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Best Dog DNA Tests - Reviews & Buyer's Guide

Best Dog DNA Tests - Reviews & Buyer's Guide

The brief

Accordingly to theorists, approximately 14,000 years ago, a select number of wolves began to separate themselves, choosing to feed from scrap remains of nomadic humans rather than to continue enduring the demanding pack hunting activities they were so used to. Over time, they began to slowly adapt to this new lifestyle, their features slowly developing to suit new activities; thus, the first dogs were born.

Main description

Today, over 400 domestic dog breeds exist, from the 15-pound Chihuahua to the 200+ pound Mastiff and anything in-between, bred to serve just as many purposes! Unfortunately, today’s domesticated dogs also tend to suffer from countless ailments, just like their human companions. What would you do if you could prepare yourself for these medical issues before they ever even happened?

What is a Dog DNA Test?

A dog DNA test analyzes a dog’s genetics and genetic history to learn about its pet family’s history and/or possible medical or hereditary health problems. Owners might even decide to consult their veterinarian or continue with their own research into any possible health findings.

Simply said, DNA testing is exactly that. Depending on the provider chosen, DNA tests can become quite extensive, detailing everything a pet owner would want to know about their furry loved ones, and then some!

Why is a Dog DNA Test Important for Me and My Dog?

Hereditary Diseases & Disorders

Until the concept of DNA testing came about, we simply had a general idea what ailments certain breeds are prone to, like Hip Dysplasia for example. Sure, we could take steps to minimize that potential risk, but that is about it. With DNA testing, we can take a much more thorough look at disorders our dogs are likely to develop and take steps to prevent or better prepare.

With dog DNA testing, owners can be as prepared as possible to keep their loved ones as safe and healthy as possible! That alone would be worth the cost to most pet owners.

Know Your Breeds

Countless mixed breeds exist across the country and world, ranging from any number of shapes and sizes. As such, it is often nearly impossible to identify their exact breed parentage.

With dog DNA testing, owners will not only learn the exact breed composition of their mixed breed dogs, but often gain a look into further generations that went into developing their pup. Many of the companies below offer a detailed description of a dog’s lineage, and some offer explanations to boot!

Help Understand Dog Behavior

When man first began selectively breeding dogs, they were bred to assist in fulfilling a purpose. Because of this, a dog’s personality traits often reflect their breeding. Understanding many of the breed associated traits and genealogy behind your pup listed and described among the services here will offer better insights into why your dog behaves the way he does!

What is the Procedure?

Dog DNA testing has become incredibly simple for owners, almost always involving a little more than a cheek swab! The providers listed here simply require an online order to begin, along with an average of 2-3 weeks to analyze and submit results once samples are received.

Companies that perform dog DNA testing maintain a list of genetic markers to compare and isolate, some, a very extensive list. By comparing these markers to those of your dog, they are able to predict future medical concerns.

Charts & Graphs

Best Dog DNA Tests - Reviews & Buyer's Guide

A Note on Pricing

The graph above depicts each provider’s pricing for Dog DNA tests. Many of these providers offer multiple forms of dog DNA tests, so the most applicable tests are accounted for.

Keep in mind- the price of a service will often reflect how comprehensive it is, but not 100% of the time.

Best Dog DNA Tests - Reviews & Buyer's Guide

Top 10 Rankings

The graph above ranks each service on a 1-10 scale, 10 being the optimal rank. Web presence, customer reviews and quality of information provided are considered.

Price is not considered as a factor.

Best Dog DNA Tests - Reviews & Buyer's Guide

Note: The Importance of a Solid Web Presence

Every single one of the providers listed below operates and markets online, meaning most of their clients will find them via the internet/ internet searches. That being said, maintaining some type of internet presence is mandatory.

The graph above ranks the quality of each in that area on a 1-5 scale (5 being top quality), accounting for things like:

  • Website appeal
  • Easy of navigation
  • Quality of information/ explanations provided
  • Blog (high marketing impact)
  • Example reports provided

If a provider is lacking in any area, an organized blog, simplicity of website navigation or sample reports for example, they will drop in ranking. If no devoted web presence is easily found at all, they would have earned a rating of 1.

A Sample Test Explained

Best Dog DNA Tests - Reviews & Buyer's Guide

A good, comprehensive report should cover:

A dog’s breed makeup, as well as that of previous generations

For many pet owners, this is one of the main objectives behind a dog DNA test- to unveil what lies behind their pet’s genealogy. Is he really a purebred, and just how much so? What breeds make up my mixed breed dog, and what are their traits? Remember, most domesticated dogs today were originally bred to fulfill a purpose; their personality traits often reflecting that purpose. Knowing a dog’s family history will give insights into its own behavior.

Potential future health concerns, as well as descriptions informing the viewer

When ordering a DNA test for their dogs, owners want to know about medical problems they may face in the future, and how to cope with those problems. A test lacking this information holds little value to many buyers.

Breed trait and historical explanations

If the DNA testing is going to offer insights and explanations into the breed it is testing, it should explain the traits and breed history behind the tested dog so a buyer is best able to understand his/her dog, the hereditary disorders the dog is prone to endure and the dog’s behavior.

Example above provided here.

Example Test Comparisons

The top-rated services listed here provide sample tests for potential buyers to review before making a purchase. To make things easy, we’ve included links to each, as well as our own ratings, so you can find out for yourself without wasting time searching! Some of these are very similar, so we’ve rated them on a 1-3 scale for simplicity, 3 being best. Our rating scale considers:

  • Viewing simplicity
  • Information included
  • Level of organization

For example, if one is formatted in a very simple and easy to comprehend manner for the viewer, yet lacks in information, it is still ranked below another that provides more information for the dog owner.

Embark

Wisdom Panel

DDC Veterinary

DNA My Dog

Easy DNA

Rank 2

Rank 3

Rank 3

Rank 1

Rank 2

Review list

1. Dog DNA Test Kit from Embark Veterinary

Best Dog DNA Tests - Reviews & Buyer's Guide
Key features
Family tree includes % of parents & grandparents
Offers reports designed for owner’s veterinarian to examine
Free updates to results when available/ discovered
Opt in to have dog’s genetic profile included in future studies

Yet another highly organized and beautifully attractive internet service, Embark offers thorough and extensive dog DNA testing, measuring several traits in addition to the basic breed distinctions the others offer. Consulting a database of over 200,000 markets and checking for over 160 genetic conditions, Embark is easily able to cover the factors buyers want to see and then some!

  • Price: $189
  • Waiting Period: 2-3 Weeks
  • Specifically designed for dogs

Partnering with Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine, Embark boasts access to considerable resources. Though priced twice as high as many of the others listed here, Embark fills the difference by providing several additional testing factors on top of simple breed testing.

  • Coat color
  • Coat traits
  • Body features
  • Performance
  • Genetic diversity
  • Body size

Reports for Veterinarians

Created by veterinarians themselves, Embark offers the ability to send additional reporting to a pet owner’s veterinarian, specifically designed for that veterinarian.

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com!

The Embark page can be reached here!

Use coupon code EMBARKDNA10 during checkout if you prefer to order the test on the official website rather than on Amazon to get $10 OFF. The coupon is valid through 03/31/2018.

Embark Dog DNA Testing Ranked #1 out of 10.

Though many of the dog DNA tests compared here could easily provide very impressive results, setting them apart in their own right, a top choice had to be chosen and only one can fill that spot. Though they may be higher priced, Embark bridges the gap by providing an impressively extensive list (over 160) of genetic markers to compare, provides impressively detailed information of your dog’s genetic history and even tests for wolf, coyote and village dog ancestry.

  • Access to considerable resources
  • Partnership with Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Shows a dog’s wolf percentage
  • Submits results to your vet online
  • Pricier than most
  • Lengthy period to receive reported results
  • Some buyers claim not enough breeds are tested for
  • Few b​uyers questioned accuracy

2. Wisdom Panel from Mars Veterinary

Best Dog DNA Tests - Reviews & Buyer's Guide
Key features
Offers extensive breed library
‘The Dog Park’ page, complete with several dogs & their test results; superb examples
Tests for wolf & coyote %

Boasting an extremely comprehensive breed database, Mars Veterinary is capable of testing for over 250 breed types on top of drug sensitivity testing, trait analysis and more! Without a doubt, the extensive end analysis reports are extremely impressive, likely offering much more than any owner would ask for or even imagine in the first place.

Not only will they provide you with your dog’s breed makeup, you will receive the science behind additional details. These statistics alone may be confusing to the average pet owner, but Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel takes further steps to provide detailed explanations of those reports. For those willing to invest the money, Wisdom Panel is more than worth the $79.99!

Click here to view an example report!

  • Price: $79.99
  • Waiting Period: 2-3 Weeks

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com!

The Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel home page can be reached here!

Click here to view the ‘the Dog Park’ page!

Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel Dog DNA Testing Ranked #2 of 10.

Their extensive, detailed and beautifully explained reports truly set Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel apart in their field! Very few on this list can boast such offers. Because they are so very thorough and offer so much value, Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel Dog DNA Testing ranks number two on our list of 10 dog DNA tests.

  • Extensive & highly detailed results offered
  • ‘About’ section detailing background into the Wisdom Panel team of veterinarians
  • Provides 3 generations of ancestry for your dog
  • Slightly higher priced
  • Few select buyers found results to be vague or poorly presented, although this was very few out of many.
  • Some buyers questioned the accuracy of results

3. Dog DNA Test from DNA My Dog

Best Dog DNA Tests - Reviews & Buyer's Guide
Key features
Offers unique ‘certificates’
Deceased dog DNA testing available
Wolf & Canine hybrid testing

DNA My Dog offers an entire website of neatly organized pages advertising another easy to use cheek swab dog DNA test at $68.98 (free shipping). Results include a personalized analysis of dog breeds found in DNA My Dog’s database of popular dog breeds plus unique personality traits and genetic health concerns associated with each individual breed, something seemingly unique only to a few on this list.

  • Price: $68.98
  • Waiting Period: 2-3 Weeks

DNA My Dog also provides deceased pet testing, as well as ‘Wolf testing’, two more unique points. Many dog lovers continue to remember and cherish their beloved pet for years after passing, just like anyone would a human family member. Many of them might also remember and enjoy the personality traits associated with that pet, desiring to know the genetic and hereditary history. Some may even wish to research further into parents of their puppies.

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com!

The official DNA My Dog page can be reached here!

Click here to view example reports!

DNA My Dog Ranked #3 out of 10.

With a beautiful, well organized and detailed web presence, DNA My Dog ensures buyers know exactly what they are getting and are well prepared to understand the results. As another service that provides samples to view online, DNA My Dog prepares buyers with the knowledge of what to expect.

Providing examples to prepare buyers is a very important consideration, and ideally should be included in every testing service. Pet owners are more likely to gravitate toward something they know, and DNA My Dog doesn’t disappoint!

  • Results often received within 2 weeks of sending sample
  • Includes custom certificate of breeds found, along with detailed report
  • Results include percentage of each underlying dog breed found
  • Offers sample tests online; buyers know exactly what to expect
  • Photo required along with DNA sample; many buyers questioned necessity
  • Some buyers questioned accuracy of results
  • Select buyers unsatisfied with # of criteria shown in results
  • Many articles & videos provided, but no organized blog

4. Dog DNA Test from DDC Veterinary

Best Dog DNA Tests - Reviews & Buyer's Guide
Key features
Test extends to cover great grandparents as well
Question & answer ‘facts’ page

DDC Veterinary offers a basic dog breed identification DNA test detecting over 250 of the most popular dog breeds, available in three generations: parents, grandparents and great grandparents. The test can be performed for mixed breeds, designer breeds or purebreds, and is offered at $79 plus shipping for all three.

  • Price: $79 + Shipping
  • Waiting Period: 2-3 Weeks
  • Multiple Forms of Animal Testing: Canine, Avian, Feline, Equine, Alpaca

Dog DNA results are normally available within 2-3 weeks, but can be viewed online, as well as downloaded. In addition to offering a highly organized and attractive website, DDC Veterinary offers several forms of testing and a fascinating blog for animal lovers to enjoy!

The DDC Veterinary page can be reached here!

Click here to view an example report!

DDC Veterinary Testing Ranked #4 out of 10.

DDC Veterinary is a downright fantastic service. Offering an impressive array of testing to choose from, DDC Veterinary sets themselves apart with their outstanding array of options for dogs and other animals to boot.

However, this list measures dog DNA testing, not animal DNA testing in general. Though they offer an impressive array of options, that same number of choices can work against them by causing confusion. Instead of offering one all-inclusive dog DNA test, they provide six separate tests; buyers can easily become confused and purchase the wrong service if not thoroughly instructed.

  • Results can be viewed online
  • Testing includes further ‘great grandparents’ generation
  • Detect over 250 dog breeds
  • Several types of detailed animal testing
  • Shipping not included in price
  • Overwhelming amount of tests available can cause confusion
  • Price is for just one sample, which seemed to confuse buyers
  • Results have been reported to have exceeded 3 weeks

5. Dog DNA Test Kit from EasyDNA

Best Dog DNA Tests - Reviews & Buyer's Guide
Key features
Dog poop DNA testing

Offering a wealth of genetic testing, ranging from animal testing to paternity testing, clinical tests and beyond, EasyDNA not only has offices worldwide but appears to be our most professional provider yet! Unlike most of our applicants listed here that only offer one or two forms of testing, Easy DNA even offers multiple variances of animal testing, including hereditary disease, feline, equine, avian and several forms of dog testing.

However, the price can drastically exceed the others depending on the desired test, ranging all the way up to $306 for DNA testing ‘without the mother’. The simple breed test falls on $79 and results are issued 2-3 weeks after receiving samples (also a bit longer than most of the others).

Dog Poop DNA Testing

A unique service to EasyDNA, dog poop DNA testing is marketed by EasyDNA as a means of identifying rule breakers and cleanliness violators, those that don’t pick up after their pets. Read more about the service here.

The official Easy DNA page can be reached here!

EasyDNA Ranked #5 out of 10.

There is no short supply of resources here! EasyDNA looks to be an absolutely enormous provider with offices available worldwide and offering countless testing services not just for dogs, but for numerous other animals and humans alike.

Though EasyDNA offers several forms of dog DNA testing, they seem to highlight human testing with a focus on paternity testing. While paternity testing may be their specialty, grows exponentially in popularity and likely earns them the big bucks while establishing a huge reputation with this market, this list focuses on the best ‘dog DNA testing providers.

  • Offers additional dog breed DNA testing ‘without the mother’
  • Locations offered worldwide
  • Several testing options available
  • Appears to focus on human DNA testing
  • Lengthy waiting period for results
  • Appears to focus on human testing
  • No organized or clearly signified blog

6. DNA Test Kit from Paw Print Genetics

Best Dog DNA Tests - Reviews & Buyer's Guide

Though they offer several types of dog DNA testing ranging in price from $20- $135, their basic ‘Paw Print DNA Profiling’ falls on a clean $49- pricing Paw Print Genetics on the cheaper side of our list. They charge per test (perhaps owners are encouraged to purchase more than one), and offer discounts for additional testing.

Ranging from various diseases to coat color/traits and parentage on top of simple DNA profiling, Paw Print Genetics seems to cover the most important aspects to perfection! They even provide clear explanations for those who want to rush their orders.

They offer a refund policy at a $25 cost to the buyer, seemingly negating the point of a refund. Once samples are received by the laboratory, no refunds are issued.

  • Very positive feedback on Amazon
  • Variety of tests offered
  • Well written blog

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com

The Paw Print Genetics homepage can be reached here!

Paw Print Genetics Dog DNA Testing Ranked #6 out of 10.

Though Paw Print Genetics seems to offer a clear and concise service without all of the extra marketing gimmicks of the others, as well as an unbeatable price in comparison, they seemed a bit too simplistically mundane. Compared to some of the beautifully detailed and perfectly presented giants above, Paw Print’s website presents as very ordinary to the viewer- almost giving off a ‘Windows 95’ theme. Their reporting also seems to lack many of the details of the others.

For these reasons, Paw Print Genetics placed on the low end in our rankings. Despite all of the above, they do seem very organized, offering material in a concise, direct manner. And best of all, you won’t break the bank!

  • Low cost testing
  • Speedy delivery with detailed steps to follow
  • Reporting appears to be very basic

7. Dog DNA Testing from International Biosciences

Best Dog DNA Tests - Reviews & Buyer's Guide

An extremely simply to navigate website along with several detailed offers (human and animal) sets International Biosciences high on our list of providers! Not only do they offer countless forms of animal testing, but provide several types of dog testing (not limited to simple DNA testing).

Their Dog DNA test will identify the breeds in your mixed breed dog, enabling you to understand your dog’s genetic heritage, unique traits and predisposition to various diseases.

  • Professional Website
  • Price: $72.69
  • Waiting Period: 2-3 Weeks

The International Biosciences page can be viewed here!

International Biosciences Ranked #7 out of 10.

Though International Biosciences provides a beautiful web presence and thorough services, they appear to market more toward human testing than dog/animal testing. International Biosciences focuses on paternity, relationship, and parental tests foremost, with a fourth option for ‘other tests’.

International Biosciences provides more than one form of dog DNA testing; however, their services only comprise of a small portion that relates to dogs, as well as portray limited explanation. International Biosciences is a fantastic DNA service provider, but perhaps not up to the level of some others here.

  • Slightly quicker response time
  • Several forms of testing offered
  • Offers a ‘create your own kit’ option
  • Focuses on human testing
  • Shorter (than others) explanations, no samples offered

8. DNA Test Kit from Live Well Testing

Best Dog DNA Tests - Reviews & Buyer's Guide

Offering 3 main options at the head of their website, ‘My Body, My Pet, and My Environment’, Live Well Testing provides easy choices for the online viewer. Rather than providing detailed pages with thorough explanations off the bat, Live Well Testing takes a different approach by first listing available products then written information. Once viewers click a few times to the actual product, they are then furnished with detailed information, along with picture examples!

  • Price: $134.99

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com!

The Live Well Testing homepage can be reached here!

View a sample report here!

Live Well Testing Ranked #8 out of 10.

Though Live Well Testing provides easy to navigate options on top of highlighted sample tests and an explanation/devoted page, they appear to sell countless different forms of products outside of dog testing. Their prices also appear on the higher end for the options provided, compared to others listed here.

  • Tests for over 150 diseases and traits
  • Results displayed in online account 7-10 days after tested
  • Sample reports provided with explanation of results
  • Provides several products with no apparent focus
  • Priced higher than others

9. PetConfirm from Confirm Biosciences

Best Dog DNA Tests - Reviews & Buyer's Guide

PetConfirm particularly targets owners with aging pets, allowing them to monitor for common diseases and not only catch them early, but prepare themselves for the event; in their own words, ‘early screening for common health conditions, such as Urinary Tract Infections (UTI), Diabetes or kidney failure’. Their kit includes two tests along with an instructional booklet.

They also provide ‘mixed breed testing’, allowing owners to identify their dog’s breed makeup.

A Note on Diabetes

A well-documented disorder among humans, Diabetes, or the failure of our Pancreas to work properly, can become an extremely serious and often life-threatening concern, but is easily diagnosed and treated by doctors. Unfortunately, many pets acquire the condition as well, but dogs can’t tell us vocally there is a problem. Often, owners don’t recognize the issue until it is too late for their pets.

  • Price N/A

The PetConfirm page can be viewed here!

PetConfirm by Confirm Biosciences Ranked #9 out of 10.

PetConfirm seems to offer a more basic, limited service, focusing on breed detection. Because their service doesn’t seem to include much of what the others do, they fall a bit lower on our list.

  • Simple descriptions & focused points
  • Offers testing for common diseases among aging pets
  • Limited service
  • Narrow descriptions, no sample report found
  • Appears to focus on pharmaceutical testing

10. Canine Breed Identification Test from DNAffirm

Best Dog DNA Tests - Reviews & Buyer's Guide

DNAffirm’s Canine Breed Identification test advertises a home cheek swab kit offered by GG Prime through Amazon for $53.90 & free shipping. Results are available approximately two weeks from receipt of sample.

Though some disagreed or questioned results, the majority were happily satisfied! Explanations are simple, easy to understand and straightforward, leaving little room for confusion.

Results consist of:

  • Dog's dominant breeds
  • Personality traits
  • Health concerns

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com!

DNAffirm Veterinary Testing Ranked #10 from our list of 10.

As one of the few dog DNA providers not to offer any kind of web presence (other than a brief explanation on Amazon) for buyers to consult, learn or gain insight into services offered, DNA Affirm lacks significant resources compared to the others. Several reviewers also questioned the results they received, some claiming the service is another altogether, simply falling under a new name.

Though DNAffirm may be a good testing service with solid reporting, they simply don’t offer what many of the others here do.

  • Free shipping (Amazon Prime)
  • Results are received in about two weeks after retrieving the sample
  • Extensive & detailed results, including: predominant breeds, behavioral traits, form and appearance, exercise levels, health issues and hereditary health
  • Results include customized, easy to read breed makeup certificate
  • 3.5 out of 5 star rating on Amazon
  • Several customer reviews question the accuracy of results
  • Only offered on Amazon; no web presence
  • Testing limited to dogs

Final thoughts

Sources Cited

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