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.
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 2019
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 3.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit
Lower But More Focused Genetic Marker Testing
Manufactured by Wisdom Health, the Wisdom Panel 3.0 is capable of identifying more than 250 different dog breeds. That said, you can test your dog’s ancestry (whether he’s a purebred, hybrid, or a designer dog) up to three generations. Also, it’s the only officially licensed testing kit in the US which provides MDR1 drug sensitivity screening for FREE!
The Wisdom Panel 3.0 includes testing 1,800 genetic markers which are actually quite a low number if we compare that to Embark’s kit. However, the testing involved allows you to further understand your dog’s nucleic acid composition which is really helpful in the sense that you can develop a program which fits your dog’s dominant traits.
On average, you can get the results within 2-3 weeks, which is a bit quicker compared to Embark’s 2-4 weeks, sometimes months, of results delivery.
Why We Like It:
- They offer MDR1 drug sensitivity screening without any additional cost
- It’s more than half the price of Embark’s kit
- The test results can be delivered in just around 2-3 weeks
What We Don’t Like:
- The genetic marker count is really low
Wisdom Panel Mixed Breed DNA Test Kit
Designed Specifically for the Mutts
As the name implies, the Wisdom Panel Mixed Breed kit is designed to test your mixed breed mutt. Although it’s somehow limited to the testing and results it can provide, it is without a doubt an excellent product if you want to know the various breeds that make up your dog.
The main point of this test kit is that you already know your dog is a mixed breed, and as such you’d want to get more information about his ancestry so you can easily customize his training, nutrition, behavior, and health plans to suit his needs. If you have a mixed breed dog, the results and information you can get from this kit could be very helpful in letting you take good care of your buddy.
Why We Like It:
- It tests for up to 350 different breeds
- It’s mainly designed for dogs that have two or more breeds
- The results allow you to customize a lot of aspects when it comes to taking care of your mixed breed dog
What We Don’t Like:
- Its function and information are a bit limited
Find My Pet Dog DNA Test
A Slightly Ideal But Affordable Kit
The last one is not really a popular option, although it does hold its own when it comes to providing an in-depth and accurate analysis of your dog’s DNA sample. The results included a custom photo certificate of your dog’s different breeds. Aside from that, you can also receive a percentage breakdown of the various levels in his DNA. Lastly, they also provide a report about your dog’s personality traits, his dominant breeds, and his current and possible health risks.
Available for a very affordable price, this testing kit is actually a good product considering that they promise to deliver results in as early as 2 weeks!
Why We Like It:
- It’s a very affordable option
- You can expect your results to arrive within 2 weeks
- Compared to the other kits, this one actually provides with a photo certificate of the results
What We Don’t Like:
- You can’t confirm if your dog is a purebred or not
- There’s not a lot of details about the product
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.