Dog DNA testing is more than merely wanting to know what breed you have adopted. Chances are, regardless if your pooch is a mix breed or not, it is still a huge part of your family and there is nothing that could change that.
This unconditional love could make some owners reluctant about the need for a DNA test, but there’s much more to it than meets the eye.
To better put things into perspective, discovering your dog’s genetic makeup could be crucial for uncovering diseases and genetic disorders that your dog might be vulnerable to. In this way, you will be more able to handle these potential threats before they become severe.
As usual, failure to prepare is preparing to fail and the best dog DNA tests available on the market can help you tackle certain issues, even before their onset.
With testing having become simple even when done at home, you can find out your pooch’s family tree and potential conditions. As a result, you will be able to keep him or her happy and healthy for a long time.
What is Dog DNA Testing?
Dog DNA testing can serve multiple purposes, as briefly outlined above. These days, higher-end tests can deliver more than 100 health results in one single package and the findings can significantly impact the quality of life your pooch has.
The at-home dog DNA tests you can mostly find on the market boast everything you need, including straightforward instructions, how to get a sample of your dog’s DNA as well as where and how to mail it back to the lab.
How Does It Work?
After you’ve collected the sample (i.e., the easy cheek swab), you will need to send the results to a laboratory, where it will be matched to a database of breeds. Ultimately, the results will reveal which types of breeds appear as parents, grandparents and even great grandparents.
It shouldn’t take longer than a few weeks for you to be informed about the results being ready and available for study and download. Overall, the process is meant to be as quick and easy as possible – and in some cases, it’s even highly reliable.
In fact, research on the matter has shown that DNA testing can be nearly 99% accurate, but unfortunately, not all tests are created equal.
For instance, the DNA material provided by owners isn’t always of the highest quality and following the instructions each step of the way is absolutely vital. This way, you will minimize the risk of sending inaccurate, incomplete, or contaminated samples.
10 of the Best Dog DNA Test Kits
Embark Dog DNA Test Kit
Your dog deserves nothing less than the Embark DNA 101. Being a versatile genetic test, it enables you to know the exact genetic makeup and ancestry of your dog. With this knowledge, you will understand more about his or her behavior.
Having results from the Embark DNA 101 will lessen trips to the vet and lab tests that would cost you more. From the results obtained after the test, you can work on your dog’s health and exercise routine.
In case your dog is found to be at risk of catching any illness or disease, the test will notify you and you can then take the necessary precautions.
- Complete and detailed genetic information on your dog’s genetic health and ancestry
- Simple to use
- In-depth test results
- MDR1 multidrug sensitivity test, among others, are tested
- It is easy to understand the test results
Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel 2.5 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit
Vast knowledge about your dog’s genetics is one of the top things you need to know if you’re serious about delivering full care of your dog. Proving close to 100% accuracy, this DNA test kit will detect breed and ancestry going back three generations.
Among the results, you will also be provided with a prediction with regards to your dog’s weight range and whether it’s a puppy or fully grown for diet purposes.
- Simple and easy test
- Customized report with certification
- MDR1 testing aiding in the prevention of serious adverse drug reactions
- Weight range prediction on the results
Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification
Wisdom Panel is a licensed canine DNA test that contains one of the largest dog breed databases worldwide.
It has over 250 breeds, enabling you to know and understand your dog’s ancestry in order for you to learn his or her exercise levels and personality traits, among many other things.
- MDR1 multidrug sensitivity test screening
- Clear and simple directions for use
- It can identify the first three generations of purebred ancestors
- Fast results in 2-3 weeks
Wisdom Panel Mixed Breed DNA Test Kit
Get to know the differences between various dog breeds with just a simple swab in your dog’s cheek. You will be able to get precise results from the Wisdom Panel Mixed Breed DNA Test Kit, putting you in a position where you can take good care of your lovely pooch.
- Easy to use
- It is affordable
- Fast turn out of results
- Accurate analysis
- Dog behavior identification
Wisdom Panel 2.0 Breed Identification DNA Test
Comprehensive results would enable any dog owner to discover their dog’s DNA insights and meet their wellness and nutrition requirements. With Wisdom Panel 2.0 Breed Identification, DNA Test Kit this can be made possible.
- The results provide a better plan for dog nutrition and wellness training exercises
- Weight range prediction for adult dogs
- Tests a wide range of dog breeds – from mixed breeds, pure breeds and designer dog breed
Find My Pet DNA Dog Test
Quickly identify any diseases and give your dog the best treatment by using Find My Pet DNA. As a matter of fact, you can even prevent the development of other diseases that your dog’s breed might be prone to after your dog takes this DNA test. The process for this one can be a little long.
- Receive results within 3 weeks
- High-quality kit with useful tips
- Clear instructions
- Mailing the sample back to the buyer is also convenient
DNA My Dog
Find out about the characteristics that your pet possesses, in-depth information and analysis about your dog’s heritage, strength, personality and behavioral traits with DNA My Dog test kit.
You will also be in a position to get more details about your dog’s health through the detection of some diseases that your dog might be vulnerable to. As a result, this will aid in his or her general health and wellbeing.
- Very convenient due to the fully detailed report
- The test displays the predominant breeds, form and appearance
- It is able to detect health-related issues and susceptibility to hereditary diseases
- A customized certificate with your dog’s breed traits and percentage as part of the results
- Fast result delivery of about 2 weeks
IdentiBreed Test Kit
Determining your dog’s breed or the combined breeds that make up its DNA should be one of the top concerns for any dog owner. With IdentiBreed, you can better understand your dog’s behavior, personality, or any potential risks that might arise in relation to its health.
- Fast results with a turnaround of about 2 weeks
- Clear and easy to follow instructions
- Accessible and knowledgeable analysis report
- Measures your dog’s hormones and toxic levels
- Provides a detailed summary of genetic health diseases
Receive details on the genetic composition of your dog with just a cheek swab. Aside from the genetic makeup, you will also be provided with the ideal nutrition recommendations as well as training fit for your dog.
- Tests hundreds of genetic markers
- Simple process
- Fast results
Mars Veterinary 3.0 Breed DNA Test Kit
Many of the important factors affecting your dog’s life can now be addressed with Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel 3.0. By carrying out the test, you can learn how to handle your dog’s health issues before they get out of hand, resulting in serious illnesses.
- Fast results delivered in a few weeks
What’s Usually Included?
A Copy of Instructions
Most dog test kits include instructions on how to use them. To ensure that there are no errors, there is a step-by-step explanation on what you need to do or how to use the test kit.
While purchasing a test kit, make sure that you check the cheek swabs. In most cases, there will be two available, which are supposed to be used on the same dog.
An Insert for Drying the Swabs
The kit will contain an insert for drying swabs. If the kit is sealed, there could be bacteria growing in the sleeve, so it is important for it to stay dry.
Shipping label and Box or Envelope
A shipping label and a box, or in some cases an envelope, is included in the test kit. These are to be used when sending the dog samples to the laboratory for the analysis. Note that the shipping label and the box are usually prepaid.
Reasons to Test Your Dog
Understand Your Pooch’s Behavior
Adopting a puppy comes with both advantages and disadvantages, particularly when discussing a mixed breed. By taking a dog DNA test, you can find out more about your pet’s behavior and specific needs.
For instance, if you know that your dog is 30% GSD, 40% Husky, 20% Labrador and 10% Poodle, you’ll be able to make out some essential characteristics about his or her personality and maybe even about its distinct appearance.
Learn How to Prevent Illnesses
This is possibly the biggest advantage of going for a dog DNA test, as it can reveal potential health concerns for your dog.
More specifically, knowing the genetic makeup of your pooch can supply you with a plethora of useful information regarding your dog’s lifespan, health, how to prevent certain illnesses along the way, how to spot them and how to improve your pooch’s quality of life.
Plus, by knowing what type of breed your dog is, you can research the typical health ailments in those breeds. For instance, GSD are known for having back problems, while other breeds suffer from other severe conditions (i.e., canine arthritis, cancer, eyesight loss).
By being prepared for the unexpected, you can not only educate yourself in spotting symptoms and signs, but you can also jump to action as soon as it happens.
Overall, watch out for warning signs and discuss findings with your vet. As usual, the earlier you treat the condition, the more likely you will get great results.
Some tests are excellent in showing pet owners a fairly accurate age for their dog. While some might not consider this important, you will essentially have an estimate concerning their lifespan.
By doing this, you can create an age-appropriate diet plan, exercise routine and know when to take it slower. Overall, age analysis is great in ensuring your dog stays healthy, regardless of its age.
For instance, you can offer him or her puppy food when it is young and then sustaining treats as they grow older, since it will require more energy and protein. Similarly, an adult-appropriate and protective nutrition during your dog’s senior years is vital for maximizing his or her lifespan.
Predictions Regarding Weight and Body Size
As with humans, obesity has been substantially rising in the last couple of years. When discussing canine obesity, research shows that a staggering 58% of dogs in the United States are either overweight or obese.
In most cases, having a busy life means not being able to keep a close eye on these weight fluctuations. On top of that, supermarket brands offer high-calorie foods that will, as time goes on, cause a number of other health problems for your dog.
Particularly if you have a high-risk dog, you can set in place an exercise schedule and an adequate diet for keeping obesity at bay.
In fact, having this information early on in life means being prepared to take effective timely action in preventing obesity and other devastating conditions (i.e., osteoarthritis).
Determine the Level of Inbreeding
Establishing your dog’s genetic diversity is essential for finding out how closely related a dog is to its grandparents or parents. In this context, it’s noteworthy that purebred dogs typically have the highest level of inbreeding, otherwise known as the lowest diversity.
Unfortunately, this often means that they are at risk of genetic mutations, which can affect their breeding, appearance, internal organs and more.
In a nutshell, lower genetic diversity comes with a higher risk of inherited health conditions, while increased diversity has been linked with a decreased risk.
How To Choose?
Comprehensiveness of the Kit
Details in the kit are very important. The more information a test kit can reveal, the better for you. In other words, you need to choose the kit that gives you exhaustive information about your dog.
You want to have a test kit that can identify the breed, test for an inherited disease, explain your dog’s behavioral and physical features and also analyze your dog’s genetic age.
The Accuracy of the Result
The results of your test kit need to be accurate and give you as much information as possible about your dog.
Without a doubt, accuracy matters very much, even though it is hard to tell how accurate a test it by just looking at it. That is why it is advisable you seek information about various dog testing kits before purchasing one.
The Reliability of the Testing Kit
If the results from the dog DNA kit are not reliable, then the possibility of missing out on crucial information is very high. For instance, you can miss out on knowing the ancestry lineage and health status of your dog.
The information you get from the results should be dependable in order to ensure that you are getting value for your money.
It is advisable that you look for testing services that can easily identify thousands or hundreds of thousands of genetic markers as well as those that have large databases. Large databases will be useful in identifying various types of dog breeds.
The Legitimacy of the Company
It is an important factor to ensure that the company provides valid and legit results. You can do this by researching the company on the internet. Check on the reviews given by various people to make sure that you have firsthand information of their products.
While at it, check on the credibility of the company and their business background. This information will help you in deciding how legitimate their products are. In turn, the DNA testing process becomes a bit easy for you.
The Cost of the Kit
Some tests are a bit expensive and they don’t have much information. Expensive does not always mean that you will get quality results and so does cheap. Some cheap dog DNA test kits could also mislead you and give you unreliable and inaccurate results.
If the test kit has a breed identification and health screening feature, then it is usually a bit pricey than the one that only has breed identification. In other words, do not necessarily focus on the price, but on what the test kit can do.
Oftentimes, you will be left with questions after getting your pets DNA results back. Maybe you will need clarification on some of the details on the results, or just the need to interpret what some of the information could mean.
These questions are why you need to ensure that the company you choose has a customer support service.
There are companies that are not bothered with after-sale customer care support. That is why it is crucial you make sure while getting a test kit that there is a way you can contact them in case of any query.
Always choose a company that answers your questions and if need be, they are able to provide additional information. It will be a relief to you when you know that when you have a question, you will get answers about it.
Are These Dog DNA Tests Really Accurate?
The accuracy of the results depends on the specific test. Dog DNA tests are largely similar to human DNA tests. Since it works very well on humans, it also works well on dogs.
Sometimes, you may want to spend a little money on purchasing the kit, but this doesn’t necessarily translate to getting accurate results. To determine the behavioral and physical qualities of a dog, you can do so by doing a breed DNA genetic test.
The importance of this is that the results you get from here could be very helpful in determining if the dog has any vulnerable diseases and help you get quality healthcare for your pet. With accurate breed information, your pet will get better healthcare services.
Because of the technological advancements, half-breed dogs are covered in the genetic marker databases, making DNA testing very useful. The tests rarely turn out incorrectly because of this fact. For much more accuracy, ensure the test model you are using is the best.
A veterinarian-performed blood test will give you more health-related information than the home-collected genetic material. Even if the home test kit is a great and reliable option, remember that you will need a veterinarian to interpret the information for you.
Note that your results could vary as you try multiple tests. You will likely get different results every time you test your dog’s DNA, but it is encouraged to try different tests.
The accuracy of the results increases every passing year, so it is important to do several tests to get as much information about your dog as possible.
If you want to learn more about your dog so that you can give him or her the best care possible, then it’s definitely recommended to try out a dog DNA test kit. It’s extremely easy to do at home and it won’t require too much effort on your part.