4 Best Dog DNA Tests in 2019

If your dog is a much-beloved mutt, you’re not alone. According to the Humane Society of the United States, 51% of the dogs in American households are mixed-breed canines. If you’ve always wondered what breeds are in your dog’s lineage, but have no idea where to start to find out, dog DNA testing can be a smart option. Here’s what you need to know about dog DNA tests and the top companies that offer testing. 

4 Dog DNA Test Reviews

There are many different dog DNA tests on the market. They can vary widely in terms of price, turnaround time, and size of their database. If you’re thinking about completing a DNA test on your dog, check out these four dog DNA test reviews:

1. DNA My Dog

Pros

  • Results within two weeks
  • Relatively low cost
  • Offers coyote and wolf-mix testing

Cons

  • Only recognizes the most common breeds
  • Poor customer reviews


With DNA My Dog, you perform a simple at-home cheek swab. According to the company, the test is easy and takes less than a minute to complete. After you mail in your samples, the company will run it through its database of certified dog breeds. All DNA matches are recorded, and you’ll get a detailed report listing the percentages of breeds found in your dog within two weeks.

A DNA My Dog kit costs $68.99, and that includes free shipping. With your order, you’ll get a custom photo certificate of the breeds found in your dog, a percentage breakdown of the breed levels found in your dog’s DNA, and a report on the dominant breeds in your dog’s DNA, including details on personality, personality traits, and common health issues.

While the DNA My Dog price is relatively low, you should know that the company’s test only recognizes the most commonly found mixed breed dogs according to historical trends in dog popularity. It detects common breeds like Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, Yorkshire Terriers, and Chihuahuas. If your dog is a mix of less common breeds, the tests will not recognize those types. This issue has caused many customers to be unhappy with the accuracy of the test results. 

2. Embark

Pros

  • Recognizes over 250 dog breeds
  • Multi-kit discounts are available
  • Only test that recognizes village dogs

Cons

  • Results can take up to four weeks
  • Tests are more expensive than other options
  • You must upgrade to get health and breed trait reports


Embark offers two options:
Breed identification kit: This kit gives you information on your dog’s breeds, its ancestry, and can even locate relatives. The kit costs $129.
Breed and health kit: The breed and health kit gives you all of the information you receive in the breed identification kit, plus it screens your dog for over 170 genetic conditions and gives you a report on breed traits. This kit costs $199.
If you want to test multiple dogs, you can save money by buying multiple kits at once. For example, if you buy two kits, you’ll get 10% off. Buy four kits, and you’ll get 20% off.

The company is a partner of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, and uses technologically advanced tests to process your dog’s DNA. Unlike some other DNA companies, Embark tests for a wide range of breeds. The company reports that they recognize over 250 breeds, including less common ones like Keeshonds, Samoyeds, or Shiba Inus. The test even recognizes village dogs, a distinct type of free-ranging dog indigenous to certain geographic regions.
 

3. Orivet Dog DNA

Pros

  • Record and manage all aspects of your dog’s care
  • Report includes tips on optimizing your dog’s health
  • Cat health screenings available

Cons

  • Must buy two separate tests for breed identification and health screenings
  • Tests are expensive
  • Results can take up to three weeks


With Orivet, there’s two products for dog owners:
Mixed breed dog identification DNA test: $125
Dog DNA health screen and life plan: $125

If you want to see what breeds are in your dog’s lineage and have your dog screened for common health issues, you’ll have to buy both kits, for a total cost of $250 — that’s the most expensive price on this list.

The breed identification test recognizes 220 breeds. That’s an improvement over DNA My Dog, but is fewer than other tests — like Wisdom Panel — recognize.

However, there is one perk that is a good benefit for dog owners. As an Orivet customer, you can create an account to manage your dog’s care. You can schedule alerts for veterinarian appointments, plan medication reminders, and even contact pet-care providers.
 

4. Wisdom Panel

Pros

  • Offers drug sensitivity screening for MDR1
  • Recognizes over 350 breeds
  • Advanced version screens for more than 150 genetic health conditions

Cons

  • Results can take up to three weeks
  • You must upgrade to a more expensive test for advanced genetic health screenings


Wisdom Panel’s test for canine breed detection costs $84.99, and the disease detection version is available for $149.99. It recognizes over 350 breeds, the most of any DNA test on the market today. In addition to breed identification, your detailed report will include a detailed family tree, drug sensitivity screenings, and a genetic trait analysis.

Like the other tests on this list, Wisdom Panel requires a cheek swab, and you can expect results in two to three weeks. You can share the results with your veterinarian so you can come up with a preventative care plan based on the pet’s genetic health.

Wisdom Panel’s test is the most comprehensive for its price, and has the largest database of any DNA testing company.
 

What is dog DNA testing? 

DNA testing is a way to find out about your dog’s background. When you do a DNA test, you can get information on what breeds make up your dog, what genetic health issues are possible, and what traits to expect.

With most dog DNA tests, you take a simple cheek swab from your dog, place the sample in the provided container, and mail it back to the testing company. The DNA testing company runs the test through their database to come up with a comprehensive report that is mailed to you. 

Benefits of dog DNA testing

While DNA testing may sound just like a fun thing to do with your dog, there are some serious benefits to it. If your dog is a mix, you can find out what breeds make up your dog’s DNA. Those results can help you identify common breed traits, determine your dog’s exercise needs, and even figure out the best training method to use.

Many tests also offer health screenings. You can use the results to find out if your dog is sensitive to certain medications or to screen for certain genetic health conditions. With the outcome of the tests, you can work with your veterinarian to address your dog’s needs before disease symptoms appear. 

Testing your dog

If you have a mixed-breed dog and would like to know more about his background, DNA testing can be a great option. You’ll learn about your dog’s breeding and even get insight into his health. Knowing your dog’s history can help you tailor a training and exercise regimen that better meets his needs, and you and your veterinarian can develop a care plan to address any health issues that you find.