The Best Embark Dog DNA Test: Reviewed

Written by Judie Sigdel
Updated: December 22, 2022
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If you have a mixed-breed dog, you probably wonder what breeds contributed to their DNA. However, 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 their 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.

  1. 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. 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. 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

Top Picks: The Best Embark Dog DNA Tests Today

#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.

Although it is a bit pricey, 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 two to four 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 your dog! It’s the world’s only canine relative finder, and it’s free with purchase. Some customers reported that their results took longer than expected, but on average, results arrived promptly.

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, but it is also more expensive.

Pros and Cons of the Embark Breed + Health Kit

ProsCons
Offers both a breed breakdown and a genetic health profile for your dog.Some customers reported that their results took longer than expected, but in general most arrived on time.
It is the most accurate and highest-rated dog DNA test on the market.It is expensive.
All you need is a quick cheek swab from your dog.
Results arrive via a personalized dashboard, usually within two to four weeks.
Results can be shared and printed.
Results include breed types and family trees going back to your dog’s great-grandparents.
Embark looks at over 350 breeds and more than 210 genetic health risks.
You can discover other dogs that share DNA with your dog, and even connect with their owners.
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 200,000 genetic markers and screens for over 350 breeds to tell you your pup’s makeup. In fact, Embark can precisely detect breed contributions in mixed breeds 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. Without the health testing, the test is still a bit costly, but if you’re just looking for a breed composition breakdown and ancestry, this is a great option.

This DNA test provides owners with an analysis of their dog’s genetic background. It does not provide a health profile, and it is less expensive than the version that provides ancestry and health information.

Pros and Cons of the Embark Breed Identification Kit

ProsCons
Embark’s testing is the most accurate and highest-rated dog DNA test on the market.The test is expensive, although most customers felt it was still worth it.
It analyzes over 200,000 genetic markers and over 350 breeds to discover your dog’s genetic makeup.
This test can detect breed contributions down to 5% of the total breed make, which is more than twice as precise as other tests on the market.
The test reveals your dog’s ancestry back to their great-grandparents.
You can discover dogs that share DNA with your dog and connect with their owners.
You can upgrade and add on the health testing from Embark at any time.
All you need is a quick cheek swab from your dog.
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 also 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. DNA collection is simple and easy using a quick cheek swab. Results typically came within two to four weeks; however, a few customers reported that their results took much longer.

This DNA test kit provides owners of purebred dogs with breed verification and a comprehensive health profile. It is around the same price as the Embark Breed + Health Kit and more expensive than the Embark Breed Identification Kit.

Pros and Cons of the Embark Dog DNA Test for Purebred Pets

ProsCons
All you need is a quick cheek swab from your dog.Depending on the time of year, results can take longer than expected.
Generally, results arrive quickly (around two to four weeks).
All you need is a quick cheek swab from your dog.
This test provides breed validation for purebred dogs.
It assesses and analyzes over 200,000 genetic markers to help you know what potential health issues your dog may face in the future.
The test looks at over 210 genetic health risks and particularly looks at the common adult-onset diseases that dogs often face.
It is easy to share test results with your veterinarian.
Veterinary geneticists are available to consult with as well.
You can discover and connect with other dogs that share your dog’s DNA.
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

How to Choose the Best Embark Dog DNA Test

When choosing the best dog DNA test for your pup, 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.

Whether Your Dog is Mixed or Purebred

The test that you choose will be determined in part by whether your dog is a purebred or a mixed-breed dog. Two of the three products reviewed were created for mixed-breed dogs, while the third product is intended for purebred dogs. Be sure to select a test that is appropriate for your dog to ensure accurate test results.

Ancestry, Health Information, or Both

Each of the three tests in this review offers different results, so before selecting one, think about what you would like to discover about your dog. If you have a mixed-breed dog and you want to determine their breed composition and ancestry, select the Embark Breed Identification Kit. However, if you have a mixed-breed dog and want to determine their breed composition, ancestry, and 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.

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: Reviewed 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 the 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 — which even includes 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 to when they notify you of the results is two to four weeks.

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