A DNA test for dogs is a great way to find breed information about your dog but did you know there are tests available which can also provide lineage, health markers and other genetic information?
Why choose a dog DNA test?
There could be many, but some of the most common reasons are not knowing what kind of dog you have. This is common, “we think it’s husky and looks like a shepherd, but has the ears of a bloodhound. The DNA tests take the guessing out of the equation for you.
Here’s the criteria we used for our picks:
- Ease of use
- Accuracy based on customer feedback
- Overall features
As we looked at DNA tests for dogs, we considered this could also be a fun and educational experience for your family so extra features played a higher role in our picks.
The best Dog DNA test
There’s also a social component to this kit: You can connect with other dog owners that Embark has found, share DNA with your own dog. Beyond checking DNA for your dog’s breed, Embark also looks for genetically-linked health markers. You can see all these results on a nicely designed dashboard on Embark’s website, or download a report, which can be handy if you want to share the results with your vet. There are overall 15,000 reviews on Amazon, most of which are positive to give you an indication of the popularity of this kit.
2nd Place – Wisdom Panel Premium
If your dog’s breed is truly mysterious—or if you suspect there are many or rare breeds in the mix—the Wisdom Panel Premium Dog DNA Test is impressively thorough, testing for more than 350 breeds.
The testing process is fairly simple: Each test comes with two DNA test swabs. You’ll use them to take a sample from the inside of your dog’s mouth. This process may be a bit more complicated than it seems—because you need make sure your dog does not lick, chew, or eat anything for a couple of hours before getting the sample. Then, using pre-paid postage (also included) you’ll mail the sample off. At a lab, this DNA sample will be tested for hundreds of markers that help identify your dog’s breed ancestry all the way to the dog’s great-grandparents. Within three weeks, you’ll receive an email with your dog’s results.
What to Look for in a Dog DNA Test
Useable feedback about your dog
Your reasons for testing will determine what type of test you want to select. If you’re just curious about your dog’s lineage, there are basic tests, while others provide more analysis of how their DNA may contribute to their personality. Others can tell you if your dog is more or less at risk for various health conditions.
Speed of Results
How long do you want to wait for your dog’s DNA results? If speed is important to you, there are tests that can deliver them quickly (in a couple of weeks), while other testing companies take months to deliver results. Your reason for testing and your level of patience will factor into which type of test you should choose.
Of course, the most important quality you want in a dog DNA test is accuracy, particularly if you’re looking for insight into their health. Some tests guarantee accuracy rates of nearly 100 percent.