As a dog owner, I want to provide only the best health care and nutrition for my dog, but sometimes I wonder whether my lovely four-legged friend gets everything he needs. I bet that like me, you had a doubt at least once in a lifetime what ‘type’ of dog you really have and how does his health background look like.
Canine DNA tests have become very popular lately and their main purpose is to exactly identify the breed composite of a dog and his genetic makeup to find out what kind of behavior to expect in future and how to discover potential disease-causing mutations. Of course, all the facts you’ll find out will not make you love him less. What I like most about dog DNA kits is that they allow me to find out my dog’s hidden secrets and even who were his ancestors by going 3 generations back.
Dog genetic testing is not only a life-saving chance for your pet but it’s also fun and worth a try. It provides pet parents the opportunity to better care for him and understand his behavior and nutritive needs. In my review, I’ll go over 5 different brands to find the best dog DNA test kit for you.
Top 5 Dog DNA Test Reviews
Overall, the Wisdom Panel 3.0 breed identification DNA test kit is a great choice for every pet owner who wants to get exceptionally accurate dog DNA testing. It’s definitely a good value for money that offers highly sensitive examinations and more accurate results than its predecessors.
Embark Dog DNA Test Kit
According to recent scientific advances, Embark dog DNA Test kit offers one of the most accurate ‘at home’ DNA results. It also provides the information on dog’s breed composition, health, traits and a large number of genetic markers. Embark dog breed DNA test uses a research-grade DNA genotyping platform that has been developed at the Cornel University College of Veterinary Medicine.
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This test shows not only a dog’s possible future health problems but also includes the trait section. That means it provides the information about your dog’s coat color, coat traits, body size and features, the coefficient of inbreeding (COI), performance, and genetic diversity. The Embark dog genetic test also includes a wolf score that shows whether your dog has a wolf gene. All scores below 10 are considered for ancient wolf genes that have been passed down multiple generations.
- Test over 200 000 genetic markers
- 160 canine health conditions
- Positive customer feedback
- 100 times more genetic information from other dog DNA tests
- Capability to get raw DNA data
- Long results delivery (3-7 weeks)
- Offers the test for 175 out of 190 recognized dog breeds by the American Kennel Club
Wisdom Panel 3.0 Breed Identification DNA Test Kit
Since living with a mixed dog breed may put you in a doubt whether he gets appropriate health care and nutrition, the Wisdom Panel mixed-breed DNA test is specially designed for dog owners who want to discover it all. It simply helps you to customize your dog’s care and nutrition according to the specific needs of the dog’s breed mix. Wisdom Panel Mixed-breed dog test includes more than 220+ dog breed types, their varieties, and also provides a prediction of a dog’s weight profile. This dog breed health kit makes easy to find out the information about your dog’s breed composition, his genetic health issues, and weight.
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The Wisdom Panel dog tests can be found in a few types- The Wisdom Panel 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 4.0 and Mixed-breed tests, are based on extensive information about each breed and breed group found, while Wisdom Panel Health test also provides you the screening for 150+ genetic health conditions. Wisdom Panel dog breed DNA tests are easy to use ‘cause you only need to swab your dog’s cheek to collect DNA, activate the online kit and then wait 2-3 weeks for the results.
- Easy 3-step application
- No need for blood testing and going to the vet
- Shows the family tree that goes back to 3 generations
- Shows whether the dog is a purebred or a mixed breed dog
- Short wait time (2-3 weeks)
- Predicts a dog’s weight
- Highly specified for mixed dog breeds
- Provides 2 swabs and free replacement in case of damage
- Tests more than 220+ breeds
- Cheap DNA test
- Limited DNA testing
- Doesn’t include markers for genetic canine conditions
Dog DNA-Canine breed identification test
This Dog DNA test is designed for dog owners who don’t want to spend a lot of money on their dog’s DNA testing and want to get the information about their dog’s overall health and genetic markers. However, in comparison with the Embark and Wisdom Panel 3.0 dog breed DNA tests, this test doesn’t give so much accurate results. The Dog DNA-Canine breed identification test offers a basic testing of a dog’s breed makeup with a percentage chart explained in 5 levels.
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The first level explains whether your dog has a strong match (75 % or stronger) to one of their validated breeds. In case your dog doesn’t have 75% genes of a specific dog breed, the level two reports breeds that are easily recognizable with your dog (37- 74%). This level also shows a strong influence of a specific dog breed, and usually means that one of the parents was a purebred.The third level identifies the breeds between 20-36 % ranges, usually coming from grandparents.The level four presents 10-20% of the breed DNA, usually coming from great-grandparents.The last -5th level shows the lowest level of the breed DNA (5% or less).
- cheap price
- help you understand your dog’s unique appearance, behavior, and wellness needs
- includes multi-drug resistance test (MDR1)
- includes exercise induce collapse test (EIC)
- not so good customer reviews
- some buyers complain about delayed delivery of the results
- includes only basic dog breed analysis
Mars Veterinary- Wisdom Panel 2.5
The Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel 2.5 dog DNA test kit is pretty simple to perform since you need to do only a quick cheek swab. By getting the results you’ll be provided with an in-depth breed report for your dog with included possible health, behavioral issues, and weight prediction. This test can also be used in testing designer and mixed-dog breeds as well.Another great thing about the Wisdom Panel 2.5 is that it provides the screening for MDR1 life-saving drug sensitivity and a genetic trait analysis.
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Although is considered for one of the most accurate dog DNA tests, it also has several drawbacks. Compared with Wisdom Panel newer versions and Embark dog DNA tests, this 2.5 test version covers only a few genetic markers (P.S. Note that it can be pretty ambiguous if you own a mixed-breed dog with undiscovered potential diseases.)
- Fast results delivery (2-3 weeks)
- Accurate dog breed identification compared to the visual comparison
- Provide you with the certificate of dog breed authenticity
- Easy to perform
- Gives a weight prediction of an adult dog
- Quite limited results compared to Embark
- Outdated version (there are newer Wisdom Panel dog DNA test types)
- Limited DNA profiling tests
Wisdom Panel Mixed-Breed Identification Test Kit
The Wisdom Panel 2.0 dog DNA test is certainly less accurate and powerful than the next Wisdom Panel dog DNA tests versions. This dog genetic test helps dog owners to find out their dog’s genetic composition (including breed ancestry, potential health conditions, and drug adverse reactions). It also possesses a large number of genetic markers but in comparison with Embark or the next versions of wisdom panel, that tests more than 200.000, it seems to be not so itemized.
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- Fast result delivery (2-3 weeks)
- You get quite a good mix of exams (dog’s genetic composition, genetic health markers, weight prediction, and testing to serious drug adverse reactions)
- It’s cheaper than Wisdom Panel 2.5 dog DNA test
- It’s 3 times cheaper than Embark
- Easy 3-step application
- Great customer reviews
- Provides a breed identification for more than 250 dog breeds
- It doesn’t offer a large number of genetic markers tested (1,800)
Why use a dog DNA test?
If you ever wondered why anyone would put a dog on DNA testing, we want to tell you that those who did – have definitely made the right decision. Only a mixed-breed dog owner can understand someone’s need for finding out a dog’s detailed breed and health history, because often happens that a dog owner was sure that he lives with at least 70% American Staffordshire Terrier and then found out his four-legged fellow is 30% Rottweiler, 40 % Pit Bull and 30 % Labrador Retriever. By putting your dog on genetic testing you’ll also become aware of your dog’s possible health problems.There are many dog DNA tests on the market, however, Embark and Wisdom Panel Tests are considered the best dog DNA tests. By discovering your dog’s possible health issues on time- you will be better prepared to help him and accordingly provide him with the best care. Different dog breed tests are certainly a fun way for understanding who your dog actually is. By using a similar method like human DNA testing, dog DNA tests will provide you the chart of explained percentages why your dog has so pointy ears or great swimming abilities. Dog genetic testing serves not only to find out a dog’s breed composition, but also for discovering his pedigree, lineage, and parental age.
Are dog DNA tests accurate?
If the sample is taken correctly then you can be sure you’ve got the right results. A dog shouldn’t eat or chew at least one hour before you take the sample. Dog owners should also be especially careful not to leave their own DNA on examination swabs because the results may be incorrect. Most dog breed DNA tests cover about 97 % of the mixed breed population while Wisdom Panel Tests has the biggest dog breed database in the World. However, there’s only one case where you may not get such valuable results about your dog’s DNA. In case you own a mixed dog breed that comes from more than two/three dog breeds, then it would be much difficult for the dog breed test to identify all the history of your dog. On the other hand, if you own a mixed dog breed from pure breed parents, you can be sure that the test will be 100 % accurate. When you decide to do a dog breed DNA testing you also need to keep in mind that many dog breeds are extremely closely related. That means that so-called purebred dogs are also a ‘product’ of other breeds such as the American Staffordshire terrier. So, the main thing you can expect from a canine DNA test is that it will show you the possession of the main breeds your dog’s having. Like a human being, a dog’s appearance may also vary beside the fact he doesn’t show any physical appearance with the breeds that the test has shown.
What to look when picking the best dog DNA test?
Since there is a huge choice of dog breed DNA test on the Market these are some most important things you should take into consideration:
- A wide range of genetic markers tested: Not all DNA tests are the same because each has specific points- so-called markers. The more markers the test ‘covers’ the more correct a dog genetic testing is going to be. Although such tests tend to be more expensive, remember that DNA tests with a larger number of markers will provide you with more accurate results.-
- Large database of dog breeds: While some tests reach only 80 dog breeds, there are also those with a larger number of dog breeds in the database. According to the American Kennel Club, there are currently 190 recognized dog breeds in the world. Most dog breed DNA tests don’t cover all recognized dog breeds, but there are also a few that are considered for the best on the market.
- A wide range of genetic health risks: When picking the right dog DNA test, it’s extremely important to know the range of genetic health risks that give the information about your dog’s current and future health. It is desirable to find a test with a range of 140-160 genetic health risk factors. However, you also need to keep in mind that some tests don’t have such a research included.
- Physical traits report: Dog genetic tests may also vary in detecting a dog’s physical traits. Before choosing a dog DNA test, you may need to make sure that the company you’ve chosen will provide you true physical traits report based on your dog’s DNA and not on a specific dog breed. Since every living being has different DNA, it wouldn’t be of any worth to have a test with basic information about certain dog breeds. –
- Wolf test: Some dog DNA tests offer the wolf test that shows whether a dog has wolf origins.
How Does Dog DNA testing work?
First of all, you need to know that not all dog breed DNA tests work the same and give 100% accuracy. While some tests offer more genetic markers tested, others test a larger number of dog breeds. By online ordering a dog DNA test kit, you’ll also need to read all the instructions.Taking the dog’s DNA sample is pretty easy to do. You only need to carefully swab the inside of your dog’s cheek. When we say carefully we mean to do it in sterile conditions and not to compost a dog’s DNA with yours. After you took the dog’s saliva sample, you need to mail it back to the company’s lab as soon as possible. The company examines your dog’s sample by putting it in a solution that takes the cheek cells off the swab and releases the DNA. The next step includes the analysis of the information found in your dog’s DNA and thousands of other purebred dogs.The wait time for the results usually lasts between 2-7 weeks.
In order to choose the right dog DNA test, we suggest you considering all DNA testing kit reviews for each dog genetic test written. However, one thing is for sure-dog DNA tests may save your dog’s life by discovering possible health issues, and taking into account your dog’s wellness and exercise needs. By providing you with detailed information, you’ll know what to expect from your dog and how to react in certain situations (whether we talk about his health or behavior). By carefully considering all DNA testing kit reviews, and observing customers’ reviews, the Wisdom Panel 3.0 dog DNA identification breed test seems to be the perfect choice. It’s much cheaper than Embark and still offers all the exams that the best dog DNA test should provide.