your dog’s breed can help you come up with a more nurturing and more effective health plan for your pooch.
Testing for genetic mutation is an important aspect of DNA identification because it discloses different avenues through which you can identify your dog’s weakness and proneness to different potential illnesses.
This helps you take precautionary measures and act before the illnesses strike. To sum this guide up, a dog DNA test kit will help you understand your dog more; it is more of a necessity than a curiosity.
Knowing your dog’s ideal body, personality traits, body weight, and size, as well as its behavioral patterns will give you an upper hand when it comes to caring for your pet.
The 3 dog DNA test kits we have reviewed here are the best in the market, and the most accurate. By purchasing any of them, you are assured of accurate, detailed, and reliable results.
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