With DNA testing on humans becoming more and more popular, it’s no longer surprising that this kind of a trend will make it to our four-legged furry friends. After all, who wouldn’t want the fun of getting to know the breeds which make up your dog?
For that matter, DNA testing kits specifically designed for dogs were developed. With the best dog DNA test kit, you can learn more about your dog, and it can actually help you develop an even better health plan for his future.
That said, we have prepared a short guide on how you can buy a reliable and working dog DNA test kit on the market. We’ve even compiled a number of products which we believe can give you accurate results at the best prices.
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Why Test Your Dog’s DNA?
One of the reasons why dog owners want to test their dog’s DNA is to simply find out what breeds their dog is. This way, they can confirm if theirs is a purebred or a hybrid. Of course, this is mostly pointless. After all, it’s not like you’re doing such test just to look for your dog’s relatives.
However, testing your dog’s DNA can help prove that your dog indeed has a specific breed or a mixture of two or more breeds. That aside, the most important reason why you’d want to test your dog’s DNA is so that you can find out his genetic makeup and perform health checks to make sure that he won’t suffer from any potential health issues.
This doesn’t refer to conditions that can be acquired through other sources like a poor lifestyle or a tick infestation which can be easily solved by using tick and flea prevention for dogs. Instead, it refers to conditions that can come from your dog’s genes. Therefore, if you want to rule out any possibility of genetic-related health conditions, testing your dog’s DNA can actually be quite helpful.
How It Works?
Although each of the DNA testing kits we’re going to discuss later on has its own different unique features, you have to keep in mind that they all work in almost the same way. First of all, you need to obtain your own testing kit.
After that, you have to make sure your dog doesn’t eat or drink for at least 30 minutes. Once 30 minutes has passed, simply take the Q-tip then swab the lower pouches of your dog’s mouth. Make sure that the swab is fully soaked.
Simply place it afterward in a protective container then send it back to the manufacturer. From there, they will then analyze your dog’s DNA sample and provide you with an accurate result in a few weeks. Each of the companies has their own method of providing reports. There are some who will provide you with a percentage breakdown regarding your dog’s breed. Meanwhile, there are those which also provide you with purebred and designer dog testing.
How to Choose the Best Dog DNA Test
To make sure that you can obtain accurate results from your dog’s DNA sample, it would be wise to know what are the factors you have to consider when buying a testing kit. They are as follows:
The accuracy of the testing
A testing kit’s accuracy refers to how close the results are to its “real” value. For example, if a testing kit is made to find out the exact health condition your dog might experience owing to his genetics, then the results should be able to provide such a report.
However, the only way you can verify a testing kit’s accuracy is by taking a look at various published clinical studies and investigations. Therefore, in order to get a testing kit which is as accurate as possible, it would be ideal to read through the substantiating studies which can confirm the accuracy of the tests made by the manufacturer.
Their range of associated genetic conditions
There are dog DNA tests which look at around 150, even more, health risk factors which are linked to genetics. These tests are intended to provide you with detailed information about your dog’s current and future health.
Needless to say, the more health risk factors a test checks for, the better. However, you can also find tests that don’t really check a dog’s genetic makeup for any health risk. All they did is simply give you a generic report about your dog’s breed.
Their delivery speed
A lot of companies that offer dog DNA testing can provide you with a detailed report within 2 to 3 weeks on average. However, some companies might even take longer. Although this sounds like a really long time, you have to keep in mind that conducting tons of tests actually take a lot of time.
Therefore, if a company promises delivery of a hundred tests results in just one week, does it mean that it’s a lot better than the one which provides a thousand in the same period? The answer is, it depends.
Then again, it will depend on the type of information and results you expect to get from them. If you’re expecting for a more accurate, detailed, and in-depth analysis, then getting a hundred results within a 2-week period surely is a good thing.
The company’s database
Needless to say, a company’s database will play a major role in providing you with detailed information. As of now, the American Kennel Club has registered around 190 different dog breeds. However, most DNA tests don’t actually include all of them.
There are those which have a breed panel containing only 95 breeds, while there are some that offer way more than that. One thing you have to keep in mind is that the more expensive tests will have more breeds and will include other important information such as genetic markers and so on.
By going for a manufacturer with a more comprehensive database, you won’t just be getting reports of your dog’s breed. You’ll also get more important information which you wouldn’t have even thought of before.
4 Best Dog DNA Test Kits to Buy in 2020
Embark Dog DNA Test Kit
Comprehensive and Highly In-depth Reporting
First on the list is Embark’s testing kit. According to the manufacturers themselves, their genetic testing kit is capable of tracing more than 200,000 of your dog’s genetic indicators, and this includes more than 160 different genetic-linked diseases. You can even have breed identification testing and ancestry results.
They pride themselves on providing highly accurate testing which is capable of detecting diseases such as PRA blindness, degenerative myelopathy, as well as dilated cardiomyopathy. Though this might sound too good to be true, Embark actually partners with the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine for providing you with the results. In case you’re wondering, it’s actually certified by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, and we believe this alone is more than enough to convince you.
Unfortunately, you might have to wait for a little while before you can receive the results. It can’t be helped; after all, the testing will cover a lot of genetic diseases and indicators along with the breed identification testing.
Why We Like It:
- The testing, which involves tons of genetic markers and other tests, can certainly provide you with a more detailed and accurate analysis of your dog’s DNA
- The company is in partnership with reliable professionals at Cornell University
- You can easily download and print the results
What We Don’t Like:
- The results take a long time to arrive
- It’s a bit expensive; the most expensive one on this list in fact
Wisdom Panel Essential Dog DNA Test
Extensive Testing To Help You Uncover Your Dogs Special Story
Wisdom is a trusted brand with a previous testing history of over 2 million dogs of over 350 breeds and types, which in turn gives them a huge DNA database. This helps your dog DNA test results to be more accurate, helping you find out your pooches’ dog breed mix down to 1%.
When you order the essential dog DNA test you only have to swab their saliva, then send the sample off with the provided prepaid shipping to receive your results in just 2-3 weeks. The swab is small, with a long handle, making it as easy as possible to take the sample from your pet.
Once you’ve sent the sample away, your job is done, and you only have to look forward to finding out more about your fur baby.
Customers will love getting the results of the test which you will be able to conveniently access online. Wisdom provides you with a unique insight into your pet, enabling you to understand their ancestry and care needs so much more. The test screens for over 25 medical complications, lets you know the breeds that make up your pet’s DNA and gives you over 35 different traits to consider. After the test you’ll know your pet so much more, with invaluable information about exactly what makes them who they are.
Why We Like It:
- Easy swabbing process
- Precise results
- Insights into breed, health and traits
- Quick turnaround
What We Don’t Like:
- May not be suitable for owners who want extremely detailed results
- Accuracy for certain breeds may not be as detailed as some customers expect
More Of A Detailed DNA Test For Owners Who Want To Get To Know Their Pooch More
Trusted brand Wisdom offers a broad range of DNA tests for pet owners who want to know their dog more. They utilize a database of over 350 breeds, types and varieties of dogs that they have tested extensively, enabling them to identify the breeds within your dog to an accuracy of 1%.
Customers will love that the easy-to-use swab sample returns results within as little as 2 weeks of being sent back to Wisdom. Once the information is in, you’ll use a convenient online interface to find out about your dog’s ancestry down to their great grandparents, and about their many unique traits such as their ideal weight range.
What makes the DNA test premium is the addition of extra health testing within the panel, which tests for over 200 potential genetic conditions, drug sensitivities and other potential problems. You also get to schedule a free phone call with one of Wisdoms vets to talk about any notable health findings. These premium extras help pet owners get even more of a detailed doggy insight for better long-term care of the families beloved furry friends.
Why We Like It:
- Easy-to-use swab
- Accurate results
- Detailed health testing
- Phone call with vet to discuss results
What We Don’t Like:
- Breed accuracy may not be detailed enough for the needs/ desires of some owners
- Premium extras lean towards health insight only
Embark Dog DNA Test Breed Identification Kit
Reliable Doggy DNA Results From An Esteemed Brand
Embark is known as being the cream of the crop when it comes to doggy DNA testing. Their results are renowned for being exceptionally accurate, which is down to the innovative research-grade genotyping platform developed with Cornell University. For pet owners who want DNA results known to be as accurate as possible, this could be the right test to choose.
When you receive your results, after using an easy cheek swab, you get many different insights into your dog. Primarily, you will find out his breed make down to 5%, which is twice as accurate as most other dog DNA tests. This information is shown in a cute family tree of your dog leading back to their great grandparents. You can also discover your pet’s relations as the test identifies any other pets that have been tested with Embark who share DNA with your pooch.
Customers will love that they can find out their pet’s DNA, without having to pay extra for additional information they don’t need. If you do want further insight into your pet, you can also conveniently upgrade your account to get a full genetic health report for your dog without having to swab him again.
Why We Like It:
- Most accurate dog DNA testing on the market
- Comes with Doggy DNA relative finder
- Easy-to-use swab kit
- Quick results in just 3-5 weeks
What We Don’t Like:
- Suitable for higher budgets
- May not be very accurate/ insightful with dogs from other countries outside of the US
As mentioned, a dog DNA test kit isn’t all about finding out your dog’s mixed breeds. It’s also about testing a variety of other factors, most of which involved genetics. That said, by knowing how you can get the best dog DNA test on the market, you can easily get detailed information of your dog’s genetic makeup so you can plan his future health accordingly.