The Best Embark Dog DNA Test for 2022 – Reviewed and Ranked

Written by Judie Sigdel
Updated: August 6, 2022
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Key Points:
  • Dog DNA testing kits are beneficial to discover if your dog has inherited health issues. They can also help you identify which breeds collectively make up your mix-breed dog. These tests can trace your dogs ancestors back to its great-grandparents.
  • Dog breeders often use dog DNA tests for health screenings, to measure genetic diversity, predict the weight the dog will be as an adult, break down ancestry, and even gain insight into your pet’s character traits.
  • The Embark tests come in three different types for pet owners–one focused on detecting health issues, one for mixed-breed dogs, and another for pure-breeds. There are also more advanced tests for breeders and veterinarians.

Introduction

If you have a mixed-breed dog, you probably wonder what breeds contributed to their DNA. Unless it’s a common two-breed mix like a Goldendoodle, it’s likely that you’ll guess wrong. Why? Because mixed-breed dogs, even siblings from the same litter, can inherit different combinations of their parent’s DNA.

Another question you may have is whether your dog inherited health issues from his ancestors. The answer to this question may help you make important decisions about your canine friend’s health care.

DNA tests have become widely available because pet parents want to know as much as possible about their dogs. Embark, one of the most trusted brands, offers three tests geared towards consumers as well as one for breeders and another for veterinarians. This review ranks Embark’s three consumer tests so you can select the one that will provide the information about your dog that’s most important to you.

A-Z Animals Top Picks

  1. Embark Breed & Health Condition Identification DNA Test for Dogs
  2. Embark Breed & Health Condition Identification DNA Test for Dogs
    • Most accurate and highest-rated dog DNA kit on the market
    • Use simple and painless cheek swab
    • The world's only canine relative finder
    • Can analyze over 200,000 genetic markers
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Embark Breed Identification DNA Test for Dogs
  4. Embark Breed Identification DNA Test for Dogs
    • More than twice as precise as other tests on the market
    • Reveal your mixed-breed dog’s ancestry all the way back to their great-grandparents
    • Use simple cheek swab
    • Can precisely detect breed contributions down to 5% of the total breed make
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Embark | Dog DNA Test for Purebred Pets
  6. Embark | Dog DNA Test for Purebred Pets
    • Best kit for purebred dog owners
    • Test your purebred dog for over 210 genetic health risks
    • Provides breed validation and assesses over 200,000 genetic markers
    • Embark makes it easy to share results with your veterinarian
    Check Amazon

Choosing the Best Embark Dog DNA Test: What to Look for

When choosing the best dog DNA test, you need to consider three main factors: price, whether your dog is mixed or purebred, whether you want to determine your dog’s ancestry or health information, or both. Here’s how to consider the best dog DNA test across each of these factors:

Price

  • The price of Embark Dog DNA tests is determined by the type and quantity of the results and services provided. For example, a test that provides health information and consultation with a veterinary geneticist will cost more than a test that simply tells you what breed your dog’s ancestors were.
  • All three of the Embark Dog DNA tests reviewed let you find and connect with dogs that share DNA with yours through their one-of-a-kind canine DNA relative finder.

Whether Your Dog is Mixed or Purebred

  • Two of the three products reviewed were created for mixed breeds.
  • One is intended for purebred dogs.
  • Be sure to select one that is appropriate for your dog to ensure accurate test results.

Ancestry, Health Information, or Both

  • If you have a mixed-breed dog and want to determine their ancestry, select the Embark Breed Identification Kit.
  • If you have a mixed-breed dog and want to determine their ancestry and obtain their health profile, select the Embark Breed + Health Kit
  • If you have a purebred dog, select the Embark Dog DNA Test for Purebred Pets, which will verify your dog’s breed and provide a health profile.

The Different Types of Embark Dog DNA Test: Pros and Cons Compared

Embark makes three kinds of dog DNA kits for consumers. When choosing the right Embark dog DNA test, it’s important that you understand the pros and cons of each. The three Embark dog DNA kits are the Embark Breed + Health Kit, the Embark Breed Identification Kit, and the Embark Dog DNA Test for Purebred Pets. Each kit is designed for different use cases, with clear pros and cons.

  • Embark Breed + Health Kit – This dog DNA test kit is designed to give owners of mixed-breed dogs an accurate, comprehensive profile of their dog’s ancestry and health. It provides more information than Embark’s other DNA test kit for mixed-breed dogs, and it is also more expensive.
  • Embark Breed Identification Kit – This DNA test provides owners with an analysis of their dog’s genetic background. It does not provide a health profile. It is less expensive than the version that provides ancestry and health information.
  • Embark Dog DNA Test for Purebred Pets – This DNA test kit provides owners of purebred dogs with breed verification and a comprehensive health profile. It is the same price as the Embark Breed + Health Kit and more expensive than the Embark Breed Identification Kit.

 Verified Embark Dog DNA Test Reviews: User Experience

Our reviewers were overwhelmingly impressed by the comprehensiveness and accuracy of their Embark dog DNA tests results. One user said, “Results came faster than expected and were very detailed and accurate. We recently adopted a rescue mix breed and wanted to confirm our suspicions on her breed. I chose Embark because of the variety of “pit bull” breeds they can distinguish. We knew our pup had some form of a pit bull but wanted to know which and this test confirmed she is a mix of three (American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, and bull terrier) as well as part Rottweiler, Golden Retriever, and German Shepherd. A real mutt! We are also hoping the certificate can be used should we ever need to defend her living in Ontario as she is less than 45% “pit bull”.

Another reviewer was grateful to be contacted by an Embark geneticist when her dog’s test came back positive for a health condition: “When the genetic portion came back with her testing positive for a scary-sounding condition, the Embark geneticists sent a personalized email before releasing the results, letting me know things weren’t as bad as it sounded, and explaining further about the condition (including the breed of dog that it typically causes the most issues with). Had I just opened my results and seen this condition I would have PANICKED!! However, knowing more about it allowed me to not panic, and just let my vet know so we could keep an eye on her as she gets older.”

Some reviewers, however, were not convinced that their breed profiles were accurate. For example, this reviewer said, “It seems they gave me every dog EXCEPT ridgeback for my ridgeback mix. They could detect golden retriever but not even a hint of Rhodesian ridgeback? Does that seriously make sense? Don’t waste your money.”

Another joked, “I think Embark may have accidentally switched DNA samples because there is no way this is accurate. My 6-month pup has a non-shedding long coat and is 15 pounds. People will think I am crazy if I tell them that she is a pit bull, chihuahua, rottweiler mix. LOL.”

#1 Overall Best: Embark Breed + Health Kit

Our choice for the best Embark dog DNA test is the Embark Breed + Health Kit. This comprehensive dog DNA test will answer all of your questions – plus many you probably didn’t think to ask! It’s the best kit for mixed breed or designer breed dog owners who want to get their dog’s breed breakdown and genetic health profile.

The Embark Breed + Health dog DNA test is the most accurate and highest-rated dog DNA kit on the market. With a simple and painless cheek swab, this DNA test can analyze over 200,000 genetic markers. After you send the sample in, you will receive the results through a personalized dashboard in just 2-4 weeks. You can easily share the results with friends and family or print them for your next vet visit.

The dashboard will provide you with detailed information about your dog, including breed type and family trees going back to their great grandparents. With its research-grade DNA genotyping platform, Embark looks at over 350 breeds and more than 210 genetic health risks like glaucoma, MDR1 drug sensitivity, degenerative myelopathy, and common adult-onset diseases.

With the Embark Breed + Health dog DNA test you can discover and connect with dogs that share DNA with yours! It’s the world’s only canine relative finder, and it’s free with purchase.

Overall Best
Embark Breed & Health Condition Identification DNA Test for Dogs
  • Most accurate and highest-rated dog DNA kit on the market
  • Use simple and painless cheek swab
  • The world's only canine relative finder
  • Can analyze over 200,000 genetic markers
Check Chewy Check Amazon

#2 Best Embark Dog DNA Test for Mixed-Breed Breakdown: Embark Breed Identification Kit

With a simple cheek swab, the Embark Breed Identification Kit will provide an accurate, comprehensive report of what your mixed-breed dog’s DNA says about their breed, ancestry, and relatives.

Using a research-grade genotyping platform developed in partnership with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Embark offers the most accurate breed breakdown on the market. It analyzes over 200K genetic markers and screens for over 350 breeds to tell you your pup’s makeup. In fact, in mixed breeds Embark can precisely detect breed contributions down to 5% of the total breed make! This makes Embark’s product more than twice as precise as other tests on the market that can only detect breed contributions of 12% or more.

This kit will reveal your mixed-breed dog’s ancestry all the way back to their great-grandparents. It will also allow you to connect with dogs that share your furry friend’s DNA using the world’s only canine relative finder, which is free with purchase.

Plus, you can upgrade your Breed + Ancestry kit to include health testing at any time.

Best for Mixed-Breed Breakdown
Embark Breed Identification DNA Test for Dogs
  • More than twice as precise as other tests on the market
  • Reveal your mixed-breed dog’s ancestry all the way back to their great-grandparents
  • Use simple cheek swab
  • Can precisely detect breed contributions down to 5% of the total breed make
Check Chewy Check Amazon

#3 Best Embark Dog DNA Test for Purebred Dogs: Embark Dog DNA Test for Purebred Pets

The Embark DNA Test for Purebred Dogs is the best kit for purebred dog owners. Studies show that high levels of inbreeding in single-breed dogs can have a profound impact on their health and lifespan. That’s why Embark provides breed validation and assesses over 200,000 genetic markers to calculate your dog’s score and help you better care for your pet.

Embark makes it easy to share results with your veterinarian, so the two of you can form a preventative, proactive health plan for your dog. If you do get an unexpected health result, veterinary geneticists are available for consultation.

Embark will test your purebred dog for over 210 genetic health risks, including MDR1 drug sensitivity, glaucoma, degenerative myelopathy, and dilated cardiomyopathy, some of the most common adult-onset diseases in dogs. With this information, you and your vet can keep your dog healthier and happier for longer.

Embark also features the world’s only canine DNA relative finder, so you can connect with your dog’s family. Find and connect with other dogs that share DNA with yours, including distant and close relatives.

Best for Purebred Dogs
Embark | Dog DNA Test for Purebred Pets
  • Best kit for purebred dog owners
  • Test your purebred dog for over 210 genetic health risks
  • Provides breed validation and assesses over 200,000 genetic markers
  • Embark makes it easy to share results with your veterinarian
Check Amazon

Summary of the Best Embark Dog DNA Tests

RankBest ForProduct
1OverallEmbark Breed + Health Kit
2Mix-Breed BreakdownEmbark Breed Identification Kit
3Purebred DogsEmbark Dog DNA Test for Purebred Pets

User Testing Products

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About the Author

My passion is writing about animals. I’ve published articles on pet parrots, birds, and small animal care and reviews about pet food and products. I have an ever-evolving aviary and menagerie that has included cockatiels, parakeets, conures, European starlings, a chukar partridge, guinea pigs, dogs, and cats. I’m also the author of Faith without Labels: a Guide to Eclectic Spirituality.

The Best Embark Dog DNA Test for 2022 – Reviewed and Ranked FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How does the testing process work? Does it require a blood sample or vet visit?

A cheek swab and instructions will be mailed to you. By swabbing your dog’s cheek, you can easily take a sample in under a minute at home, with no blood required. Then all you have to do is mail Embark the sample in a provided pre-paid return envelope and your results will be available in a few weeks.

Which breeds can you identify?

Embark tests for over 350 breeds – and even wolf, coyote, dingo, and village dog ancestry. Together, these breeds cover over 98% of dogs in America. This is the only test that can test for village dogs, and Embark can even distinguish where village dogs come from!

How long do test results take?

The typical turnaround time from when Embark receives your test kit with your dog’s DNA sample is 2-4 weeks.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.